28–30 June 2019
FIELDWORK is a 2.5 day discursive, residential summer school at Hospitalfield in Arbroath on the East Coast of Scotland. Between 50 and 80 participants stay at Hospitalfield, camping in the grounds, for a programme of presentations, workshops, discussions and outings. It is an intensive experience, which brings people together to think about the central theme or question. The programme is connected with visual art practice and theory including how this intersects with other disciplines. Each year we invite an artist, organiser or curator to programme the Summer School.
In 2019, after an open call selection process, we invited Anastasia Philimonos and Panos Kompatsiaris to programme the Summer School titled Wild Orchards Will Overgrow Us at Hospitalfield from 28 – 30 June 2019.
Wild Orchards Will Overgrow Us explores questions of ethics, politics, and aesthetics in human relations with animals and other nonhuman worlds.
The programme includes contributions from:
Talk by philosopher Keti Chukhrov (Moscow and London)
Workshop by artist Sybille Neumeyer & curator and anthropologist Tahani Nadim (Berlin)
Talk by artist Bryony Dunne (Athens and Dublin)
Collective reading with writer and editor Filipa Ramos (London)
Interactive lecture by anthropologist Karin Ahlberg (Stockholm and Chicago)
Live art work by artist Scott Rogers (Glasgow)
Game Deep Unlearning created by Sascha Pohflepp & Chris Woebken (2018)
Screening of Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (1988)
Keti Chukhrov’s talk Post-humanism, Technocentrism and the Collapse of Secularity dwelled on the theoretical and social motives of trans, post and in-humanisms, that acquired visibility in the recent 20 years in humanities, natural sciences, technologies, art and culture. Tahani Nadim and Sybille Neumeyer’s workshop entangled histories took the form of a ‘site-sensitive environmental reading’, consisting of a series of readings that relate ‘situated stories’ to ‘entangled histories’ and allowed participants to actively weave together environment, histories, texts, bodies, with the geological history of the Arbroath area; Filipa Ramos’ Wild Words was a collective reading session of artists’ texts about animals. Focusing on poetry and storytelling, the session relied on participant’s suggestions of texts and references in order to draft a shared map of how artists have been using, bending, expanding and testing language as a method to understand, become or imagine animals. Bryony Dunne discussed a selection of her own and other artists’ work, interlinking the impact of occidental expansionism on ecology and human, animal and plant migration. Speculating on the possibility of a hybrid knowledge that combines human and animal perspectives in an effort of building an inter-species solidarity in the face of environmental catastrophe. Chris Woebken and Sascha Pohflepp’s Deep Unlearning is a playful self-alienation card game that aims to a tiny measure of access to the ways of knowledge of the not-us. Chris and Sascha kindly made the cards and instructions available to us. Karin Ahlberg’s interactive lecture considered the idea of Invasive Alien Species (ISP) in relation to Lesseption migration, the Suez Canal and the wider thalassopolitics of governance. Glasgow based artist Scott Rogers created a new live work titled ‘Proposal for a Hunt Without Killing’ to examine the complex deployment of hunting techniques in regard to wildlife management.
The opening event of the School was the screening of mockumentary Cane Toads: An Unnatural History – a hilarious story on the multiple understandings of the figure of the pest. A themed ‘nonhuman’ party was organized with a live set by DJ ‘Le Vangelis’.
Two bursary places were available for participants interested to attend but where finance is a barrier.
Wild Orchards Will Overgrow Us
FIELDWORK in 2019 is titled Wild Orchards Will Overgrow Us and is programmed by Edinburgh based curator Anastasia Philimonos and Moscow based writer Panos Kompatsiaris.
Wild Orchards Will Overgrow Us explores questions of ethics, politics, and aesthetics in human relations with animals and other nonhuman worlds. During 2.5 days of the Summer School, artists, theorists, curators and participants came together in workshops and talks to ask questions related to practices of kinship and solidarity in the context of post-anthropocentric thought.
Departing from ideas of kinship and solidarity, Wild Orchard Will Overgrow Us pursues these relations as they unfold in urban and rural habitats where class and race inequalities merge with wider structures of exclusion.
