More-than-human humanities research group!

Author: Jesse Peterson Page 1 of 7

“Whose Reality? Sensation, Representation, and Poetics of ‘extended’ environments via Artistic Research”: a Summative Report

From June 1 – June 2, 2023, practitioners in environmental science, digital environmental humanities, and artistic research met for the workshop, “Whose Reality? Sensation, Representation, and Poetics of ‘extended’ environments via Artistic Research” at Kungliga Konsthögskolan in Stockholm (KKH), Sweden.  Organized by Jesse Peterson (LiU) and Benjamin Gerdes (KKH), we spent the two days discussing and reflecting upon the intersections between our respective efforts occurring through research subjects (e.g., sense, cognition, and human relations to environment and technology), methods (e.g., field work, data collection and mediation), and technologies, with special attention upon digitisation advancements in video and sound that produce “extended” realities. Such extended reality (XR) technologies—such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), 360° video and sound—are becoming more and more commonplace in artistic and scholarly methods, either as tools for data collection or as vehicles for digitized representations. Thus, discussions around the conceptualization and implementation of these tools across disciplines invites critical reflections and discussion. Within this, one particular point of emphasis concerned the possibility of developing a mutually beneficial dialogue between researchers interested in communicating about extended fieldwork and/or large data set acquisition with extra-academic audiences, on the one hand, and artistic researchers’ considerations of formal mediation and audience encounter on the other.

Spurring these discussions, we created and were led through an algorithmic composition process for immersive music at KKH’s listening room, a specially engineered space designed to dampen noise and laced with cutting edge audio equipment. We explored the sounds of the human circulatory and digestive systems and discussed the discourse around arctic “silence” as commodity, resource, and auditory politics. We also were introduced to multiple ways environmental science works to produce numbers and how these numbers come to mean in wider society, the difficulties in translating research data into artistic data, and the ways by which the environment as media aids us in understanding environmental aesthetic forms and political values. To wrap up day one, we discussed the overlaps between disciplines and how thinking through XR mediums may help to forge and develop into alternative aims that transcend scientific and artistic production.

On the second day of this workshop, we explored how virtual spaces require “dirt” for their representation of reality to become convincing and how power and narrative take shape in the relation between program and user through a VR underwater excursion as part of the annual student exhibition at KKH. Through films dealing with Svalbard—the experience of this place in bodily and formalistic ways—we discussed how imaginaries become embedded in audiovisual materials and how technologies shape the sorts of worlds they come to represent. Also, we looked at the use of plants in the offices of digital platform companies, meteorological data and its ability to represent place, and VR performances to highlight how theory, methodology, and art can challenge future visions. 

Beyond the presentations and discussions, we also engaged with XR through a guided tour of the Laurie Anderson exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm and an ethnographic VR session that explored the uptake and implementation of VR for and by public audiences. We wish to thank the guides who led us in these excursions into these different realities.

As a result of this workshop, we agreed to develop these conversations through a series of informal discussions to take place in the future. If you are interested in participating, please join us by sending your information to or

Acknowledgement: This workshop is the second of three workshops supported through the networking project “Extending Realities: Pioneering Visual, Acoustic and Sensory Technologies in Transdisciplinary Research” and funded by The Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS), which aims to build networks among scholars in the Nordic countries.

Mineral Matterings: Encountering Minerals through design w/ Petra Lilja

Petra Lilja, 80% seminar
Mineral Matterings: Encountering Minerals through design

5th June 2023, 13:00-16:00
Room E1, Konstfack and Zoom

Doctoral student on the KTD Programme

Discussant: Dr. Alexandra R. Toland
Date: 5th June, 13:00 – 16:00
Hybrid location: Room E1, Konstfack / Zoom

