Workshop on plant breeding and poetic imagination. Berlin, 2019. Photo:Åsa Sonjasdotter.
Individual Project Work 1 Focus 2022: Socially engaged arts practice and questions of place and communities based on the principle of more-than-human realms and art.
This year the 2022 Summer Course “Individual Project Work 1” at Hdk-Valand, University of Gothenburg, that explores socially engaged arts practice and questions of place and communities will take an approach based on the principle of more-than-human realms and art. This radical new approach to the social, to place and to art through the “more-than-human” is a research-led and collaborative framework realised in partnership with colleagues from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, the nomadic platform The Forest Curriculum, and The Eco Agroforestry Center, Gothenburg.
The course is based on online presentations, seminars, and supervision in combination with on-site / hybrid intensive workshops. Throughout the course, participants develop individual and collaborative projects in dialogue with co-participants and by supervision of the course team members. For the 2022 course there will be approximately 3 on-site gatherings, 15 online sessions and there will be opportunities for informal group meet-ups in person at optional gatherings in:
(i) Copenhagen, Denmark (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, Wednesday 8 June, 10 - 15);
(ii) Berlin, Germany (Kirchhof Jerusalem und Neue Kirche V, Hermannstraße 84, 12051 Berlin. We meet by the by the corner of Coop Campus, Hermannstraße 84, 14.00 sharp. From there we walk together to the site of the workshop, located behind the Bulgarian orthodox church, close to a large green house to the right of the park/cemetery. The coordinated for where the workshop takes place is the following: 52.471192, 13.423402), June 13, 14 - 16);
(iii) Gothenburg, Sweden (The Eco Agroforestry Center, June 20, 10 - 15)
(Subject to Covid19 travel conditions of course.)
This course, delivered in English, introduces key themes related to socially engaged arts practice and questions of place and communities based on the principle of more-than-human realms and art. It is informed by ongoing research and operates as a summer-long enquiry. The 2022 course is delivered with particular focus on
(i) relationality and temporality beyond modern-colonial categories of ’nature’ and ‘culture’ and the place of ‘art’
(ii) toxicity, contamination, environmental justice and nurturing relations against and away from patriarchal-colonial domination
(iii) queer cultivation, entanglements, and asymmetries; ways of re-figuring politics, poetry and speculation
On this page you will find information on:
- More about the course content
- 2022 Course Team
- Draft Course Schedule for 2022
The course is taught via English, available online and free to EU nationals.
The application period each year is mid-February and mid-March. In 2022 applications can be made from 18 February until 15 March. Admission is based on letter of intention (preferably in English) stating why you wish to attend the course, 200 to 350 words in length. You can include a copy of your CV as an appendix to the letter if you wish. The CV is optional, and it will not count as part of the word count.
In evaluating your application, we consider: (i) clarity of purpose in attending course, as evidenced in letter of application; and (ii) capacity to actively contribute to the group dialogue online, as evidenced in letter of application.
The course is open to artists, curators, writers, and non-art specialists who have an interest in engaging with topical questions of art. Responsible for this course at Hdk-Valand is artistic doctoral researcher Åsa Sonjasdotter. (If you have a question which is not answered by the material online you can send an email with " more than human realms and art Info" in the message header to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, please ensure that the question is not already answered here on these pages, before emailing.)
You will require access to reliable internet connection and headphones with mic to participate effectively in the course.
Application period is February 18 to March 15, 2021. Application via universityadmissions.seLinks to an external site. (for international applicants) and via antagning.seLinks to an external site. (for Swedish applicants).
Direct links for applying:
2022 Course Team
This year the teaching team comprises: Åsa Sonjasdotter, Katarina Stenbeck, The Forrest Curriculum (Abhijan Toto and Pujita Guha), Behjat Omer Abdulla, and Magnus Haglund.
More about the course content
Themes covered in the course include questions of relationality and temporality beyond modern-colonial categories of ’nature’ and ‘culture’ and the place of ‘art’; toxicity, contamination, environmental justice and nurturing relations against and away from patriarchal-colonial domination; practice as narration and narration as practice in difference to representation; asymmetries, entanglements, and queer cultivation; ways of figuring politics, poetry and speculation in the material realities of more-than-human realms.
The course attempts to open for a wide range of practices engaging in socially engaged arts practice in regards of more-than-human realms and art. The on-site/hybrid workshops take place by the following initiatives: The on-site/hybrid workshops take place within the following initiatives: gardening (we participate in the exploration of the intersection of a historic and contemporary urban garden at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen); forestry (TBD: workshop at the Eco Agroforestry Center by Gothenburg); and composting (place TBD, Berlin).
A key issue considered is the variety of ways in which a separation and distinction between ”culture” and “nature”, "art" and "science", “theory” and “practice” has been historically produced and reproduced within the modern-colonial matrix. The presumption of the "and" that bridges between the two terms, also marks a separation which it is necessary to interrogate. Early in the course there is a basic consideration of the different ways in which the domain of the enquiry is constructed that will be unpacked through practice-based, material engagement in combination with talks, readings and conversations.
