The Multi-Species Lab is an art and research class focused on creative practices and strategies that decenter the human being in a world of ecological uncertainty and recalibration. Through collaborative and creative activities and assignments, we will research and question ideas of how to understand life—including human life—as a plural and ecologically enmeshed phenomenon. The Lab will be structured as a series of activities and studies that are indebted to scholars, artists, practitioners, and researchers engaged in developing “arts of living on a damaged planet.” Drawing our conceptual frameworks and key ideas from recent work in ecotheory, new materialism, posthumanism, and multi-species ethnography, we will dedicate ourselves to creating actions, rituals, habits, ceremonies, practices, and art works—in many mediums—that work to disrupt unthinking anthropocentrism and to replace it with ecospheric consciousness.
The lab is an experimentally-oriented contribution to the rapidly emerging field of Environmental Humanities, with intellectual foundations drawn from such fields as animal studies, environmental philosophy, science studies, and ecocriticism. The lab also recognizes the veritable explosion of artistic engagement whereby artists, art collectives, curators and other practitioners are addressing the social and emotional complexities of our physically changing world.
In this class, students will learn of practitioners across disciplines who address this “ecospheric reality.”
You will spend the 7 weeks in groups: plantscapes, waterways, foodlands, and petworlds, and through this lens, you will immerse yourselves in a progression of three artistic assignments: being (umwelt), addressing (polemic), and engaging (public participation). Your group will also be responsible to lead one class session with readings and discussion.
Course Level: 2000-level
T/F 1:40PM-5:20PM (2nd seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 14
Course Frequency: One time only
Categories: All courses , Environment , Updates , Advancement of Public Action , Visual Arts (VA)