Performances, performative installations,
music, lectures, workshops, talks
Maja and Reuben Fowkes
Plants Incoming! Making Room for Newcomers in the Cosmopolitical Arena (2019): the vilification of invasive species dates back to the early nineteenth century, when botanists first imposed the civic political distinction between natives and aliens onto the world of plants. During the Cold War, the demonization of resettled plants became a distinctive feature of Invasion Biology, while the fight against ideological dangers from abroad was sublimated into fears for the contamination of homegrown varieties. The contemporary era has seen a continued use of military metaphors for the control and eradication of botanical dangers, as the spurious distinction between native and non-native species is mobilised by populist ideologues as a tool of anti-globalism. However, climate disorder is transforming attitudes to vegetal migration as the adaptability of pioneering plants in rewilding post-industrial landscapes turns them from perceived threats into valued agents in the revitalisation of biological processes. This presentation reviews the intertwined natural and human histories of the global redistribution of plant species to challenge scientific, cultural and political prejudice against vegetal newcomers. It also considers the contribution of artists in developing a radical and affirmative understanding of more-than-human political realms, in which plant metaphors give way to the ecological solidarities and the multispecies convergences of a post-Anthropocentric cosmopolitics.
Russia/ Israel
Maria Veits
The discussion Cosmic Ecology: reimagined futures, rediscovered pasts (2019) is instigated by the returning space race and the impact it has had on the environmental, political, economic, and social climate in historical perspective and contemporary context. Curator Maria Veits and artists Andrea Stanivslav (US) and Axel Straschnoy (FI) will discuss alternative, non-official and silenced narratives connected to the topic of the space and will explore various artistic formats of presenting counternarratives about the cosmos from female, ethnic, racial and ecological perspectives. Andréa Stanislav focuses on underrepresented female legacy in the official historical narrative about the space in the USSR and the USA and pays tribute to female cosmonauts whose names get much less mentioning that those of their male colleagues. Axel Straschnoy's work revolves around the Finnish Space program that dates back to the Сold War but was never realized fully after the ambition of the Finnish Astronautic society to participate in the global space exploration started to shrink in 1990s. Maria Veits will speak about the projects by artists whose works imagine alternative scenarios of the futures or explore potentiality of the past through the prism of cosmos (Yevgeniy Fiks, Larissa Sansour, Anawana Haloba and Halil Altindere). Addressing the events of the past, the discussion reflects upon the contemporary political processes including migration and new strategies of exile, feminist movements and postcolonial discourse of reclaiming the past and the future.
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