Practice 3: Animism 

Nummer und TypMFA-MFA-Pr00.21H.003 / Moduldurchführung
VeranstalterDepartement Fine Arts
LeitungChristian Hübler, Uriel Orlow, Nina Kerschbaumer
Anzahl Teilnehmendemaximal 15
ECTS21 Credits
VoraussetzungenCourse language: English
ZielgruppenMA Fine Arts students
Open for exchange students
Lernziele / Kompetenzen• Engage with conceptual aspects of your artistic practice.
• Develop an awareness of a wider context around your work.
• Develop the skills to critically engage with your own work and that of others.
• Gain an understanding of new concepts of materiality, medium and animation.
• Develop new modes of analysis and of making.
InhalteHow do we distinguish things from beings, life from non-life? Do animals and other critters have a spirit or soul? What is the role of art in negotiating these boundaries?

Human cultures have engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in ways which affect our relationship to nature and the environment as well as our representations of it. Since the Enlightenment drive towards rationality and positivist science, modern Western societies have excluded or suppressed animism – the belief that other beings or objects possess souls or agency. Once expunged from the West, animism became associated with the indigenous, colonised other.

While animism has been suppressed as pre-modern, superstitious and primitive, it still continues to exist in the aesthetic realm and remains rooted in our lives. Today animism takes on new urgency: for example, the looming environmental catastrophe has led to activist initiatives to declare rivers or forests legal personhoods to give them protection 09:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. from destruction. Meanwhile, the molecularization of everything creates a new continuum between life and non-life, whilst technological advances in algorithmic, robotic or bio-chemical processes create new forms of animation which question the old distinctions between the animate and the inanimate.

In this practice seminar we will be looking at phenomena, discourses and practices around animism from contemporary, western and non-western standpoints. Considering artworks, exhibitions and your own practices, we will think through the knotty questions of life and non-life, nature and artifice, the animate and the inanimate and some of the systems of knowledge, representation and belief underpinning them.

About the lecturers:

Christian Huebler/ knowbotiq has been experimenting with forms and medialities of knowledge, political representations and epistemic disobedience. In recent projects knowbotiq is investigating and enacting inhuman geographies with the focus on algorithmic governmentalities, libidinous and affective economies and postcolonial violence. Projects: Thulhu Thu Thu, before the sun harms you, Genesis Machines: and Swiss Psychotropic Gold:

Uriel Orlow’s practice is research-based, process-oriented and multi-disciplinary including film, photography, drawing and sound. He is known for single screen film works, lecture performances and modular, multi-media installations that focus on specific locations and micro-histories and bring different image-regimes and narrative modes into correspondence. His work is concerned with residues of colonialism, spatial manifestations of memory, blind spots of representation and forms of haunting. Orlow’s work has been presented at major survey exhibitions including the Venice Biennale, Manifesta, Sharjah Biennial, Moscow Biennial and others.

Nina Kerschbaumer is a filmmaker, researcher and an assisting teacher at DFA. She is interested in fact and fiction narratives and the deconstruction of common storytelling methods. In her artistic work, she explores how the supposed distinction of private and public space and its visual representation affect concrete social and political decisions. Her research is directly linked to her practice as a Visual Artist, centered around mobile phone photography in social media, its production methods and implications
Bibliographie / LiteraturWill be handed out during the course.
Leistungsnachweis / TestatanforderungMandatory attendance (minimum 80%); active participation; semester report
TermineTime: 09:00 - 17:00 o'clock

CW 39: 27 / 28 September
CW 41: 11 / 12 / 13 October
CW 48: 29 / 30 November, 01 December

CW 48: 02 / 03 December
Bewertungsformbestanden / nicht bestanden
Termine (9)