During the first decades of the twenty-first century, the proliferation of life as a generative possibility has become marked by the spectre of #death, closure, denial and ends. Ours is an era of precarity, extinction, militarised inequality, a seemingly boundless war on terror, the waning legitimacy of human rights, a rising consciousness of animal cruelty and consumer complicity in killing and suffering, and the global closure of decolonial and socialist windows of emancipation. Artificial intelligence and post-human technology-flesh interventions have become sources of existential threat to be secured against, rather than means of freeing, or otherwise expanding life. Mbembe (2003) first developed the notion of necropolitics in relation to ‘assemblages of death’, zones where technology, economy and social structures bind together to reproduce patterns of extreme violence. Following Foucault, he envisaged a distribution of the world into life zones and death zones. While we can readily identify zones of life and death on these terms, the imaginaries of death have increasingly colonised life zones.
This conference seeks to embrace this moment in history in all its roiling complexity, challenge, and specificity. It asks what accounts for this current interest in the spectre of Death in the anthropological imagination? What sorts of life—social, cultural, technological, creative—emerge in spaces pregnant with death and other life-ending spectres? What new horizons of fear, hope and possibility emerge? What kinds of new social formations, subjectivities and cultural imaginaries? What social and cultural forms might an affirmative biopolitics, where the power of life is regained from the spectre of death, take? What new strategies of engagement, activism and refusal?
This year, the AAS encourages the submission of proposals for three types of formats. The Call for Panels and roundtables is now open and will close at 23:59 AEST (GMT/UTC + 10:00) on 7 May. The Call for Labs and the Call for Papers will open on 21 May.
The fifth Trondheim biennale, Meta.Morf 2018 – A Beautiful Accident – has the ambition to present for a broader audience art projects, conferences and concerts from international artists, musicians, writers and researchers with an interest in Speculative Design and Futures. Oron Catts will be speaking at Meta.Morf’s Dangerous Futures Conference: Are We Fucked.
A BEAUTIFUL ACCIDENT
Conference @ Meta.Morf 2018 / Dokkhuset, Friday March 9 & Saturday March 10, 2018
Curator and moderator: Rachel Armstrong / Co-curator: Espen Gangvik.
Launch of the third edition of Norway’s first international magazine for art & technology,
funded and produced by TEKS: EE – Experimental Emerging Art
March 8 – May 6, 2018.
“A Beautiful Accident does not try to solve the challenge of 21st century consciousness but rather opens up new conversations and areas for research to better relate to our living world.
In an emerging ecological era, it is time to step aside the gridlock of mind body dualism and explore new ways of accessing, experiencing and embodying consciousness. By drawing together physical awareness and technological invention with mindful experience, our lived encounters with reality may become richer and more meaningful. We may even increase our receptiveness and capacity to think along with each other”
Call for Papers: (Un)common worlds: Contesting the limits of human–animal communities
Humans and other animals share spaces and create communities together. They touch each other in various symbolic and material ways, constantly crossing and redrawing communal, ethical and very practical boundaries. As of late, this multifarious renegotiation of human-animal relations has sparked intense debates both in the public arena and in academia.
For instance, Bruno Latour argues that the anthropocene (marking the massive human impact on ecosystems) creates a new territory in which traditional subject/object separations are no longer useful. What is called for is the transgressing or dissolving of these limits in order to “distribute agency as far and in as differentiated a way as possible” (Latour 2014, 16). Various inclusive, more-than-human notions, such as ‘cosmopolitics’ (Stengers 2010) or ’common worlds’ (Latour 2004) are brought forward to this end. These discussions highlight what is becoming a core challenge for various disciplines and fields of study: how to live together in complex places, spaces and societies, with intersecting and overlapping borders and traces of cultures, histories and politics. Furthermore, the discussions bring forth the question of how to work against the premises of exclusive human agency and interest in order to explore and imagine multispecies futures.
However, the various conceptualisations of inclusive, common worlds entail a risk of disregarding or devaluing that which is not shared: the aspects of multispecies lives that cannot be or become common but that nevertheless matter for shared existences. There is also the issue of becoming “common” – of territorialisations and inclusions of some beings to the exclusion of others. What will remain the “uncommon” (i.e. unconventional) in common worlds? Moreover, are common worlds envisaged as free of political struggles and borders? What are the politics of becoming common and remaining uncommon?
With this Call we invite you to discuss and develop ideas about human-animal worlds both common and uncommon. We invite presentations to this interdisciplinary conference from various fields, including but not limited to social sciences, law, arts and humanities, and natural and environmental sciences.
“I welcome you to celebrate the 2014 WordStorm Festival, a biannual event that inspires, stimulates and engages audiences in the rich contemporary stories of our communities.
WordStorm in 2014 welcomes over 70 distinguished writers from across Australia including 40 writers from Alice Springs, Borroloola, Darwin, Katherine and Tennant Creek regions.
I would like to extend warm congratulations to the new team at the NT Writers’ Centre for showcasing the true strength and diversity of the NT’s literary community by presenting a program that is relevant, challenging and fun.
Hon Matt Conlan MLA
Minister for Arts and Museums”
Follow the Event using #WordStorm14 on Twitter and Instagram, and follow the social media feed on Storify.