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<nettime-ann> SAVE THE DATE Interdisciplinary Conference: Nonhuman Agents in Art, Culture and Theory, 24-26 November 2017


International Interdisciplinary Conference

Nonhuman Agents in Art, Culture and Theory


24 - 26 November, 2017

Art Laboratory Berlin
Theatre Hall, Prinzenallee 58, 13359 Berlin (Across the street from the Art Laboratory Berlin exhibition space)

Registration required:
3-day ticket: 40/ 25 EUR;
 1-day ticket: 20/ 12 EUR

Nonhuman Agents
takes into account recent philosophical approaches which question anthropocentrism. These discourses emphasize the nonhuman perspectives through object-oriented ontology (Harman and Meillasoux); discuss nonhuman / human encounters (Haraway); postulate a posthumanism (Braidotti); and examine various posthuman performative strategies such as intra-acting (Barad). A new 'de-centring' lets us draw our attention to a reality that can no longer be described in purely anthropocentric parameters

As a theoretical addition to our ongoing exhibition series Nonhuman Agents (June- December 2017, Art Laboratory Berlin, along with our partners, The Institute for Arts and Media, University of Potsdam, will bring together international artists, scholars, and scientists from different disciplines to discuss artistic, philosophical, ethical and scientific approaches to nonhuman agency. Previous positions from our Nonhuman Subjectivities series (2016-17) will also be included.

The conference will start with a reflection on post-anthropocentrism by redefining intelligence (human, animal and plant intelligence), agency and sentience. An in-depth consideration will include the role of fungi: mycelium, the Internet of trees and yeasts. Microbial agency will be explored via the phenomenon of quorum sensing and biofilms, proposing a micro-subjectivity. There will be contributions on the microbiome and holobiome, taking into consideration the human as nonhuman. We want to open up a discussion to endosymbiosis and sympoiesis, reflecting symbiotic relationships, horizontal gene transfer and the role of Lynn Margulis in 21st century Biology and Science and Technology Studies. Finally, the conference will discuss nonhuman perspectives under threat and propose an ethology for the techno-scientific era.

(Tentative, as of 8 October, 2017) 

Friday, 24 November, 2017

9:00: Registration

Regine Rapp, Christian de Lutz (Art Laboratory Berlin)
Welcome and Introduction

Other Subjectivities. Redefining Intelligence, Agency and Sentience

Rahma Khazam (Aesthetics, Art Theory, Paris)
When the Sardine Can Looks back...

Desiree Förster (Media Ecology, Institute for Arts and Media, University of Potsdam)
Environments of Shared Concern

Maja Smrekar (Artist, Ljubljana)
The Wolf-human-dog Continuum in Light of K-9_topology

12:30  Lunch break

Fungal Perspectives. From the Viewpoint of a Mushroom
Saša Spacal (Artist, Ljubljana)
Mycohuman Relationships. Fungi as Interspecies Connectors, Companion Species and Human Symbionts

Mirjan Švagelj (Microbiologist, Aceis Bio, Ljubljana)
Mushrooms as Teachers. Mushrooms in Human Societies

Vera Meyer (Applied and Molecular Microbiology, Institute of Biotechnology, Technical University Berlin)
Fungal Biotechnology – What We Do with Fungi (and What Fungi Do With Us)

15:30  Break

Plant Intelligence

Špela Petric (Scientist & artist, Amsterdam/ Ljubljana)
The Vegetal, Intimately

Joana Bergmann (Institute of Biology, Free University Berlin)
Hand in Hand. Root Morphological Traits and Their Mediation by Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

17:30 Break


Monika Bakke (Institute of Philosophy, Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan)
The Force of Radical Openness: Multispecies Alliances Beyond the Biological

Reception at Art Laboratory Berlin, on view current exhibition Nonhuman Networks (
More information )

Saturday, 25 November, 2017

Microbial Agency. Proposing Micro-Subjectivity

Anna Dumitriu (Artist, Brighton)
Make Do and Mend

Regine Hengge  (Institute of Biology, Dep. of Microbiology, Humboldt University Berlin)
Biofilms - Invisible Cities of Microbes from the Petri Dish to the Human Body

