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NEWS

Call for Participants for a new research project entitled Confrontations: Sessions in East European Art History deadline 9 November

Paper on Pluriversal Geo-epistemologies of East European Art at the conference on Theorizing the Geography of East-Central European Art, 26-27 October 2018

Presentation and Breakout Session on Plant Patriotism by Maja and Reuben Fowkes at the Creative Time Summit in Miami 1-3 November 2018

 


  • CONFRONTATIONS CONFRONTATIONS Sessions in East European Art History UCL London
  • Destressed Tree: Polonca Lovsin Destressed Tree: Polonca Lovsin
  • Feral Incursions Feral Incursions Feralising Art, Ecology and Politics, 11-12 May 2018
  • Reflexive Ecologies of Post-Internet Art Reflexive Ecologies of Post-Internet Art EAH Seminar at CEU Budapest, 13 February 2018
  • Eastern Europe Can be Yours! Eastern Europe Can be Yours! Alternative Art of the Eighties
  • ECOhUMANITIES.ORG ECOhUMANITIES.ORG The online platform of the Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative at Central European University.

     

The Globalisation of Plants

Tendepixel
London
Saturday 6 October 2018

An afternoon of botanic interactions on the ecological realities of travelling plants and the emotional reactions that vegetal migration provokes in zealous circles. Why do distinctions made between native and invasive plant species often mirror, evoke or amplify hostile attitudes to human migrants? How have artists and writers sought to unearth the entangled natural and cultural histories that overlay societal attitudes towards the mobility of theplant world?...(more)

Through Synthetic Wilderness


Lecture by Maja and Reuben Fowkes at NASUTI Festival

Bratislava
21 September 2018

Today a vortex of waste covers vast ocean surfaces with undulating fields of discarded plastic, which on breaking downcontinue their sea voyage to contaminate the remote waters of the arctic as microparticles, intruding into biological realms through the insidesof unwitting fish and birds, and fusing with volcanic rocks to form unearthly plastoglomerates that wash up on Pacific islands. How have contemporary art and theory addressed the question of waste, the impact of manmade materials on the natural environment and exposure to toxicity?

De-Stressed Tree by Polonca Lovšin

Site specific installation curated by Maja and Reuben Fowkes for the NASUTI Festival

Bratislava
September / October 2018

Lovšin’s project for NASUTI emphasises the fact that debris as an outcome of human undertakings does not only affect people, but equally other species with which we are intricately linked through a web of mutual dependencies. The hopeful messages exchanged with a rescued tree stand as a reminder that in a time of crisis cooperation is essential.

 

FERAL INCURSIONS

11-12 May 2018
Central European University, Budapest

This series of workshops led by artists, writers, political theorists and urban foragers investigates the feral as a transgressive force with the power to corrode and infract anthropocentric and patriarchal systems, as well as through the actual entanglements of ferality in the streams of artistic, political and ecological practice. Could ferality be a useful concept for theory and practice against species extinction? How can poetry provide a language to express this loss and imagine more-than-human futures? What is the place of the feral in the urban environment and how can it become a source of physical and spiritual nourishment? Could the excavation of a fragment of intertwined political and natural history trigger a critical stance towards the present? How can ferality be deployed to infiltrate and subvert economic networks? In what way could the concept of feral citizenship allow us to navigate the current political moment?. ...(more)

 

 

FLUVIOCENTRIC PRACTICES FOR SENSING RIVERS

23 April 2018
Arts Catalyst, London

As part of Test Sites: Assembly, Arts Catalyst invites you to take part to the first of a series of reading groups led by curators, anthropologists and researchers that address a number of issues related through the planetary commons, including infrastructures, the relation between the human and the non-human and contemporary ecological thinking. During a collective reading session, Maja and Reuben Fowkes propose an Experimental Reading Room looking at texts and artworks that explore sensual approaches to the river to connect with its non-human agency, histories and ecologies. Readings include texts from Michel Serres, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Paul Stoller and David Abram.... (more)

 


