Encounters at the Edge

Encounters at the Edge

No. of Sessions

10 sessions

120 min each


Starting Oct. 2021

To June 2022



19:00 to 21:00



More info


Metamorphosis, from the encounter with Emanuele Coccia, 2022.jpg
Metamorphosis, from the encounter with Emanuele Coccia, 2022

We conceive these encounters as a series of thought-provoking exercises to think with entities, objects, ideas, actions, and events at the edges of categories, states, and conditions: death/alive, organic/inorganic, real/fiction, material/immaterial, one/many, us/other, human/non-human, visible/invisible, perceptible/imperceptible, accounted/unaccounted, past/present/future, active/passive, biology/geology.

We intend each of these encounters to work as sites to provoke a particular type of thinking-- the slash is the entity-- that forces us to reveal, and reckon with, questions such as: What kind of possibilities, promises, monsters, dangers--and in between-- are revealed by placing ourselves ‘at the edge’? What does thinking at ‘the edge’ offer to thought?

At a moment in which we witness the collapse of systems, and the practices and discourses that have sustained them--the master narrative of “growth” is an example--it is particularly important to create experimental spaces/slashes-- that invite the practice of thought without extant categories. We believe that “the edge” can be one experimental space, and “thinking at the edge” is one of the practices to enable us to open the possibility of thinking and imagining beyond the categories and boundaries that hold us captive.


Marisol de la Cadena, anthropologist. Located at the interface between STS and non-STS, and working through what I call “ontological openings”, my interests include the study of politics, multispecies (or multi-entities), indigeneity, history, and the a-historical, world anthropologies and the anthropologies of worlds. In all these areas my concern is the relationship between concepts and methods, and interfaces as analytical sites. More prosaically, I am interested in ethnographic concepts – those that blur the distinction between theory and the empirical because they are not without the latter.

Uriel Fogué (elii / GCFP): Ph.D. in architecture from the UPM (outstanding doctoral thesis prize, the academic year 2014-15; doctoral thesis finalist at the X Bienal Iberoamericana de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, 2016). He teaches architecture projects design at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (UPM), and the Universidad Europea de Madrid (UEM).

Since 2006, he co-directs the architecture office elii, which took part in the Spanish Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale (awarded the 2016 Golden Lion), and that has, among other national and international recognitions, two works selected for the European Union Prize For Contemporary Architecture Mies Van Der Rohe Award (2015 and 2019). Their work Yojigen Poketto was selected as one of the 20 visionary domestic spaces of the last 100 years in the exhibition ‘Home Stories 100 Years, 20 Visionary Interiors‘, at the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (2020). Elii won First Prize from the Madrid College of Architects (2017). elii has been recognized on other 5 occasions with the COAM Award (2018, 2016, 2013, 2011, 2006). FAD Prize (2020) and FAD Opinion Prize (2005), and finalist and shortlisted FAD Prize (2017, 2018 y 2020).

Fogué is a founding member of the discussion and debate group Political Fictions Crisis Cabinet.

His article “Technifying Public Space and Publicizing Infrastructures: Exploring New Urban Political Ecologies through the Square of General Vara del Rey”, published in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR, 2013), together with Fernando Domínguez Rubio, was highlighted as one of the most relevant texts in the last 40 years of this scientific publication.

Along with the members of elii, Fogué is co-author of the books: What is Home Without a Mother (HIAP – MataderoMadrid, 2015), awarded at the XIII Bienal Española de Arquitectura y Urbanismo 2015 and Beyond the Limits (CentroCentro, 2020). He is co-editor of the book: Planos de intersección: materiales para un diálogo entre filosofía y arquitectura (Lampreave, 2011, with Luis Arenas) and co-editor of the publication UHF, listed in the Archivo de Creadores de Madrid. He is currently working on the book manuscript The Architectures of the End of the World.

Fernando Domínguez Rubio (Doctor, Cambridge, 2008) es actualmente Investigador Post-Doctoral Marie Curie Post-Doctoral Fellow en la New York University (NYU) y el Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) y profesor en el Departamento de Comunicación en la Universidad de California, San Diego. Su investigación se centra en el estudio de las condiciones infraestructurales y ecológicas que permiten la reproducción de distintas formas de subjetividad y objetividad. Es también uno de los editores del blog Material World Blog.

Orkan Telhan investigates critical issues in cultural, environmental, and social responsibility.

