For anthropologists and artists “doing fieldwork” in contemporary worlds, art can be much more than an object of investigation. Curation and creation through visual, audio, or performing arts are at the heart of their work, extending the established anthropological interest in writing as a medium of thought and knowledge sharing. This exhibition presents works by anthropologists and artists who break disciplinary boundaries, and whose practice foregrounds experimental, and open approaches to the theme “field/works”.
This series is curated by Jen Clarke and Maxime Le Calvé. We intend to provide a new space for discussion around and across the thematic of the virtual exhibition "Field/Works": https://antart.easaonline.org/
All members of ANTART (EASA) are all invited to attend. If you wish to participate in a particular talk with a short paper (5 minutes) which would resonate with the topic or — even better — with the artwork presented in that talk, please get in touch with us.
ANTART FieldWorks #12: Lee Tzu-Tung
Writing the Time Lag is a conclusion of Lee Tzu-Tung’s four-year political experience in Taiwan and America. She takes the artist’s body in the field as the form for performance art and the recorder for video art, experiments how through fieldwork, art and artist could serve or be transformed in politics.
She joined Taiwan’s legislation procedures, election campaigns, organized indigenous movements, gender movements, and a bilingual political press as an undercover of political activist, so to explore the integrity of art-researches, the reason for the political fever and furthered her reflection on modernization and its effect on Taiwan indigenous people, especially with the indigenous women and queers’ life.
Writing the Time Lag is an experimental ethnography with the stream-of-conscious narration. It seemingly wanders over various topics, including the transformation of Taiwan’s national identification, how cross-cultural marriage works in modernity, how indigenous queer fit in their tradition, ending with the reflection of how internationalization in contemporary art effects each creator’s mind.
The film is made with the interviewees through a participatory process and completed by an all-female film crew. All the 50mm shots in the film are directed or operated by the interviewees.
Lee Tzu-Tung is a conceptual artist. Her participatory projects integrate anthropological research and political activism. She examines how one can survive, manipulate, and regain the autonomy of political identities, focusing on the hegemony of Chinese Sino-centrism, the trauma of modernity, and the current epistemological injustice. She surfs with performances, web-art, installations, fictional and experimental films, and plays along the borders of contemporary art, academia, and politics. Tzu-Tung experiments how art as a method can test the contemporary form of art, technology, and authorities.
ANTART FieldWorks #11: Kate Hennessy and Trudi Lynn Smith
Fugitive Structures: The Bauhaus Building in Dessau is a series of five risograph images remediating the Bauhaus building in Dessau. Highlighting the ways in which the Dessau building and its photographic archive have been repeatedly subject to destructive political, cultural, and environmental forces, we transform these early photographs and contemporary heritage documentation of the building as examples of what we call anarchival materiality, or the generative force of entropy in archives. The anarchival force of molecular transformation, violence, displacement, and other human and non-human interactions render archival materials as fugitives, both eluding and driving preservation. The risographs show the mutable value of objects as they become fugitives (anarchival) and then archival again in new contexts and media.
The Risograph is an offset ink printing machine notorious for unpredictability and imperfection and misalignments of cyan, magenta, and yellow layers when making a color copy. Working with this machine we co-created misaligned risograph images to unbind the building and archive from a narrative of stability and permanence. Our images suggest that the Dessau building, envisioned by Walter Gropius as a manifesto of the Bauhaus idea and promoted largely without crediting the photographer, Lucia Moholy, exists as an entropic fugitive archive that is as precarious as it is iconic. How does considering the Dessau building through a critical feminist ethos of anarchival materiality suggest an alternative reading of Bauhaus histories and futures? The risograph images represent our collaborative practice of image making between art and anthropology, and were produced as a method for writing about the Bauhaus for its centennial year.