Seminar title: Mineral Matterings: Encountering Minerals through design
This thesis problematizes an extractivist relation to matter underpinned by dualisms that separates humans from ‘nature’ and which allows for the treatment of matter as mere resource to be exploited. I suggest that critical mapping –exposing design’s invisibilities in terms of abstract and distanced sites of extraction and production– can help diagnosing and understanding this destructive kind of anthropocentrism that underpins the design field as well, and Western modernity and culture at large. Creative approaches like attentively encountering other-than-human worlds and exploring minerals as agential matter and trans-corporeal enactments, emerged in my search to understand mineral matter otherwise. These approaches were developed through two design projects: Mineral Walk and Creative Critical Clay, both situated in sites of past, present or future mineral extraction. In short, the design projects explore the complexities of the extractivist mode of existence as well as the frictions and potentials of adaptively adjusting towards more relational understandings of matter and materiality, with the aim for design practice to be part of more life-affirming systems on Earth.

Petra Lilja
Petra Lilja is an industrial designer and researcher drawing from both art and science in her work. She is affiliated researcher at The Posthumanities Hub and member of Design + Posthumanism Network, engaging with critical posthumanism and feminist new materialism via her design practice, research and teaching. She previously worked as design lecturer and program director of the Design + Change Programs at Linnaeus University. For four years she ran an eponymous galley in Malmö displaying art, design and research. She is a member of the jury of the annual Swedish Design award UNG and its equivalent in South Korea.

Dr. Alexandra R. Toland
Dr. Alexandra Toland is Associate Professor of Arts and Research at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in Germany, where she directs the Ph.D. program in art and design. She earned her MFA from the Dutch Art Institute of the Netherlands and PhD in landscape planning from the Technical University of Berlin. Alex has published widely on artistic (research) practices as they relate to soil protection, air pollution and the Anthropocene, including the co-edited book, Field to Palette – Dialogues on Soil and Art in the Anthropocene (Taylor and Francis, 2018). She co-chaired the German Soil Science Society’s (DBG) Commission 8 Soils in Education and Society from 2011 to 2015, having organized multiple art exhibitions and film screening events, and is currently the co-chair of the Commission on the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Soils of the International Soil Science Society.

To receive seminar materials in advance, contact Petra Lilja

CFP: Values at Sea: Marine Science Studies Meets Blue Humanities

For a full description:

Our colleagues, Elis Jones, Jose A. Cañada, and Sabina Leonelli, are guest editing a topical collection, “Values at Sea: Marine Science Studies Meets Blue Humanities,” for the journal History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences.

According to them: If you are interested in contributing to this Topical Collection, please send an abstract proposal (300 words) and brief biographical sketch (300 words) to Elis Jones (erj205 [at] by the 30th of June 2023. Guest editors will inform about abstract acceptance in Mid-July and invite authors to submit a full paper by 1st of December 2023.

Webinar Thursday 13th April: “The concept of ROMA and posthumanist robots”

Warm welcome to The Posthumanities Hub & The Eco- and Bioart Lab Webinar “The concept of ROMA and posthumanist robots”
with Dr. Tanja Kubes and Prof.Thomas Reinhardt

When: 13th April 2023, 13:15 – 15:00 CEST 
Where: on Zoom

In recent decades, biosciences have re-defined and re-divided “life” (βίος) in numerous ways. However, despite all modifications, the semantic scope of the term has remained largely untouched. The “living” still encompasses the two realms of procaryotes and eukaryotes, the latter further subdivided into several kingdoms (plants, fungi, animals, etc.). Humans may no longer be thought of as the logical telos of evolution, but their special position in the whole of nature is rarely questioned. 

Recent developments in the field of artificial intelligence have profoundly challenged the underlying naturalistic ontology. Drawing from neo-animistic and perspectivist approaches in anthropology and STS, our approach of a relational ontology of multi-species assemblages (ROMA) breaks with dualistic conceptions of man and nature and proposes a monistic perspective instead – one that explores the potential of new forms of interconnectedness and rhizomatic entanglements between humans and a world transcending the boundaries between species and material spheres.

