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31 July 2020
Rosy Gray & Shela Sheikh

For the final podcast in “The Botanical Mind” series at Camden Art Centre, Ros Gray and Shela Sheikh discuss how planting was central to colonialism and explain why it is vital that we recognise the ongoing effects of colonial botany and the plantation system. They will discuss how gardens – from botanical collections to municipal parks – are historical sites of exclusion and labour as well as leisure and enjoyment, detailing the hierarchies that exist within these spaces, and describing how artists have actively sought to decolonise these spaces through planting with reference to ongoing projects in London.


21 January 2019
Elizabeth A. Povinelli

This lecture begins with four axioms that emerge when politics enters the interstitial spacing among the whole earth, Gaia, and autonomous worlds. The four axioms are: the ‘extimacy’ of existence; the collapse of western distinctions and hierarchies of existence, most significantly that between Life and Nonlife, the biological and geological; the distribution of the effects of power and the power to affect a given terrain of existence; and the multiplicity and collapse of forms of the event. How does the straining of quasi-spaces and fuzzy things and of the efforts and forces of embankment of existence demand an accounting from western political concepts for their refusal to register their historical and current effects on the toxic earth?

Elizabeth A. Povinelli is Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and The Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality at Columbia University and one of the founding members of the Karrabing Film Collective. Her work has explored the governance of late liberalism as it manifests in settler colonial contexts across five books, most recently, Geontologies, A Requiem for Late Liberalism, which was the 2017 recipient of the Lionel Trilling Book Award; and six films and several installations with the Karrabing Collective. Karrabing films were awarded the 2015 Visible Award and the 2015 Cinema Nova Award Best Short Fiction Film, Melbourne International Film Festival and have shown internationally including in the Berlinale Forum Expanded, Sydney Biennale; MIFF, the Tate Modern, documenta-14, and the Contour Biennal.

21 January 2019
T.J. Demos:

What if we measure geo-engineering climate-change fixes by social-justice and speculative approaches to Afrofuturism (including Arthur Jafa’s video Love is the Message, the Message is Death, 2016), where climate signifies more than just the biogeophysical? What are the stakes of competitive accounts of the not-yet? How is technoscientific rationality currently colonizing what’s to come? What hope do we have to decolonize our future? Picking apart these questions, T. J. Demos will speak about his current research in progress concerning the end/s of the world/s and what comes next…

T. J. Demos is Professor of Art and Visual Culture, and Director of the Center for Creative Ecologies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the author of several books, including Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (Sternberg Press, 2017), 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).