Kate Hennessy and Trudi Lynn Smith are anthropologists and practising artists that have worked together as curators and collaborators since 2009 as a part of Ethnographic Terminalia, an international curatorial collective exhibiting and creating works at the intersection of art and anthropology. Hennessy is an Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology, where she leads the Making Culture Lab, an interdisciplinary research and production studio. Smith is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, and recently held the position of artist-in-residence with Hennessy in the Making Culture Lab. Together they explore cultural practices of media, museums, and archives in the context of technoscience. Their art practice in video, photography and text has engaged with entropy in diverse collections and the ecological, social, and political impacts of new digital memory infrastructures. As ethnographers as well as artists, Hennessy and Smith highlight collaboration as a central aspect of their work, working with both human and non-human entities to represent the politics of the material world and its relationships with human agency.
ANTART FieldWorks #10: Savyasachi Anju Prabir and Harsha Menon
"Nani Ghar / नानी घर Images meant the truth; in our school textbooks, of our childhood and definitely of the world beyond; or so we believed. The authority of images as truth was only challenged when I started to make my own (images and meanings). To make my images was to build my world, the autonomy in authorship was liberating but soon, one realizes that this autonomy is a consequence of privilege.Image-making has become an integral part of our lives. We are photographing and filming our food, our friends/family and also ourselves constantly. One can accept this as a practice of creating and maintaining an archive, a live archive that will influence our understanding of our past and hence ourselves. We are heavily into the creation of our image not just for today, but for the years and generations to come. How can this archive then be read and does it communicate a sense of our identity? My grandmother and I ask each other where we are from, individually and collectively, as citizens of the world. We reflect together, she with her shard of mirror and I, with mine. The only scope for mistake in this process is to believe that our shard can reflect the whole truth."
"Hello, I’m Savyasachi and I record everyday videos, sounds and images. Sometimes I make films out of them and sometimes I just play them back to myself. I am primarily interested in the everyday mundane and its reflections/influences on the lives of people across generations and cultures. At present, I am interested in exploring the relationships between photography and film as a medium, as a mode of representation and as a form of public archive/documentation."
"Hello, I am Harsha Menon and I make films and sound pieces for the cinema and gallery. As an artist and anthropologist, I am interested in post-colonial theory, social practice, sonic ethnography, and transnational feminisms. I teach contemporary art, film and visual anthropology. My present project explores friendship as an aesthetic at a Buddhist nunnery."
ANTART Field/Works Talk #9: Yoonha Kim and Zil Vostalova
In between Hanbok. Wearable matters actively shape the wearer’s mode of being in the world. Alternative worldmaking comes along with different types of clothing. Yoonha Kim has been spending time with the makers and weavers of Hanbok, the traditional Korean dress, focusing on its underlying relational ontology. After almost 150 years of sociotechnical and sartorial Westernisation, Hanbok is reinvented in diverse forms, even through digitisation. In dialogue with phygital fashion designer Zil Vostalova, this talk focuses on the possibilities of virtual clothing, sparking visions of pluriversality. How can wearables in the digital realm affect relations between humans and Earth beings? How do we compose worlds through digital garment making?
Yoonha Kim is a Korean visual anthropologist. She is interested in how people imagine the future and take action. From filmmaking to 3D design workshops, she explores multi-modal forms of ethnographic fieldwork. In her PhD research at Humboldt University, she is currently looking into traditional Korean clothing – the ›Hanbok‹ – as an active matter. Her focus is on the diversification of garment structures connected to alternative ways of living amid technological contexts such as augmented reality, outer space exploration, and artificial intelligence. She studied Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins, and Visual and Media Anthropology at the Freie Universität Berlin.
Zil Vostalova is a phygital fashion designer. She holds a degree from the faculty of Humanities at Charles University and in Fashion Design at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI). She combines virtual prototyping, 3D printing and body scanning – all connected under the project of the PhyGital FashionTM. This project explores boundaries between the tangible world of fashion and digital representations of a garment. Practically, it examines the possibilities that digitalisation brings into the fashion craft. Along this comes the respect to materiality: garment deconstruction and no-waste patterning combined with the cut-up technique (découpé) concludes in an assemblage of a new garment. Inspiration comes from the process of deconstructing garments, the study of historical costume and the randomness of a game. Currently, she is advancing a project entitled giz’mo lab (https://www.gizmo-lab.com/), preparing a presentation for the Spring 2021 fashion week in Prague.
