Ecological Futurisms

ECOLOGICAL FUTURISMS

Ecological Futurisms (EF) is an emerging collective of CREAM faculty and doctoral researchers at the University of Westminster. We recognise that the damage brought on by global climate change, who it affects and to what extent, is inextricably linked to historical lines of inequality. When thinking about the future in relation to changes in the global environment the inclusion of culture and the social sciences can bring important perspectives and essential questions. Some changes to the environment are already cooked into the system, some are still unfolding; but how they play out around the planet is something that can be mitigated. But the right mitigation requires asking the right questions, and this is one of our core aims. Working in research networks across the Caribbean, North America, Europe and Southeast Asia, EF provides a platform for those from the cultural and academic sectors to develop updated modes of collaboration, both internally and with the sciences, to establish new forms of performative, time-based and on-line practices. We think about what future is wanted, given the mess that is already in front of us.

EVENT PROGRAMME 19 – 20 MAY 2022

Ecological Futurisms returns with publication launch and screening.  

See below for details.

MIRAJ Ecologies Issue Launch; talks, screenings and performance

Thursday 19 May 2022 at Ambika P3, 18:00 GMT 

Please join us for MIRAJ journal’s launch of its new issue. The Ecologies Double Issue imagines and examines how practices in artists’ film and video can be transformed by a dedicated attention to notions of the ecological in its many expanded forms. 

This event is held together with the launch of Catherine Elwes’s new book Landscape and the Moving Image. Elwes takes a journey through the twin histories of landscape art and experimental moving image and discovers how they coalesce in the work of artists from the 1970s to the present day.  

TJ Demos will be in virtual conversation with Matthias Kispert, followed by in person conversations between Catherine Elwes and Colin Perry; Becca Voelcker, Tom Cuthbertson and Lucy Reynolds. 

The evening ends with a rare screening of Shezad Dawood’s Leviathan Cycle Episode 7, introduced by the artist in conversation with Michael Mazière. Rebecca Birch will present a short performance based on her ongoing work with anti-fracking protestors at Preston New Road, followed by a Q&A with Maria Walsh.

Find tickets and more information here

Geographies of Ruins in Contemporary Brazilian Cinema; screening and conversation

Friday 20 May 2022 at Ambika P3, 15:00 GMT 

Please join us to celebrate the recent publication of CREAM PhD alumni Guilherme Carréra’s monograph, Brazilian Cinema and the Aesthetics of Ruins

Brazilian cinema in recent years has seen the rise of unconventional documentaries articulating critiques of notions of progress and (under)development in the country through portrayals of its contemporary geographies and spaces. This event will unpack ideas around urban and ecological ruins presented in recent films, which offer radical depictions of the afterlives of neo-colonisation and neo-liberalisation.  

There will be a rare screening of Hu Enigma (Pedro Urano and Joana Traub Csekö, 2011), a cinematic portrait of the University Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, part public hospital and part ruin, serving as a metaphor for utopia and dystopia. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Carréra and Mariana Cunha, Lecturer in Screen Studies at the University of Westminster. 

Find tickets and more information here.

EVENT PROGRAMME 9 – 22 MARCH 2022

EF launches with a two-week exhibition, exposition, talks and screening events in March 2022. Activities include the exhibition Cloud Sediments by the Hyphen Collective; Radio Amnion transmission and conversations; the book launch of Sex Ecologies with curator Stefanie Hessler and artist Ann Duk Hee Jordan; Animistic Apparatus screening programme exploring artists moving image as cosmological practices of communicating, relating and knowing; and special solidarity screening programmes featuring works by Ukrainian artists Yarema Malashchuk and Roman Khimei, and media arts from Myanmar’s dynamic generation of young artists curated by Moe Myat May Zarchi. See below for details. 

Radio Amnion: Sonic Transmissions of Care Live

Thursday 17 March 2022 at Ambika P3, 19:00 GMT

This discursive listening event coincides with the full moon launch of the new audio commission by artist Tuomas A. Laitinen for Radio Amnion (March 17-19). This first public event of this Ocean sound art project includes some of the contributors from Radio Amnion’s previous moon transmissions. Joining us will be London based artists Abbas Zahedi, Margarida Mendes, Andrea Zarza Canova and a special guest while the project is temporarily installed during the Cloud Sediments exhibition and the Ecological Futurisms CREAM festival. Each artist will give insight into their project and practice and we will have the opportunity to listen back to these compositions in the deep caverns of AmbikaP3 for the first time since their deployment in the water.

Radio Amnion is attached to an oceanographic monitoring station operated by Ocean Networks Canada (ONC). ONC’s infrastructure allows the SFB1258 Neutrino and Dark Matter Group of the Technical University of Munich to deploy their kilometer scale subaquatic telescope there as well. These two institutions host the lunar ritual of Radio Amnion, a networked sound sculpture attached to these eco-cosmic sensing arrays. Radio Amnion broadcasts only during the full moons, both deep in the sea and online at www.radioamnion.net.

