Reading Room #15 – Ecologies of existence
Conversation with Christoph Brunner (CB), Yvonne Volkart (YV), Jonathan Reus (JR), Flora Reznik (FR) and Sissel Marie Tonn (ST)
The current planetary situation is perceived as one of crises; ecological, economic, and psychological. While it is tempting to surrender oneself to these paralysing processes, it seems ever the more urgent to question the current tendency of subsuming the “ecological” as a label for anything and everything. The first Reading Room of 2017, Ecologies of Existence, was therefore an event dedicated to the overarching question: What kinds of artistic practices and aesthetic strategies emphasise a kind of “ecological thinking”? And how can we conceive of such an ecological thinking so that it does not become a haunting “new call to order”, falling victim to the reductive tendencies of our mental, political, and social present?
The Reading Room is an event series taking place at Stroom Den Haag and produced by the Instrument Inventors Initiative. Since 2015 we have been organizing this series with the intention of creating a platform for close-readings and discussion of seminal theoretical texts among an ever-growing diverse community of artists, cultural practitioners and individuals interested in intellectual discourse. For every session we invite guest readers to share their knowledge and guide the community through key texts and themes within their field of expertise. The Reading Room is made possible with the support from the Stroom Den Haag and the Creative Industries Fund NL.
As discussions like those in the Reading Room are so ephemeral, and yet full of the emergent knowledge within our community, in 2017 we are looking further into ways with which we can capture the traces of this event series. In this sense it is no coincidence that we begin 2017 with clusters on topics such as Ecologies of Existence and Anarchival Practices. To this end, we are beginning our 2017 season with an interview series created in collaboration with the guest readers. This will not only be an effort to archive the events and the new insights offered by these events, but also an opportunity to shed light on the texts discussed for those who were unable to attend the session in person, and hopefully in some way also capture the flat hierarchies of our community within the method of relay interviews. These interviews are conducted as conversation pieces between the three organizers; artists Jonathan Reus, Flora Reznik and Sissel Marie Tonn, and the invited guests.