Reflexive Ecologies of Post-Internet Art

13 February 2018
Central European University Budapest

Perpetual connectivity and the incorporation of the internet into the habits of daily life, the intercession of social media in personal communications as well as in interactions with the natural world constitute critical elements of post-internet art practice. This seminar investigates the reflexivity of such approaches in relation to the environmental aspects of the underlying infrastructure, ecological footprint and conflicting materiality of online transactions. How does contemporary art impact a post-internet ecology that confronts the wastefulness of built-in obsolescence and challenges the transformation of the internet into a monetised space of surveillance and manipulation? What are the prospects for the emergence of post-human, entangled and non-dystopian relations between people, species and the natural world?...(more)

 

Reflexive Ecologies of Post-Internet Art

13 February 2018
Central European University Budapest


Perpetual connectivity and the incorporation of the internet into the habits of daily life, the intercession of social media in personal communications as well as in interactions with the natural world constitute critical elements of post-internet art practice. This seminar investigates the reflexivity of such approaches in relation to the environmental aspects of the underlying infrastructure, ecological footprint and conflicting materiality of online transactions. How does contemporary art impact a post-internet ecology that confronts the wastefulness of built-in obsolescence and challenges the transformation of the internet into a monetised space of surveillance and manipulation? What are the prospects for the emergence of post-human, entangled and non-dystopian relations between people, species and the natural world?...(more)

 

 

EXPERIMENTAL READING ROOM

16-18 August 2017
Institute of Contemporary Art, London

The Experimental Reading Room treads between the global and the planetary, indigenous knowledge and scientific culture, multispecies and human solidarity. It is an invitation to immerse the mind in ecological thought, handle the critical tools of the environmental humanities, and encounter the responses of contemporary artists to climate change, species extinction and extractivist attitudes to the natural world. Based on close readings of vital texts, analysis of eco-centric art practices and experiential exchange, this collaborative activity focuses over three days on the interconnected themes of geoontology, de-extinction and plant liberation... (more)

 


CONFERENCE

Vegetal Mediations: Plant Agency in Contemporary Art and Environmental Humanities

5-6 May 2017
Central European University

Rather than mere passive bystanders to history, plants act as agents, mediating relations both among people and between people and their environments, knowledge, markets, and politics, as well as serving as go betweens in non-human spheres. This conference explores the response of artists, writers and theorists to manifestations of plant agency considered through vegetal non-cognitive thought and non-representational memory, plant ethics and rights, and the relationship of humans and plants in the Anthropocene. It asks whether, moving beyond an anthropocentric concern with the instrumental value of plants, the vegetal world might offer models for coexistence and planetary being with relevance for human society, politics and economics...(more)

 

SYMPOSIUM

Symposium on Mutating Ecologies in Contemporary Art

MACBA, Barcelona
1 December, 2016

The Anthropocene and climate change not only define the biogeophysical planetary conditions in the early decades of the 21st century but also describe an unprecedented social and cultural space in which environmental crisis coexists with, and is in fact related to, humanitarian disaster and multiple geopolitical conflicts on a global scale. Today, ecology is a prism through which artists are working with issues related to radical gardening and permaculture, sustainable bio-fuels, micro-economies, speculative design, open-source technologies, food access, biohacking, post-gender subjectivities and sustainable social practices. Papers are sought that seek to deep this notion of expanded ecologies by examining current transdisciplinary artistic, cultural and curatorial practices that provide different ways to understand, contest and interrogate our relation to the earth...(more)


CONFERENCE

Contested Spheres: Actually Existing Artworlds under Socialism

Co-organised by Kassák Múzeum – Petőfi Literary Museum and Translocal Institute, Budapest

Dates: 27-28 May 2016

This conference aims to provide a platform for fresh research into the art history of Eastern Europe that brings to light the varied solutions that artists and cultural workers found to living and working inside the socialist system in the period of the 1960s and 1970s...(more)

ANTHROPOCENE RESPONSE

Brian Holmes: Landscapes of Fear and Desire - The Political Ecology of the Present

