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The course explores ecology and extractivism as investigated by visual arts, film and performance.

This academic year’s (2023-24) Ecological Thinking course is jointly organized by Dr. Samir Bhowmik, Academy Research Fellow (Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki) and Giovanna Esposito Yussif, Curator and Artistic Director of the Museum of Impossible Forms and Curatorial Collaborator of the Helsinki Biennial 2023. The year- long course results in a public seminar with talks by international guests, performances and artworks in May 2024.

The course explores ecology and extractivism as investigated by visual arts, film and performance. Through the term ‘verticality’ it is proposed to consider the extractivist implications beyond digging into the subterranean in search for resources. This enactment also encompasses extraction from the deep below to human labour and the knowledges our diverse communities produce, to the earth’s atmosphere (where remote sensing satellites detect minerals from above) and in the future, outer space. What ecologies are destroyed and re-shaped by this vertical extension of extractivism -that also impacts the inter-relationships between humans and environment, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation? How is this ’vertical’ dimension explored in the fields of visual arts, film, sound, and performance?

Seminar 2024: Students will prepare talks, performances or artworks individually or in teams to be presented at a seminar in May 2024. The format and contents will be decided by the course instructors and the participating students.

K-JI11_23A Theme Seminar: Ecological Thinking 2023- 2024 (6 credits)
Mondays: 16.30 – 19.30 (Autumn 2023 – Spring 2024)
Course Details & Schedule: https://opinto-opas.uniarts.fi/fi/opintojakso/K-JI11_23A/15403

APPLY: Interested participants must submit a motivation letter and embedded weblinks to their artistic and academic works to the Study Coordinator Ella Anttila ella.anttila@uniarts.Ui / Course Information: samir.bhowmik@uniarts.fi / Deadline for Submissions: 31st August 2023

Giovanna Esposito Yussif engages with curatorial praxis and research. Her background is in art history, museology, and critical theory. Giovanna has a long-standing commitment to nondominant praxes, dissentient imaginations, epistemic plurality and epistemologies in resistance. In 2019 she curated the Pavilion of Finland at the 58th Venice Biennale with the Miracle Workers Collective. She is currently artistic director of the Museum of Impossible Forms, curatorial collaborator for Helsinki Biennial, co-artistic of Drifts Festival and the curator for M_itä biennale 2023. Museum of Impossible Forms – MIF , Helsinki Biennale 2023

Samir Bhowmik is a Helsinki-based multi-disciplinary artist, architect and scholar. He is currently an Academy of Finland Research Fellow (2022-27) at the Academy of Fine Arts (Uniarts Helsinki) where he teaches and explores extractivism & ecology through film, installation and performance. His ongoing project ‘Terra-Performing’examines extractivism through intelligent performance research. Samir received a Doctor of Arts (2016) from Aalto University, Finland, and a Master of Architecture (2003) from the University of Maryland, United States. His collaborative artistic works and writings have appeared in Leonardo (MIT Press), Helsinki Biennial 2021 and the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. https://samirbhowmik.cc

Ecological Thinking

This is the course blog for K-JI-11-23A – Ecological Thinking. In 2023-24, we explore “Vertical Ecologies” by visual arts, film and performance. The course is co-organized by Giovanna Esposito Yussif and Samir Bhowmik. Previously, in 2022-23, we organized a year-long collaborative research studio with Aarhus University, DK, Research Pavilion 2023 and Helsinki Biennial 2023 on the themes of environmental data, sensing and contamination.

Header image credit: Abelardo Gil-Fournier and Jussi Parikka / Seed, Image, Ground (2020)- With permission from the authors.

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