Hybrid Ontologies Program

Thu, Learning Centre, Juho

13:30 David Kadish & Laura Beloff: Hybrid hangouts: Embedded values in hybrid ecologies of plants, people and robots
14:00 Marherita Pevere: Anatomy of an Interconnected System
14:30 Julia Lohmann: The Department of Seaweed
15:30 Rob LaFrenais: Bicycing On Mars
16:00 Rosemary Lee: Technological Umwelt
16:30 Petja Ivanova: The becoming of Styrowom – food for thought on how to respond
17:00 Hugo Reinert: Violence in the Future Conditional
17:30 Björn Krüger: Evolution & Tragedy


Hybrid hangouts: Embedded values in hybrid ecologies of plants, people and robots

David Kadish & Laura Beloff
Thu 13:30, Learning Centre, Juho

Hybrid hangouts addresses ecosystems as communities of biological living organisms together with non-biological, technology-based entities from artistic and experimental perspectives. This paper and the accompanying project-in-progress investigate integration of hanging robot technology into food production and long-term plant observations. This use of technology in this project is motivated by a different set of values and interests than the conventional, efficiency-driven agricultural approaches.

David is an artist and engineer and a PhD Fellow with the Robotics, Evolution, and Art Lab (REAL) at the IT University (ITU). His research focuses on the ways in which robots might inhabit agroecological environments.
Laura is an internationally acclaimed artist, associate professor in the REAL lab and Head of the PhD School at ITU. Her research interests include practice-based investigations into a combination of various materials and methods with technology, information, and organic matter, locating the core of the research at the cross-section of art/design, technology and science.

Anatomy of an Interconnected System

Marherita Pevere
Thu 14:00, Learning Centre, Juho

Pevere presents her work “Anatomy of an Interconnected System”, a performative lecture which looks at how Western understanding of the human-nature complex has manifested in classical and contemporary artworks. The work is structured in a lecture and a participative performance which frame the discourse in a historical-philosophical perspective. Finally, it engage participants in an intense bodily experience featuring ancestral materials such earth, soil, and bones, reflecting body and space.

With a visceral fascination for organic materials, Margherita Pevere is a Berlin-based bioartist and PhD candidate at Aalto ARTS. Her research looks at the intertwinements and interstices between biological and technological materials through installations, performances, visual works, collections of plant and animal relics, and workshops. She cooperates with Glucoacetobacter hansenii for the production of microbial cellulose. Pevere collaborates with Aalto transdisciplinary platform CHEMARTS. She is founder member of the Berlin advocacy group AG21c and member of the Finnish Bioart Society.

The Department of Seaweed

Julia Lohmann
Thu 14:30, Learning Centre, Juho

The Department of Seaweed (DoS) is a trans-disciplinary community of practice focussed on the sustainable development of seaweed as a resource for making. The idea is that through making we connect with one another on a multi-sensorial, tangible level.I founded the DoS during my residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2013. Why base it on seaweed? Because it grows up to six meter long and 30 cm wide within a year and cleans the ocean and provides a habitat whilst doing so. The DoS is a speculative department that operates on the assumption that seaweed is as important a material for making as the other materials that have or have had their own department in the V&A museum: Silverware, ceramics, textiles, glass.

I am currently a professor for design at the University of Fine Arts (HFBK) in Hamburg – and a designer working between the realms of critical design and transition design. For the past ten years I have been developing seaweed as a material for design, and founded the Department of Seaweed as a transdisciplinary collective. I am a design practitioner at heart, experimenting with natural materials and investigating our value systems and social constructs around consumption through design.

Bicycling on Mars

Rob LaFrenais
Thu 15:30, Learning Centre, Juho

Future of Transportation is a project that concerns bottom-up, playful approaches, by artists and inventors to the issues of getting around the planet. It seems impossible to address planet-wide problems of unsustainable growth, road traffic and the dominance of the airline. Instead, subversive, playful solutions, like HeHe’s site-specific artists’s rail vehicles, Suresh Samuha’s faux transportation department, and Tania Candiani’s impossible flying vehicles, deal with the power of myth, narrative and the folklore of technology – rather than mega-solutions.

