31 episodes

TBA21 on st_age is an online platform that presents artworks in moving image, sound, and animation, as well as research, conversations, podcasts, and interviews with both emerging and leading voices in contemporary art. Initially created by TBA21 as an emergency fund for commissioning artists and independent practitioners in response to the changes brought by the Covid-19 crisis, today it is also an online venue hosting TBA21’s projects and Collection, including website-only content, which both captures real events and a digital language in the making.

TBA21 on st_age TBA21 on st_age

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TBA21 on st_age is an online platform that presents artworks in moving image, sound, and animation, as well as research, conversations, podcasts, and interviews with both emerging and leading voices in contemporary art. Initially created by TBA21 as an emergency fund for commissioning artists and independent practitioners in response to the changes brought by the Covid-19 crisis, today it is also an online venue hosting TBA21’s projects and Collection, including website-only content, which both captures real events and a digital language in the making.

    “Minor” Ornithologies

    “Minor” Ornithologies

    This podcast, accompanying Laia Estruch’s performance project for TBA21 on st_age, is hosted by curator, writer, and lifelong birder Max Andrews. It takes flight into the realm of birds, looking at politics and practices that disrupt dominant historical narratives and exceed scientific and cultural boundaries. Alex Holt is a spokesperson for Bird Names for Birds, a movement to decolonise bird names, and Hollis Taylor is a zoömusicologist specializing in birdsong. Through their perspectives we glimpse new and speculative kinds of human–bird narratives; what we might call “minor” ornithologies.

    Credits:
    Contributors: Alex Holt and Hollis Taylor
    Conducted by Max Andrews

    Audio Clips Credits:
    PIED BUTCHERBIRD SINGING. “Wordsworth” abandons formal song with a coda of mimicry, recorded 28 September 2007 on Wordsworth Road, N Queensland at 4:10am. © Hollis Taylor / piedbutcherbird.net

    SUPERB LYREBIRD SINGING. Audio clip #5: Mimicry of birdsong and two flute phrases from a “flute lyrebird” recorded at Enfield State Forest (130 kilometres from Allan’s Water) at 6:53 a.m. on 16 June 2013 by Hollis Taylor. © Hollis Taylor / flutelyrebird.com

    • 34 min
    Las aguas: un bien común e inapropiable

    Las aguas: un bien común e inapropiable

    In this podcast, sociologist and activist Ximena Cuadra Montoya is accompanied by two of the protagonists of the struggle for the defense and deprivatization of water in Chile: Manuela Royo, lawyer and former constituent of the Chilean Constitutional Convention, who is part of MODATIMA (Movement for the Defense of Water, Protection of the Earth and Respect for the Environment), along with activist Luz María Huenupi, spokeswoman of the Mapuche communities defending the Truful-Truful river, a sacred space to these communities that is endangered by a hydroelectric project in the Melipeuco territory.

    Departing from Mapuche artist Seba Calfuqueo’s performance Ko ta mapungey ka (Water is also territory), at the Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía C3A in Córdoba on June 3, 2022, the podcast explores the relevance of the most fundamental element to sustain life in a country where water is privately owned as an inheritance of Augusto Pinochet’s Constitution. In the context of the upcoming vote about the Chilean Constitutional Convention on September 4, 2022, we will listen to their experiences and testimonies about the possible changes to come in Chile.

    Credits:
    Contributors: Manuela Royo & Luz María Huenupi
    Hosted by Ximena Cuadra Montoya

    • 33 min
    Feral Ecologies: Infrastructures and Modes of Intervention

    Feral Ecologies: Infrastructures and Modes of Intervention

    In this podcast, anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Aarhus University, Denmark, meets Heather Anne Swanson, a fellow anthropologist at Aarhus University and collaborative partner for Sonia Levy’s film Creatures of the Lines (2021) previously presented on TBA21 on st_age. Tsing is the author of several books, including The Mushroom at the End of the World, as well as a co-editor of the digital project Feral Atlas together with Jennifer Deger, Alder Saxena Keleman, and FeiFei Zhou. 

