Multispecies Storytelling in Intermedial Practice (Vaxjo, Sweden)

jellyfish-931714

– a collaboration between The Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, Linnæus University and Växjö Konsthall. The project is generously supported by The Seed Box, Linköping University.

I am excited and honored to participate as both artist and a keynote presenter–alongside the venerable Vinciane Despret, Adam Dickinson, and Eben Kirksey–in an upcoming conference and exhibition called Multispecies Storytelling in Intermedial Practice in Vaxjo, Sweden in January 2019. For full details concerning this innovative conference, go here.

Here Come the Ecosexuals!

On July 19th, the R.A.W. was beyond thrilled to welcome world-renowned performance artists and ecosexual revolutionaries Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle for the Philomath, Oregon premiere of their magical new film about the pleasures and perils of living and loving on a watery planet . . . .

water makes us wet poster 

With a poetic blend of curiosity, humor, sensuality and concern, this film chronicles the pleasures and politics of H2O from an ecosexual perspective. Travel around with Annie, a former sex worker, Beth, a professor, and their dog Butch, in their E.A.R.T.H. Lab mobile unit, as they explore water in the Golden State. Ecosexuality shifts the metaphor “Earth as Mother” to “Earth as Lover” to create a more reciprocal and empathetic relationship with the natural world. Along the way, Annie and Beth interact with a diverse range of folks including performance artists, biologists, water treatment plant workers, scholars and others, climaxing in a shocking event that reaffirms the power of water, life and love. See the trailer here!

rrJonesPollinationPod                                                                                                                                                                       photo: rr jones

Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle have been partners and collaborators for sixteen fertile years. Annie was an internationally-known performance artist touring one-woman shows about her life in sex and as a feminist post porn pioneer. Beth was a feisty punk rocker dyke turned interdisciplinary artist and professor at UCSC, exploring themes of gender, queerness and feminism. In 2008, Beth and Annie married the Earth and came out as ecosexuals. Their “Ecosex Manifesto” launched a movement and they officially added the E to GLBTQI-E. Their award-winning documentary film about coal mining, Goodbye Gauley Mountain—An Ecosexual Love Story, is available on Netflix & iTunes (see trailer here). Currently they are working on a book about their work, “Assuming the Ecosexual Position,” for University of Minnesota Press. Their visual art, films and performances were presented at the world’s biggest best art event, Documenta 14, in 2016-2017. Their next film is about environmental art and artists. These girls have gone green and are dirty and proud.

On Thursday, July 19th, the Ecosexuals made their first-ever appearance in Philomath, Oregon. Intrepid art adventurers from local and regional places gathered for a screening of the new film at the historic Marys River Grange Hall, near the banks of Mary’s River amid forested Coast Range foothills and fertile farmlands. We had the intense pleasure of basking in the presence of the artists, along with videographer Jordan Freeman, who has spent many years documenting the unfolding controversies surrounding coal mining throughout Appalachia. His award-winning films, including Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story and Blood on the Mountain, have played at festivals around the world.

Massive thanks to Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle, and to Jordan Freeman, and to all of the lovely folks, old friends and new, who came out to Philomath to share this special evening with these singularly life- and love-affirming artists in the old Marys River Grange hall.

 

 

 

M/others and Future Humans

 Patricia piccinini   Big mother,  2005  Courtesy of the artist

Patricia Piccinini. Big Mother, 2005. Courtesy of the artist.

In association with the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology and The Multispecies Salon, R.A.W. is excited to contribute to the buzzing energies of a curatorial swarm bringing together the international curatorial project, M/Others and Future Humans.

This ongoing project will bring together works by international artists to explore radical perspectives on m/otherhood and care of others in an era of frayed hopes, environmental devastations, and ever-shifting biotechnologies. An open call in 2018 gathered a cadre of exhilarating proposals. Some of these works were featured in a M/others and Future Humans exhibition at the Anthropocene Campus in Melbourne, Australia in Fall 2018. More exhibitions, symposia, and unforeseen emergences are yet to come in 2020 and beyond.