Ingeborg Reichle (Media Theory, University of Applied Arts Vienna)
Identity/ Privacy in Public Spaces: Genetic Surveillance in Contemporary Art

12:30  Lunch break

Human as Nonhuman. Microbiome and holobiome

François Joseph Lapointe (Artist and microbiologist, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Montreal)
Performative Microbiome Experiments

Tarsh Bates (Artist, SymbioticA, University of Western Australia, Perth)
On Being a Microbioartist: Making Art in a Microbiology Lab

Regine Rapp (Art Theory, Curatorial Research, Art Laboratory Berlin)
Nonhuman Subjectivities. Artistic Strategies for a Multispecies Performativity

15:30 Break

Endosymbiosis and Sympoiesis

Rachel Mayeri (Artist, Media Studies, Harvey Mudd College, Los Angeles)
Orfeo Nel Canale Alimentare

Heather Barnett (Artist, Researcher, Central St. Martins, London)
Many-Headed: Co-creation across Scales and Species

Daniel Renato Lammel (Institute of Biology, Free University Berlin)
Endosymbiosis and "Love Stories" between Plants and Microorganisms

Laura Benítez Valero (Institute of Philosophy, Autonomous University of Barcelona)

Biosophy and Mutagenesis. Towards an Alien Sym_poiesis

18:15 Break

Nonhuman Agents. A report
Alanna Lynch, Margherita Pevere, Theresa Schubert, Sarah Hermanutz, Heather Barnett and plan b (Sophia New & Daniel Belasco Rogers)

Sunday, 26 November, 2017

Nonhuman Perspectives Under Threat

Mary Maggic Tsang (Artist, Vienna)
From Molecular Colonization to Molecular Collaborations

David Sepkoski (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin) 
Are We Experiencing a 'Sixth Extinction' and Does it Matter?

12.30 Break

Beyond the Animal as Machine. Ethology in the Age of Technoscience

Birgit Schneider (Media Ecology, Institute for Arts and Media, University of Potsdam)
Through the Eye of an Animal. Uexküll’s Perceptual Worlds in 360°

Robertina Šebjanic (Artist, Ljubljana)
Sounds of Troubled Worlds = Songs for Serenity

Vivian Xu (Artist, Designer, Shanghai)
The Silkworm Project

15:00 Final Discussion - END 

Current exhibition at Art Laboratory Berlin:

Nonhuman Networks
Heather Barnett | Saša Spacal, Mirjan Švagelj & Anil Podgornik


Exhibition runs: 30 September - 26 November, 2017
Fri - Sun, 2 - 6 PM and by appointment

Extended opening hours on conference days:  
24/25 Novmber: 12 - 8 PM
26 November: 12 - 6PM

More information at:

Upcoming Event at Art Laboratory Berlin:

Sarah Hermanutz | ill-at-ease seep
28 October 2017
In her Lecture Ill-at-ease seep, Sarah Hermanutz discusses the relationship between humans and wetlands, an ongoing theme of her artistic research. Wetlands are one of the ecologically most diverse and important ecosystems for life on earth, but in the last century more than 50% have been destroyed.
More information )

*Banner images: Left: Theresa Schubert, still from the workshop The forestal psyche, August 2017, photo:Tim Deussen/Studio Deussen; center: Robertina Šebjanic: Aurelia 1+Hz / proto viva generator, Installation with living system, 2014, photo: Hana Jošic; right Saša Spacal with Mirjan Švagelj and Anil Podgornik, Mycophone_unison, Responsive installation: electronics, sound, and biological material, 2013; Petri dish, detail of installation. Photo: Tim Deussen/Studio Deussen;  **Exhibition images: Left: Saša Spacal, Mirjan Švagelj and Anil Podgornik, Myconnect, Installation, 2014, Damjan Švarc / Kapelica gallery photo archive; right Heather Barnett, The Physarum Experiments Study No. 022, Film still, 2016  

With the generous support of:


Media partner:

Cooperation partners:

  Institute for Arts and Media, University of Potsdam

PA 58

Regine Rapp, Christian de Lutz
Prinzenallee 34, 13359 Berlin


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