A New We: A Multispecies Think Tank

still from Ursula Biemann,  SUBATLANTIC  (2015), VIDEO ESSAY, 11 MIN.

still from Ursula Biemann, SUBATLANTIC (2015), VIDEO ESSAY, 11 MIN.

 

A New We - A Multispecies Think Tank
Kunsthall Trondheim, September 14 – December 21, 2017

What sort of collectives are at stake in this so-called Anthropocene epoch – in a time when the human is identified as a crucial, and excessively destructive geological force?

How do mutating ecologies change and redefine more-than-human communities; what worlds are disappearing, and what worlds are emerging when species meet at the threshold of planetary mass-extinctions? How do we inhabit these wretched landscapes, a blasted earth? Who is implied in this ‘we’; which specific histories and living materialities are encircling it? What sort of voices arise when ‘we’ make ourselves known? How do we, as humans, commit ourselves to ongoing writings of more-than-human histories without claiming ownership of the stories?

No matter if we treat each other as industrial resources or as respected partners, we will always find ourselves in relationships: we are perpetually becoming, in and with a vast number of companion species, in never innocent movements between life and death. «To be one is always to become with many», as multispecies philosopher Donna Haraway reminds us.

The exhibition A New We experiments with the structuring of communities and forms of gatherings in a more-than-human field. The exhibition asks: Who is looking at whom in multispecies worlds? Through what kind of eyes, with what sort of bodies and with what manner of languages? How do we commit to partial, fragmented perspectives well knowing that in our eager to engage alterity, we might end up reproducing yet another image of Man, of ourselves? How do we engage in sustainable practices of knowledge productions dedicated not to objectifications of the Other, but to a profound caring for each other in the messy epistemological spaces of multispecies communities?

A New We does not attempt to (re)present things from the perspective of a detached ‘neutrality’. ‘We’ do not stand apart, there is no ‘outside’ to withdraw to. The exhibition relays stories upon stories, voices upon voices, worlds upon worlds in which life makes itself known while writing and rewriting (hi)stories. A New We insist on speculation, on staying with the trouble of particular, specific communities of unalike partners, together building worlds – however temporary, fragile and problematic these worlds turn out to be. A New We insist on contemplation, on the time it takes to get to know each other, to experience radical otherness and to slowly start to spawn the kind of sensitivities and empathies needed in order to create healing communities on a wounded earth.

A New We presents works by Amanda Ackerman & Dan Richert (US), Honey Biba Beckerlee (Denmark), Ursula Biemann (Switzerland), Karin Bolender (US), FRAUD (ES/CA), Kathy High (US), Oskar Jakobsen (SE), Arendse Krabbe (DK), Rosemary Lee (US), Rachel Mayeri (US), angela rawlings (CA/IS) og Asbjørn Skou (DK)

September 14 – October 29 with work by Krista Caballero and Frank Ekeberg (US/NO)
November 02 – December 2 with work by Johannes Heldén (SE)

The exhibition is a co-curation between Kunsthall Trondheim & Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology
(Dea Antonsen & Ida Bencke)

Thanks to Danish Arts Council, Nordic Culture Point, Arts Council Norway and Canon.

A rawlings, still from  intime , 2017, performance IN TRONDHEIM

A rawlings, still from intime, 2017, performance IN TRONDHEIM

Diffraction game for the exhibition    The diffraction game is inspired by a childish 'whispering game', in which an initial statement is digested through the mouths and ears of the game's participants. Wary of our own authority as truth-producing curators, we have initiated a game inviting the artists of the exhibition & their nonhuman companions to rewrite our initial statement. The result is a kaleidoscopic text with multiple entries into the indisctinct murmurings of a multispecies community. The philosopher Karen Barad writes: 'We can understand diffraction patterns – as patterns of difference that make a difference – to be the fundamental constituents that make up the world'. Whereas reflection produces the image of the same (Man mirroring Man), through the figure of diffraction the world us dispersed in a multiplicity of differences, a myriad of perspectives.

Diffraction game for the exhibition

The diffraction game is inspired by a childish 'whispering game', in which an initial statement is digested through the mouths and ears of the game's participants. Wary of our own authority as truth-producing curators, we have initiated a game inviting the artists of the exhibition & their nonhuman companions to rewrite our initial statement. The result is a kaleidoscopic text with multiple entries into the indisctinct murmurings of a multispecies community. The philosopher Karen Barad writes: 'We can understand diffraction patterns – as patterns of difference that make a difference – to be the fundamental constituents that make up the world'. Whereas reflection produces the image of the same (Man mirroring Man), through the figure of diffraction the world us dispersed in a multiplicity of differences, a myriad of perspectives.

 
Amanda Ackerman & Dan Richert,  Unknown Giants  (2017). Installation shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Amanda Ackerman & Dan Richert, Unknown Giants (2017). Installation shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

a rawlings,  ( SUND )  (2017), DETAIL. installation shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

a rawlings, ( SUND ) (2017), DETAIL. installation shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Oskar Jakobsen,  Reading Group  (2017). Installation shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Oskar Jakobsen, Reading Group (2017). Installation shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Arendse Krabbe,  Among sister Venus and earthlings; Bacteria, Lichen and me  (2017), Detail. INSTALLATION SHOT: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Arendse Krabbe, Among sister Venus and earthlings; Bacteria, Lichen and me (2017), Detail.
INSTALLATION SHOT: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Ursula Biemann,  BIOSEMIOTIC BORNEO  (2016). Installation shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Ursula Biemann, BIOSEMIOTIC BORNEO (2016). Installation shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Rachel Mayeri,  Primate Cinema: Apes as Family  (2012). InstallatioN shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Rachel Mayeri, Primate Cinema: Apes as Family (2012). InstallatioN shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

A rawlings,  Intime, 2017,  Installation Shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

A rawlings, Intime,2017,

Installation Shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Rosemary Lee,  Symbiotic Sound  (2017), Detail INSTALLATION Shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Rosemary Lee, Symbiotic Sound (2017), Detail
INSTALLATION Shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Asbjørn Skou,  SporeSpore  (2017), detail.  INSTALLATION SHOT: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Asbjørn Skou, SporeSpore (2017), detail.
INSTALLATION SHOT: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

A RAWLINGS,  intime , 2017 Installation Shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

A RAWLINGS, intime, 2017
Installation Shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Karin Bolender,  Manure, Mud and Microbial Mother-Tunges – Findings from the Secretome  (2017). Installation shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Karin Bolender, Manure, Mud and Microbial Mother-Tunges – Findings from the Secretome (2017).
Installation shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

FRAUD (Fran Gallardo & Audrey Samson),  Shrimping under Working Conditions  (2017), DETAIL. INSTALLATIOn shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

FRAUD (Fran Gallardo & Audrey Samson), Shrimping under Working Conditions (2017), DETAIL.
INSTALLATIOn shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Kathy High,  Rat Love Manifesto  (2004-2006). Installation shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Kathy High, Rat Love Manifesto (2004-2006). Installation shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Honey Biba Beckerlee,  Space Dog Odyssey in Exile – A Journey Into the Open  (2017), DetaiL. INSTALLATION SHOT: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Honey Biba Beckerlee, Space Dog Odyssey in Exile – A Journey Into the Open (2017), DetaiL.
INSTALLATION SHOT: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Et Nytt Vi ,  Library for multispecies thinking.  INSTALLATION Shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Et Nytt Vi, Library for multispecies thinking. INSTALLATION Shot: Aage A. Mikalsen / Kunsthall Trondheim