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T. J. Demos "Blackout: The Necropolitics of Extraction" and Line Marie Thorsen "Eco-Arts as Practices of Comparison: Hong Kong Farmers at Echigo Tsumari Art Field"

Aesthetic Seminar

Info about event


Tuesday 22 May 2018,  at 14:15 - 17:00

T. J. Demos: Blackout: The Necropolitics of Extraction

This presentation addresses extraction, as well as the politics and aesthetics of emergent forms of resistance today. In view of spreading sacrifice zones given over to resource mining, abetted by exploitative interna-tional trade agreements and the finance of debt servitude, what forms do the cultural politics of resistance take, and how are artist-activists materializing the images and sounds of emancipation and decolonization? With reference to the diverse artwork of Angela Melitopoulos, Allora & Calzadilla, and Ursula Biemann, which considers geographies of conflict in such regions as Greece, Puerto Rico, and Canada and Bangladesh, this analysis considers a range of leading artistic approaches that adopt an aesthetics of intersectionality that reveals complex causalities and effects, offers a modeling of politico-ecological interpretation, and proposes forms of solidarity with those on the frontlines of opposition.

Line Marie Thorsen: Eco-Arts as Practices of Comparison: Hong Kong Farmers at Echigo Tsumari Art


How do artists come to play a role in the articulation of global climatic issues as relevant to local and every-day ecological attachment and their politics? This is the central question I will engage in this presentation, focusing on a specific subset of my research: the Japanese art triennale Echigo Tsumari Art Field, in Niigata, and the art collective Hong Kong Farmers + Sense Art Studio, participating in the triennale. Both are formu-lated as environmental engagements, thoroughly situated within Japanese and Hong Kong specific social, political and material ecologies, however, I will suggest that both also come into being as climate-political gestures in practices of constant comparison, that are iteratively being done in and between both places. Building on field research and Timothy Choy’s Ecologies of Comparison (2011), I will suggest that univer-salities and particularities blur in practices of eco-art as political act, since ‘the environment’ is articulated as politics, in the comparisons and translations between such scales. As such, noticing the comparisons prac-ticed in eco-arts may open a space for grabbling with the above question.



The seminar is public, and we welcome everybody.


Programme: Aesthetic Seminars Spring 2018