Telhan's individual and collaborative work has been exhibited internationally in venues including the Istanbul Biennial (2013, 2022), Istanbul Design Biennial (2012, 2016, 2021), Milano Design Week, London Design Week, Vienna Design Week, the Armory Show 2015 Special Projects, Ars Electronica (2007, 2017), ISEA, LABoral, Archilab, Matadero Madrid, Architectural Association, the Architectural League of New York, MIT Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Design Museum, London.

Telhan is currently the director of Foundry Engineering at Ecovative. He is on leave from the Associate Professor of Fine Arts - Emerging Design Practices position at University of Pennsylvania, Stuart Weitzman School of Design.

Telhan holds a Ph.D. in Design and Computation from MIT's Department of Architecture. He was part of the Sociable Media Group at the MIT Media Laboratory and a researcher at the MIT Design Laboratory. He studied Media Arts at the State University of New York at Buffalo and theories of media and representation, visual studies and Graphic Design at Bilkent University, Ankara.


Déborah Danowski Déborah Danowski is a Professor at the Philosophy Department at the Pontifical University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has extensive experience researching and publishing on Early Modern Philosophy, but, in the last decade, she has dedicated her work almost exclusively to the Anthropocene, the ecological emergency and climate change denial. Among her many publications, we highlight the book The Ends of the World co-authored with Eduardo Viveiro de Castro in 2014, and the essay Denialisms, published in 2019.

Nerea Calvillo Nerea Calvillo is an architect and researcher, and founder of C+ Arquitectos. She has created In the Air, an ongoing project designed to provide digital visualization of air pollution, and was co-curator of the Connecting Cities Network.

Calvillo received her Ph.D. from the Polytechnic University of Madrid in 2014 after receiving her Masters's in Advanced Architecture from Columbia University as a Fullbright Scholar. She completed a post-doctorate research fellowship at Citizen Sense, Goldsmiths, University of London, and received the Poesies Fellowship from New York University. She has taught at the UEM, Alicante University, Architectural Association, GSD Harvard, and GSAPP Columbia. She is currently an assistant professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (Warwick, UK). Her research explores the material, technological, political, and social dimensions of environmental pollution at the intersection between architecture, feminist studies of technoscience, new materialism, and urban ecological policies.

Ursula Biemann Ursula Biemann is an artist, writer, and video essayist based in Zurich, Switzerland. She investigates global relations under the impact of the accelerated mobility of people, resources, and information. In her earlier art and curatorial work, she made space and mobility her prime category of analysis in “Geography and the Politics of Mobility” (2003), “The Maghreb Connection“ (2006), and the widely exhibited art and research project “Sahara Chronicle“ (2006-2009) on clandestine migration networks. More recently she turned to ecology, oil, and water with major art projects including Black Sea Files (2005), Egyptian Chemistry (2012), and Deep Weather (2013). Her video installations are exhibited worldwide in museums and the International Art Biennials of Liverpool, Sharjah, Shanghai, Thessaloniki, Sevilla, Istanbul, and Venice. Her research is based at the Zurich University for the Arts and she is the publisher of several books, e.g. Stuff it – the Video Essay in the Digital Age (2003), Mission Reports – Artistic Practice in the Field (2008). She is currently working on a new piece on the Ecuadorian Amazon, commissioned by Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.  Biemann has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York (1988). She received a doctor honoris causa in Humanities from the Swedish University Umea and the Prix Meret Oppenheim, the national art award of Switzerland. Iván Vargas Roncacio Iván is a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University, a lawyer with Master’s degrees in Bioscience and Law (National University of Colombia, 2012), and Latin American Studies (Duke University, 2016). He has worked for the Center for Public Policy Research (University of California - Davis, 2011-2013), and the Everyday Peace Indicators Project (George Mason University, 2017-2018). He has been a Colciencias scholar (Colombia, 2013), and a FLAS fellow (Foreign Language and Area Studies-PUC São Paulo, 2016). Iván's research ethnographically follows indigenous practitioners, scientists, legal scholars, and ritual plants across territories, labs, and courts of justice in an effort to contribute to a larger paradigm shift: from reductionist environmental law and governance models to ecological, systems-based, and other-than-human jurisprudence in post-conflict Colombia. At the intersection between post-humanist anthropology, legal theory, and plant studies, he explores the limits and possibilities of an ontological and decolonial turn in legal theory and practice in the Andean-Amazonian region. His dissertation asks how forests become legal agents through indigenous, scientific, and legal practices; how human and other-than-human beings such as Amazonian plants co-produce protocols for forest governance, and finally how a law that comes from the territory challenges concepts of justice, agency, and value in times of socio-ecological transitions.

