Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology is a platform for planetary becomings.
We work with the embodied, theoretical and political implications of global, but unequally distributed environmental breakdown in response to multispecies worlds in urgent need of regeneration and care.
We try to stay with the trouble of cultivating human and more-than-human relations and ethics that point towards and rework the different response-abilities ‘we’ carry on a planet wounded by the violence of colonialism, white imperialism and extractive capitalism, while also reconfiguring the already exclusive and non-innocent notion of the Human. Born and raised within eurocentric, western structures, we work from within the troubled histories of our own privileges situated, as they and we are, within global structures of inequity and oppression, and we try to challenge our heritage of exploitative, pathogenic and destructive systems and norms. Guided by queer feminist strategies we attempt to form alliances across different collectives, bodies and fields. We work with the non-binary, the weird and the marginalized, the exhausted, the composting, the failing, the falling, the floating and the leaking. We strive to facilitate openings for the mourning of past, present and future worlds lost, while also holding space for radical joy, insurgent play and modest hope. We work towards the composing of collectives, resilient and vulnerable, in the ambition to imagine and co-create liveable worlds otherwise. In this, we recognize that ‘we’ must be ready to become radically other to what we now know and are. We work with arts, poetry, education and storytelling as partial and imperfect practices of worlding, in intimate and often problematic collaboration with the more-than-human. We are concerned with the im/possibilities of queer homebuilding in a world characterized by forced migration and homelessness, and we long for the consolidation of international solidarity and practices care.
Our curatorial structure is nomadic and tentacular, a result of the different interests and practices of our five members. Thus our web is far cast and our branches reach into many parts of the world - very often they intersect and fertilize each other, sometimes they co-exist in friction and sometimes they collide in disagreement.
We facilitate a myriad of multidisciplinary events, exhibitions, workshops and symposia across landscapes, disciplines, contexts and histories spanning from rural spaces, festival sites, ocean shores, boats, academic- and exhibition spaces and more. Our methods are performative, experimental and flow through and across genres. We aim for long durational, cross-pollinating knowledge productions in conversation with many partners.
We also run a small press that publishes and translates work that shares, extends, supports and forms our thinking. Our publications explore intersections and crossings between the poetic and the academic, the affective and the scientific, the personal and the political.
Dea Antonsen holds a BA in Comparative Literature and an MA in Modern Culture. Her curatorial interest and work encompass experimental and performative exhibition formats and knowledge productions within and around eco feminist aesthetics and poetics. Her current curatorial research circulate around matters of ecological pollution, distress, disorders and vulnerabilities, along with resistive practices to normative, pathogenic models of health and life. With an interest in questions of alienation, trauma, sorrow and death, she investigates the im/possibilities of building human and more-than human ethics of care, collectives and livable futures. She is co-founder of the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology.
Ida Bencke holds an MA in Comparative Literature. Her curatorial work spans experimental exhibition formats, interdisciplinary methodologies and speculative feminist aesthetics. Her recent projects investigate fermentation as domestic-revolutionary apparatus, queer home-building and interspecies care, various im/possibilities of multispecies narration, and insurgent m/otherhood within the reproductive regimes of necropatriarchy. Research interests include radical practices of mourning and pleasure, more-than-human affect, and revolutionary experiments on co-habitation, collectivity and regenerative alliances. She is co-founder of the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology.
Elena Lundqvist Ortíz holds a BA in Art History and an MA in Modern Culture. Her work and entire being is devoted to the contribution of alternative world-making practices in the midst of planetary crisis. She is interested in the intersection between personal- and planetary health, self- and community care, and the common roots of distress. She is continually engaged in rewriting dualities as mutual co-becomings, between mind and body, human and more-than-human, the spiritual and the material. She is invested in crafting re-generative arts of living, guided by the language of the body/matter/earth itself. She is initiator of hydra, a curatorial research project on watery worlding, transcorporeality and oceanic healing.
Andrea Fjordside Pontoppidan holds an MA in Comparative Literature. She works with the intersections between poetry and fiction, critical theory and practices and politics around small scale, regenerative farming, exploring ways of understanding the relationships and entanglements between the human and the more-than-human. She is engaged in different communities that try to work with the soil the plants and is generally interested in the work and affects around food production and farming in a time of multispecies suffering and devastation and exploitation of land. In the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology she mainly works with the publication platform. She is interested in how different forms of writing cross and gemmate.
Miriam Wistreich holds a BA in Art History from the University of Copenhagen and an MA in Interactive Media: Critical Theory and Practice from Goldsmiths. Her interests revolve around bodies and subjectivity, both human and non-human, and the systems through which they come to matter. In the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology she works with water, weather, technologies and critiques of capital, as well as being adamant in thinking about labour, overproduction and the sustainability of cultural practices within cultures of exploitation.
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We are an independent platform with no structural funding.
We depend on project-to-project fundraising and our financial and temporal resources are limited.