“A New We” opening at Kunsthall Trondheim (Norway), featuring R.A.W. and Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology present “Welcome to the Secretome (Trondheim)”

Rachel Mayeri: Video still from Primate Cinema: Apes as Family (2012), 22 minutes. Actor: Denise Pearlman. Two channel installation. Courtesy of the artist.

A New We
14.09 – 21.12 2017
Amanda Ackerman & Dan Richert, Honey Biba Beckerlee, Ursula Biemann, Karin Bolender, Francisco Gallardo & Audrey Samson, Kathy High, Oskar Jakobsen, Arendse Krabbe, Rosemary Lee, Rachel Mayeri, angela rawlings, Asbjørn Skou

Special presentations: Krista Caballero & Frank Ekeberg, Johannes Heldén

Exhibition opening: Thursday, September 14, 6.30pm

Chapter 1: September 14 – October 29. Krista Caballero and Frank Ekeberg

Chapter 2: November 02 – December 2. Johannes Heldén

Kunsthall Trondheim is happy to present A New We, a group exhibition focusing on multispecies storytelling and empathy. The exhibition is co-curated with Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology (Dea Antonsen and Ida Bencke, Denmark).

What sort of collectives are at stake in this so-called Anthropocene epoch – in a time when the human is identified as a crucial, and excessively destructive geological force? How do mutating ecologies change and redefine more-than-human communities; what worlds are disappearing, and what worlds are emerging when species meet at the threshold of planetary mass-extinctions? How do we inhabit these wretched landscapes, a blasted earth? Who is implied in this ‘we’; which specific histories and living materialities are encircling it? What sort of voices arise when ‘we’ make ourselves known? How do we, as humans, commit ourselves to ongoing writings of more-than-human histories without claiming ownership of the stories?

A New We does not attempt to (re)present things from the perspective of a detached ‘neutrality’. ‘We’ do not stand apart, there is no ‘outside’ to withdraw to. The exhibition relays stories upon stories, voices upon voices, worlds upon worlds in which life makes itself known while writing and rewriting (hi)stories. A New We insist on speculation, on staying with the trouble of particular, specific communities of unalike partners, together building worlds – however temporary, fragile and problematic these worlds turn out to be. A New We insist on contemplation, on the time it takes to get to know each other, to experience radical otherness and to slowly start to spawn the kind of sensitivities and empathies needed in order to create healing communities on a wounded earth.

Read more about the exhibition

The exhibition is supported by Danish Arts Council, Nordic Culture Point, Arts Council Norway and Canon.

Participate in some of the artworks:
angela rawlings, performance 10.09
Karin Bolender, workshop      11.09
Arendse Krabbe, city walk     16.09

Kunsthall Trondheim
Kongens gate 2
7011 Trondheim, Norway

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Manure, Mud, and Microbial Mother-Tongues ~ Findings from the Secretome

On a bright late April morning in Philomath, Oregon, a crew of intrepid seekers of microbial encounters braved deep mud, steamy manure, and swirling barn-dust, then undertook a peculiar hunt for invisible “treasures” in the wet grass of the pasture, all as part of the Welcome to the Secretome workshop at the R.A.W. Ass Farm. In association with The Arts Center and OSU Dept. of Microbiology’s exhibition, Microbiomes: To See the Unseen, Domestic/Wild artists Emily Stone and Karin Bolender led explorers through a web of seamy adventures aimed to press against real and imagined boundaries of bodies-in-places and to welcome invisible but lively microbial presences. We conversed and shared a multispecies picnic of fermented foods and drink atop a hotly composting manure pile; we hung out in the barn with resident asses, Aliass and Passenger; and we made friendly gestures of various kinds toward embodied wisdoms of symbiotic kombucha mothers and barnyard ass-tongue microbiomes. Most of all, we all spent the morning welcoming and attending in new ways to the presences of microscopic “old friends” we more often avoid or simply ignore. Thank you to all who attended, and to Melody Owen, Christine Toth, Sharyn Clough, and Hanne Niederhausen for contributing photos.

