Critical Studies Read-In Series Closing Event: Other Species
Friday, 24 January 2020, 15:00 – 18:00
Since 2013, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and the Willem de Kooning Academy collaboratively organise the Read-In Series for the WdKA Critical Studies study path. After five editions of Read-In focusing on amongst others emancipation, feminist philosophy, gender theory, postcolonial awareness, and issues of identity and love, a new realisation emerged. All the issues mentioned were of human concern. But what does capitalism do to other entities – animals, trees, mushrooms, and our climate as a whole? Is emancipation reserved solely for people? If we fight racism and sexism, why do we accept speciesism still? If we care about inclusivity and respect, why not care about and care for the vulnerability and precarity of other species than ‘just us’? Does this clear distinction of human vs. non-human, even fully exist?
With Donna Haraway, Bruno Latour, Isabelle Stengers, Robert Garner and Anna Tsing, the students read and discussed ideas, notions and concepts such as the Anthropocene, Gaia, Nature, Inter-species and Companion Species. Following, the three groups of students paired up with guest tutors Sami Hammana & Ioana Tomici, Nathanja van den Heuvel, and Nina Glockner. Collectively they present to you the three ‘chapters’ for the Read-In 2019-20 closing event: Other Species.
Let’s talk about the weather. In this weather report, our news team will address the state of the Earth. We invite you to travel with us in between different narratives of climate change. The constantly shifting conditions of the weather have led the news team to come up with different vocabularies that allow for new perspectives to engage with the Earth. Bring your umbrella and sunglasses.
Artists: Ioana Tomici & Sami Hammana with Floortje Derks, Natasja Bökkerink, Lesley Blom, Lianne de Jeu, Wolfer Freijsen, Leonie van Dusschoten
Hour of the Non-human
Does the pig have a say, in turning into a meal? What would the world look like if non-human species had human proxies and democracy would be based on the system of 'mini-publics'? Is it possible to establish relationships with companion species without merely anthropomorphizing?
'Hour of the Non-human' presents a fictional trial, inspired by the writings of Robert Garner; an attempt to involve the audience into the mind of ‚the other'. Will we actually be able to make a just and reasonable decision?
Artists: Nina Glockner with Esther Bakker, Nathan Joshua Bastien, Madelief van de Beek, Robin van Bree, Jamie Deen, Kristy den Dulk, Dominic Mulder, Luni Jančoraitė
Other Voices: a Radioplay
Certainly, we know the Earth is not simple for us. Certainly, we all know that we, humans, are radically dependent on all those other critters, organic and inorganic matters with whom we populate the world with. And yet, care for the Earth eventually ends up being about us, our human survival and flourishing. Perhaps our only chance of survival is when we envision and think the Earth without us when we rewrite history from the perspective of all those other voices with whom we live with. In this radio play, you will listen to the sounds of the sun, the cry of freshly cut grass and trees dialoguing their needs. But note, this radio play is not for you.
Artists: Nathanja van den Heuvel with Lot van Teylingen, Younes Laaguidi, Tristan Kingdon, Bobbie Wagenaar, Oscar Schenk, Daphne de Haas
About the Read-In Series: Since 2013, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and the Willem de Kooning Academy collaboratively organise the yearly Read-In Series for the WdKA Critical Studies fourth year minor. Students are encouraged to sharpen their personal vision on the social relevance of art and culture through confrontation with theories, concepts and analytical methodologies from the philosophical tradition of ‘critical theory’. This year’s Read-In Series consists of close-reading sessions and presentations guided by Docus van der Made and Esma Moukhtar, followed by a closing event.
Cover image by Lot van Teylingen and Bobbie Wagenaar