Find tickets and more information here.

Animistic Apparatus Screening at Ambika P3

Friday 18 March 2022 at Ambika P3, 19:00 GMT

Animistic Apparatus is a curatorial project exploring affinities between contemporary artists’ moving image and animistic practices, based on research by May Adadol Ingawanij who co-curates its various exhibitions with Julian Ross. The project grew from May’s experience of researching ritual uses of itinerant film projection around Thailand and neighbouring territories since the Cold War period.

We have presented Animistic Apparatus at Berwick Film and Media Art Festival (BFMAF) and other venues. At BFMAF we enacted a site-specific exhibition as a form of provocation: What if contemporary film screenings and installations were reimagined as if they were rituals offered and addressed to nonhuman beings? What if artists were precarious makers of offerings, rather than authors of work or producers of self-expression? 

This screening programme, recently presented at Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions, features recent works by moving image artists who have graced Animistic Apparatus with their presence: Pathompon Mont Tesprateep, Riar Rizaldi, Juanita Onzaga, Shambhavi Kaul, Truong Minh Quý + Freddy Nadolny Poustochkine. Some have participated in an artistic research trip we organised in northeast Thailand, others have been part of the project’s itinerant exhibitions, and all of them are shaping our thinking about the potential of artists’ moving image practices as cosmological medium of communicating, relating and knowing. 

This programme is co-presented with Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival and Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions.

Find tickets and more information here.

Sex Ecologies Book Launch: Anne Duk Hee Jordan and Stefanie Hessler in conversation

Monday 21 March 2022 at Ambika P3 & Online Livestreamed, 19:00 GMT

Join artist Anne Duk Hee Jordan and curator Stefanie Hessler for a conversation and film screening of Jordan’s video Ziggy and the Starfish to celebrate the book launch of Sex Ecologies. The publication is the result of a collaborative project between Kunsthall Trondheim and The Seed Box, co-published with The MIT Press. Accompanying an eponymous exhibition and public programs, and with contributions by 36 artists and scholars, the book explores the power of the erotic in human and more-than-human worlds. It presents newly commissioned texts and artworks alongside selected visionary essays exploring the intersections of queer theory and ecology. Spanning diverse geographies and disciplines including art, environmental humanities, gender studies, science and technology studies, and Indigenous studies, the contributors deconstruct Eurocentric erotophobia and heterosexist and speciesist notions of nature, proposing nothing short of a reconceptualization of human relationships with nature. Sex Ecologies invokes ecological erotics for greater social and environmental justice.

With new contributions by, among others, Katja Aglert, adrienne maree brown, Mel Y. Chen, Léuli Eshrāghi, Jack Halberstam, Stefanie Hessler, Jessie Kleemann, Astrida Neimanis, Marie Helene Pereira, Filipa Ramos, Catriona Sandilands, and Serubiri Moses.

Find tickets and more information here.

Solidarity Programmes: artists moving image works from Ukraine and Myanmar

Tuesday 22 March at Ambika P3, from 15.00 GMT

EF is proud to organise solidarity screenings featuring DEDICATED TO THE YOUTH OF THE WORLD II, by Ukrainian artists Yarema Malashchuk & Roman Khimei shot inside the Dovzhenko Film Studios; and two programmes of media arts and experimental films by a dynamic generation of young artists in Myanmar, curated by artist and founder of 3-ACT cinema magazine Moe Myat May Zarchi. 

Looped projection between 15.00-21.00. Information on how you can contribute to support groups in Myanmar and Ukraine will be available at Ambika P3. 

The programmes are co-presented with Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival. With grateful thanks to the artists and Julian Ross. 

DEDICATED TO THE YOUTH OF THE WORLD II , Yarema Malashchuk & Roman Khimei

2019 / 9 min. / digital, colour 

Cxema is the biggest techno-rave in Ukraine organised in the Dovzhenko Film Studios in Kyiv. The camera focuses on the young participants dancing to the pounding beats of Stanislav Tolkachev’s music. For the youth of Kyiv, this collective ritual of modern alienation is an opportunity for absolute freedom and an escape from everyday difficulties. However, the romantic dimension is overturned by the return to the city where the young protagonists, dazed and bewildered, do not seem to be ready to face the new day and its old reality (Leonardo Bigazzi)

LIGHTS FROM THE UNDERGROUND

“In the darkest times buried underground, spots of lights begin to emerge from the ground”. A selection curated by artist Moe Myat May Zarchi (3-ACT), based on her researching experimental films and media arts made by Myanmar artists. The programmes include work by Moe and collaborators.

Programme 1: works by Thaiddhi and Thu Thu Shein, Joy, Lin Htet Aung, Zune Htet (Thoughtform) & Miedo Total

Programme 2: works by Collective of Filmmakers, Soe Yu Nwe, Moe Myat May Zarchi & CGAUSS aka Itö, Moe Myatt May Zarchi

Find tickets and more information here.