Sex Ecologies is a two-year collaborative project between Kunsthall Trondheim and The Seed Box, fostering artistic research at the intersection with the environmental humanities.
This project sets out to explore queer ecology including non-normative gender, sexual identity, more-than-human touching zones, plant- and microbiopolitics, material assemblages of fossils, toxicity, and plastics, and questions of critical reproduction.
The current geological era not only unsettles the temporal linearity of progress and its teleological narratives, but also calls into high relief the nature of biology, and of sex. A new bio- and geontopolitics (in the words of Elizabeth A. Povinelli) posits affect and materiality—both living and nonliving—at the center of the social, the biological, and the political. One of the pinnacles of affect is sex—be it for reproduction or for pleasure. A non-heteronormative understanding of sex circumvents notions of the natural. If nature was never natural, and the biological rubs up against the geological, this project explores sex and sexuality in the context of ecology by homing in on interstices between and within bodies, both human and more-than-human. Desire, eros, and care will guide the project as it dances with flesh, rocks, and cellulose.
Through a collective curatorial process and long-term commissions by artists in dialogue with researchers from different fields, Sex Ecologies focuses on the processual rather than on fixed assumptions. Performativity as a tool for transformation will play an important role. Emerging from the collective research and conversations, each artist will create a newly commissioned work or works funded by The Seed Box. The research will materialize in an exhibition at Kunsthall Trondheim opening in December 2021 in which the commissioned artworks will be shown.
The center for art, knowledge and society RAW Material Company in Dakar, Senegal is contributing a public program to the exhibition in Trondheim, building on their previous project Who Said It Was Simple (2014 and ongoing) discussing difference, minority and margins with an emphasis on sexuality in Senegal and Africa today.
A book co-published with The MIT Press with over fifteen newly commissioned texts from the fields of gender studies, environmental humanities, science and technology studies, Indigenous studies and more, will further contextualize the research and plant a seed for future work in the field.
Research Leader: Katja Aglert, Stefanie Hessler
Anne Duk Hee Jordan (Germany/Korea)
Jes Fan (Hong Kong/Canada/USA)
Ibrahim Fazlic (Norway)
Jessie Kleemann (Greenland/Denmark)
Pedro Neves Marques (Portugal)
Okwui Okpokwasili (Nigeria/USA)
Margrethe Pettersen (Sápmi/Norway)
Anna Tjé (Cameroun/France)
Alberta Whittle (Barbados/UK)
Stefanie Hessler, director
Prerna Bishnoi, project manager
Carl Martin Faurby, program curator and production manager
Katrine Elise Pedersen, curator and producer
Kaja Waagen, assistant curator and communications coordinator
The Seed Box:
Katja Aglert, artistic lead and co-director The Seed Box
Informal Advisory Board:
Tarsh Bates, artist/researcher, Honorary Research Fellow SymbioticA, University of Western Australia
Jesper Olsson, Professor, Department of Culture and Society, Linköping University
Eva Lövbrand, Associate Professor, Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping University
Libe García Zarranz, Associate Professor of Literature in English, Department of Teacher Education, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Hanna Musiol, Associate Professor of English, The Department of Language and Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Marietta Radomska, Assistant Professor, Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping University
Amanda Fayant, artist and researcher, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
The public program is curated by RAW Material Company.
Book: In conjunction with the exhibition, we are publishing a book with The MIT Press. In newly commissioned texts from such writers as Mel Y. Chen and Jack Halberstam and a selection of influential essays—including an annotated version of Audre Lorde’s “The Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power”—as well as images and sketches from works in progress by a diverse group of artists, Sex Ecologies combines insights from the fields of art, environmental humanities, ecofeminism, gender studies, science, technology, political science, and Indigenous studies. Conceived not as a result but as a seed arising from this transdisciplinary fertilization, the volume presents a case for the role of sex in environmental and social justice.
Contributors: Katja Aglert, Tarsh Bates, adrienne maree brown, Mel Y. Chen, Pauline Doutreluingne, Léuli Eshrāghi, Jes Fan, Ibrahim Fazlic, Jack Halberstam, Niilas Helander, Stefanie Hessler, Jenny Hval, Anne Duk Hee Jordan, Jessie Kleemann, Audre Lorde, Nina Lykke, Montserrat Madariaga-Caro, Camila Marambio, Astrida Neimanis, Pedro Neves Marques, Okwui Okpokwasili, Marie Helene Pereira, Margrethe Pettersen, Laure Prouvost, Filipa Ramos, Catriona Sandilands, Sami Schalk, Serubiri Moses, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens, Kim TallBear, Anna Tje, Alberta Whittle, Victoria Wibeck, Elvia Wilk
The book is supported by Arts Council Norway.
Copublished by The MIT Press, Kunsthall Trondheim and The Seed Box