“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ja Natuurlijk (CFP)

Ja Natuurlijk    (NB the snazzy sous rature title!)

To be published in March 2013, NAI Publishers, on the occasion of Ja Natuurlijk / Yes Naturally, an exhibition of Foundation Niet Normaal and Municipal museum The Hague.

Concept and editor: Ine Gevers
Co-Editors: Ellen ter Gast, Henk Oosterling, Iris van der Tuin, Peter Paul Verbeek
NAI Publishers: Barbera van der Kooij / Gemeentemuseum: Laura Stamps
Assistants: Dennis Kerckhoffs, Laura Mudde

Exhibition Theme

Society is changing at an increasing speed and nobody knows where we are actually headed. Issues such as sustainability and biodiversity become intertwined with fairness and justice. How are we to build our common future?

Instead of plunging into the ‘green hype’ without further notice, Yes Naturally asks the question: What is natural, and who or what decides? Are human beings the only ones who have a say or do bacteria, atmospheres, trees, animals, things and computers play a role as well? Over seventy artists from different continents present a multitude of propositions for alternative ways to perceive the world. Famous pioneers and promising artists among whom Francis Alys, Damien Hirst, Olafur Eliasson, Fischli & Weiss, Susan Hiller, Peter Fend, Natalie Jeremijenko, Marjetica Portc and Superflex, show humor and decisiveness.

Unlooked for relationships and co-evolution between humans and the environment are central to our focus. Yes Naturally does not choose for ‘nature’ and against ‘technology’, but rather shows how innovations contribute to co-creation and partnerships between human and nonhuman entities.

Central statement

Yes Naturally is not about defeatism or getting lost in nostalgia, but rather envisions an urban future where nature and culture merge. Yes Naturally blends new materialism, object-relatedness and dark ecology in order to understand how humans and environments are intertwined. Yes Naturally is an affirmative approach to building partnerships with the world around us in a less delusional and less self-indulgent manner, opening our minds to the genuine otherness of what we call ‘nature’.

Objective of the Publication

A collection of essays will be published in conjunction with the Yes Naturally exhibition. The publication is intended to contribute to the current debate on ecology, biodiversity and sustainability by recognizing that a fundamental shift is paramount in how we perceive our surroundings and accordingly think and act. Cultural change will be necessary to reverse the destructive forces humans have precipitated.

From participating scholars and authors we expect propositions that suggest a less-anthropocentric worldview, which is both refreshing and challenging. Understanding how we co-evolve with technology is as central to this new understanding of ecological and social justice as is letting go of rooted notions about ‘nature’. Pedagogical contributions on ecoliteracy are welcomed as well. The selected articles may be seen as tools to understand our relationship with each other and with our surroundings in entirely different ways.

Situated and concrete We invite contributions that follow a bottom-up argumentation, informed by situated practices and which analyse concrete objects of study. The areas in which a more attentive perspective can make a difference are numerous. To pick just a few examples from many possibilities: Should we reconsider what it is that makes us human in a world inhabited by many intelligent non-human entities? Can innovative technology build bridges and restore a closer contact between humans and their surroundings? What do indigenous cultures teach us about co-evolution and interdependencies between language, culture, technology and nature? How can we learn from everyday practices and survival tactics of the marginalized and groups of concern in contemporary societies? And what would be the role of art in triggering attention to 'naturecultures' in scenarios for an inclusive future?

We would like to invite you to submit a proposal of 350 words. If accepted, we will contact you and make agreements for submitting a paper of approximately 3500 words.

– The deadline for submitting a paper proposal of 350 words is April 1, 2012
– The deadline to submit your paper of 3500 words is August 1, 2012
– The final deadline for edited and corrected submissions is October 1, 2012
– For questions please email Dennis Kerckhoffs dennis@ja-natuurlijk.com

Ine Gevers www.inegevers.net
Ellen ter Gast www.rtodto.nl/ellen
Henk Oosterling www.henkoosterling.nl
Iris van der Tuin www.genderstudies.nl/index.php?pageid=56
Peter Paul Verbeek www.ppverbeek.nl
Dennis Kerckhoffs dennis@ja-natuurlijk.com
Laura Mudde laura@ja-natuurlijk.com
Ja Natuurlijk/ Postbus

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