The seminar Art For Nonhumans is the first part of a 1:1 scale live simulation organised by the postmaster course Collective Practices and Statens Konstråd, the Swedish Public Art Agency.
Art Labor (Thao Nguyen Phan, Truong Cong Tung & Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran), Learning with the more-than-human research group (Alen Ksoll and Sina Ribak), Irene Snarby, Statens Konstråd (Annika Enqvist and Edi Muka), Cecilia Åsberg.
Nada Ali, Antonine Scali and Sara Szostak
Facilitated by Grégory Castéra, Royal Institute of Art and organised in collaboration with Council and supported by Statens Konstråd.
2025: Following a resolution taken by the Swedish Government after the publication of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report in 2022, Statens Konstråd makes a radical shift by creating a new program of public outreach called Art for Nonhumans. A significant part of their budget will be dedicated to nonhuman audiences – animals, plants, ghosts, artificial intelligence, and so on. From December 2021 to June 2022, students of the postmaster Collective Practices and members of Statens Konstråd will conceive and launch a ‘real’ open call for a fictional new program titled Art for Nonhumans with the aim to receive proposals from individuals and institutions active in the culture field. Results will be shared in June 2022 as part of the final presentation of the postmaster course Collective Practices.
The Art For Nonhumans seminar engages with current debates on the boundaries between humans and other living and artificial kingdoms and their consequences in art practice and cultural policies. If emotions, intelligence, sociality and even consciousness have been identified as nonhuman capacities, how does it change the general understanding of the ‘public’? Is art specifically human?
On the contrary, if all art involves relations with nonhumans, why is art still framed as a specifically human experience? Can humans make art for nonhumans? How to consider a possible nonhuman approach of art beyond anthropocentrism? How do animist and indigenous perspectives transform the common separation between human and nonhuman? If language is a limited form of communication with nonhumans, to what extent can art help them to connect through sensing? And if most living entities are partly human, partly nonhuman, why don’t we seriously consider including nonhumans in the arts?
Trying anew in a time of flux
Lecture by Annika Enqvist and Edi Muka
The lecture will introduce a shift of institutional perspective by presenting a short background history of the Public Art Agency Sweden, as well as a number of case-specific projects that highlight new methodologies of working in public space. Living through a time of flux, with history being rewritten and the threat of climate change pending above our heads, the institution needs to constantly rethink its position by engaging with artistic propositions that take up the challenges we face.
Annika Enqvist is Program Manager and Coordinator of Research and Training at Public Art Agency Sweden. She develops a broad array of seminars, research collaborations and projects, both connected to specific art projects of Public Art Agency Sweden, as well as self-initiated.
Edi Muka is curator of temporary projects, focusing on both, social issues and context, and development of artistic methods and expressions.
Learning with the more-than-human: Narrative Potential of Matter
Lecture by Alen Ksoll and Sina Ribak
Paying attention to life (plant, animal, fungal, bacterial) at different scales and drawing on the entanglement of matter and meaning (Karen Barad) the presentation rethinks human-matter relations through storytelling inviting the production of new narratives and considering storytelling as a lens to consider agency as something performed and enacted through interactions. Learning with the more-than-human research group has been developped in the frame of the postmaster course Collective Practice (2020-2021).
Researcher in ecologies & the arts Sina Ribak, explores issues such as bioeconomy, land use, soil, biodiversity, and solidarity from a critical more-than-human and naturecultures perspective.
Educator, curator and researcher Alen Ksoll works with transformative pedagogies, speculative fiction, queer futures, and political ecologies creating pedagogical strategies that experiment with models of being together otherwise.
More-than-human arts, more-than-human feminisms, and the sea changes ahead
Lecture by Cecilia Åsberg
Providing only partial answers, the lecture engages with more-than-human arts as an effort that reworks the role of the humanities and artistic practice in their relationship to science and technology, to (post-natural) ecologies and other species, and to contemporary society and its challenges of sustainability, justice and technological advancement, offering in the second part a creative, curious, critical and collaborative approach to the nonhuman forces and futures of the ocean.
Cecilia Åsberg, Prof. Dr. Chair of Gender, Nature, Culture at Linköping University. The first PhD in Gender Studies in Sweden (2005); Founder and Director of The Posthumanities Hub since 2008; Fellow of the Rachel Carson Centre at Ludvig Maximilian University in Munich and the Royal Swedish Colloquia. Founding Director of The Seed Box.