    In the podcast, Tsing and Swanson discuss several of Tsing’s recent projects, while also describing the significance that these approaches had on Creatures of the Lines (2021). Along the way, this conversation covers wide-ranging topics, including Tsing’s notion of feral ecologies—i.e. those shaped by interactions with human infrastructures, but outside of the control of the humans who designed those infrastructures. The dialogue also features a special focus on oceanic and coastal contexts, including Tsing’s new work on mangroves in Southeast Asia and her idea of “fragmented porosities” as well as its conceptual links with Levy’s film on British canal worlds. Both cases highlight how colonial infrastructures are part and parcel of Anthropocene ecologies.

    • 39 min
    Las voces de los ch'olti’ hablan al presente

    Las voces de los ch'olti’ hablan al presente

    Departing from the work of Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa ‘Hocho’ (Abrirse las orejas / To Open One's' Ears, 2022) this podcast is hosted by the activist and researcher Aura Cumes, who is accompanied by the historian and anthropologist Edgar Esquit, and the economist, poet, creator, musician, and editor Kaypa' Tz'iken. Also taking Fray Francisco Morán’s 1695 Spanish-Ch’olti’ dictionary, Arte y vocabulario de la lengua Ch’olti’ as a reference, this podcast explores the geography and history of the Ch’olti’ community, as well as the process of christianization, colonial violence, genocide, and ethnocide to which this people were subjected together with other Mayan cultures, but also the defense mechanisms and fierce resistance with which they challenged it. This conversation looks into the past, but also defiantly into the present and future of the Mayan communities, in both their cultural-linguistic and political dimensions, with the aim of creating spaces of dialogue for those voices that have been silenced.

    Contributors : Edgar Esquit & Kaypa' Tz’iken
    Hosted by Aura Cumes

    Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa
    ‘Hocho’(Abrirse las orejas/To Open One's' Ears), 2022
    Sound
    varying durations
    Field and voice recordings made with the assistance of Ameno Cordova and Stef Arreaga

    Commissioned by TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary for TB21 on st_age and supported with extra funds from the Inga Maren Otto Fellowship (The Watermill Center, NY)

    Image credit:
    Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa
    Huertos de los ch’olti (VII), 2021
    Watercolor and pencil on paper, series of 21
    29.7 x 20.6cm
    Courtesy of the artist

    • 32 min
    ‘Speak Up for Antarctica Now. Three Antarctic Resolutions’

    ‘Speak Up for Antarctica Now. Three Antarctic Resolutions’

    Released on the occasion of the 44th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting held in Berlin (May 23 - June 2, 2022), this podcast presents a conversation between Giulia Foscari (founder of UNLESS), Alan D. Hemmings, Carlo Barbante, and James N. Barnes on the urgencies facing the Antarctic and, in turn, planet Earth.

    This conversation offers data and concrete arguments in support of the call to ‘Speak Up For Antarctica Now’ and sign the three Petitions for the protection of the Antarctic available here. The urgencies can be summarized as follows:

    To meet the Paris Agreement targets of limiting global temperature increase to 2°C above pre-industrial levels until 2050, 60% of our planet’s proven hydrocarbon reserves must remain in the ground. To date, this percentage does not include the abundant hydrocarbon basins of Antarctica. While their extraction is currently banned by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, the Prohibition of Mineral Resource Activities may be dangerously challenged as of January 2048. Extracting Antarctic hydrocarbons would have devastating effects not only on the continent, but on a global scale. It is urgent to sign the Petition to forever ban hydrocarbon extraction now and commit to decarbonizing our global economy.

    To meet the United Nations’ pledge to protect 30% of the planet and its ocean by 2030, it is essential to establish Marine Protected Areas in the Southern Ocean. Known as the greatest planetary carbon sink due to its capacity to store 40% of anthropogenic CO2, the Southern Ocean is largely unprotected despite being home to thousands of unique species. The 26 member countries of the CCAMLR (Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) have the power to establish large marine sanctuaries in Antarctica and protect a site equivalent to the entire European Union. It is urgent to sign the Petition in support of the largest act of ocean protection in history, to safeguard biodiversity, abundance, and ecosystem health, and provide climate resilience.