ANTART Field/Works Talk #8: Claire Vionnet & Christelle Becholey Besson
Shadows between Worlds results from a collaboration between visual artist Christelle Becholey Besson and anthropologist/dancer Claire Vionnet. The artwork questions movement when it resonates with various sensorial materials and sounds. Human shadows interplay in different sensory environments (water, space, shell and tunnel), addressing ways movements and bodies are affected by specific sound and visual contexts. This installation is a metaphor of broader current social issues about the world we live in. A female dancer thrusts between water and space, playing with the sensoriality of the world, resonating with materials she encounters. The gesture resonates with various faces of the Anthropocene, addressing the environment we are living in. The installation invites the audience to think about the milieus that might be better welcoming our bodies in a more sustainable way. In which environment can bodies move, grow and breath organically? This project is an illustration of participative collaboration between art and anthropology, in which the research question has been formulated together in an ongoing conversation.
Claire Vionnet is an Anthropologist, Dance Scholar and Dancer. She wrote a PhD on the creation of gestures in contemporary dance, exploring notions of body, improvisation, senses, shadow/ghost, production processes, autoethnography, phenomenology. She works creatively with dance communities (West African Dances, Contemporary Dance, Contact Improvisation), reflecting on the way art/dance produces knowledge. Marked by her time lived in Africa, she is particularly interested in the role humanities play in society and keen to reflect on better reuniting Anthropology, Art and Society. She develops alternative forms of ethnographic restitution (video-essay, lecture-performance, performative dialogs in festivals) to reach a broader audience beyond Academia.
Christelle Becholey Besson was born in 1985 in Switzerland, she lives and works in Vancouver.
“In my practice, I like to follow my curiosity, which takes me in unfamiliar places. I then use and misuse art to shape fictional narratives and create atmospheres from parallel times. Collaboration is essential to my creative process. Sharing bring complexity and chaos to the linear thinking and give me more unknown”.
ANTART Field/Works Talk #7: Natalija Miodragović in conversation with Ivana Franke
Softicity. The future architecture is soft. We developed a habit to inhabit the noisy reverb of sleek surface and the superimposed reflections in glass. The imaginary for the soft city needs diving into the mycelium scale. The soft city is more silent. The soft city is slower and it smells different. The soft city is interwoven with bodies, clothes and objects and it needs your attention, like your companion species do. We need courage and imagination to house the human earthlings in the post fossil, post concrete, fiber-based architectures.
Online video performance has soft fungi environments collected during the fieldwork as background. It is a study for possible symbiotic cohabitation with new urban materiality. The instructions will engage public online to question the sensory modalities, the materiality and the intra-climate of personal habitat. The online collages and videos serve as the imaginary of a different, softer city. Until 2021, the online exhibition will become part of speculative research in atmospheres of fiber architectures.
The Starting point for the interdisciplinary and experimental work of Natalija Miodragović M.A. (SCI-ARCH) are art and space as vehicles for social change. She works in cooperation with artists, scientists and in the field of academic research. The focus of the work is perception and understanding of space, lightweight, flexible, unfoldable and textile structures. www.miodrago.net
Currrently Excellenzcluster Matters of Activity, Image Space Material research group Object Space Agency 2016-2018 Foldable, Insulating Textiles in Architecture Prof. Lueling. Teaching: 2014-19 Institute for Architecture based Art TU Braunschweig, 2018 Weissensee academy of art berlin. Author with dreidreidrei Organ for Zionskirche Berlin, Serbian Pavilion EXPO 2010 and 2002–2015 with artist Tomas Saraceno, architect and co-author of series of projects and exhibitions like Geodesic Solar Ballloon, Biospheres etc.
Ivana Franke is a visual artist based in Berlin. Her investigations with light approach the interface between consciousness and environment, focusing on perceptual thresholds. Recently her on-going project LIMITS OF PERCEPTION LAB continued in Savvy Berlin 2020 and “Resonance of the Unforeseen” were part of Yokohama Triennale 2020.