Hosting the Inhuman

며칠 전에 광주비엔날레 면접을 보고 돌아왔다. 아쉽게도 마지막관문에서 불합했다. 광주디자인비엔날레에서 코디네이터로 커리어를 시작했던 나에겐 뜻깊은 자리였고 많은 준비를 했지만 인터뷰에서 너무 긴장하는 바람에 제대로 발휘를 못했다. 학부시절부터 흠모(?)하는 분이 대표이셔서 더 떨렸던 것 같다. 부족했나보다. 아마도 그 동안 과학 쪽을 공부하며 쉬었던 이유이기도 하고, 석사학위가 없다는 것이 가장 크리티컬 했던 것 같다.

defne-ayas-natasha-ginwala-to-curate-2020-gwangju-biennale-822x552

The duo’s proposed program includes an exhibition, performances, a publishing platform and a series of public forums that will explore modes of knowledge beyond the scope of Western reason, such as indigenous wisdom, shamanistic cosmologies and non-human cognition. The biennial will also be anchored in the specific conditions of its locale. Ayas and Ginwala stated: “We look forward to working in Gwangju, seeped as it is in the history of resistance. It provides an impetus to extend further analysis of the notion of swarm intelligence, today’s strategies of revolutionary activity, and the pushback unleashed through the surveillance state and machinic warfare—generating an effective link with the democratization movement revisited from a contemporary perspective.”

무엇보다 가장 일하고 싶었던 이유는 대표 분뿐만 아니라 이번에 선정된 감독(Defne Ayas, Natasha Ginwala)들이 다뤄왔던 전시 주제가 나에게 매우 흥미로운 분야이기 때문이다. (난 내가 좋아하는 분야가 있으면 가슴이 빨리 뛰고 두뇌회전이 빨라진다. 최근 몇 년 중 가장 가슴 뛰었던 일) Kassel Documenta 13이후로, 흥미롭게 다가왔던 부분이기 한데, 당시 카셀도큐멘터는 과학 베이스의 contributor가 많았다. 대표적으론 다음의 세 과학자가 있다. 

 

알리 브리반루(Ali Brivanlou) 줄기세포, 발달생물학

Ali Brivanlou heads the Laboratory of Molecular Embryology at the Rockefeller University in New York. Much of his research focuses on the molecular events and cellular interactions that regulate the emergence of key structures in the early embryo. Brivanlou has received numerous honors including a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists (1996), the U.S. government’s most prestigious honor for young investigators.

 

도나 해러웨이(Donna Haraway) 철학자, 페미니스트, 생물학자

Donna Haraway is Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she taught Feminist Theory, Science Studies, and Animal Studies. Her recent publications include When Species Meet (2008), Crystals, Fabrics, and Fields: Metaphors That Shape Embryos (2004 [1976]), and The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness (2003)

사이보그 선언문과 반려종선언(Companion Species Manifesto,2003)

 

Alexander Tarakhovsky 면역세포, 후성유전체학

Tarakhovsky was born in 1955 in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, formerly part of the U.S.S.R. He graduated from medical school and started a professional career as a scientist at the Institute for Cancer Research, an affiliate of the Ukrainian Academy of Science. He was Professor at the Institute for Genetics at the University of Cologne and is now Professor and laboratory head at the Rockefeller University in New York.

도나해러웨이는 서치하면서도 사이보그 선언문과 반려종선언은 읽어봐야겠다고 생각했다. 알리 브리반루의 발달생물학과 줄기세포연구를, Aelxander Tarakhovsky는 면역세포 후성유전체학이랑 신호전달 메커니즘에 대한 연구를 해왔다고 한다. 지금 생각해보면 이러한 contributors로부터 어떤 부분을 검증받았는지 좀 궁금해지기도 한다. 너무 오래된 전시라서 잊혀진 부분이 많으므로 다음 포스팅에는 이에 대해서 더 써보기로 한다.

 

 

두 감독 중 다프네 야야스(Dfne Ayas)의 소속인 V-A-C의 전시프로그램을 찾으면서 Shamanistic cosmologies, non-human coginition가 과학(생물, 유기화학 등)적 방법론으로 전시에서 어떻게 다뤄왔는지 찾다가 영감이 될만한 전시를 찾았다. (다프네 아야스가 직접 참여하진 않았지만) 모스크바 현대미술관 프로그램의 일환으로 학제간 프로젝트이다. 아티스트, 뮤지션, 이론가, 과학자, 철학자들이 물체와 인간이 아닌 존재의 삶과 환경에 대한 관계를 탐구하는 전시라고 한다.

