Art, Media and Ecology

15 Oct

uhm_lr_fl_07_05-1On November 4, the Leiden Center of Media, Art and Politics (MAP) and VU University’s VAMA: Critical Studies in Art and Culture research master’s programme will jointly present an evening of lectures and discussion on art, media and ecology. T.J. Demos of University College London and VU University’s Sven Lütticken will each give a presentation, and Eric de Bruyn of Leiden University will chair the concluding Q&A session.

Please note that this event, which is public, will take place in room 228 of Leiden University’s Lipsius building. Time: 18.00-20.00 hrs.

T.J. Demos, Decolonizing Nature: Making the World Matter

This presentation will look at the collective artistic platform, “World of Matter,” and examine the group’s diverse productions that concern pressing issues of political ecology today. Their investigations offer a platform to consider a number of theoretical and political developments bearing on the intersection of art and ecology, including: the need for a new “natural contract” (as advanced by Michel Serres); the imperative for open access media ecologies; the political necessity of social ecology, even while granting attention to the non-human world, particularly in relation to both post-anthropocentric speculative realist philosophy and the emerging legal revolution regarding the rights of nature—all of which will be discussed.

Sven Lütticken, Abstract Habitats

This is the presentation of an article (yet to be published) dealing with art installations that abstract animals and other organisms from their usual natural environment or from regular forms of domestication. These works—by artists including Hans Haacke, Carsten Höller and Rosemarie Trockel, and Bik Van der Pol—function as artificial, aesthetic habitats for the animals as well as for the human viewers/participants. Genetic technology and synthetic biology are altering life on earth, but the works in question are not examples of “bio art” that employs advanced genetic technology. Rather, they alter or readjust the relations between organisms so as to foreground the historical nature of all forms of life, and the speeding-up of (post-)natural history in the anthropocene.

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