Dr. Tanja Kubes is a sociologist at the FU Berlin and researches human-robot relationships. As an expert on socio-technical topics and gender studies she worked as a researcher and lecturer at TU Munich, TU Berlin, TU Graz, University of Vechta, and LMU Munich. In addition to gender studies and science and technology studies (STS), she also focuses on STEM, digitalisation, AI, sociology of the body, autoethnography, ethnology of the senses, anthropology beyond the human, and trans- and posthumanism.

Thomas Reinhardt is professor for Social and Cultural Anthropology at LMU Munich. His research interests cover nature/cultures, new ontologies, semiotics, morphology, and history of science and consciousness.

PH Webinar: Ecologies of Death, Ecologies of Mourning vol. II: A Roundtable

Welcome to The Posthumanities Hub & The Eco- and Bioart Lab Webinar 

“Ecologies of Death, Ecologies of Mourning vol. II: A Roundtable” 

30th March 2023, 13:15 – 15:00 CEST 

Where: on Zoom 

Our starting point for the international symposium “Ecologies of Death, Ecologies of Mourning: vol. I” (taking place on 23rd March 2023 in Norrköping, SE) is the context of planetary environmental disruption, slow and abrupt environmental violence, and the ways in which ecological, more-than-human dimensions of death have traditionally been underplayed in public debates.  During the symposium, we emphasise that what is urgently needed – now more than ever – is the systematic problematisation of the planetary-scale mechanisms of annihilation of the more-than-human worlds in their philosophical, socio-cultural, ethico-political and very material dimensions. 

In this follow-up roundtable, or volume II of “Ecologies of Death, Ecologies of Mourning”, the panellists: Prof. Patricia MacCormack (Anglia Ruskin University, UK), Dr Margherita Pevere (independent artist, DE/IT) and Dr Marietta Radomska (Linköping University, SE) will zoom in on the potential, role, (im)possibilities, urgencies and frictions of artistic, cultural and philosophical practices and praxes linked to ecologies of death, care, grief and mourning.  



Prof. Patricia MacCormack (Anglia Ruskin University, UK) 

Dr Margherita Pevere (independent artist, DE/IT) 

Dr Marietta Radomska (Linköping University, SE) 


Patricia MacCormack, PhD, is Professor of Continental Philosophy at Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge. She has published extensively on philosophy, feminism, queer and monster theory, animal abolitionist activism, ethics, art and horror cinema. She is the author of Cinesexuality (Routledge 2008) and Posthuman Ethics (Routledge 2012) and the editor of The Animal Catalyst(Bloomsbury 2014), Deleuze and the Animal (EUP 2017), Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Cinema (Continuum 2008) and Ecosophical Aesthetics (Bloomsbury 2018). Her new book is The Ahuman Manifesto: Activisms for the End of the Anthropocene. She is currently a Leverhulme Research Fellow researching death activism. 

Dr Margherita Pevere is an artist and researcher working across biological arts and performance with a distinctive visceral signature. Her inquiry hybridizes biotechnology, ecology, queer and death studies to create artworks that trail today’s ecological complexity. Her body of work is a blooming garden crawling with genetically edited bacteria, cells, sex hormones, microbial biofilm, blood, slugs, growing plants and decomposing remains. She is affiliated to the Eco- and Bioart Lab and co-founded the artists’ group Fronte Vacuo. Web: Www.margheritapevere.comand   

Marietta Radomska, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at Linköping University; director of The Eco- and Bioart Lab; co-founder of Queer Death Studies Network;member of The Posthumanities Hub; co-editor of the book series ‘Focus on More-than-human Humanities’ at Routledge (with C. Åsberg); and the PI of ‘Ecological Grief, Crisis Imaginaries and Resilience in Nordic Lights’ (2022-26; funded by FORMAS). She works at the intersection of posthumanities, environmental humanities, continental philosophy, queer death studies, visual culture and contemporary art; and has published in Australian Feminist StudiesSomatechnicsEnvironment and Planning E and Artnodes, among others. Web: 

FB event:

Artwork included in the poster: Margherita Pevere, Semina Aeternitatis (2018)

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