Participating Speakers + Artists

Symposium Speakers

Brian Holmes, Art Critic, Cultural Theorist and Activist (Chicago, USA):  Brian is a cultural critic and political activist. His essays revolve around art, free cooperation, the network society, political ecology, and grassroots resistance and he has published in BrumariaMultitudes, and Springerin. Currently, he teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago where he is a member of the Compass group. With Claire Pentecost and the 16 Beaver Group he co-organized the Continental Drift seminars (2005–2010). Selected books include: Volatile Smile (2014); Escape the Overcode: Activist Art in the Control Society (2009); and Unleashing the Collective Phantoms: Essays in Reverse Imagineering (2007). Recent contributions include collaborations with the following projects: South West Corridor North West Passage (with Rozalinda Borcila); Midwest Compass (with Matthias Regan); and Environmental Laboratory (with the Southeast Environmental Task Force). He lives and works in Chicago.

Kathryn Yusoff, Reader in Human Geography (Queen Mary University of London, UK): Kathryn is a Reader in Human Geography in the School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London. Her research interests include critical theory and environmental change, feminist geophilosophy, political aesthetics, and extraction. Her current research is focused on the geosocial formations of the Anthropocene, and she is finishing a book titled, Geologic Life. Recent papers include a co-edited (with Nigel Clark) issue of Theory Culture and Society on “Geosocial Formations in the Anthropocene” and in Environment and Planning A on “Geoengineering”. Her most recent research project investigates “Geosocial Strata” as a new mode of theorizing the role of geologic forces in subtending social relations.

Kai Bosworth, PhD Candidate in Geography (University of Minnesota, USA): Kai is a PhD candidate in the department of Geography, Society and Environment at the University of Minnesota, where he researches how environmental controversies around resource extraction emerge from material relationships with land, property, and the underground. Kai’s dissertation argues that mainstream environmentalist responses to pipeline infrastructure in North America reinforce populist conceptions of property, democracy, and expertise, transforming the character of environmentalist political alliances while reinforcing the racial and national partitions of settler colonialism. This research forms part of a broader investigation into the range of feminist environmental and political theories responding to the Anthropocene. Kai writes as part of the research collectives Out of the Woods and Not an Alternative and is a fellow at The Natural History Museum. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Macalester College and an M.A. in Geography from the University of Minnesota. His solo and collaborative works have appeared in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Miami Rail, The New Inquiry, and Jacobin, and has forthcoming chapters and articles in Antipode: A Journal of Radical Geography, The Handbook of Feminist Geography, Museums and Activism, Into the Void, and Capitalism and the Earth.

Brian Davis, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture (Cornell University, USA): Brian is an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Cornell University where he is director of the Borderlands Research Group, and he has practiced in Raleigh, Buenos Aires, and New York City. He teaches design studios as well as classes on construction technology and Latin American landscape history and theory. His research is part of the emerging field of fluvio-urban morphology, focusing on urban rivers and watersheds in Latin America and New York State. His theoretical research considers the relationship between landscapes and instruments, and emphasizes historical and contemporary connections in practices and theories of landscape-making throughout the Americas. He is a member of the Dredge Research Collaborative.

Kyle Powys White, Timnick Chair in the Humanities, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability (Michigan State University, USA): Kyle holds the Timnick Chair in the Humanities in the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University and is a faculty member of the Environmental Philosophy & Ethics graduate concentration. His primary research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples, and the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and climate science organizations. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Shawnee, Oklahoma. His articles have appeared in journals such as Climatic ChangeEnvironmental JusticeHypatiaEcological ProcessesSyntheseHuman EcologyJournal of Global EthicsAmerican Journal of BioethicsJournal of Agricultural & Environmental EthicsEthics, Policy & Environment, and Ethics & the Environment.

Rania Ghosn, Assistant Professor of Architecture (MIT, USA): Rania is an architect and geographer. Her scholarship and creative practice critically frame the politics and aesthetics and technological systems. She is assistant professor at MIT School of Architecture and Planning and partner with El Hadi Jazairy of DESIGN EARTH. Their work has been exhibited internationally, at Venice Architecture Biennale, Oslo Architecture Triennale, Beirut’s Sursock Museum, amongst others, and recognized with several awards, including the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects, ACSA Faculty Design Awards, the Jacques Rougerie Foundation. They are authors of Two Cosmograms (MIT Keller Gallery, 2016) and Geographies of Trash (ACTAR, 2015). Rania is founding editor of New Geographies and editor-in-chief of NG2: Landscapes of Energy (Harvard GSD, 2010). Some of her recent essays are published in Journal of Architectural Education, ARQ, MONU, San Rocco, The Avery Review, Bracket, and Perspecta. She holds a Doctor of Design from Harvard University, a Master in Geography from University College London, and a Bachelor of Architecture from American University of Beirut.

