Nonhuman subjectivities

Four to five hundred years ago Copernicus and Galileo ‘removed’ the Earth (and humanity) from the centre of the universe. In Western Philosophy this coincides with the ‘epistemological turn’ away from cosmology. Western civilization through the enlightenment and into the modern age has continued to place the human experience at the centre of existence. Postmodernism, for example, has revelled in human subjectivity, almost to the point of denying all else.

In response to recent cultural and scientific developments Art Laboratory Berlin is initiating an open call for art works, texts and cooperative works with artists, scholars and scientists on the general theme of non-human subjectivities.

Recent philosophical works by i.a. Graham Harman, Quentin Meillasoux, Isabelle Stengers and John Gray have questioned the solely human role of subjectivity that has formed the core of ‘humanism’ over the past five centuries.

We suggest a new multiplicity of viewpoints and an exploration of non-human intelligence, agency and subjectivity, that make up our planet (and beyond).

Possible topics could include:

  • Perspectives under threat – non-human viewpoints during the great species die off.
  • Bacterial viewpoints – how microbes communicate, interact and experience the world.
  • Non-human perspectives – intelligence and agency in animals, plants, bacteria.
  • Re-definition of intelligence, agency and sentience in ways that are not anthropomorphic.
  • What do some of these perspectives make of Homo sapient? e.g.- 90% of the cells in our body do not have human DNA -we are a mere host, a topography, for billions of bacteria and fungi.
  • How about agency (and even intelligence) beyond life – viruses or crystals for instance.
  • Are complex data systems, algorithms, artificial intelligence beginning to have points of view, and forms of agency that are beyond human comprehension?

Art Laboratory Berlin is seeking submissions and proposals predominantly for exhibitions, performances and workshops, but is also interested in cooperation with scholars and scientists for the production of a series of lectures, texts and a symposium

Chosen proposals will form part of our 2016-17 programme

The application should include a proposal (not longer than 5 pages), a CV and work portfolio (not longer than 10 pages). We ask that you keep the size of attachments altogether under 5MB. For video or other large files we encourage the use of links. In rare exceptions proposals may be accepted by post, if a request is first sent by email. Please title the subject line: POST RQST.

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