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Zooetics+ Symposium poster
Zooetics+ Symposium poster

April 27, 2018April 28, 2018

MIT Building E15

The Zooetics+ Symposium commences Friday, April 27, 2018 with the sessions “What Does Ecosystemic Thinking Mean Today” and “Knowledge Production Through Making and Living with Other Species,” discussing the habits of thought associated with cybernetics and the transition towards new thinking, inspired by sympoietics. The day will be finalized with a session speculating on what non-human imagination could look like in the session “The Radical Imagination: Toward Overcoming the Human.”

On Saturday, April 28, the program will explore further devices for ecosystemic thinking, discussing relevant artistic methods and practices in the panel “Artistic Intelligence, Speculation, Prototypes, Fiction.” “Creating Indigenous Futures” will be explored through bringing Indigenous values together with science and technology. The need for other, alternative vantage points—of species, of time, of traditions, of beings will be addressed in the session “Futures of Symbiotic Assemblages: Multi-naturalism, Monoculture Resistance and “The Permanent Decolonization of Thought.”

The symposium will conclude with a roundtable and launch of a new artistic research program “Sympoiesis: New Research, New Pedagogy, and New Publishing in Radical Inter-disciplinarity.”

Zooetics+ will be accompanied by a program of performances and installations by Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, Allora and Calzadilla, Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, Rikke Luther and NODE Berlin/Oslo.

Zooetics+ is part of ACT’s program recognizing the 50th anniversary of the founding of the renowned Center for Advanced Visual Studies, a predecessor to ACT.


Online registration closes at midnight EST on April 24.

Detailed Schedule and Description of Program Sessions:


9:30 AM Registration

10:00 AM Opening Protocol by Erin Genia

10:15 AM Introduction to Zooetics+ Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM What Does Ecosystemic Thinking Mean Today?
Genealogy, impact and legacy of ecosystemic thought since the dawn of cybernetics. How have the infrastructures changed today since the publication of “Limits to Growth” or “Whole Earth Catalogue”? What tools are there to attune ourselves to perceive the interconnections of natural and man-made systems and to be able to make ethical, political, aesthetic decisions? This session is engaged with the question of how to transition from the habits of thought associated with cybernetics towards new thinking… perhaps sympoietics?
Cary Wolfe and Sophia Roosth
Respondent: Lars Bang Larsen

12:00 PM -1:30 PM Lunch break and Banner Tow Flight by Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Knowledge Production Through Making and Living with Other Species
Visions for species equality. Conviviality. Accessing other-than-human ways of knowing. Learning from other species (vis-a-vis biomimicry of other species)
Scott Gilbert and Stefan Helmreich
Moderator: Caitlin Berrigan
Respondent: Caroline A. Jones

3:10 PM – 4:30 PM The Radical Imagination: Toward Overcoming the Human
Often reduced to a capacity of either a subject or consciousness, imagination could be thought as a way of opening up to the future and the unknown. Simultaneously being a sphere of change and transformation, it invents the directions of its own development and acts as a link between a human and the powers of the world. However, is it possible transcend human imagination? What would a non-human imagination look like? The field of imagination enables the exposure of radically impossible possibilities, introduces the perspectives of their development, and overcomes predetermined articulations and representations.
Chiara Bottici, Richard Kearney and Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg
Respondent: Kristupas Sabolius



9:30 AM Registration

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Artistic Intelligence, Speculation, Prototypes, Fiction. Learning Through Artistic Methods.
Artistic methods of speculation, prototype making, modelling and fiction as pedagogical devices for ecosystemic thinking.
Jennifer Allora, Heather Davis, and Sheila Kennedy
Respondents: Larissa Harris and Laura Serejo Genes

11:45 AM – 1:15 PM Creating Indigenous Futures: Indigenous artists discuss their work in relationship to futurity and creative reclamation
Looking ahead to future generations, sustained by the strength of our ancestors and wise to the challenges of living in fraught times, how do we bring our values as Indigenous people to our work in creating Indigenous futures? As artists, how do we apply Indigenous science and technology to creating these futures? This session is organized by Erin Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate),a first year Masters of Science candidate in Art, Culture and Technology at MIT.