Mónica Gagliano Dr. Monica Gagliano is an evolutionary ecologist whose daring and imaginative research has expanded our perception of plants and animals. Gagliano’s main research is broadly focusing on key aspects of the ecological processes by which organisms are able to gather information on the variable conditions of their surrounding environment in order to thrive. In collaboration with various disciplines across the Sciences and the Humanities, her research aims at expanding our perception of animals, plants, and more generally Nature. In the process of learning how to do this, she has pioneered the brand-new research field of plant bioacoustics and extended the concept of cognition to plants, re-igniting the discourse on plant subjectivity, sentience, and ethical standing.  The results of her groundbreaking experiments suggest that plants may possess intelligence, memory, and learning, via mechanisms that differ from our own. Gagliano is a research associate professor at the University of Western Australia and is the author of Thus Spoke the Plant. Her work has been featured by Michael Pollan in The New Yorker and on the RadioLab episode, Smarty Plants. She is currently based at the University of Sydney. She is a Research Associate Professor in Evolutionary Ecology at the Biological Intelligence (BI) Lab, Southern Cross University, a Research Associate Professor (Adjunct) at the University of Western Australia & a Research Affiliate at the Sydney Environment Institute, University of Sydney.

Báyò Akómoláfé Author, speaker, lecturer, renegade academic, ethnopsychotherapeutic researcher, and proud diaper-changer, Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.), is globally recognized for his poetic, unconventional, and counter-intuitive take on global crisis, civic action, and social change. He is Executive Director and Initiating / Co-ordinating Curator for the Emergence Network. Bayo has authored two books: ‘We Will Tell Our Own Story’ and ‘These Wilds Beyond Our Fences: Letters To My Daughter on Humanity’s Search For Home’ and has penned forewords for many others.

Bayo is visiting professor at Middlebury College, Vermont, and has taught in universities around the world (including Sonoma State University California, Simon Frasier University Vancouver, Schumacher College Devon, Harvard University, and Covenant University Nigeria – among others). He is a consultant with UNESCO, leading efforts for the Imagining Africa’s Future (IAF) project. He speaks and teaches about his experiences around the world, and then returns to his adopted home in Chennai, India – “where the occasional whiff of cow dung dancing in the air is another invitation to explore the vitality of a world that is never still and always surprising.” He considers his most sacred work to be learning how to be with his daughter and son – Alethea Aanya and Kyah Jayden – and their mother, his wife, and “life-nectar”, Ijeoma.

Karen Barad Karen Barad is a Professor of Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Barad's Ph.D. is in theoretical particle physics and quantum field theory.

Barad held a tenured appointment in a physics department before moving into more interdisciplinary spaces. Barad is the author of Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Duke University Press, 2007) and numerous articles in the fields of physics, philosophy, science studies, poststructuralist theory, and feminist theory. Barad's research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hughes Foundation, the Irvine Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Barad is the Co-Director of the Science & Justice Graduate Training Program at UCSC.

​Marina Otero Verzier Marina Otero Verzier is an architect and currently the head of the MA in Social Design at Design Academy Eindhoven. She was the founding director of the research department at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, where she led, between 2015 and 2020, research initiatives such as 'Architecture of Appropriation: On Squatting as Spatial Practice,' 'Automated Landscapes' (focusing on emerging architectures of automated labor), and 'BURN-OUT. Exhaustion on a planetary scale' (instigating other forms of coexistence and care for multispecies, collective bodies). Otero has been a curator at the Shanghai Art Biennial 2021 Bodies of Water, curator of 'Work, Body, Leisure' at the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018, and chief curator of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale After Belonging, as well as a large number of exhibitions and public programs. She has co-edited Lithium: State of Exhaustion (2021) More-than- Human (2020), Unmanned: Architecture and Security Series (2016-20), Architecture of Appropriation (2019), Work, Body, Leisure (2018), and After Belonging (2016), among others. Otero studied at TU Delft and ETSA Madrid and Columbia University GSAPP. In 2016, Otero received her Ph.D. at ETSA Madrid. Her Ph.D. thesis Evanescent Institutions (2016) examines the emergence of new paradigms for institutions, and in particular the political implications of temporal and itinerant structures.