The Summer School worked with ideas of ethics that inform aesthetic preoccupations with nonhuman worlds, tackling questions around lifestyle and consumption practices, ethics of co-inhabiting and animal and machine representations in art and media.
The Summer School asked: What are the conditions for fostering kinship and solidarity with human and nonhuman others? How a non-anthropocentric ethics and aesthetics might look?
As questions around animal ethics in the context of environmental degradation increasingly occupy artistic and theoretical agendas, a materialist approach attuned to the historical urgencies of the current moment allowed participants of the Summer School to test the possibilities of post-human ethics for producing radical imaginaries for the present and future.
Summer School Schedule
Friday 28 June
4pm Arrive and set up tents
5-6pm Participant registration in Archway at Hospitalfield
7-8:15pm Screening of Cane Toads: An Unnatural History, 1988
A hilarious story on the multiple understandings of the figure of the pest.
8:20pm Dinner in the Studios
Saturday 29 June
9:30am-12:30pm Wild Words by Filipa Ramos
A collective reading session of artists’ texts about animals. Focusing on poetry and storytelling, the session will rely on participants’ suggestions of texts and references in order to draft a shared map of how artists have been using, bending, expanding, and testing language as a method to understand, become or imagine animals. Please follow the link to upload your text.
1.00 – 2.30pm Post-humanism, Technocentrism and the Collapse of Secularity by Keti Chukhrov
A talk dwelling on the theoretical and social motives of trans, post and in-humanisms, that acquired visibility in the recent 20 years in humanities, natural sciences, technologies, art and culture.
2:30-3:30pm Lunch in the Studios
3:30-5pm Game of Deep Unlearning designed by Sascha Pohflepp and Chris Woebken
A playful self-alienation card game that aims to a tiny measure of access to the ways of knowledge of the not-us. Chris and Sascha have kindly made the cards and instructions available to us.
5-7:30pm ‘Bird Migrations’ by Bryony Dunne
A discussion of artists’ work, interlinking the impact of occidental expansionism on ecology and human, animal and plant migration; and speculating on the possibility of a hybrid knowledge that combines human and animal perspectives in an effort to build an inter-species solidarity in the face of environmental catastrophe.
9:30pm–LATE ‘Nonhuman’ themed party with live DJ Le Vangelis
You can let your imagination run wild in choosing your non-human costume: robots, squirrels, Pokémon, rats and other creatures are all welcome.
Sunday 30 June
10:00am–1:00pm ‘entangled histories’ by Tahani Nadim and Sybille Neumeyer
A ‘site-sensitive environmental reading’, consisting of a series of readings that relate ‘situated stories’ to ‘entangled histories’ and allow participants to actively weave together environment, histories, texts, bodies, with the geological history of the Arbroath area.
For this workshop, we will travel to the cliffs nearby the Hospitalfield area.
1:20-2:20pm Lunch in the Studios
2:30–3:30pm Invasive Alien Species and the Suez Canal by Karin Ahlberg
Interactive lecture will consider the idea of Invasive Alien Species (ISP) in relation to Lesseption migration, the Suez Canal, and the wider political means for regulating and administrating the seas.
3:30–4:00pm Tea Break
4:15–5:15pm Proposal for a Hunt without Killing by Scott Rogers
A new live artwork examining the complex deployment of hunting techniques in wildlife management.
7:30-8:30pm Last dinner
Monday 1 July
Anastasia Philimonos is a curator, editor and researcher based in Edinburgh where she is a doctoral student in contemporary art history and theory at Edinburgh College of Art (UoE). Informed by academic research, her curatorial practice is a means for collectively exploring emancipatory ideas, testing their potentials and limitations in aesthetic and social contexts.
Anastasia was an Associate Producer at Collective Gallery in Edinburgh. She is now a committee member at Rhubaba Gallery and Studios where, alongside fellow committee members, engages in collaborative, non-hierarchical ways of learning and making through workshops, games of radical pedagogy, exhibitions and events.
Together with Ben Callaghan, she is the co-editor of ‘The Enemy’, an interdisciplinary journal of contemporary art and critical theory that supports literary practice in experimental and established formats.