The Secretome beckons . . .

IMG_0387

What strange treasures will discover us in the barn dust, wet grass, and brewing mud? What secrets will we gather from encounters with the Great Muzzle Tongue?

Come find out, on April 29th from 10-12:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/welcome-to-the-secretome-tickets-33089754346

Opening in Berlin ~ Articulations Beyond the Human: Karin Bolender and Amanda Ackerman

 

Curated by Ida Bencke and Anna De Pascale

  1. November 2016

This exhibition at Buro BDP in Berlin accompanies the launch of two new publications in the Parapoetics Series from Broken Dimanche Press/Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology: RAW Assmilk Soap, by Karin Bolender, and Air Kissing, by Amanda Ackerman.

Who lives here?

cobweb-fence-bacillass

Let’s start this off with the old R.A.W. questions:

Who lives here?

What are you looking for?

Where do you go now?

Is it a place, or a way of life? And what is on the other side?

These seemingly-simple questions have guided the wanderings, experiments, and assemblages of the Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.) for many years, ever since they grew up from the trashy, thistle-grown pastures of a derelict farmstead in the Valley of Dooms, Virginia, where me and the herd tried our darnedest to make a peaceful-ass and lasting home. In this, that, and every place we’ve grazed and gamboled since, the R.A.W. questions rise up fresh, always opening new paths of investigation into unfamiliar territories.

Knowing a place is always a question of scale. And it turns out that some of the mostly deeply unknown territories we find ourselves in are those we find in the places we call home. When we begin to look past the largest-looming familiar forms, step off the well-trodden paths, questions of who and what and where become wholly new and wild. Even our own bodies are inextricable meshes of biological becomings-with we swim in, themselves housing hosts of unknown others we don’t see or feel or otherwise acknowledge. But here they are, all the time: myriad who, every one with a what and where of its own.

Home is where the unknown is. This is where the journey begins.

Welcome to the Secretome.

R.A.W. Assfur Cupcakes at Emergent Ecologies

 making raw cupcakes

Emergent Ecologies Art Exhibit

Curated by Eben Kirksey, Grace Glovier, Cody Kohn, Kayli Marshall, Greg Umali, and Alexandra Palocz

February 29th – March 31st
Butler College, Studio ’34 Cafe

Emergent ecologies are being fastened into place with new rivets and cyborg articulations. Amidst collapsing systems, unruly assemblages are flourishing and proliferating in unexpected places. This exhibit is an outgrowth of the Freshman Seminar, “Environmental Art: Thinking, Making, Dreaming.” Alongside work by established international ecoartists, bioartists, sculptors, and performers we will exhibit work by “wild artists”—students and others in the Princeton community who do not have recognizable art credentials. We are pushing Joseph Beuys’ famous decree—“You are all artists”—beyond human realms to include microbes, insects, and plants.

Emergent Ecologies Art Exhibit

Opening reception: Monday, February 29th, 6:00-7:30pm

This reception in the Studio ‘34 Café at Butler College follows a special event in the same space: “Hope in an Era of Extinction,” featuring a talk by Cary Wolfe (Rice) starting 4:30, and a panel discussion with Kevin Esvelt (MIT), Beth Shapiro (UC Santa Cruz), James Hatley (Salisbury), Genese Sodikoff (Rutgers), Ashley Dawson (City University of New York), Maria Whiteman (Rice), Rafi Youatt (New School), David Wilcove (Princeton), and Graham Burnett (Princeton).

Rather than be a static exhibit, which will stay the same from the opening and closing dates, our project will involve playing with the “hap” of what happens. We will be conducting experiments with happiness and glass, breaking down boundaries (and constructing new ones) to see what ecological communities might emerge.