• 17. November - 15. December 2021
• Five-weeks, Wednesday, 8-10PM CET • Small class of participants
Pricing (For tickets click here)
Artist / Student (Full Time)
Generous Supporter Ticket
*plus fees (VAT EU ONLY)
For more than 10.000 years, we have been domesticating non-human specimens. Plants (which were the first ones), horses, cats, dogs, amongst other species have become more and more a part of our daily lives, cohabiting with us on one hand in symbiosis, on the other hand as a necessary resource.
In the past, and still now in the indigenious communities such as Inuits in Arctic or Pygmy Baka Tribe in Africa, living beings were considered “non-human persons” - there was a knowledge that if these non-human persons are not respected, the equilibrium would be destroyed and nature would turn against the humans. But somewhere along the line, this understanding was lost.
In this course we will look at city-dwellers’ attitudes towards other living organisms, and whether it is possible to find ways to accept non-human persons agency and develop reciprocal relationships while sharing this predominantly human-made space.
How do we foster meaningful and conversational relations to fellow Earthlings within urban environments? What can we learn from other specimens? Which tools does society need in order to be proactive towards improving biodiversity?
Participants will be invited to select a living organism of their choice from their immediate surrounding (it can be a plant, an ant, a snail, lichen, a piece of mould from the wall, a moss, a bird living across the road, etc), who will become their focus for coming weeks. (*They can select the life-form with any criteria: affection, form, smell, texture, etc.) Through a mixture of scientific and design thinking methods as well as tools developed by Kasia Molga & Ivan Henriques they will be encouraged to uncover as much as possible about the biology, sociology, ecosystem of their selected non-human person, and their own interdependencies to it.
They will be introduced to selection of sensors (both analogue and digital) for greater observation and understanding of their organisms as well as bio-semiotics - an area of science concerned with interspecies communication - and how we can use it to communicate with their selected living organisms.
Finally participants, individually or in groups, will imagine and create a design work, art installation, design fiction or a ritual which will put their organisms in focus.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." Albert Einstein
Week 1: INTRODUCTION
Together with the participants of the course Ivan Henriques & Kasia Molga will introduce themselves. We get familiar with terms and concepts used through that course and some examples of practices from the idigenous cultures (such as Inuits, Baka tribes, Amazonian Natives) and from our contemporaries.
Participants will be invited to select one living organism and we make our first mind map - the living organism and its relations/interdependencies on the environment.
Week 2: DOMESTICATION
In this class we will look into mechanisms used in design thinking behind the concept of interconnectedness. We also will learn about History of Domestication and what it means for us and non-human makers, and for the eco / socio / economical and political systems. (Who has been domesticating whom). We touch upon critical thinking around the topics and patterns we use regarding the ‘use’ of other life-forms.
Together we will conduct a discussion about energy and sustainability, and the necessity for new approaches in the context of this course.
Week 3: SENSOR TECHNIQUES
We will look into science of how organisms communicate and technologies and tools which help to discover it; and into art - how artists are using this science in their practices.
We also will learn some sensors and observations techniques and the Double Diamond Design Thinking method and how to apply it to participants’ research.
We will be exploring the life cycle of the organism / how do you care for it. This is also a part of the homework.
Week 4: INTERCONNECTED
We will introduce a few case studies about what it means to be interdependent and interconnected, investigating new narratives for the completion of our projects.
We also will learn about the meaning of bio-semiotics to be able to use it as a powerful tool combined with a selection of meticulous datasets to reconfigure and restructure our relation to life-forms selected in previous weeks.
We will look into the Instagram page and creative way of utilising it as a platform for publishing our outcomes.
Week 5: MAKING THE FINAL PROPOSAL
It is the last class, so we will individually present our projects and publish them to the class instagram.
We also will talk about how the concepts introduced in this course can be applied in future work and how to enhance your projects further on. And we also will discuss how thinking behind this course and projects can be applied outside the speculative art and design fields.
This course is designed to be a nourishing environment for creative exploration through code, regardless of predefined ideas of technical or artistic ability. Anyone with an interest in systems (visual and beyond), abstract art or the poetics of code is encouraged to enroll. Some programming experience could prove helpful, but the class structure is meant to accommodate all different levels of expertise. The class is also for anyone interested in trying a month-long daily practice exercise, with the support of an inclusive, warm and friendly community!
The only request is the ability to commit 30-60 minutes daily to creating a new sketch, for the duration of the class. This translates into a weekly commitment of about 3.5-6 hours outside of class – hopefully a good way to start or end the day, and to build the habit of carving out time for creative work in your daily schedule.
Classes are 'live' meaning that you can directly interact with the instructor as well as with the other participants from around the world. Classes will also be recorded for playback in case you are unable to attend for any reason. For specific questions, please email us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
For tax purposes, we need to include the 19% VAT on top of ticket price for people living within the EU. IF YOU LIVE IN THE EU AND HAVE A VAT NUMBER— IT IS VAT ZERO! WE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO HAVE AND PROVIDE THIS VAT TAX NUMBER. In order to utilise this feature at checkout, under Registration Type & Tax Receipt Information, select Business (which as a freelancer you technically are), then enter in your USt.ID. If you have any questions, feel free to email us.
We realise we're living in uncertain times. During this time, we are offering a limited number of pay-what-you-can solidarity tickets for this online class. These are reserved for women, POC, and LGBTQ+ who would otherwise be unable to attend. We are a small organisation with no outside funding and like many, we are also in survival mode and we ask you to consider this when making your donation. For more information, see the FAQ page here. We kindly ask that all pay-what-you-can students register through Eventbrite. Due to reduced staffing, we’re unable to handle specific payment requests for these registrations.