    To ensure true scientific cooperation in the only continent exclusively devoted to peace and science, as stipulated by Article III of the Antarctic Treaty, we need to commit to international stations in our Global Common. Only 1 out of the current 76 stations is a shared one. The deregulated proliferation of stations, often built in proximity to one another and conducting similar scientific research, mostly reflects a geopolitical strategy to overtly assert territorial claims and hinders the scientific potential of Antarctic programs. It limits the average surface area devoted to scientific laboratories to 13.5% and the scientist to staff ratio to 1:9. It is urgent to sign the Petition to advocate for international stations and reduce our contaminating footprint on the continent.

    Credits:
    UNLESS
    Contributors: Carlo Barbante, James N. Barnes, and Alan D. Hemmings.
    Hosted by Giulia Foscari
    Produced by: TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary for TBA21 on st_age.

    • 26 min
    Backst_age | TBA21 20 Years of Commissioning Art | The Dream of Reason Produces Monsters

    Backst_age | TBA21 20 Years of Commissioning Art | The Dream of Reason Produces Monsters

    This podcast is a live recording from the talk between artist Janet Cardiff and essayist and professor Estrella de Diego Otero, which took place at the Real Academia de Bellas de San Fernando in Madrid on February 16, 2022. This event marked the beginning of the twenty-year anniversary celebrations of TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. Introduced by Deputy Director and Treasurer of the Academia, Alfredo Pérez de Armiñán y de la Serna, and the Chairwoman of TBA21, Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, this dynamic conversation explores the work of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, an artist duo whose collaboration has been central to the development of the TBA21 Collection.

    Originally commissioned by TBA21 for the 16th Sydney Biennale (2008), Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s sound installation The Murder of Crows is presented by TBA21 from February 17 to July 31, 2022, in collaboration with Matadero Madrid, in the cold chamber of the city’s former slaughterhouse. The work explores the physical and sculptural qualities of sound, via 98 loudspeakers that are distributed throughout the space, surrounding the viewer. With the human voice as a central element, as well as soundscapes and compositions by musicians such as Freida Abtan, Tilman Ritter, and Alexandr Alexandrov, The Murder of Crows deals with questions of desire, love, loss, and memory, using an ambiguous and fractured narrative.

    An important reference to this work is Francisco Goya’s etching The Dream of Reason Produces Monsters (Caprinchos, 1799), which original plate is precisely preserved at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes San Fernando. Both works conjure a series of monsters, threats, and shadows born from the realm of dreams, but these are the result of human reason as well as the source of the artists’ creative process. In the Caprichos series, Goya, imbued with the spirit of the Enlightenment, criticized the tyranny, ignorance, and superstition of a political, religious, and social structure that advocated immobility as its sole strategy. By contrast, Cardiff and Miller's 2008 work responds to a new globalized world order, which also aspires to subjugation, but this one imposed through technology and consumption. If reason was Goya's response to escape ignorance and fanaticism, then in the present moment, which has maintained these same vices, the response resides in a utilitarian and polarizing reason, which is perhaps precisely the result of these vices. And as in Goya's time, the obscuring of reality, or the construction of false truths, continues to accompany us today.

    In this timely conversation, Cardiff and de Diego discuss a wide range of topics ranging from questions of intimacy, dreams, trauma, memory, technology, cinematic experience, to working methods, and many others, in order to unravel Cardiff and Miller’s practice, while reflecting on the fascination that Goya’s oeuvre continues to arouse in the contemporary artistic sphere, as well as highlighting the points of convergence of past and present artistic expressions.

    Credit:
    A conversation between Janet Cardiff and Estrella de Diego, introduced by Alfredo Pérez de Armiñán y de la Serna and Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza

    • 41 min

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