In Staying with the Trouble, Donna Haraway describes sympoiesis as

a simple word; it means “making-with.” Nothing makes itself; nothing is really autopoietic or self-organizing … Sympoiesis is a word proper to complex, dynamic, responsive, situated, historical systems. It is a word for worlding-with, in company. Sympoiesis enfolds autopoiesis and generatively unfurls and extends it.[1]1
Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016

Drawing on the sympoiesis that has characterized their experience working in collaboration with each other for the past two years, the creators of this symposium—the Transart MFA class of 2020—sought contributions from practitioners around the world to explore the manifold ways that artists and curators manifest sympoiesis in their practices.

This collection presents talks and conversations from the “Sympoiesis” online symposium, which ran August 5–15, 2020. Alongside these talks and conversations, “Sympoiesis” presented selected works by the Transart class of 2020; an online reading room of texts related to sympoiesis; the workshop “Unambitious Stripper,” led by Isabel Lewis; “The Invisibility Lab” by Gabrielle Senza; and daily prompts for practice contributed by the Transart community.

“Sympoiesis” also featured a video program that included 内共生 (Inside the Shared Life) by Erin Espelie, Rehearsal by Pamela Arce, Journey to the Charbagh by Abdullah Qureshi, Covering by Bianca Turner, Cold Fire by Lo Lai Lai Natalie, ON DEMAND by Eugenia Lim, Monk by the Sea by Elenie Chung, and Édouard Glissant: One World in Relation by Manthia Diawara.

“Sympoiesis” was collectively curated by the Transart MFA class of 2020 and MFA program manager Susie Quillinan.

Transart Institute is a space for experimentation and thinking in any form; for sharing and connecting; and offering practice-based doctoral studies in a low-residency model. We champion self-directed, curious, flexible and socially engaged creative researchers working independently and/or collectively. 

Preview image: Syowia Kyambi, The Lecture Room Intervention, 2019. Video still documentation: Carl Kühl. MARKK Museum Hamburg.

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