V-A-C Foundation presents Hosting the Inhuman at the Moscow Museum of Modern ARts’ (MMOMA) space on Gogolvsky Boulevard. The multidisciplinary project marks the beginning of MMOMA’s new program Arte Blache, which invites art institutions to implement their own curatorial initiatives at MMOMA sites. Brining tougher artists, musicians, theorists, scientists and philosophers, Hosting the Inhuman investigates the relationship between material objects, non-human forms of life and the environment. It includes an exhibition, film screenings, a series of talks and an extensive program of live performances.

Dramatic innovations in biology, medicine, engineering and computer science have redefined the way we see ourselves. Modern technology is increasingly reliant upon, and pervaded by, natural imagery and elemental metaphors, from cloud computing to swarm intelligence. Meanwhile, recent developments in the humanities and social sciences, such as new materialism and actor-network theory amongst others, have contributed to a changing focus from the human to the non-human with all tis multiple varieties and competing meanings.

보도자료: https://www.scribd.com/document/345397001/Hosting-the-Inhuma

다음은 컨퍼런스에서 과학자/이론가들 중 내가 따로 리스트업한 사람들이다. 구체적으로 어떤 내용들을 발제했는지는 더 찾아봐야 하겠지만, 리스트업만으로 재밌는 주제이지 않았을까 생각한다.

 

Vladimir Budanov

What is there in common between a burning candle and an idée fixe, the Great Red Spot on the planet Jupiter and a cultural tradition, a jazz composition and a frosty pattern on the windowpane? What unites these and many other complex phenomena? Synergetics, sometimes referred to the theory of self-organisation or complexity theory, can help find answers to these questions. The term «synergetics» (from the Greek «synergetikos», «acting together») was introduced by the German theoretical physicist Hermann Haken in 1970 to describe joint action, cooperative behaviour, which occurs in the most various multicomponent systems, from gas molecules to brain neurons, members of a community or elementary particles. Haken, a specialist in quantum optics, was struck by the similar nature of self-organisation in realms completely different from each other, specifically, the mechanisms for generation of coherent laser radiation and the mechanisms by which panic or rumour arise in an agitated social environment. Thence the idea of constructing a universal synergetic language for working with complexity. As long ago as the 1980s one of the leaders of synergetics in Russia, Sergei Pavlovich Kurdyumov, caused a stir among fellow mathematicians when he declared that in the 21st century most of the tasks of mathematical modelling would be related to the economy, social sciences and interdisciplinary projects. Today, this trend is clear to everyone, technological innovation in the post-industrial world is always interdisciplinary, and technologies can be social, cognitive, and convergent (nano-bio-information-cognitive-technologies). Vladimir Budanov is a physicist and philosopher, leading researcher of the Section for Interdisciplinary Issues in Science at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the author of numerous articles and publications on synergetics and the philosophy of science.

Igor Burtsev

The possible existence on Earth of a human-like, but not quite human creature — the Yeti, Sasquatch or «abominable snowman» — has been treated by various disciplines, both academic (biology, biochemistry, genetics, anthropology, ethnography) and non-academic (ufology and cryptozoology), and reaches into the sphere of mysticism.

Igor Burtsev, a doctoral candidate in historical science, has been a researcher in hominology (study of the possible continued existence in isolated parts of the world of ancient forms of the human race,or «relic hominids») since 1965. His has planned and carried out the search for such creatures, organizing and leading many expeditions, and in 2014 he compiled a map of the region around Moscow, marking more than two dozen places, where traces of the «snowman» have allegedly been found.

Burtsev builds on the work of the Soviet historian and sociologist, Boris Porshnev, who is often considered the founder of hominology. Porshnev studied the physiology of the nervous system and the higher nervous system, linguistics and psycholinguistics, and the differences between instinctive and conscious labour. In his 1964 paper, «From Higher Animals to Man» he proposed that the genesis of the human race should not be viewed as a historical, evolutionary process, by which a certain physical type emerged gradually, but as a parting of the ways between «paleoanthropines» and «neoanthropines» — a specific «leap», which created the distinction between «people» and «non-people.»

As part of the Experiences of Inhuman Hospitality project, Igor Burtsev will talk about his many years of research, the hunt for the snowman, the evidence of his existence, which has been found (blood traces, fingerprints, fragments of skin and hair), as well as the potential for communication between ourselves and relic hominids. Igor Burtsev is President of the Cryptosphere Foundation, Director of the International Centre for Hominology, and co-author of studies conducted by the DNA Diagnostics Laboratory in Nacagdoches (USA), the Biochemistry Department of the Institute of Medical Research in Birmingham (USA), and the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at Oxford University in the UK.

