Pelin Tan | New and Recent Projects

Pelin Tan. Image courtesy of the artist.
ACT at MIT

Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College:
Turkish sociologist, activist, and architectural theorist Pelin Tan, a 2011 ACT Fellow, was selected as the sixth recipient of the Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, where she was also hosted by the Human Rights Project for the spring 2020 semester. As part of her Fellowship, Tan taught two seminars at Bard in Spring 2020: Geontologies and Rights in the Post-Anthropocene for the Human Rights Department, and Alternative Alliances: Pedagogies of Decolonization for the Curatorial Department. She is a researcher and writer who works on methodologies of critical spatial practices, alternative pedagogies and conflict territories. She studied sociology and completed her master and PhD in Art History in the field of socially engaged art.

Transversal Methodology: An Ontology of Entanglement of Art/Architecture and Scales:
Tan was recently appointed as a Senior Research Fellow by the Center of Arts, Design, and Social Research, a center that focuses on decolonization, postfeminism, migration, and alternative pedagogies in Boston. Tan’s project during her Fellowship year is “Transversal Methodology: An Ontology of Entanglement of Art/Architecture and Scales.” She writes: “I am interested in developing means and streams of decolonization methods through alternative pedagogical modalities and practices of commons in the post-anthropocene realm. Thinking practices such as “De-Archive” process; both as a methodology and discourse interest me to combine it with the research of “Indigenous Planetary Knowledges” that knowledge of non-human elements an infrastructure understood as agencies of geontopower in extra-territorial conditions. This research project will be about developing my practices on alternative pedagogies and archiving in cross regional scales on the topics of cultivation through artistic research and methodology in Basilicata/Italy, Southeast Turkey, Palestine and others.”

The Care of Seed: An Entangled Kinship:
The Care of Seed: An Entangled Kinship maps heirloom seed infrastructures of the Mediterranean region from Palestine, Syria through Anatolia to Italy. For this project, she is collaborating with artist Luigi Coppola (Italy) and Vivien Sansour/Palestinian Heirloom Seed Library (West Bank, Palestine), and they have been invited by curator Mariana Pestana to participate in the upcoming 5th Istanbul Design Biennial titled “Empathy Revisited.The Care of Seed includes field research from various territories, as well conceptual discourse on the ‘solidarity of kinship’ (Donna Harraway) and the ‘matter of Care’ (María Puig de la Bellacasa).

She Who Saw the Deep:
Tan recently received a short film production grant from the Sharjah Art Foundation for the upcoming short film, She Who Saw the Deep (2020), which she is co-directing with her long-time collaborator, artist Anton Vidokle. She Who Saw the Deep will explore speculative narratives of the future, present, and past. Inspired by Gilgamesh’s quest for immortality and the urban culture of Uruk, this film questions arguments around immortality, urbanity, social organization, and agriculture to reflect on the future of humanity. Immortality is conceptualized within a more than human world, with a female Gilgamesh at the center of the plot. The film has been shot in Dara in the southeastern region of Turkey, where ancient Mesopotamian artifacts can still be found.http://sharjahart.org/sharjah-art-foundation/people/tan-pelin

Urgent Pedagogies:
Since 2018, Tan has been co-curating a research-based project Urgent Pedagogies with Magnus Ericson by IASPIS/Stockholm which consists of public events, an archival website, and an upcoming book that collects and maps alternative forms of pedagogical practices in design and art.

Arazi Assembly:
Tan is also a member of research collective Arazi Assembly at the Southeast of Turkey that is researching conflict urbanism, female labor, and solidarity.