Rob La Frenais is an independent contemporary art curator, working internationally and creatively with artists entirely on original commissions. He works as an independent curator worldwide and is a regular writer for Art Monthly, UK and Makery.info, France. His last exhibition, No Such Thing Gravity showed at the National Taiwan Fine Art Museum last year. He is about to start a short curatorial residency at HIAP, Suomenlinna Island where he will develop a new project on Contingency Vehicles artists’s floating projects. He is also a single scull rower.

Technological Umwelt

Rosemary Lee
PhD Fellow, IT University of Copenhagen
Thu 16:00, Learning Centre, Juho

What we see when we look at digital images is the result of underlying algorithmic processes, mostly hidden from view. Taking a media archaeological perspective on the integration of algorithms into modes of representation, this paper considers how the parameters of human perception relate to those of the technologies we use to augment boundaries between the visible and the invisible.

Rosemary Lee is an artist and media theorist whose work investigates interrelations between machines, living things and the environments which they inhabit. Her research brings together hybrid influences from conceptual art, philosophy of media, science, technology and literature, addressing themes including media geology, hybrid ecology and posthumanism. Rosemary is currently a PhD fellow at the IT University of Copenhagen in the Department of Digital Design.

The becoming of Styrowom – food for thought on how to respond

Petja Ivanova
Thu 16:30, Learning Centre, Juho

One of the most ubiquitous and long-lasting recent changes to the surface of our planet is the accumulation and fragmentation of plastics. Within just a few decades since mass production of plastic products commenced in the 1950s, plastic debris has accumulated in terrestrial environments, in the open ocean, on shorelines of even the most remote islands and in the deep sea. In the last two years while the human population is acknowledging this environmental impact, more and more research publishes findings about insects, fungi and bacteria that feed off the plastic debris. I want to propose a few thoughts on what the discovery of such organisms means and how this embodies a transformation of ontological assumptions on which our culture is based.

Violence in the Future Conditional

Hugo Reinert
University of Oslo
Thu 17:00, Learning Centre, Juho

The Arctic is changing, faster now than at any point in recorded history. Complex patterns of interlocking change destabilize existing narratives and expectations, multiplying the future as a site of radical uncertainty, loss and conflicting desires – while also rendering the Arctic itself as a sort of experimental laboratory, a testing ground for a world to come. Changes that open the region to new forms of value extraction and mobility also threaten the integrity and future of its livelihoods, human and nonhuman.

Evolution & Tragedy

Björn Krüger
Thu 17:30, Learning Centre, Juho

We are used to seeing the history of life as an unfolding tragedy, which always ends with death. We know that 99% of all species that lived on earth went extinct. Evolution is all too often seen as “one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage” to cite Benjamin. And as civilization expands we wait for the coming apocalypse. Either the civilization prevails and the jungle disappears or the jungle wins and civilization dies. In my talk I argue that the practice of nature museums and conservancies is still firmly based on this narrative.

Björn Krüger is a curator of the Palaeontological Collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History and docent at the Helsinki University, Finland. He earned his PhD at the Freie University of Berlin, Germany and worked in Germany, France, and Sweden. He is an expert on the evolution of the oldest cephalopods. His current research focus is on the early evolution of large scale ecosystem engineering in the oceans. He has also an active interdisciplinary interest in how our knowledge on earth’s deep time is gained, narrated and used.


Future papers:

Crafting sympoeietic artifacts: alchemy and acts of synergistic becoming

Raune Frankjaer

In my paper I describe the use of craft and craft-based thinking in the creation of experiential sympoietic artifacts, bridging the temporal and spatial boundaries which separate humans from the others with whom we share the planet. These artifacts create alternative spaces where humans and nonhumans can meet and engage, enabling processes of becoming-with and making kin across species boundaries. Crafts-based approaches resist hylomorphic assumptions and create with the world not onto it in synergistic flows of creative becoming.

Raune Frankjaer holds a M.A in Spatial Interaction Design and is currently a doctoral candidate at the Department of Digital Design at Aarhus University, Denmark. Her research centers around non-anthropocentric applications of information and communication technologies, focusing on hand-crafted digital artifacts and haptic body-worn interfaces.