Social Aesthetics1/Radical Ecologies

The European Doctoral Seminar in Culture, Criticism and Creativity
5, 6, 7 March

We are pleased to announce this year's London edition of the Berlin, Glasgow, Copenhagen, London joint symposium:

Social Aesthetics 1/Radical Ecologies

If the aesthetic is the means by which we encounter things (never having full access to the thing itself), then social aesthetics designates the mode whereby the relations between things are made sensible to us. The concept of social aesthetics will be explored through a series of thematic seminars, each of which proposes a particular vantage point for engaging with ideas and artistic and political practices that render the complex relationships between things and their processual forms perceptible. The first symposium will focus upon Radical Ecologies.

Ecological thought is particularly well-suited to social aesthetics as it emerges from the fundamental fact of co-existence and attempts to think through the complexity of massive and dynamic interrelation. 'Ecology' as a term was introduced by zoologist Ernst Haeckel in 1866, referring to the study of the oikos - 'home' or 'economy' - of living forms and their interaction. Radical Ecologies extends this concept of co-existence but is not limited to organic life forms and includes any networks, assemblages, agencements, apparatuses and dispositives that blur the boundaries between the technological and the social, the human and nonhuman, the discursive and non-discursive, and the natural and cultural.

Whilst Félix Guattari designated three ecological registers, the environment, social relations, and human subjectivity, for the multi-disciplinary collaboration and collective thinking that the joint symposium encourages, Isabelle Stenger's notion of an “ecology of practices” might be even more useful:

An ecology of practices does not have any ambition to describe practices 'as they are'; it resists the master word of a progress that would justify their destruction. It aims at the construction of new 'practical identities' for practices, that is, new possibilities for them to be present, or in other words to connect. It thus does not approach practices as they are - physics as we know it, for instance - but as they may become.

As the symposium will not be divided into streams, we welcome proposals for short interventions of any form that enter into, or take an angle on, any aspect of the ecological. All manner of experiments, adventures, explorations, and performances could be gathered around an ethic and aesthetic of radical ecological thought and practice.

Interventions may take any form or format, sonic or visual, choreographic or textual, workshop or walk, paper or performance.

Please send a short proposal to by the 20/02/15

Some possibilities for themes are:

- Ecologies of artistic production 
- Media or informational ecologies
- Subterranean aesthetics
- Geological Imaginary and mineral ecologies
- Political ecologies (such as Jasbir Puar's terrorist assemblages)
- Queer ecologies
- Ecologies of (re)production
- Indigenous ecologies
- Racialising assemblages
- Affective architecture of aesthetic experience
- Ecologies of resistance