Courtney Leonard (Shinnecock), Jackson Polys (Tlingit), Kite (Oglala Lakota)
Respondent: Mario Caro

1:30 PM -2:30 PM Lunch break

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM Futures of Symbiotic Assemblages: Multi-naturalism, Monoculture Resistance and “The Permanent Decolonization of Thought”
In the age of post-truth, peak oil, alternative facts, and the alternative right, it has never been more urgent to defend the need for the coexistence of other, alternative vantage points – of species, of time, of traditions, of beings.

Emmanuel Alloa, Kim TallBear
Respondents: Gediminas Urbonas, Laura Knott, Nuno Loureiro, and Nolan Dennis

4:30PM – 5:30PM Closing remarks and future plans:

Sympoiesis: New Research, New Pedagogy, and New Publishing in Radical Inter-disciplinarity

Florian Schneider, Corinne Diserens, Lars Bang Larsen, Gediminas Urbonas, Nomeda Urbonas, Judith Barry, Gary Zhang




8:30 PM RASA SMITE and RAITIS SMITS, BIOTRICITY, at the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics



  • Emmanuel Alloa, University of St.Galen
  • Judith Barry, MIT ACT
  • Caitlin Berrigan, NYU Tisch, Photography and Imaging
  • Nikola Bojic, Institute of Art History Zagreb / MIT research affiliate
  • Chiara Bottici, The New School for Social Research
  • Mario Caro, MIT ACT
  • Heather Davis, McGill University
  • Corinne Diserens, Curator
  • Erin Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate), MIT ACT
  • Scott Gilbert, Swarthmore College and the University of Helsinki
  • Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Artist
  • Nuno Loureiro, MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • Larissa Harris, Queens Museum, New York
  • Stefan Helmreich, MIT Anthropology
  • Caroline A. Jones, MIT Architecture
  • Richard Kearney, Boston College
  • Sheila Kennedy, MIT Architecture
  • Kite (Oglala Lakota), Artist, Concordia University
  • Agnieszka Kurant, Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at CAST
  • Courtney Leonard (Shinnecock), Artist
  • Maxi Obexer
  • Jackson Polys (Tlingit), Artist
  • Sophia Roosth, Harvard University
  • Kristupas Sabolius, Vilnius University
  • Florian Schneider, NTNU, Trondheim Academy of Fine Art
  • Kim TallBear (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), University of Alberta
  • Cary Wolfe, Rice University


Gediminas Urbonas (ACT), Nomeda Urbonas (ACT, and Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Viktorija Siaulyte (Jutempus), Kristupas Sabolius (Vilnius University), Laura Knott (ACT), Lars Bang Larsen (Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm), Laura Serejo Genes (ACT).

The Zooetics+ Symposium at MIT is co-produced by Jutempus Interdisciplinary Art Program and MIT Program in Art, Culture & Technology (ACT). Co-presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), and sponsored, in addition, by the Office of the Dean of the School of Architecture + Planning, MIT.

A___Zooetics is part of the Outreach and Education Programme of Frontiers in Retreat project (EACEA 2013-1297) and is funded with support from the European Commission as well as Lithuanian Council for Culture. This communication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained herein


Thanks to our generous sponsors:

AC/E Acción Cultural Española; Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT); The Danish Art Council; Diversity Office, SA+P; The European Union Culture Programme; Goethe-Institut Boston; The Lithuanian Council for Culture; Mediafon; MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST); MIT Committee on Race and Diversity; MIT Office of Graduate Education; Nordic Culture Fund; Norwegian Consulate General; Office for Contemporary Art Norway; Office of the Dean, SA+P; The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; swissnex Boston