IN-PROGRESS… | COLLOQUIUM
Research in Art, Science and Humanities
With Ekaterina Kormilitsyna and Tarsh Bates
Art Laboratory Berlin is delighted to invite you to take part in our Colloquium, a discursive format on research in art, science and humanities, curated by Regine Rapp. It takes place in tandem with our Reading Club, curated by Tuçe Erel.
The colloquium addresses an international interdisciplinary research audience to present and discuss past, present or future projects by artists and scholars, curators or editors from the fields of art, science and the humanities. The topics could refer to an art project, a book, text or chapter, a research or exhibition project, a lab experiment, a lecture series, a conference concept or other.
The presentations and exchange will focus on the work-in-progress. Methodological approaches – theoretical or practical – are also of great interest here. While researching, we often tend to shift between practical inquiry and theoretical research, browsing various disciplines. Following the original meaning of colloquium as “speaking together”, we want to provide a platform for exchange and embrace various kinds of work processes which are often not seen or talked about.
Structure of the sessions: Each session will include two presentations followed by discussions, altogether 90 min. The colloquium welcomes informal conversations amongst the participants.
Speakers on 12 December 2023 Session
Ekaterina Kormilitsyna | Science Fiction and Interspecies Communication
Ekaterina Kormilitsyna (b. 1994) is an artist and researcher working with biotechnology, engineering and science-fiction. Her philosophy focuses on a trans-disciplinary approach towards exploring interspecies futures [in harmony between technology and nature]. Ekaterina acquired her Bachelor in Film Studies at Queen Mary, University of London (UK) and a Masters in Research from Cardiff Metropolitan University (UK). She is a longterm artist in residence and member at the BioClub Tokyo, and she is currently a Research Affiliate at the Center of Bits and Atoms at the MIT Media Lab.
In the colloquium Ekaterina will talk about Science Fiction and her research into interspecies communication and imagining futures for analysing the present while using biological and natural frameworks. “Fiction is sometimes just a way of finding truth”.
Tarsh Bates | Olfaction in Multi-Species Metabolisms
Tarsh Bates is interested in the aesthetics of interspecies relationships and the human as a queer ecology. She has worked variously as a pizza delivery driver, fruit and vegetable stacker, toilet paper packer, researcher in compost science and waste management, honeybee ejaculator, art gallery invigilator, raspberry picker, lecturer/tutor in art/science, art history, gender & technology, posthumanism, internet studies, counter realism and popular culture, editor, bookkeeper, car detailer, a postdoctoral research fellow, and life drawing model. She is particularly enamoured with Candida albicans.
Tarsh Bates will introduce a new project which forages through the tactility and in/tangibility of olfaction in multi-species metabolisms. The caress of volatile organic compounds (odorants) on the membranes of cells is known as olfaction and odorants secreted by microbes are fundamental within metabolic processes. Matter forms and dissolves as odorants are ingested, digested and excreted. Tarsh works to weave together Barad’s concept of queer performativity, Hauser & Strecker’s (2020) microperformativity, Landecker (2011; 2023), Hird (2012) and Bakke’s (2017) understandings of metabolism as transformative matter, Irigaray’s eros (1993), arguing that olfaction takes us beyond microbiopolitics and microgovernmentality in a visceral erotic inter and intra-species communication, a queer metabolic intra-activity that enables microbes and humans to become sense-able to and of each other.