Xenoxenoxeno

XENOXENOXENO: Making kin through academic research, performativity, and collective healing

No. of sessions

6 sessions

120 min each

Date

Every Thursday from

Nov. 17th - Dec. 21st

Time

From 18:30 to 20:30

(CET / CEST)

Language

English

Price

150 €

15% student discount

XX-Banner

Early bird until September 17: 200€ / Regular price: 250€

Student, Alumni, or two-seminar pack, 20% discount

Inquiries to: studies@instituteforpostnaturalstudies.org

XENOXENOXENO will focus on new modes of overcoming the human/animal binomial by navigating within the postnatural framework. We will explore how humans have interacted with animals in western culture and contrast it with different approaches to multi-species coexistence. Collectively we will also exercise different ways of embodying an expanded notion of the human-animal through vocal activations, writing, and roleplaying through hybrid bodies. The phonocene, case studies of wild children, contemporary practices, and different cultural and popular subgenres of identity and sexuality will provide a horizontal and fertile platform to discuss and learn from each other.  We will play with the political potential of imagining new worlds through academic research and artistic proposals. In the process of creating desirable futures and collaborative healing, we may find unexpected joys that unite us in the contemporary ecological crisis. This experimental seminar requires active participation.

Brief

The word, or concept of, Xeno may carry a curse and a gift in its meaning. It depends on the voice that speaks it, writes it, or signs it. For some, the presence or idea of something “alien” may trigger violent and discriminatory political, social, colonial, and economic western constructs. While for others, they may find that in the “unknown” body, real or fictional, lies hope for the future. Xeno is always foreign, and in this program, we will focus on interpreting it in different ways the experience of “otherness”, mainly of non-human animals and hybrid bodies. 

This experimental seminar requires active participation. We will collectively listen, role-play and perform to enhance the concepts discussed during each session. We will place our minds, and with it our bodies, in a creative process that will serve as the shared landscape during our time together. There may never be a conclusive way to inhabit another’s experience, but from the Institute for Postnatural Studies, we believe that there are performative and artistic practices that can generate empathy, care, and sensibility towards an “otherhood”. 

The sessions are structured through a theoretical introduction of different topics, meditative immersions, writing exercises, and performative experimentations. These are helpful tools for the dissolution of the categorization between nature and culture, which will try to establish a new multi-species environment of creation and experience. In the union between species and the activation of different senses and sensibilities, we can research, learn and speculate about a world of coexistence.

GENERAL CONCEPTS: Queer Ecology, Phonocene, Ecosexuality, Animal Trials, Xeno-fiction, Animal Embodiment, Performance, Sound Art, Acoustic Ecology, Wild Children, Furries, Roleplaying, Interspecies, Coexistence, Anthropocene, Perspectivism

Sessions

Session I 17 / 11 / 2022 - Anthropomorphic Derivations: A critical introduction to western animal philosophy and postnature This introductory session proposes to paint a few brush strokes into the postnatural framework and how western societies have been relating to animals through culture, science, philosophy, and politics. We will trace back to when we started to separate ourselves from “nature” so we can question the binarisms incited by ancient philosophy, romantic paintings, and modern science. We will work on vocalization, breathing, guttural sounds, vibratory sounds, and other emanations derived from the body and the voice as a way to get out of logocentric communication and produce abstracted, viscous, and vertiginous oralities and writings. In this session, we will compose from the intimacy of the body to the chorality that comes from the collective. 

Session II  24 / 11 / 2022 - Listening Ecology: Collective care through listening and sound creation The temporality of listening sensitizes us to other forms of care and kinship. Within the framework of the phonocene, described by Donna Haraway as a possible era of sound, we believe that listening and sound allow us to access new ways of inhabiting the territory and the current ecological crisis. We will collectively practice ephemeral sound compositions as a way to listen and respond. The act of care through listening will also be explored as we individually write spontaneous guided meditations that will take us on a journey through different imagined landscapes and ecosystems.

Session III  01 / 12 / 2022 - Wild Things: Role playing through our inner children There have been many cases of wild children being found in the forests. We should question many things about this statement, but firstly the idea of being “found” and secondly the idea of “wild”. In this session, we will focus on the case of Victor, the wild boy of Aveyron, France. This “wild” encounter caused many violent attempts of civilizing a queer human animal, but in this case, specifically, it has also aided in the development of a non-verbal language. How can we find our inner wild when western civilization is constantly trying to turn us into “adults”? One example we will explore is the Furry community and their search for a more-than-human identity  Through role-playing and collective language creation we will search for the inner child that could potentially still be resisting its wild instincts. 

Session IV  08 / 12 / 2022 - The Pig who Went to Court: Animal trials, invasive species and legal personhood You would be amazed how far we go in history when it comes to serving animals through the judicial western system. Back in medieval times, pigs, rats and wasps, and ants were called into court to defend, or be defended, by a human counterpart. We will look at some cases together and see how these judicial habits are applied today. We will question the gesture of giving non-human entities the status of personhood under the law. For this session, we will play an acting game to help us explore how the law and the government may or may not control species that may be considered invasive or problematic. But to whom? 

Session V 15 / 12 / 2022 - Marrying the Night: Queer modes of kinship  Through the lens of queer ecology, we will explore the genre of interspecies relations and ecosexuality as a way to rethink our relationship with non-human entities. This type of non-binary thinking and embodiment functions as a tool to break the taboos of coexistence and social constructions that come with inhabiting human cultures. Here, the act of role-playing and speculation will allow us to marry non-animal entities and imagine (and perhaps perform) new kin-making rituals. 

Session VI  22 / 12 / 2022 - THE DEEP: Xeno book club discussion around “The Deep” by Rivers Solomon with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes. Xeno fiction is a form of narration that can aid and guide us towards more desirable futures. Through speculation, we can imagine hybrid bodies between humans and animals, or impossible landscapes that expand an ecological imagination and politics. These narratives try to move us away from normative structures to imagine other worlds and other ways of relating to each other, coexisting and rewriting colonial and extractivist memories.

Speakers

The seminars that make up our Open Program are run by the IPS’s faculty.

Multidisciplinary Brazilian artist, Yuri Tuma focuses on the investigation of contemporary narratives related to diverse ecologies through sound art, installation, and performance as a way to address and reevaluate the human/animal binomial imposed by science and Western thinking. More actively, in addition to academic programming and development, he coordinates the Institute's publishing project, Cthulhu Books, to become a showcase for the political potential of imagining new worlds and possible futures for the planet through academic and artistic research. Starting in 2021, in addition to participating in residencies and coordinating workshops around interspecies thinking, Tuma works with educational and mediation programs through sound art and performance at Spanish institutions such as Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Matadero, La Casa Encendida, INLAND, among others.

Clara Benito is an independent researcher based in Madrid, currently collaborating with the Institute for Postnatural Studies as a researcher, assistant in workshops and seminars, as well as co-editor, writer and proofreader within the Institute's publishing house of critical thought and ecology Chtulhu Books. With a background in philosophy and visual arts, Clara is currently pursuing the research master's degree rMA Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam and has been part of the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis (NICA) since 2018. Her research, interdisciplinary in nature but with a strong influence from philosophy, touches on topics such as posthumanism, animal studies, queer theory and feminist and gender studies, decolonial theory and environmental humanities.

Early bird until September 17: 200€ / Regular price: 250€

Student, Alumni, or two-seminar pack, 20% discount

Inquiries to: studies@instituteforpostnaturalstudies.org

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