Orkan Telhan Orkan Telhan is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and researcher whose investigations focus on the design of interrogative objects, interfaces, and media, engaging with critical issues in social, cultural, and environmental responsibility. Telhan is an Associate Professor of Fine Arts - Emerging Design Practices at the University of Pennsylvania, Stuart Weitzman School of Design. He holds a Ph.D. in Design and Computation from MIT's Department of Architecture. He was part of the Sociable Media Group at the MIT Media Laboratory and a researcher at the MIT Design Laboratory. He studied Media Arts at the SUNY Buffalo and theories of media and representation, visual studies, and Graphic Design at Bilkent University, Ankara. 

Telhan's individual and collaborative work has been exhibited internationally in venues including the Istanbul Biennial (2013), Istanbul Design Biennial (2012, 2016, 2021), Milano Design Week, London Design Week, Vienna Design Week, the Armory Show 2015 Special Projects, Ars Electronica (2007, 2017), ISEA, LABoral, Archilab, Matadero Madrid, Architectural Association, the Architectural League of New York, MIT Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Design Museum, London.

Telhan is a co-founder of Biorealize.

Cooking Sections Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe) is a duo of spatial practitioners based out of London. It was born to explore the systems that organize the World through Food. Using installation, performance, mapping, and video, their research-based practice explores the overlapping boundaries between visual arts, architecture, ecology, and geopolitics. Since 2015, they are working on multiple iterations of the long-term site-specific  CLIMAVORE  project exploring how to eat as humans change climates. In 2016 they opened The Empire Remains Shop, a platform to critically speculate on the implications of selling the remains of Empire today. Their first book about the project was published by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City.

Cooking Sections was part of the exhibition at the U.S. Pavilion, 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. Their work has also been exhibited at the 13th Sharjah Biennial; Manifesta12, Palermo; Lafayette Anticipations, Paris; Serpentine Galleries, London; Atlas Arts, Skye; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Peggy Guggenheim Collection; HKW Berlin; Akademie der Künste, Berlin and have been residents in The Politics of Food at Delfina Foundation, London. Their work has been featured in a number of international publications (Lars Müller, Sternberg Press, Volume, Frieze Magazine amongst others). They currently lead a studio unit at the  Royal College of Art, London.

They have been awarded the Special Prize at the 2019 Future Generation Art Prize and were nominated for the Visible Award. 

María PTQK Maria Ptqk (b. Bilbao, 1976) likes to ask questions (and to question herself). In fact, her work revolves around the use of questions as a critical and speculative tool. With a Ph.D. in Artistic Research and a background in Law and Economics, Maria Ptqk has spent the last two decades operating in the cultural sector through different frequencies and channels: her practice mutates with equal passion and rigor from writing to scientific-philosophical dissemination, curating (physical and digital exhibitions), publishing, organizing workshops... all kinds of “weird formats”. An inter- and trans-disciplinary career that finds expression in the collective zones of friction in which art, technoscience, ecofeminism, and social communication rub shoulders.

She has worked with a number of leading institutions, among them Medialab Prado (Madrid), Azkuna Zentroa – Alhóndiga Bilbao, Fundación Daniel y Nina Carasso, CCCB – Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Jeu de Paume (Paris), La Gaité Lyrique (Paris), GenderArtnet (European Cultural Foundation) and Capitalidad Cultural Europea Donostia San Sebastián 2016. She served on the Consejo Vasco de la Cultura (2009-2012) and is a member of the advisory group for the Consonni book publisher and art production company. She has curated the exhibition “Science Friction. Life among Companion Species” at the CCCB. Emanuele Coccia Emanuele Coccia is an Associate Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris.He received his Ph.D. in Philology in Florence after studying in Macerata, Rom, and Berlin. After post-Doc positions in Paris and Barcelona, he worked as an Assistant Professor of History of Philosophy in Freiburg, Germany between 2008 and 2011.

His works focus mainly on the history of religious normativity and on aesthetics. His current research topics focus on the ontological status of images and their normative power, especially in fashion and advertising. Among his publications: La trasparenza delle immagini. Averroè e l’averroismo (Mondadori Bruno, 2005), Sensible Life. A Micro-Ontology of the Image (Fordham University Press, 2016),  and Le bien dans les choses (Rivages, 2013). With Giorgio Agamben as a co-editor, he published an anthology on angels in Christian, Jewish, and Islamic contexts: Angeli. Ebraismo Cristianesimo Islam (Neri Pozza, 2009).

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