Next month, I’ll be giving online classes on the theme of Art & Animals in the Age of AI and Bio-Engineering with the School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe.
Maurizio Cattelan, Novecento, 1997. At Castello di Rivoli
If feels a bit strange to launch this class in the midst of a pandemic, at a time when inboxes are overflowing with offers to watch virtual visits of museums and online performances. And yet, here I am, suggesting that you spend even more time in front of your screens.
The classes i gave two years ago, A mapping of socially-engaged creative practices, brought me a lot and gave me the opportunity to meet some super interesting people. And I REALLY miss meeting people after several weeks of lockdown here in Northern Italy. This year, the class is still going to have elements of socially-engaged practices but it will focus on non-human life. Microscopic and massive. Extinct, endangered, wild, familiar, lab-grown or “tech-augmented”. And because -as we are painfully learning right now- everything is connected, the classes will also be looking at the world that animals inhabit and where they encounter fungi, trees, bacteria.
During the classes, we’ll be looking at taxidermy, de-extinction programmes, robotics, bestiaries, “invasive” species but we will also discuss the ethics of working with animals and more generally of exhibiting life inside museums and galleries. The main objectives will be to investigate the shifting paradigms of the living world and to reflect on the possibility of co-evolving in a more sympathetic and mutually beneficial way with other living entities.
The full description of the classes is over here.
Brandon Ballengée, DFA136: Procrustes, cleared and stained Pacific tree frog collected in Aptos, California in scientific collaboration with Stanley K. Sessions (from the series Malamp Reliquaries), 2013
The online classes will be taking place over the course of five weeks, two hours each week. The first session will be a crucial but informal “getting to know each other” event during which i will also be taking notes of any special curiosity and interests participants might have. I wrote down a break-down of the classes on the description page but it’s not a rigid one. If there’s a strong request to focus a whole evening on say, farm animals or fungi only, we can do that.
If you feel extra studious, extra self-isolated or if you prefer to learn about the connections between art and the human body, I’d also recommend having a look at Marisa Satsia‘s online classes on Medical Bodies.
Marisa’s classes take place on Tuesday. Mine are on Monday.
Classes are live meaning that you can directly interact with the instructor as well as with the other participants from around the world. Classes will also be recorded for playback if you are unable to attend that day.
The school is offering a limited number of pay-what-you-can tickets to take part in this class. Preference given to women, POC, LGBTQ+ and persons from underrepresented communities who would otherwise be unable to attend.
This way to join!