The Second Edition of Zooetics: Unhuman Knowledge and Maker Culture

2015-09-21 13:30

Spatial thinking, maker culture and connection of human knowledge with the intelligence and ideas of other life forms are the main topics in the second edition of Zooetics seminar series. 1 October 2015 Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) will host globally acclaimed researchers from the USA and the UK.

Keller Easterling

Zooetics with its focus on hybrid scientific and artistic practices, and interdisciplinary research methods is at home at KTU, whose campus borders with Lithuanian Zoo. The Zooetics lectures will be read by Keller Easterling, a writer and an architect, professor at Yale University (USA), sociology professor Dimitris Papadopoulos from the University of Leicester (UK) and Matthew Fuller, professor of culture studies at London University Goldsmiths College (UK).

Zooetics is a pilot project of M-Lab – non-traditional research and innovations incubator created by KTU with partners. M-Lab will encourage creative analysis processes by establishing dynamic research environment and focusing on the topics in fields of eco-systemic design, while developing interdisciplinary practical research, which combines art, science and technologies for solving future challenges.

Zooetics: Attempt to (Re)Define Knowledge

The project has started in 2014 with series of Zooetics lectures, which focused on Anthropocene, nature and interspecies communication. The second edition of Zooetics, which will also take place at KTU Santaka Valley will touch upon the topics of the challenges of Anthropocene age and paradigm shifts introduced by post humanistic science, culture and society research.

Zooetics is an attempt to re(de)fine and to reflect on knowledge and poetics of human and other species, weaving them together without aiming to foresee or to predict the outcomes. However, an attempt to find a common interdisciplinary language between art and science is only part of Zooetics research. The rest falls into the territory unknown to science with no connections between human knowledge and that of other life forms. Fiction is a means to understand and interact with this unknown and, at the first glance, inexplicable territory.

From Lectures to Experimental Sessions

1 October 2015 at Kaunas KTU Santaka Valley researchers from infrastructure planning, media culture, relations and organisational development fields will discuss and introduce systems of thought and knowledge inspired by things, material and non-human life forms. Please register:

2 October 2015 at Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) in Vilnius the meeting of artists Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, and historical fantasy writer Tracey Warr will take place: the ideas behind the Zooetics concept will be introduced by its founders. Please register:

Zooetics lecture series’ timing coincides with the exhibition Psychotropic House: Zooetics Pavilion of Ballardian Technologies, which is being introduced at the 12th Baltic Triennial at Vilnius Contemporary Art Centre. The Pavilion houses a Mycomorph Lab, inspired by live technologies described in James Graham Ballard’s fiction. Students along with scientists, artists and architects are being invited to experiment with mycomorph, which looks like plastic or foam and is made when a vegetative part of a mushroom – mycelium – colonises other organic materials such as wood or straw. The laboratory is being developed in consultation with Baltic Champs chief mushroom technologist Paulius Pilipavičius, and facilitated by KTU students led by Inga Sideravičiūtė. The Mycomorph Lab programming is being supervised by the architects Paulius Vaitiekūnas, Jautra Bernotaitė and Mykolas Svirskis.

The Zooetics lecture series are being organised by Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), platform of interdisciplinary art research Jutempus (Gediminas Urbonas – MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, Cambridge (USA), Nomeda Urbonas – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Tracey Warr – Oxford Brooks University (UK), Viktorija Šiaulytė (Lithuania).

Zooetics is a part of educational programme of the project Frontiers in Retreat, which is being partially funded by European programme Culture. Zooetics is a pilot project of M-Lab – non-traditional research and innovations incubator created by KTU with partners. Lecture and seminar series of Zooetics are being supported by Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA), Lithuanian Ministry of Culture and Lithuanian Council for Culture.

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