Felipe Correa, Associate Professor of Urban Design and Director of the Urban Design Program  (Harvard University, USA): Felipe is a founder and managing Partner of Somatic Collaborative. Through Somatic Collaborative Correa has directed a wide range of applied research and design projects across multiple spatial contexts in the Americas, Asia and Europe. He is currently Associate Professor and Director of the Urban Design Degree Program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). At Harvard he also directs the South America Project, a trans-continental applied research network that proactively endorses the role of design within rapidly transforming geographies of the South American Continent. Correa is the author of multiple books including “Beyond the City: Resource Extraction Urbanism in South America (University of Texas Press, 2016), “Mexico City: Between Geometry and Geography “(Applied Research and Design Publishing, 2015) and “A Line in the Andes” (Applied Research and Design Publishing 2014) which won first prize at the Pan American Architecture Biennale. In addition, he has lectured and exhibited at many universities and conferences, including Cornell University, Columbia University, Tulane University, University of Pennsylvania, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, The National Arts Club, and the Pan-American Architecture Biennale, among others. His work, research, and writings have been published in journals, including Architectural Design, Architectural Record, Harvard Design Magazine Topos and Volume. Correa received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Tulane University, and his Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University

TJ Demos, Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture; Director, Center for Creative Ecologies (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA): TJ is an art historian and cultural critic who writes on contemporary art and visual culture, particularly in relation to globalization, politics, migration and ecology, and received his PhD from Columbia University. Currently a Professor in the Department of History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC) at UC Santa Cruz, and the founding director of the Center for Creative Ecologies, he is the author of several books, including  Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Sternberg Press, 2016), The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary during Global Crisis (Duke University Press, 2013), and Return to the Postcolony: Spectres of Colonialism in Contemporary Art (Sternberg Press, 2013). Previous to his current appointment, Demos taught at University College London between 2005-2015. He has also curated a number of art exhibitions, including Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas in 2010 and Uneven Geographies: Art and Globalisation in 2015, both at Nottingham Contemporary (both co-curated with Alex Farqharson); Specters: A Cinema of Haunting at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid in 2014; and Zones of Conflict, at Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York in 2008.

Bruce Braun Professor of Geography and Director of Graduate Studies (University of Minnesota, USA): Bruce Braun is a native of Canada and grew up in the major oil center of Calgary, Alberta. He studied history and geography at the University of Winnipeg before completing a Ph.D. in Geography at the University of British Columbia and a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Geography, Environment and Society since 1999. His current research focuses on the social and political dimensions of extractive industry, with an empirical focus on the oil boom in North Dakota. He is also currently the Nature-Society Section Editor of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, the flagship journal of the discipline.

Participating Exhibition Artists

Xavier Ribas (London + Valencia): Xavier Ribas is a photographer and lecturer at the University of Brighton, and associate lecturer at the Universitat Politècnica de València. He studied Social Anthropology at the University of Barcelona and Documentary Photography at the Newport School of Art and Design. Ribas has been involved in many international exhibitions including the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS), the Stedelijk Museum, the Bluecoat Liverpool, Belfast Exposed, Aperture Gallery, George Eastman House, Le Bal, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Centro Huarte de Arte Contemporáneo and the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M). He has received awards, commissions and fellowships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council – AHRC (2012-2016), the International Photography Research Network – IPRN (2006), Fundación Telefónica (2005), and Commande Publique du Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, Centre National des Arts Plastiques (2006), among others. Ribas has also collaborated on research, exhibition and publication projects with the Universidad de Salamanca (1998, 2000, 2009), Universitat Politècnica de València (2008), Université de Toulouse II-Le Mirail (2007-2008), Universiteit Leiden (2006), UNIACC Santiago (2010), and Universidad de Navarra (2009, 2014-2015).

Uwe H. Martin + Frauke Huber (Hamburg): Frauke Huber and Uwe H. Martin are visual storytellers, researchers and educators working on long-term, in-depth, documentary projects around the world that combine photography with documentary film, text and sound. Currently they are working on a set of multimedia documentaries about the global commons water, seed and land: White Gold (2007-2012) investigates the social and environmental effects of global cotton production. LandRush (since 2011) explores the impact of large-scale agro investments on rural economies and land-rights, the boom of renewable fuels, the reallocation of land and the future of agriculture around the world. Their projects grow organically chapter-by-chapter, developing over years, and build bridges between magazine journalism, web documentaries, interactive apps and spatial installations. Frauke and Uwe teach photography and multimedia storytelling around the world. Besides their collective work Uwe H. Martin is a member of the prestigious Bombay Flying Club.

Ursula Biemann (Zürich) + Paolo Tavares (London + Quito): Ursula Biemann is an artist, writer, and video essayist based in Zurich, Switzerland. Her artistic practice is strongly research oriented and involves fieldwork in remote locations. Her artistic practice is strongly research oriented and involves fieldwork in remote locations. Her recent fieldwork has taken her to the Amazon and the Arctic region. Engaging with the political ecology of oil, ice and water, the artist interweaves vast cinematic landscapes with documentary footage, SF poetry and academic findings to narrate a changing planetary reality. Her video installations are exhibited worldwide in museums and at international art biennials in Sao Paulo, Liverpool, Sharjah, Shanghai, Sevilla, Istanbul, Montreal, and Venice. She had comprehensive solo exhibitions at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein n.b.k.; Lentos Museum Linz and Helmhaus Zürich. Biemann has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York (1988). She received a doctor honoris causa in Humanities by the Swedish University Umeå and the Prix Meret Oppenheim, the Swiss Grand Award for Art.

