Journal
Insights, perspectives,
actions & impulses

Gabriele Gramelsberger: Towards Wetware Computing

DNA is seen as a natural form of infor­mation storage, and cells are interpreted as living programs that have been suc­cessfully replicating code for ages. Both DNA and cells are increasingly used as wetware computers — computers made of organic material. DNA is seen as a natural form of infor­mation storage, and cells are interpreted as living programs that have been suc­cessfully replicating code for ages. Both DNA and cells are increasingly used as wetware computers — computers made of organic material.

Emilia Sanabria & Kaushik Sunder Rajan

Fluid substances are extracted, isolated and modified by researchers in laboratories. Yet they do not achieve their intended effects in controlled laboratory settings but rather within living bodies, before eventually leaching out into the environment. Emilia Sanabria’s talk proposes that it is necessary to think pharmaceutical consumptions alongside these ecolo­gical flows of pharmaceutical matter through human and animal bodies that do not end with the skin surface. Kaushik Sunder Rajan is Professor of Anthropology and Deputy Director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago. His current research covers the global interdepend­encies and changes in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, which he describes by the term ›bio­-capital‹.

Luiza Prado de O. Martins: A Topography of Excesses

In her most recent artistic research, Luiza Prado de O. Martins investigates the technologies of birth control in relation to colonial processes in the production of race, gender and sexua­lity. She discusses to what extent the excesses attributed to marginalized social groups by eurocentric notions of the body, knowledge, sexuality and subjectivity are fundamentally tied to colonial acts of violence.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg: Artist Talk

The transdisciplinary artist and edu­cator Heather Dewey­Hagborg is known for her critical and research-­based practice, which also incorporates biohacking. She garnered international attention with her biopolitical art pro­ject ›Stranger Visions‹ (2012—14), which consists of a series of portrait sculp­tures based on the analysis of the DNA found in discarded objects, such as hair, cigarettes and gum. With her ex­perimental film documentary ›T3511‹, shown in the festival exhibition, she continues her look at the genetic evaluation of seemingly anony­mous biomaterials, which then become a source of erotic obsession. In this artist talk Dewey­-Hagborg discusses her approaches and current projects.

Senthuran Varatharajah: Ecotopia

In May 2019 the author Senthuran Varatharajah developed the work ›Ecotopia‹ for Burg Hülshoff together with the rock band RÁN and the architect and scenographer Alper Kazokoglu. It is an installation, text performance and music show at the same time. Varatharajah has explored the historical roots of ecology and its connection to colonialism.

Jens Hauser / Aliens in Green / Špela Petrič : Microperformativity and Biomediality

In the framework of: Blue Skies – Bodies in Trouble (10. – 14.07.2019)  The growing impact of technology on life as we know it brings changes to our bodies, our communities and the environment—what can we do? How can we understand and shape these changes collectively? ›Blue Skies‹ is a festival series conceived to run over several years that invites us to think together. The first edition took place at PACT from July 10 to July 14 under the title ›Bodies in Trouble‹ encompassing performances and contemporary art works, panels, discussions and workshops.

knowbotiq: Deep Access – Molecular Joy and Abstract Sex

In their most recent projects the artist duo knowbotiq examines political land­ scapes, focusing on algorithmic governmentalities, libidinous and affective economies, and postcolonial violence. Their work reveals the previously unparalleled circulation of biocapital and knowledge as posed against the immobility of the bodies that exist in precarious conditions and lack visibility and advocacy.

Emilia Sanabria: Speaking Plants – decolonial perspectives on ayahuasca, animism and healing

Plants come with their worlds. Accord­ing to indigenous epistemologies, plants can be sentient beings, impart wisdom, have agency and intention. Various forms of care are extended to plants. They form part of kinship structures, and their genealogies may be entan­gled with those of the humans who domesticate and propagate them.

Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky: Google_Baby and the Concept of Life

In 2017 media scholar Astrid Deuber­-Mankowsky published an essay on the film ›Google_Baby‹ which deals with the globalization of pregnancy as documented in film. In a brief talk she offers insights into her research on these issues and subsequently engages in a discussion with Fabian Saavedra­ Lara about fundamental questions associated with the different concepts of life reflected in the artistic and theoretical contributions to the festival.