Speakers: Natasha Myers, Espen Sommer Eide, Thought Collider
Location: De Brandweerkantine
Time:  7-9 pm

We tend to think of nature as something that is outside of us, as a broad entanglement of things that silently undergoes our actions and observation. But what if we see ourselves as part of an environment that senses us as much as it is sensed by us? Scientists increasingly find proof of communication networks, relations between plants, animals and humans that only few of us are aware of. Plants communicate the attack of caterpillars to other plants that will immediately produce chemical toxins. Trees communicate with each other through their roots. Even humans seem to communicate in a sensory environment in which plants and animals simultaneously take part. Natasha Myers explores the “affective ecologies” that take shape between plants and people. Espen Sommer Eide tracks the sensory behavior of animals. Thought Collider explores the relation between smell and thought process, by tracking molecules involved in the transfer of disease.

Natasha Myers (b. 1974) is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University, the convenor of the Politics of Evidence Working Group, director of the Plant Studies Collaboratory, co-organizer of Toronto’s Technoscience Salon, and co-founder of the Write2Know Project. Her first book won the 2016 Robert K. Merton Prize from the American Sociological Association’s Science, Knowledge and Technology Section. Rendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter (Duke UP, 2015) is an ethnography of an interdisciplinary group of scientists who make living substance come to matter at the molecular scale. Myers’ current projects span investigations of the arts and sciences of vegetal sensing and sentience, the politics and aesthetics of garden enclosures in a time of climate change, and most recently, she has launched a long-term ethnography experimenting with the arts of ecological attention in an ancient oak savannah in a large urban park in Toronto. “Becoming Sensor”, her research-collaboration with award-winning dancer and filmmaker, Ayelen Liberona can be viewed here.

Espen Sommer Eide (b.1972) is a musician and artist from Tromsø, currently based in Bergen. With the projects Alog and Phonophani he is among the most prominent representatives of experimental electronic music from Norway, with a string of releases on the label Rune Grammofon. He has had solo exhibitions Dead Language Poetry at Bergen Kunsthall 2013 and The Weed Archive at Nikolaj Kunsthal 2015. Eide has also been involved in a series of art projects associated with topics relating to the Barents and Arctic regions of Northern Norway and Russia, including commissions for the Neiden museum (‘Language Memory’) and the University of Tromsø (‘Material Vision – Silent Reading’), Dark Ecology (Sonic Acts).

Thought Collider is an art, design and research practice exploring metabolic processes, bodies and spaces. Comprising the work of Mike Thompson (UK, 1981) and Susana Cámara Leret (ES, 1982), they conduct experiments and processual artworks spanning various media, generating experiential insights from the anecdotal or absurd: lived experiences that confront the norm by countering the thing-like nature of organisms, objects and places. Their work materialises in the form of participatory workshops, talks and exhibitions with regular collaborators including The Laboratory of Entomology at Wageningen University Research Centre and International Flavours & Fragrances, amongst others.