Translocal Institute
6 May 2016, 19.00

In this lecture/slideshow, art and cultural critic Brian Holmes explores some landscapes of late industrial modernism while developing his four-field theory of social change. What does the concept of "political ecology" really mean? Where is the pathway to transform the present structure of society? Dead ends and violent confrontations will not be ignored in this thought-provoking inquiry...(more)

The Green Bloc
Neo-avant-garde Art and Ecology under Socialism


Maja Fowkes
Budapest/New York: CEU Press, 2015

Expanding the horizon of established accounts of Central European art under socialism,The Green Bloc: Neo-avant-garde Art and Ecology under Socialism uncovers the neglected history of artistic engagement with the natural environment in the Eastern Bloc. Focussing on artists and artist groups whose ecological dimension has rarely been considered, including the Pécs Workshop from Hungary, OHO in Slovenia, TOK in Croatia, Rudolf Sikora in Slovakia, and the Czech artist Petr Štembera, Maja Fowkes’s innovative research brings to light an array of distinctive approaches to nature, from attempts to raise environmental awareness among socialist citizens to the exploration of non-anthropocentric positions and the quest for cosmological existence in the midst of red ideology...(more)

ANTHROPOCENE RESPONSE

Katerina Gregos
on
'The Politics of National Representation in the context of the Venice Biennale'
Translocal Insitute, 10 March 2016

Katerina Gregos presentation about her approach and her experience in curating the Danish Pavilion in 2011 and the Belgian Pavilion in 2015. She elaborated on alternative curatorial strategies that challenge the orthodoxy in the context of the national pavilions at the Venice Biennale, as well as what constitutes the notion of 'national representation'...(more)

Art in Motion: Migration in the Anthropocene
with T. J. Demos and Maja and Reuben Fowkes

The National Gallery / Veletržní Palace, Prague
17 October 2016, 5–7 pm

The twenty-first century has seen a radical redrawing of geopolitical boundaries and topographies. Taking into account the possible results of unmitigated or exacerbated climate change, and reflecting upon the resulting political and subjective tragedies which threaten both north and south populations, how does such a state of affairs resituate the vocation of art production? How does both western and world art reflect the nature of social displacement beyond a simple token appropriation? Should the art of the Anthropocene stake a claim in social reform, and how to go about such an endeavour? These are some of the questions which will be addressed during the afternoon session with TJ Demos and Maja and Reuben Fowkes...(more)

Art and Ecological Crisis: Planetary Consciousness in Practice

Translocal Institute
October - December 2015

This seminar examines how contemporary art not only comments on current debates around the growth-oriented economy and its effect on the natural world, social inequality and its relation to climate change, the technocratic paradigm and forms of political power, but also decisively contributes to bringing about genuine change. It also offers a forum to explore points of connection between global and planetary consciousness, indigenous knowledge and scientific culture, as well as multi-species and human solidarity. A number of free places are available for the seminar group and those wishing to participate are invited to send a short motivation letter to the organisers. The group will meet at Translocal Institute on alternate Mondays beginning on 12 October 2015...(more)


River Ecologies: Contemporary Art and Environmental Humanities on the Danube

Edited by: Maja and Reuben Fowkes
Translocal Institute, 2015

Challenging anthropocentric conventions that seek to harness the river for economic, cultural and political purposes, River Ecologies places the complex ecological materiality of the Danube at the centre of artistic and scholarly attention. Drawing on the insights of artists, scientists, anthropologists, writers and environmental historians, brought together in the experiential setting of the River School, this collective inquiry journeys to sites of urban and natural wilderness to explore issues of reciprocity, resilience, non-human agency and interspecies solidarity...(more)

 

What’s Left of Nature: Art and Wilderness in the Anthropocene

Translocal Institute,
February - May 2015

At a time in which nature appears thoroughly exploited, subjugated and managed, reflecting an anthropocene era in which humans have usurped planetary processes and used technology to turn their dreams of mastery over nature into a nightmarish prospect, a counter urge to reconnect with what is left of wild nature is beginning to emerge...(more)