Panos Kompatsiaris is assistant professor of art and media at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. He completed a PhD in art theory from the University of Edinburgh in 2015. His practice is diverse, engaging both academic and experimental forms of writing as a means for fostering radical and collaborative education practices.Panos has published on politics of art exhibitions and post-human ethics in various journals and volumes, including a monograph titled ‘The Politics of Contemporary Art Biennials’ (Routledge, 2017). Panos has organised international conferences, symposia and events in Edinburgh, St. Petersburg and Moscow on art and value, cultural politics and the creative industries.
Keti Chukhrov is ScD in philosophy, an associate professor at the Department of Сultural Studies at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow). Currently she is a Marie Sklodowska Curie fellow in UK. She has authored numerous texts on art theory and philosophy. Her full-length books include: To Be—To Perform. ‘Theatre’ in Philosophic Critique of Art (European Un-ty, 2011), and Pound &£ (Logos, 1999)and a volume of dramatic writing: Merely Humans (2010). Her research interests and publications deal with 1. Philosophy of performativity, 2. the impact of socialist political economy on the epistemes of historical socialism 3. Art-systems. Her forthcoming book deals with the communist epistemologies in the Soviet Marxist philosophy of 1960s and 1970s.
Post-humanism, Technocentrism and the Collapse of Secularity
The talk will dwell on the epistemological and social motives of trans, post and in-humanisms, that acquired such visibility in the recent 20 years in humanities, natural sciences, technologies, art and culture. Transformation of the human nature and augmentation of the limits of mind was at stake starting with the Renaissance. Yet, interestingly, the explicit defiance of human condition took place with the collapse of hegemonic political narratives: failure of enlightenment and universalism, failure of colonial imperialisms, failure of revolutionary discourse and communism. The talk will revisit socio-political, de-colonial and techno-utopian contexts of post-humanism in order to outline the principal reasons of dispensing with human identity.
Tahani Nadim and Sybille Neumeyer
Tahani Nadim is a junior professor for socio-cultural anthropology in a joint appointment between the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and the Humboldt-University’s Institute for European Ethnology. Her interdisciplinary research combines the sociology and the anthropology of science and focuses on problematizing data practices and data infrastructures in biodiversity discovery and natural history collections. As a member of the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH) her research also encompasses questions on how natural history museums materialise specific versions of nature, nation and governance. She also runs the clandestine research cell Bureau for troubles that seeks to spin and cultivate bonds between people, issues and methods.
Sybille Neumeyer is a visual artist based in Berlin. Her works explore relationships between human and nature with a focus on ecological issues. Her interest in various disciplines like biology, psychology, astronomy and geology informs and opens new perspectives for her work, often resulting in collaboration and exchange with scientists. Her research has been supported by artist residencies and cultural institutions such as Akademie Schloss Solitude, MSU – Museum for Contemporary Art Zagreb, ARCUS Project, HIAP and Nida Art Colony. In 2014, she was awarded the International Aesthetica Art Prize. Her projects and exhibitions are presented internationally in art and science institutions such as DESY – Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron/Hamburg, Museum für Naturkunde/Berlin, ZQM/Berlin and Shinano Art Museum/Nagano.
The workshop focuses on a narrative cartography of the past, present and future Arbroath. It will consist of “site-sensitive environmental reading”, which describes a series of readings that will performatively relate situated stories to entangled histories.
Lisbon-born Filipa Ramos is a writer and editor based in London, where she works as Editor in Chief of art-agenda. She is a Lecturer in the Experimental Film MA programme of Kingston University and in the MRes Art:Moving Image of Central Saint Martins, both in London, and works with the Master Programme of the Institut Kunst, Basel. Ramos is co-curator of Vdrome, a programme of screenings of films by visual artists and filmmakers. She was Associate Editor of Manifesta Journal and contributed for Documenta 13 (2012) and 14 (2017). Her writing and research, largely focused on interspecies relationships, has been published in magazines and catalogues worldwide. She edited Animals (Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2016). She is currently preparing a large group exhibition on becoming animal-becoming other at the Bildmuseet Umeå, Sweden (Summer 2019).