Mikhail Gelfand

Biology is one of the sciences that is leading us away from the anthropocentric modelof the world, if only because bacteria appeared and communicated with multicellular organisms long before the appearance of man. Life at the molecular or cellular level is a biosystem, in which a system of connections is established and communication — the exchange of energy and substances — is carried out. Many aspects of the life of a bacteria colony require the coordinated action of many cells. In nature, every cell is selfish, and all its actions are directed to its own well-being. But at the stage of formation of more complex organisms, the cell ceases to be selfish, and the goal of all cells is to work together for the prosperity and life of the whole organism. For example, if a colony of bacteria wants to feed on cellulose, then proteins must be released into the environment that can break this polymer down into simple molecules. But the cell can be a «cheater», not releasing proteins and consuming the simple molecules obtained by the efforts of its fellows, or it can be an an altruist, going as far as suicide for the good of the colony. Mikhail Gelfand will talk about molecular communication, bacterial communities and the interaction between bacteria and multicellular organisms. Mikhail Gelfand is a Doctor of Biological Science, Professor of the Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics at Moscow State University, head of the Master Programme in Biotechnology at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), Deputy Director of the Institute for Information Transmission of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Deputy Editor of the periodical Troitsky Variant-Science.

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen

Fear of monsters, aliens, inhuman and abnormal creatures, combined with passionate curiosity about them is characteristic of many cultures. The writer and researcher Jeffrey Jerome Cohen examines these life forms from the standpoint of post-humanism and eco-criticism. His research examines phenomena at once alien and intimate. Hence the hybrid methodology he uses in his work: he is interested in how queer theory, critical race studies and posthumanism might help us to better understand the texts and cultures of the Middle Ages. In his talk Cohen will discuss the Genesis narrative of Noah and his ark as the oldest story about climate change. Happy animals and salvific rainbows are only a small part of that story. Divine, human and environmental justice are constantly questioned as a select few enjoy floating refuge, while the rest of the world is left to drown. But this time-honoured story also reminds us that in a situation of cataclysm, the chances of survival for humans and non-humans are at least equal. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen is Professor of English and Director of the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the George Washington University in the USA; he is the author of Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman (2016), Earth (co-authored with Lindy Elkins-Tanton, 2017) and editor (with Lindy Elkins-Tanton) of the collection of articles Elemental Ecocriticism (2016).

Michael Hampe

The philosopher Michael Hampe claims that the division into organic and non-organic, living and non-living is an unverifiable theoretical construction, ultimately not scientific, but metaphysical. His work draws on ideas put forward by proponents of pragmatic methodology in logic and the theory of knowledge: the American philosopher and teacher John Dewey, the Norwegian philosopher and ecologist, and author of the concept of «deep ecology», Arne Naess, the French sociologist, Bruno Latour, the British logician and philosopher, Alfred Whitehead, and others. Hampe does not contrast theory and practice as different activities, but focuses on the intrinsic value of abstract categories, of our experience and of the relationships, which we construct with each other and with the world around us. They take on the shape of a mathematical formation, a union of diverse individuals or, in other words, nature. A vivid illustration of this is the event that Michael Hampe considers in his natural-philosophy book Tunguska, or the End of Nature, which centres on the massive explosion that occurred on 30 June 1908 near the Podkamennaya Tunguska river in the Siberian taiga. The supposition of a meteorite strike has not been fully confirmed, as scientists have not found a crater or meteorite fragments. Alternative explanations range from an insect invasion to a visitation by aliens. For Michael Hampe the Tunguska event is the quintessence of «nature» and confirmation of the theory of «practical panpsychism», which suggests that there is no boundary between living and non-living matter: both are self-sufficient, all things are animated and endowed with psyche and life, like a human being. Michael Hampe is Professor of Theoretical Philosophy and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the Swiss Higher Technical School in Zurich, he has authored works on the philosophy of early modern times, pragmatism, the philosophy of psychoanalysis and natural philosophy.

http://hosting-the-inhuman.v-a-c.ru/en/conference-hall/

광주비엔날레 다음 전시는 2020년 가을에 개최된다. 어떤 전시가 준비되고 있을지 매우 기대된다. ACC에서도 동아시아 아티스트들이 샤머니즘 혹은 호랑이와 같은 토속신앙에 대한 주제를 다뤄온 경우를 보았고, 이 또한 의미가 있다고 생각하기 때문에 아마도 그러한 작가들의 작품이 대거 전시되지 않을까 생각한다. 또한, 어떤 과학자들과 컨퍼런스가 이루어질지도 기대되고, 개인적으로는 국내의 <전염병의 문화사>와 같이 고려시대의 치병의례문화를 소개하면 어떨까?도 생각해보았다.

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