River Symposium on Art, Ecopower and the Liberation of Energy

Central European University, Budapest
3 October 2014, 14.00-19.00

River Excursion to Szentendre
4 October 2014, 10.00-17.30

Speakers:  Axel Braun, Peter Coates, Ian Fairlie, Jozsef R. Juhász, Cecylia Malik, Ilona Németh, James Prosek, Martin Schmid and Nick Thorpe

The River Symposium on Art, Ecopower and the Liberation of Energy considers the political, social and ecological proportions of the river and examines it as a site of power. While appreciating the natural strength, kinetic energy and resilience of rivers, the discussion will also take into account political struggles over their use, as well as schemes to control and harness their flows....(more)

 

 

What’s Left of Nature: Art and Wilderness in the Anthropocene

Translocal Institute,
February - May 2015

At a time in which nature appears thoroughly exploited, subjugated and managed, reflecting an anthropocene era in which humans have usurped planetary processes and used technology to turn their dreams of mastery over nature into a nightmarish prospect, a counter urge to reconnect with what is left of wild nature is beginning to emerge...(more)

Walking without Footprints
tranzit.sk, Bratislava,
11 December 2015 – 27 February 2016

Curators:
Maja and Reuben Fowkes

Participating artists: Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan,
Fokus Grupa (Iva Kovač / Elvis Krstulović),Oto Hudec, Michal Kindernay, Cecylia Malik, Davor Sanvincenti

To walk into the landscape today is to do so in awareness of the tragic record of anthropogenic transformation of the natural world. Taking care where we tread, avoiding disrupting the undisturbed, we cannot help anticipating the sound of the chainsaw, the peel of gunshot and the eerie silence that marks the absence of birds, reminding us that civilisation has changed nature forever...(more)

Csaba Nemes - Don’t Try to Make it Logical!

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka
25 June – 19 July 2014

In his distinctive and wide-ranging critical art practice, Hungarian artist Csaba Nemes investigates the overlaps between personal and political history, the dark side of the nationalist psyche, and the fragile bonds of social solidarity. The exhibition Don’t Try to Make it Logical at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka surveys Nemes’s singular artistic achievement that deftly incorporates painting, drawing, film, animation, photography, as well as art activism. ...(more)

Art, activism and daily life in an age of crisis

Translocal Institute Budapest
September 2014

Isabelle Fremeaux and John Jordan will present their work with the The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, a collective that brings artists and activists together to create new forms of civil disobedience and post capitalist life...(more)

Like a Bird: Avian Ecologies in Contemporary Art

Trafo Gallery Budapest
Dec 2013 - Jan 2014
tranzit.ro Bucharest
May 2014

Like a Bird is a group exhibition with a focus on avian ecologies in contemporary art, a theme that provides a platform to investigate intricate questions around the changing human relationship to the natural world, the channelling of environmental awareness and its political dimensions...(more)

 

#underthestars

Knoll Gallery Vienna
2 Oct - 15 Nov 2014

#underthestars explore ecological alternatives to the tragic figure of the 24/7 immaterial worker who spends too much time in bed - replying to emails, creating clips for social media, interacting virtually, but not going anywhere. The exhibition highlights the opposite tendency of sleeping outdoors, making a bed beyond the illusionary security provided by modern architecture, and challenging the alienation of a technologically-determined life symbolised by the bad habit of working in bed...(more)

Art in the Age of the Anthropocene

Translocal Institute
Oct-Dec 2014

The realisation that we have become geological agents with the power to alter the most basic physical processes of the planet has wide-reaching consequences for economics, society, politics, culture, as well as art. This seminar considers the anthropocene as a transformative concept for environmental art history, sustainable art systems and green curating...(more)

River School Bucharest

Tranzit.ro Bucharest

Tour of the Văcărești Bucharest Delta
9 May 2014, 2-4 pm

The Văcărești swamp is an abandoned lake site in the south-eastern part of Bucharest, the remains of a hydrological flooding system begun during Ceausescu’s regime, but never finished...(more)

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