Gediminas Urbonas
Lab Fee
Per-term $75 fee after Add Date; SMACT students are exempt
Units arranged U/G
MW 9:30-12:30

This course focuses on the production of artistic experiments catalyzed by research in art, with art and through art. Conceptually it deals with new modes of artistic production that shifts the discussion on artistic research towards critical engagement with the new climatic regime. Titled Climate Visions, the workshop positions artistic intelligence as a way to contribute with aesthetics and criticality to climate science, suggesting new visioning, that is in dialectics with scientific one. Oscillating between pragmatics and fiction this course will probe new perspectivism that enables future narratives of cohabitation with more-than-humans. The workshop will engage the MIT laboratories as a site where utopias for the future forms of environmental citizenship and new climate commons will be prototyped. In conversation with scientists the participants will develop hybrid projects of art and science suggesting an artistic instrumentarium for ecological repair, envisioning, speculation and probing of alternative perspectives, that catalyze a different climate for the future.

A multitude of concepts will be engaged with during this workshop: hybrid habitats and milieu, critical zones and new climatic regime, shadow biosphere and feminist fabulation, sympoiesis and composibility, cohabitation and commensality. Readings related to this subject include those by Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, Anna Tsing, Gilbert Simondon, Catherine Malabou, James Lovelock, Michel Serres, Georges Canguilhem, Scott F Gilbert, Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, Andrew Pickering, Isabelle Stengers, Vinciane Despret, Eduardo Viveiro de Castro, Elizabeth Povinelli, Jakob Johann von Uexküll, TJ Demos, and others.

Visits to the class and the field trips may include Diane Borsato, Marjetica Potrč, Fernando García-Dory, Pelin Tan, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, D-Lab, MIT Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

The class is structured with the help of the three conceptual lenses through which participants will look into the artistic project: The Manifesto, The Score and The Instrument. As such these conceptual lenses would (A) connect with pressing concerns on climate crisis — making bridge between community / injustice / climate change, and (B) help to un-earth the underlying (autochthonous) landscape in the city, affected by an extractivist economy and colonization.

In addition to lectures, discussions, crits and individual studio meetings there will be visits to the labs organized facilitated by guest interlocutors, and designed to catalyze explorations and probe what “landing on Earth” (Latour) means in practical terms.

The class will meet as a group on Mondays 9:30 am – 12:30 am for main input: lectures, visits from guest artists, designers and scholars, and discussions of readings, with a Lab work scheduled on Wednesdays 9:30 am – 12:30 am, when individual meetings and/or studio visits and desk crits with the instructor (and guest artists) would be organized. Wednesdays time slot would also be reserved for workshopping of students’ ideas, and/or library/archival research.

Students will engage in (3) phases and modalities of work: MANIFESTO, SCORE, and INSTRUMENT.

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor (4.329)