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Watch the conference HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative

text:
Futures Photography
Date:
October 6, 2021
On 16 and 17 September, within the programme of HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative, we’ve invited artists, curators and other professionals for a series of panels and artist talks. Taking place at Melkweg Amsterdam under the curatorship of Marina Paulenka, the 2-day conference provides an academic, artistic, and practical look at themes related to understanding hybrid ways of narrating and understanding our reality.
The panels and talks were live-streamed on YouTube and now you can watch all of them online:
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PANEL: The Digitally Mediated Body

How we experience the ‘everyday’ is increasingly shaped by the crumbling boundaries between our physical and digital realities. Our digital embodiment is regulated and represented through performance, self-curation, avatars, algorithmic processes, and online micro-communities. In an emerging hybrid sociocultural environment, which threatens to collapse self, identity, community, and ability, how might our digital and physical bodies be reconciled? How are the narratives of our bodies adapted as an online presence, and what processes are complicit in creating these adaptations? This panel will convene to discuss the intricacies of understanding the embodied ‘self’ in simulated reality, focusing on the roles our digitally embodied subjectivities play within these simulated cultural landscapes—and within collective digital cultures which progressively demand more authenticity and ‘truth’ in visual and discursive renderings of self-identity and experience.

For this panel, we invited Emily Graham (Futures artist), Jan Berger (artist), Bogomir Doringer (artist, curator and head of Education and Research at NXT Museum), Ugo Woatzi (Futures artist) and Aurélie Bayad (Futures artist). The panel is moderated by Sarah Trottier (external PhD Candidate in Gender Studies and Critical Theory at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON), Utrecht University).

PANEL: Image-making in and outside institutions

While in parallel a permanent synthesis of online and offline dynamics is changing the way knowledge is produced, spread and consumed, which kind of new forms of showcasing are institutions and alternative platforms presenting? Within this pressure cooker of hybridized transgression, we are witness to an environment of intensive experimentation, with multidisciplinary artists at the forefront. But how successfully is the cultural industry adapting alongside them? And which new forms of narration might we need where we are heading to?

With speakers from multidisciplinary practices, we will discuss their engagement with image-making as curators: how they make difference and switch, inside and outside their institutions.

This panel is a conversation among Rein Deslé (curator at FOMU), Valentine Umansky (International Art curator at Tate), Poulomi Basu (award-winning Indian transmedia artist and activist) and Clarice M. D. Gargard (journalist, filmmaker, writer and co-founder of Lilith Magazine and Lilith Agency). It is moderated by the artist, writer, founder of Meta/Books and co-founder of Engagement Arts NL, Delphine Bedel.

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ARTIST TALK: Morehshin Allahyari - The Needed Worlds (Lecture and Performance)

In this lecture and performance, Morehshin Allahyari uses personal storytelling and her work as points of departure to weave in topics such as digital colonialism, archival methodologies, and myth-thinking for building the needed worlds.

Morehshin Allahyari is an Iranian-Kurdish media artist, activist, and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She uses computer modeling, 3D scanning, and digital fabrication techniques to explore the intersection of art and activism. Inspired by concepts of collective archiving and cultural contradiction, Allahyari’s 3D-printed sculptures, and videos challenge social and gender norms. She wants her work to respond to, resist, and criticize the current political and cultural situation that is experienced on a daily basis. Her work has been part of numerous exhibitions, festivals, and workshops at venues throughout the world, including the New Museum, MoMa, Centre Pompidou, Venice Biennale di Archittectura, and Museum für Angewandte Kunst among many others. She is the recipient of the United States Artist Fellowship (2021), The Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2019), The Sundance Institute New Frontier International Fellowship, and the leading global thinkers of 2016 award by Foreign Policy magazine. She has been awarded major commissions by The Shed, Rhizome, New Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Liverpool Biennale, and FACT.

PANEL: Counter-narratives: using the past to shape a hybrid future

What is the potential of the archive to be used for creating counter-narratives? How can history be re-told to suggest other futures? In this panel, we take a starting point in recent events such as the Black Lives Matter and the decolonising movements that have created ripples in academic institutions, gallery worlds and have made a marginalized topic into a public mainstream debate. We will look at the works by Futures artists who are all in some ways using past and present history to change the dominant narrative. We will discuss the possibilities of photography to visually interrupt and challenge national linear narratives by suggesting other hybrid stories and adding multiple layers leading to changing perspectives.

For this panel, we invited the Futures artists Hien Hoang, Mark Duffy and Silvia Rosi, Dr. Rolando Vazquez Melken (Associate Professor of Sociology at University College Roosevelt and Cluster Chair at the University College Utrecht), Julia Gelezova (cultural producer and curator at PhotoIreland) and Richard Kofi (visual artist, artistic researcher and curator). The panel is moderated by Dr. Nina Mangalanayagam (artist and a Senior Lecturer in Photography at HDK-Valand Academy, Gothenburg).

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PANEL: Lone visionary or political activist – what is the role of an ecologically conscious artist or arts professional today?

What is the ecological responsibility of the art scene in an age in which, according to a study by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the activities of huge and therefore influential corporations shape the vast majority of the major processes that dominate the Earth. In the Anthropocene era, mankind is undoubtedly shaping the environment, but the question is what are the individual's, and above all an artist's or art professional's, playing field and role, and what impact can they have on the environment while environmental scientists are predicting changes of astonishing amplitude already in the medium term. Is it enough just to minimise the ecological footprint of the art scene, or is it more a matter of political activism and a nuanced approach in which we define our role as a part of the living world rather than as shapers of the planet? What can save us, the acceleration of technological innovation, draconian living standards restrictions and, in either case, what can a creative human being add to all this?

For this panel, we invited Ángel Luis González Fernández (Director of PhotoIreland), Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen (Director of Copenhagen Photo Festival), Maija Annikki Savolainen (Futures artist), and Marta Bogdańska (Futures artist). The panel is moderated by István Virágvölgyi (Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center).

HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative is made possible with the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

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