Speaker series: Ester Fritsch and Rebecca Fisher (Dec 9th, 2.30pm)

Please join us for a Speaker Series with Kristen Petersen, resident from Hampshire College, on August 30 at 2pm. This Speaker Series will be held at the SenseLab, room 10-785, E.V. building (1515 Sainte-Catherine west).

Ester Fristch will be presenting “The Ethics of Energy:
On Cultivating Plants and Affective Attachments”
This talk engages with questions about energy and ethics based on an anthropological study of the cultivation of plants in the Federation of Damanhur, Northern Italy. Through different experiments with growing plants Damanhurians cultivate not only plants, but affective attachments to the world fostering ethical sensibilities and commitments beyond the human. I reflect upon and open a discussion about how their engagement speak to us in a time marked by an imminent ecological crisis and invites for an alter-political rethinking of energy and ethics as well as the relation between the two.

This presentation engages with how Damanhurians living in the community Damanhur in Northern Italy cultivate and exchange plants, energy and ethics with people and farmers in the surrounding country of Piemonte. It is based on an anthropological fieldwork carried out in the spring 2014 where I settled down among Damanhurians and participated in their cultivation of plants for five months. Damanhurians describe Damanhur as a laboratory and I dive into how they experiment with growing plants without pesticides and GMO. Plants, which Damanhurians explain are not only organic, but something more; plants that have more energy than other organically grown plants. My curiosity is directed towards how the energetic surplus of the plants, as I call it, comes into being. According to Damanhurians it hinges upon the relation between Damanhurians and plants and I explore how the energetic surplus of the plants emanates from a range of experiments carried out by Damanhurians to enforce this relation.

Rebecca Fisher will be presenting “Writing whitout words or Do lignes have ethics?”

Rebecca Fisher is a visiting artist from London. She is also a researcher at Corporate Watch, an independent research and publishing group, providing critical information on the social and environmental impacts of corporations and capitalism. She would like to present, or rather test out, an investigation (still in its early stages) into the ‘writing without words’ in the drawings, paintings and writings of Paul Klee and Henri Michaux, and its philosophical and political implications for aesthetic perception. She would also like to present her recent series of drawings, installations and paintings – which, she hopes, operate in a simliar way as ‘asignifying codes’.