Acknowledging the complex field of theoretical, critical and activist positions that operate in the interaction/conjunction of practices of more-than-human realms and art, the course takes a partial survey approach, and does not claim to be comprehensive, but does seek to achieve breadth. The course interrogates the different claims for art's political agency and political saliency, rather than accepting these at face value.
The course is structured in three phases; intensive introduction to the course theme as well as all on-site/hybrid gatherings and tutorials take place in June, in order to prepare students for collaborative and individual elaboration of projects during July. The students’ projects are presented, further elaborated and assessed in August.
The course is closely informed by the research activities of Hdk-Valand and the work of the platforms: https://parsejournal.com/ and specifically https://parsejournal.com/environment/ .
Detailed schedule of course content (lecture topics, seminars and workshops) and the reading list for 2022 will be posted Monday 11th April 2022.
Draft Course Schedule for 2022
06-Jun Intro to course on-line Åsa Sonjasdotter 10.00-12-00
07-Jun Lecture on-line Åsa Sonjasdotter 10.00-12-00
08-Jun Workshop hybrid Katarina Stenbeck, Åsa Sonjasdotter 10.00-12-00 (on-site), 14.00-15.00 (zoom)
13-Jun Lecture hybrid Forest Curriculum, Åsa Sonjasdotter 14.00-16-00 (on-site and zoom)
14-Jun Lecture on-line Behjat Omer Abdulla 10.00-12-00
15-Jun Tutorials on-line Behjat Omer Abdulla 10.00-12-00, 13.00-16.00
17-Jun Tutorials on-line Behjat Omer Abdulla 10.00-12-00, 13.00-16.00
20-Jun Workshop on-site Behjat Omer Abdulla, Magnus Haglund10.00-12-00, 13.00-15.00 (on site)
01-Aug Workshop on-line Behjat Omer Abdulla, Åsa Sonjasdotter10.00-12-00, 13.00-15.00
02-Aug Group tutorials on-line Behjat Omer Abdulla 10.00-12-00, 13.00-16.00
03-Aug Group tutorials on-line Behjat Omer Abdulla 10.00-12-00, 13.00-16.00
05-Aug Group tutorials on-line Behjat Omer Abdulla 10.00-12-00, 13.00-16.00
15-Aug Assessment on-line Magnus Haglund, Åsa Sonjasdotter 10.00-12-00, 13.00-15.00
16-Aug Assessment on-line Magnus Haglund, Åsa Sonjasdotter 10.00-12-00, 13.00-15.00
19-Aug Feedback on-line Behjat Omer Abdulla 10.00-12-00
Course team bios:
The Forest Curriculum is an itinerant and nomadic platform for indisciplinary research and mutual co-learning. It proposes to assemble a located critique of the Anthropocene via the naturecultures of zomia, the forested belt that connects South and Southeast Asia. The Forest Curriculum works with artists, researchers, indigenous organizations and thinkers, musicians, activists. It was founded and is co-directed by curators Abhijan Toto and Pujita Guha. Abhijan Toto is an independent curator and researcher, who has previously worked with the Dhaka Art Summit, Bellas Artes Projects, Manila and Council, Paris. Pujita Guha is currently a Ph.D student and Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara and publishes on South and Southeast Asian cultures and ecosophical thought. The Forest Curriculum collaborates with institutions and organizations in South, Southeast Asia and beyond. For more information: http://theforestcurriculum.com/
Behjat Omer Abdulla is a Kurdish artist, working with mixed media, mainly drawing, photography and video installation. Through his art, he conveys feelings and stories about war, often through individual destinies and with a focus on experiences that can hardly be explained or shared. His artworks are an invitation to look, encourage a shift in the viewer’s understanding of the subject and he tries to find ways to force them to connect to the artwork in unexpected ways. Behjat has participated in a number of exhibitions internationally, including Tate Modern and Southbank Centre in London, and the Drone Vision exhibition at the Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg. For more info: https://www.behjatomer.com/
Magnus Haglund is a musician, author and critic. Books by Haglund includes: Den Nakna Staden: människor och platser i Göteborg, published by Glänta Produktion 2004, and Åke Hodell, published by Natur och Kultur 2009.
Katarina Stenbeck is a curator and art historian teaching at the Royal Danish Art Academy. She holds a phd from the University of Copenhagen and the Art Academy with the project Forms of Entanglement, Care and World-Making in the Anthropocene. Stenbeck is currently working on questions of sustainability and how to build practices in dialogue with eco-feminist thinking and indigenous knowledges.
Åsa Sonjasdotter is an artist, researcher, writer, and organiser engaging in processes of rehabilitation and re-narration of livelihood relations. Through cultivation of outlawed crops and close readings of related archival matter, lost knowledge and imagination is brought into re-existence. Sonjasdotter is a doctoral researcher in artistic practice at HDK-Valand, the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her most recent book Peace with the Earth, Tracing Agricultural Memory – Refiguring Practice is published by Archive Books in 2019. Sonjasdotter’s work is presented and exhibited in numerous international contexts. For more information: asasonjasdotter.info.
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