Mittwoch, 15. Januar 2020, 10:00 - 20:00 iCal

Biodiversity and the Cultural Landscape

 

Aula am Campus der Universität | mumok cinema
Spitalgasse 2-4 / Hof 1.11 | Museumsplatz 1, 1090 | 107 Wien

Symposium


Weitere Termine

Dienstag, 14. Januar 2020, 19:00 - 22:00

In recent years, the loss of biodiversity has increased at an alarming rate. It also led to the formation of interstate organizations such as IPBES focusing on conserving the variety of species. However, since Earth has undergone at least five mass extinctions, why should we act now? And even if we do, we need to ask: how should we act?

In the realm of today’s sciences, the arts and humanities are usually not privileged to any sort of authority or credible source of knowledge when it comes to biodiversity. Yet, this separation of the arts and hard sciences only emerged in the late-nineteenth century with the rise of new technological advancements, precipitating an epistemic shift in knowledge production. After the exposure of the conceptions of nature and biology as social constructs developed across generations, there is an urge to renegotiate these terms and update them for the 21st century. In order to do so, we are turning toward contemporary cultural and activist practices that steadily make biodiversity a subject of discussion. Merging approaches from life sciences and cultural studies through the deconstruction of the binary opposition Nature/Culture equals embracing the complex and large-scale hybridity of biodiversity. For this symposium we invite researchers, scholars, artists, activists, and politicians to come together on a public forum at the University of Vienna and discuss new approaches for human and non-human co-existence.

Contemporary Matters is a student-initiated platform launched in 2018 raising critical awareness on the role of “the contemporary” in the increasingly transdisciplinary field of art history. We believe that biodiversity constitutes a multifaceted challenge on a global scale. The endangerment thereof impacts all classes, groups, professions and nations, thus highlighting the entanglement of human and non-human agents in our contemporary world and the necessity to put these various affected actors in conversation with each other. In fact, by facilitating an exchange between rather uncustomary combinations of perspectives on the subject of biodiversity, we can perform (bio-)diversity in the very structure of the conference.

Some of the questions we are hoping to discuss include: How may human intervention increase biodiversity? Can there be such a thing as peaceful co-existence between humans and the environment, especially in late capitalism? Can we even assume that the loss of biodiversity has a negative impact on the environment? How can we re-evaluate the colonial background of the life sciences? How can we include indigenous voices and incorporate their knowledge as a source for combating the loss of biodiversity? What kind of artistic positions may help us grasp the magnitude of the global environmental crisis?

 

On the evening before, we are happy to inaugurate the conference with a screening of the film "Water Makes Us Wet - An Ecosexual Adventure" by Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle as well as a subsequent panel discussion at 7pm at mumok kino, Museumsplatz 1 1070 Vienna. More infos on www.mumok.at/en


Veranstalter

Contemporary Matters


Kontakt

Sophie Publig
Institut für Kunstgeschichte
+43 676 5579679
sophie.publig@univie.ac.at