Ruptures & Plants Program

Wed, Otakaari 1X (A235)

15:00 Hugo Esquinca: Intensifying Audible Ruptures
15:30 Eeva Houtbeckers: A short ethnographic film: Impressions from attending the Finnish Degrowth Movement meetings and visiting families practicing self-sufficiency
16:00 Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha: From Pyropolitics to Plant Thinking: Notes toward Emergency Aesthetics and Weak Thought in Earth Democracy
16:30 Elisabeth Meyer-Renschhausen: The return of gardening and small scale agriculture


Intensifying Audible Ruptures (on Heterogeneous Mediation and Immediate Homogeneity)

Hugo Esquinca
Otakaari 1X (A235), 15:00

It is in the face of the accelerating processes within relational fields of technological audiovisual operations i nfecting experience that a reevaluation of our relation to technology in general must take place, a relation which no longer presupposes instrumental reasoning and immediacy but that rather explores modes of intensifying an internal resonance of mediation. A mediation where indeterminacy, randomness and incalculability operate as ruptures of previously cognized and determined sensibilities.


Hugo Esquinca is a Berlin-based sound researcher from Mexico. He investigates the diverse spatio-temporal relations deriving from transductive interactions between technology and the sonorous, expanding within and beyond audibility. His work has been presented in diverse contexts and venues such as Mira Contemporary Art Museum Siberia, CTM Festival Berlin, Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Loop Festival Berlin, NII Science and Arts Moscow, CMMAS Center For Music and the Sonic Arts Mexico, Forum Stadtpark Graz among others. He is a founding member of the Berlin-based oqko collective.

A short ethnographic film: Impressions from attending the Finnish Degrowth Movement meetings and visiting families practicing self-sufficiency

Eeva Houtbeckers
Postdoctoral Researcher
Otakaari 1X (A235), 15:30

The Finnish Degrowth Movement addresses how to lead a more sufficient life in a society that is based on continuous exponential economic growth. This short ethnographic film portrays moments from events and glimpses of people’s lives accessed through the network. They strive toward self-sufficiency in food, warmth, or electricity, which enables a partial detachment from paid labour. Yet, the choices entail paradoxes, which this study aims to explore, in the wider context of post-growth work in the global North

Eeva Houtbeckers (Dr. Sc. Econ. & Buss. Admin) is a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture in Finland. Her postdoctoral research (2017-2020) is a sensory ethnography on post-growth work practices in the global North. She follows the practices in various sites in order to understand work practices in the times of global environmental and social challenges and injustices that are experienced locally.

Twitter, Instagram: @aatteinen

From Pyropolitics to Plant Thinking: Notes toward Emergency Aesthetics and Weak Thought in Earth Democracy

Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha
Otakaari 1X (A235), 16:00

Are we concerned about our Eco-existential crisis caused by the engulfing fire (Greek Pyro) of developmental greed in the Anthropocene? Besieged by the grand-narrative of technocratic marketocracy that legitimizes the dismemberment of Being, how do we salvage the remnants of Being today? The present proposal argues for a hermeneutic ontology of non-extractive paradigm of energy in the Anthropocene through radical alternatives like ‘plant thinking’ or ‘emergency aesthetics’ as modes of resistance to the productionist paradigms of the present.

Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha is Associate Professor, Kazi Nazrul University, India. He was a Fellow in the Center for Critical Social Inquiry, New School for Social Research in 2017. His current area of research engages with issues of postcolonial justice, neo-precarities, radical public sphere. He also works on Geo-philosophy, carbon capitalism and planetary thoughts in the Anthropocene. He co-edits Kairos, A Journal of Critical Symposium and is one of the founding members of the Postcolonial Studies Association of the Global South (PSAGS)

The return of gardening and small scale agriculture

Elisabeth Meyer-Renschhausen
Otakaari 1X (A235), 16:30

A fresh enthusiasm for vegetable growing is to be seen everywhere in the big cities of the world. Community gardeners are reclaiming “the commons” for their activities. Collective vegetable growing has become the sign of the fight against a kind of nutritional dictatorship which has brought illnesses, devastation, destruction to the world without asking the people. Working together with organic methods, community gardeners create somehow practical universities of modern times.The gardening and agricultural projects rehabilitate work, which used to be seen as women´s work, like housework and cooking. The young activists rediscover subsistence work and frugality, as the pleasure of simple life. This shifting values and shifting acting is for the society as a whole a important phenomenon in times of rising unemployment. 20 years after its beginning Urban Gardening has turned to a kind of hype. Community gardening and urban agriculture is a new social movement dominated by women. By gardening somehow also housework made a comeback. “House and Yard” in Europe’s old societies were the domain of the women of ones home. The garden was a part of the “house economy” a subsistence economy. The Prussian Reforms of Stein and Hardenberg 1806-1813 promoted the suppression of the peasantry’s rights regarding the use of the commons: land, meadows, woods, lakes. Widows lost their means of self-providing and had to go as poor into town. Late 19th century Max Weber showed how the farmhands’ wives used to run an autonomous subsistence economy which gave them some amount of independence. Interestingly enough, this system reappeared in the 1960ies in so-called “real socialism” under the label of “individual home economy”. The 1919 “Imperial Allotment Garden Regulation” promulgated the right to an allotment garden for everybody who need one. The municipalities were entitled to take hold of land for that purpose. During the Second World war, women were ordered everywhere to provide for the nation’s fresh vegetable supply from their homegardens or their alloment gardens. New alloments were founded as so-called “victory gardens”. Today, urban gardening helps “speechless” migrants and refugees to arrive somehow in their new surroundings: to feel at home in a foreign land.

Elisabeth Meyer-Renschhausen, Dr PD, is a research professor for Sociology at Free University of Berlin. Topics: working class conflicts in the 1920s; the social policy of the first women’s movement in Germany, landreform. Since 1990 researches about changing eating habits and the moral at the table. 1996-1999 visiting professorships. Articles about eating habits: “The Moral at the Table”; “The Porridge Debate”. Conferences on Small-Scale Agriculture…” Several books and articles on community gardening (worldwide, New York, Berlin) and urban agriculture. EM-R is one of the leading garden activists of Berlin.