Wild Words is a collective reading session of artists’ texts about animals. Focussing on poetry and storytelling, the session will rely on participant’s suggestions of texts and references in order to draft a shared map of how artists have been using, bending, expanding and testing language as a method to understand, become or imagine animals.
Scott Rogers (born Calgary, CA) lives in Glasgow. Working between sculpture, moving image, and publishing, his practice examines human encounters with natural environments, and the complex interdependencies that underpin these encounters.
Solo exhibitions include Malmo Gallery (Edinburgh, UK), Franz Kaka (Toronto, CA), Collective (Edinburgh, UK), Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge, CA), YYZ Artists’ Outlet (Toronto, CA), Glasgow Sculpture Studios (UK), Artspace (Auckland, NZ, with Sarah Rose), and PM Galerie (Berlin, DE). Scott’s work has been part of group exhibitions, screenings, and performances at Aldea (Bergen, NO), Johanne (Frankfurt, DE), Oracle (Berlin, DE), KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin, DE), CCA Glasgow (UK), Amsterdam Kunstverein (NL), Western Front (Vancouver, CA), The Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, CA), Bergen Kunsthall (NO), Platform (Melbourne, AU), Nanaimo Art Gallery (CA), Glasgow International (UK), Alaska Projects (Sydney, AU), St Paul St Gallery (Auckland, NZ) and Portikus (Frankfurt, DE). Recent publications include “Recognition” the 14th issue of F.R.DAVID with Will Holder, TOPO with Mason Leaver-Yap, and Goosebumps with Mark Von Schlegell. In 2020 he will participate in the Kamias Triennial in Manila (PH).
Proposal for a Hunt Without Killing
Using physical objects, case studies, and anecdote, this live work will examine the complex deployment of hunting techniques in regard to wildlife management. As a provocation toward calls for kinship with non-human others, the focus will be directed at situations and conditions that are fraught with conflict, suggesting the need for unexpected alliances. The double nature of traps, snares, and decoys will form a recurrent theme through which potential optimism emerges.
Bryony Dunne is an award-winning Irish artist and filmmaker based in Athens. Building on her background in documentary photography and visual anthropology, she explores the power dynamics between humanity and nature, the arbitrariness of cultural representation, and the legacies of colonialism. Her work has been exhibited in such venues as DEPO (Istanbul), Gypsum Gallery (Cairo), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Irish Film Institute (Dublin), and HKW (Berlin). She is a recent recipient of a bursary award from the Arts Council of Ireland and a research grant from the National Geographic Society.
Bryony Dunne will present a selection of her own work as well as work from other artists, interlinking the impact of occidental expansionism on ecology and human, animal and plant migration. The circulation of species is analysed both as a living legacy of past and present colonial interventions and a symptom of climate change, illustrating different developmental trajectories that intertwine the fates of human and non-human populations. The botanical gardens in Cairo, Athens and London, the Suez Canal, and the Mediterranean Sea borders will feature as some of the theatres where the unfolding of the Anthropocene is played out. The presentation will conclude with the presentation of her new project Above the Law that speculates on the possibility of a hybrid knowledge that combines human and animal perspectives in an effort of building an inter-species solidarity in the face of environmental catastrophe.
Karin Ahlberg earned her PhD in social anthropologist from SOAS, University of London in 2017. Based on fieldwork in Cairo between 2011 and 2013, her dissertation explores the politics of Egyptian tourism before and after 2011. She is interested in “infrastructures of image making” (image politics, country branding and global news) in relation to emerging forms of governance and citizenship in the global south. She has recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago, and is at the moment Visiting Researcher at the Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University. Ahlberg’s new research project explores the Suez Canal and Lessepsian migration from anthropological and more-than-human perspectives.
Invasive Alien Species
Karin’s interactive lecture will consider the idea of Invasive Alien Species (ISP) in relation to Lesseption migration, the Suez Canal and the wider thalassopolitics of governance.
