September 30, October 1: Kristiina Koskentola (DAI, 2007) and Hu Wei (DAI, 2016) at the Institute for Provocation invite you to 'Soils, Séances, Sciences and Politics' - Seminar on the Posthuman and New Materialism. with a.o. Rick Dolphijn, Marina Vishmidt and Miguel Angel Rego Robles (DAI, 2016).

| tag: Beijing
Posthumanism, futurology, Confucian take on technology, New Materialism, Cartesian dualism as fraud, environmentalism, computational algorithmic processes in light of Neo-Confucianism, human as one species among others, ecology, sustainability, biology, bodies and technological beings, non-human agency, Confucian views on the Posthuman, modernist science fiction, hybrids, pre-history as future, material-discursive labour and speech, non-carnal births (and deaths), processuality, animism, and more...
Soils, Séances, Sciences and Politics (SSSP) is conceived by Kristiina Koskentola (DAI, 2007) and Institute for Provocation IFP (Hu Wei and Song Yi) and generously hosted by the Goethe Institute, Beijing.

"Current economic, environmental, geopolitical, and technological developments and the capitalist exploitation of our resources have forced us humans to reconsider our actions and our relationship with our environments and among our co-beings. Rather than maintaining an entitled and arbitrary superiority, we need to rethink of ourselves as an embodied part of the world. Through mind-blowing sessions of lectures, performances, artists’ presentations, and screenings, we speculate on new possible futures, future-pasts, and alternative imaginaries. We consider how and why we need to rupture the linear narratives of Western modernism that are still dominating global art discourse and worldviews.

New Materialism and posthuman/postanthropocentric theory-practices are emerging across several fields of inquiry, including philosophy, cultural theory, feminism, science studies, and the visual arts. They challenge the superiority of the human by emphasizing the role of nonhuman agents, such as plants, animals, or computers, or of social practices. They offer alternative perspectives to materiality, signification, and to knowledge production as practice. As transversal cultural theory, this enables fluid connections, travels, and conceptualization of nature and culture, matter and mind, body and soul, thinking and being in active theory formation, and new forms of authorship.

New Materialism and posthuman/postanthropocentric theory-practices thus contest the individualism and dualisms of the Western modernist worldviews and aim to re-generate our holistic interrelationality. As such, they echo Chinese thought alongside with other Eastern monistic philosophies.

With SSSP we gather to reflect on the almost magical heterogeneity and interconnectivity of earthly and cosmic conditions through a contemporary lens and transcultural perspectives. We will look into and discuss from diverse fields and practices, for example, how artistic work, entangled with myriad forms knowledge, might generate new thinking about matter and processes of materialization, and generate inclusive relationships among the human and the nonhuman. We will explore how these entanglements with other co-beings, entities, and things, in turn, might address pressing ethical and political challenges, and global and cosmic interrelationality and kinship."

This discursive and performative two day seminar will open up diverse topics relevant to Posthumanism and New Materialism such as, technology, ecology, sustainability, agency, and materiality. An international group of cultural and scientific practitioners, artists, curators, researchers, and theorists will gather to collectively reflect on these urgent issues with and through diverse art practices.

The honourable speakers and performers are Rick Dolphijn, Fu Xiaodong, Jussi Koitela, Shian Law, Liu Chengrui, Liu Yuedi, Jussi Parikka (mediated presentation), Marina Vishmidt, Jo Wei, Mi You, and Zheng Bo.

Video screenings by Rumiko Hagiwara, Hu Wei, Kristiina Koskentola, Tuomas A. Laitnen, Liu Yujia, Sascha Pohle, Miguel Angel Rego Robles (DAI, 2016), Song Yi, Tian Xiaolei, and Yang Jian.

Moderator: Kristiina Koskentola
Goethe Institute China, 798, Beijing
Address: Originality Square, 798 Art District,
Jiuxianqiao Road 2, Chaoyang District Beijing
Dates and times: 
30 September 2017 11:00 – 18:00
1 October 2017 11:00 – 16:30
Bi-lingual (English and Chinese) with simultaneous translation
Reservations (to secure a place and a headphone for translation):