Paulo Tavares (Campinas, 1980) is an architect and urbanist based in São Paulo whose work deals with the relations between conflict and space. Spanning various media and conceptual formats, his design and visual arts work has been exhibited in different international venues, most recently at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, NL; Haus de Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, and PROA-Argentina. Tavares has lectured at different contexts and locations, including ETH-Zurich; Vera List Center for Arts and Politics, New York; and Mercosul Biennial. He was a visiting scholar at the School of Architecture at Princeton and Cornell University, and prior to that taught design studio and spatial theory at the School of Architecture of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador in Quito. Between 2008 and 2012, Tavares taught at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths. He holds a PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, and with Ursula Biemann is the author of the book Forest Law (2014).

Mabe Bethonico (Brazil): Mabe Bethônico, born in 1966 and raised in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, is an artist researcher with a MA and PhD in Fine Arts from the Royal College of Art, London (2000). Her artistic practice involves long-term research projects resulting in visual and sound pieces, installations, lectures, publications and websites, using documentary sources and field recordings. Since 2003, her work has been exhibited extensively, including in 2012 at Centro Cultural São Paulo, in collaboration with Anselm Jappe, in La Revanche de L’Archive Photographique, Centre de Photographie, Geneva, 2010; Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan, Puerto Rico 2009; the 28ª Biennial of São Paulo – Em Vivo Contato, 2008; Encuentro Internacional de Medellin, Práticas Artísticas Contemporâneas, Museo de Antioquia, 2007; the 27ª Biennial of São Paulo – Como Viver Junto, 2006; Subversiones Diarias – MALBA, Buenos Aires; Panorama da Arte Brasileira, MAM Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paolo, and the Art Museum of Pampulha, 2005; Telling Histories, Kunstverein Muenchen, Munich, 2003. Her work is regularly reviewed in the Latin American and international art press. She is Professor in Fine Arts at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, and lectures and gives workshops worldwide. In 2013 she developed a project at the Museum of Ethnography of Geneva with support from CNPq – the National Research Council of Brazil.

Lonnie Van Brummelen + Siebren De Haan (Amsterdam): Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan have worked together since 2002, producing 16mm and 35mm film installations that explore cultural and geopolitical landscapes like Europe’s borders (Grossraum, 2005), sites of resource production and global trade (Monument of Sugar, 2007), and the (non) sites of cultural heritage (Monument to Another Man’s Fatherland, 2008 and subi dura a rudibus, 2010). Their film images are often countered by textual supplements that disclose the contingency of their fieldwork. Performing a drifting studio practice, they are involved in all aspects of production from the handling of the camera, to montage, and the design of their artist publications. Van Brummelen is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam and the HKU. She’s a tutor at HKU and a regular visiting professor at diverse Master programs. Venues where their works have been shown include Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Kunsthaus Zürich; Argos, Brussels; SMBA and De Appel Amsterdam; CCA Vilnius; the Shanghai and Guangju Biennials; IAC Villeurbanne, France. Their work is included in public collections of Les Abattoirs, Toulouse; MUDAM Luxembourg; FRAC Marseille; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf; Hoffmann Sammlung, Berlin; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Peter Mortenbock + Helge Moosehammer (London): Peter Mörtenböck is Professor of Visual Culture at the Vienna University of Technology and visiting researcher at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he has initiated the Networked Cultures project, a global research platform focusing on trans-locally connected spatial practices. His current work explores the interaction of such practices with resource politics, global economies and urban transformation. He has written numerous essays on contemporary art, bottom-up urbanism and collaborative forms of spatial production that have appeared in international journals such as Grey Room, Architectural Research Quarterly and Third Text. Together with Helge Mooshammer, he has authored and edited numerous books, including, amongst others, Visuelle Kultur (2003), Cruising: Architektur, Psychoanalyse und Queer Cultures (2005), Networked Cultures: Parallel Architectures and the Politics of Space (2008), Netzwerk Kultur: Die Kunst der Verbindung in einer globalisierten Welt (2010), Space (Re)Solutions: Intervention and Research in Visual Culture (2011), Occupy: Räume des Protests (2012) and the two forthcoming volumes Other Markets (2014) and Informal Market Worlds (2014). Their research and curatorial work has been presented, amongst others, at the Whitechapel Gallery London, the Nederlands Architecture Institute Rotterdam, Storefront for Art and Architecture New York, Proekt Fabrika Moskau, Santral Istanbul, Gasworks London, Architekturzentrum Vienna, Israeli Center for Digital Art, Trafo Gallery Budapest, Toronto Free Gallery and the Venice Biennale.


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