Le Vangelis is a DJ and radio producer based in Edinburgh. His sets mix up leftfield disco, post-punk, afro-disco/funk, house and other electronic stuff. He has designed DJ soundtracks for the silent films ‘Metropolis’ by Fritz Lang, ‘Les Mystères du Château de Dé’ by Man Ray along with the theatre performances ‘Macbeth’, ‘Ubu Roi’ and ‘Love’ by Ludens Ensemble. Vangelis also co-directed all three performances. He is currently working on a DJ soundtrack for the film ‘Nosferatu’ by F.W. Murnau.
Chris Woebken & Sascha Pohflepp
Chris Woebken is a speculative design practitioner, educator, and co-founder of the Extrapolation Factory, a participatory-futures studio. Chris lives and works in New York City and he is Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Parsons School of Design. Chris earned a Masters Degree in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art in London. Recently his work was awarded a MacDowell Fellowship (19), the Shed‘s Open Call grant (19) as well as a Graham Foundation Individual Grant (19). His work has been exhibited widely including the MoMA in New York, NCCA National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow, and the China National Museum in Beijing. He has created special commissions for Z33 in Leuven, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and ZKM in Karlsruhe and his work is in museum and private Collections.
Sascha Pohflepp is an artist and design researcher whose interest extends across both historical aspects and visions of the future and his practice often involves collaboration with other artists and researchers, creating work on subjects ranging from synthetic biology and artificial intelligence to geopolitics and space exploration. Sascha lives and works between Berlin and southern California where he is a PhD candidate in art practice with specialization in anthropogeny at UC San Diego and has been teaching in the Visual Art Department’s speculative design major. Notable exhibitions include Talk To Me at MoMA New York, Hyperlinks at the Art Institute of Chicago, Micro Impact at the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam, Pre-History of the Image at STUK Kunstencentrum Leuven, Åzone Futures Market at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York and The House in the Sky at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn.
Deep Unlearning, custom card game, 2018
In the presence of learning machines, human knowledge of the Western kind has become one among many. Non-human creativity emerging from many substrates and its application in time are likely to produce realities so complex and alien that we may never fully understand them.
In response to this, Deep Unlearning is a playful self-alienation card game that aims to a tiny measure of access to the ways of knowledge of the not-us. Self-randomization through shuffling allows for the creation of almost 3 billion possible algorithmic instructions, not unlike the instruction pieces of the Fluxus era. A certain measure of nonsensicality is expected, as it is at precisely this boundary where unlearning takes place and irrational meaning may emerge. Chris and Sascha have kindly made the cards and instructions available to us.
PREPARING TO COME
The events will take place throughout Hospitalfield House, grounds & the surrounding landscape. Please bring clothes suitable for outside and good walking shoes. Please bring warm socks as we will have our shoes off in the house.
Arbroath has a bit of a micro climate so often dry and sunny but there is a chance of rain of course and the temperature will go down to 8 degrees at night so please come prepared with plenty of warm things for a good sleep.
The programme starts at 4pm on Friday 28 June, when participants can arrive to set up tents and runs to the evening of Sunday 30 June. Participants have the option to stay over on Sunday 30 June and de-camp on the morning of Monday 1 July.
Arbroath rail station is on the main line north from London / Glasgow/ Edinburgh to Aberdeen. Hospitalfield House is 25 minutes walk from the rail station (5 minute taxi ride).
The 39 bus runs from Dundee city centre to the end of our driveway (40 mins).
Our address is Hospitalfield House, Westway, Arbroath, DD11 2NH.
There is some space for car parking at the front of the house.
We are offering camping spaces in Hospitalfield’s beautiful grassy greens.
Please bring your own tent.
A torch will be helpful but it’s light most of the time in June!
There are normal toilets and washing facilities available in the house & studios.
An outdoor shower will be installed. Natural soaps and shampoo will be provided.
Please bring towels.
We understand that some people will want to stay in local B&Bs which we can help by recommending places.
Hospitalfield’s chef will be providing delicious food for FIELDWORK.
We love working with local produce. A lot of the food will be vegetarian.
Please tell us in advance if you have any specific allergies so we can try to accommodate you.
There are shops nearby if you want to bring drinks to the meals.
Hospitalfield House: 01241 656 124
Reid’s Taxi: 01241 873 212 Abbey Taxi: 01241 877 777