ISEA2022 Barcelona hosted this panel, that took place at Canòdrom – Ateneu d’Innovació Digital i Democràtica. Co-organised by Hac Te – Hub d’Art, Ciència i Tecnologia and the Institut Ramon Llull Extended Programme, Public Event
Keywords: Anthropocene, climate-crisis, holobiont, platforms, post-digital
From myriad artistic and conceptual approaches to the possibilities of human-nonhuman connection, the panelists ask how to transform the paradigms that shape understanding of the climate crises into frameworks driven by possibility.
The point of contact between human and nonhuman is an imaginary of possibilities and, if one is to follow upon Bruno Latour’s critique on the “tyranny of the globe”, the borders separating the body and nonhuman are even more porous, illusive and multiple than imagined.
Through interventions at levels of platform, system, code, sentience and nonhuman critical thinking, this panel conceptualizes this point of contact as a moment of art and one begging urgent response. Why urgent? Because, although the immediate and terrible crises of global warming maybe be directly caused by the human use of fossil fuel — something straightforward that humans should be able to solve, the overwhelming incapacity of humans to build the will to confront the crisis (and other crises like mass extinction, perpetual wars, starvation, poverty) perhaps lies in the far broader, dystopic paradigms of the Anthropocene that imprison our imaginaries within a cross-cultural mythos dating back at least to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.
Simultaneously, technological infrastructures and platforms are designed in ways that hide the material costs and damage behind glossy surfaces and disappearing inter-faces.
That humans of the industrial era seem incapable of breaking cycles of warfare, economic inequality and global destruction despite indisputable evidence suggests that systems of knowledge and action that seemingly might provoke action are trapped within some larger mythos. Such a mythos is embedded in our technologies, networks, iconographies, languages, disciplines and narrative models.
Though natural and machine-driven nonhuman and human-nonhuman approaches in the arts the panel looks for possibilities through alternate platforms, perspectives and configurations that may help transform the climate debates and discourse around other challenges of our time.
- Roderick Luis Coover, PhD, is Professor and Founding Director of the Temple University (USA) PhD Program In Documentary Arts And Visual Research. A recipient of Fulbright, Mellon, Whiting, Sea(s), LEF, PPEH and Adam Mickiewicz awards, his works show in a wide range of venues like biennales, art museums, film festivals, science museums, and other public spaces. He uses emerging technologies to tackle challenges of global warming, mass extinction and human rights and underlying questions of identity, memory and narrative. Recent books include Digital Imaginaries: Literature And Cinema Of The Database (Bloomsbury) and Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology In The Humanities And Arts (Chicago). More info at https://unknownterritories.org
- Ryszard W. Kluszczyński, PhD, is Professor of art, media and cultural studies, Chair of Department of New Media and Digital Culture, University of Lodz, Poland, Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, and Artistic Director of Art and Science Meeting Program in the Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdansk. He investigates the issues of new media arts and cyberculture, contemporary art theory and practices, avant-gardes, transdisciplinary cultural transformations, and recent interactions between art, science, technology and politics. Some of recent book publications include: Towards a Non-Anthropocentric Ecology. Victoria Vesna and Art in the World of the Anthropocene (2020); Beyond Borders: Processed Body – Expanded Brain – Distributed Agency (2019); Augmenting the World. Masaki Fujihata and Hybrid Space-Time Art (2017); Human Traits. Patrick Tresset and the Art of Creative Machines (2016); Guy Ben-Ary: Nervoplastica. Bio-robotic Art and its Cultural Contexts (2015).
- Anna Nacher, PhD, is Associate Professor at the Jagiellonian University (Poland), 2020 Fulbright alumna, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Literature Organization. Her research interests include digital culture, new media art, electronic literature, new media art and ecological art Her recent publications include articles in journals (European Journal of Women’s Studies, Hyperrhiz, Electronic Book Review, Acoustic Space, Communications +1) and chapters in edited volumes. Anna Nacher is also a musician and sound artist focusing on voice and field recordings, in 2021 she has been collaborating with Victoria Vesna (Alien Star Dust Online Meditation, Noise Aquarium Meditation, Breath Library). Since 2014 she has been building a community of permaculture practitioners in the Carpathian mountains. More info and a full list of publications: http://postdigitality.net
- Søren Bro Pold, PhD, is Associate Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark. He has published on the arts of the interface in its various forms, e.g. on electronic literature, net art, software art, creative software, urban interfaces and digital culture. In relation to these research fields, he has been active in establishing interface criticism as a research perspective, which discusses the role and the development of the interface for art, aesthetics, culture and IT. His latest book is The Metainterface – The Art of Platforms, Cities and Clouds with Christian Ulrik Andersen.