On 30th September and 1st October 2021 we had a pleasure to host the event forming part of the State of the Art Network (SOTAN) activities, which took place on the island of Ornö in Stockholm Archipelago. It had a hybrid format (with eight participants on location and others taking part via Zoom) and was open to all SOTAN members as well as registered non-SOTAN participants.
SEASIDE ARTS AND LOW-TROPHIC IMAGINARIES, Location: Ornö, Stockholm Archipelago, and online.
All through the extended history of Earth, the coastline has been a zone of unrest, where waves and tides have forged life and land on this planet. Oceanic algae, once terraforming the Earth into a breathable planet, still produce most of our oxygen. Today, beaches and oceans are haunted by plastic waste, eutrophication and diminishing biological diversity. Kelp forests and mussel beds (and all the other species that depend on them) are receding with the warming waters of climate change. Yet, as also remarked by late marine biologist Rachel Carson, the edge of the sea remains a strange and beautiful place. We think it is a sanctuary for co-creation and worldly re-imaginings. The marine wrack zone, a boundary area between sea and land, hosts low-trophic species, like mussels and seaweeds, and it harbours marine hope. Like the common bladder wrack in the Baltic Sea, it mitigates the eutrophication of the sea and provides shelter for all kinds of creatures and creativities.
The State of the Art Network (SOTAN) mid-term event SEASIDE ARTS and LOW TROPHIC IMAGINARIES, hosted by The Posthumanities Hub and The Eco- and Bioart Lab, welcomes artistic and scientific entanglements with the environmental humanities to the seaside. This workshop invites salinity to brackish times by bringing together environmental engineers (like bladder wrack), sea garden activists, artists, feminist blue humanities scholars, marine biologists and those with local know-how for a situated encounter by the edge of the sea. The aim of the event is to re-tool our oceanic imaginary with insights and creative suggestions for how humans can be a more caring and attentive ecological force for multispecies futures by the edge of the Baltic Sea.
State of the Art Network (SOTAN), initiated and headed by Bioart Society/SOLU in Finland, is a Nordic-Baltic transdisciplinary network of artists, practitioners, researchers, and organisations who have come together to discuss the role, responsibility, and potential of art and culture in the Anthropocene. By developing creative practices, transdisciplinary collaborations, and public engagement, the network aims to create resilience and concrete actions for living the change in culture, economy, and environment, and to find concrete hands-on methods to deal with the Anthropocene and environmental crisis. The network wants to strengthen competencies in remote hosting and participation as well as practical sustainability, which will be applied in the production of the activities and throughout the network: https://bioartsociety.fi/projects/state-of-the-art-network
The Posthumanities Hub, partner and co-pi of SOTAN, is a longstanding feminist research group and multi-university platform for more-than-human humanities. It brings art and science to the humanities, and transformational insights to the people. In the interface of Swedish-international networking, the Hub has pioneered feminist cyborg studies, technohumanities, medical humanities, environmental humanities and recently taken a turn towards the marine fringes. Fostering doctoral careers, academic activism and societal commitment, the Hub has recently spawned two sub-groups, one of them is The Eco-and Bioart Lab. https://posthumanitieshub.net/
The Eco- and Bioart Lab connects artists, artistic researchers and other practitioners, as well as doctoral students whose practice and research focus on art and the environment in their broadest understanding. EBL opens up a transdisciplinary space, where artistic practice converges with philosophy, cultural theory, art studies, visual culture, queer death studies and posthumanities in synergy and as equally legitimate voices. Web: https://liu.se/en/research/the-eco-and-bioart-lab
The recording of the online parts of the event can be watched on YouTube.