The Holy Drum Hammer by Iver Jåks
Lecture by Irene Snarby
Discussing the 7,5 meter wooden hammer sculpture by Sámi artist Iver Jåks, commissioned by the Sámi High School in Karasjok, and placed in the nearby forest where erosion was an active part of the artwork, slowly returning it back to the earth, the lecture connects the artist’s references to ancient Sámi thinking (including spirituality and the circular notion of time), Sámi handicraft (duodji), but also to the experimental art history of the 20th century.
Irene Snarby is a curator, lecturer, writer and researcher in Art History at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. She has researched the field of indigenous and Sámi art since the early 1990, working as curator at the Sámi Museum in Kárášjohka, editor for several publications, and writing essays and giving lectures on Sámi art.
JUA – Sound in the Soundscape
Lecture by Art Labor
Art Labor will present the project ’JUA – Wind & Water Sound’, through its context, inspiration, and collaborative agents. JUA is a continuation of Jrai Dew in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, a journey in which we form a connection with our Jrai neighbors through the traditional wood carving collaboration. From the Jrai cosmology of the interminable movement between water and air, JUA extends it allegorically to the constant transformation of the ecology and society of the Central Highlands. We view the soundscape upon the entire territory as a platform for human and non-human agents to explore, challenge each other and create hybrid resonance.
Art Labor (Thao Nguyen Phan, Truong Cong Tung & Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran) is an artist collective based in Ho Chi Minh City, who work in between visual arts, social and life sciences in various public contexts and locales, producing several-year-long journeys rather than single artwork. Their previous journeys include Unconditional Belief (2012-2015), Jrai Dew (2016-ongoing) and JUA (2019-ongoing).
The seminar is moderated by students of the postmaster Collective Practices:
Nada Ali is a Syrian-born visual artist based in Stockholm. Her work is composed of a wide range of materials and media. She holds a Master´s degree from the Royal Academy of Arts in Stockholm, 2021. Previously she held a Bachelor´s degree in Fine Arts specializing in Mural Painting from the University of Damascus in Syria.
Antonine Scali Ringwald is a French independent editor and curator. With degrees in art history and sociology, she attended the Sorbonne and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. In 2018, she founded Klima magazine, for which she oversees the editorial content and with which she organizes exhibitions.
Sara Szostaks an art practitioner, researcher, producer, based in Warsaw, Poland. She comes from an academic background in art history, law and computer programming. In her practice she is working within broadly understood AI and coding on notions of speculation and imagined reality scenarios. She is also interested in the ideas of open source and open collaboration practices and applying them in artistic context.
The seminar is facilitated by Grégory Castéra, Professor of the Collective Practices Post-Master course at the Royal Institute of art. He is the co-founder and director of Council, Paris, and co-editor of the T.A.N.J. (The Against Nature Journal). He has also served as coordinator of the Bétonsalon in Paris, co-director of Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, and a member of the Encyclopedia of Spoken Words.
Next in the series Collective Agenda
15 December: Protocols of Co-living, a seminar with Calling Cards, Taraneh Fazeli, Piergiorgio Pepe and students from the postmaster course Collective Practices.
14 January: Cooperation and circular economy, a conversation between Luigi Coppola and Caroline Woolard
About Collective Agenda
Collective Agenda is the public program of the Collective Practices Post-Master, a course at the intersection of collective practices and ecological thinking facilitated by Grégory Castéra assisted by Hanna Husberg at the Royal Institute of Arts, Stockholm, in collaboration with Council.
Since 2019, Collective Agenda hosted talks and workshop by: The 5th Season, David Abram, Alice Chauchat, Valentina Desideri, Johanna Hedva, Raqs Media Collective, Cassie Thornton, Woodbine and David Zilber.
In 2020-2021, Collective Practice participants are Nada Ali, Denise Araouzou, Salomé Burstein, Nicola Chemotti, Alicja Czyczel, Stella d’Ailly, Daniela Fernández Rodríguez, Tal Gilad, Alexey Layfurov, Lara Molina, Evdokia Noula, Julie Robiolle, Antonine Scali Ringwald, Nat Skoczylas, Sara Szostaks, Judit Sánchez Velasco, Florine Zegers.