The collaborative workshops with InKüLe are focused on the potential of artistic education to change our relations to the environment through an engagement at the level of anthropotechniques.
The stretching senses school, an MoA project curated by Cluster anthropologists Yoonha Kim (Object Space Agency) and Maxime Le Calvé (Cutting), is starting a longer teaching collaboration with the UdK-based project InKüLe (Innovationen für die Künstlerische Lehre).
The stretching senses school is an emerging learning community around immersive arts, creative coding and speculative ethnography. It aims to explore more-than-human perceptions through making practices bringing in conversation various immersive media. The collaborative workshops with InKüLe are focused on the potential of artistic education to change our relations to the environment through an engagement at the level of anthropotechniques. Together with John Tresch, we believe that hands-on collective explorations in the techniques of thought, feeling and acting, or »the skilled practices that humans have devised and applied to train and reshape themselves« can contribute tremendously to shift the public's attention toward the »relations and consequences of our acts, and those of our lawmakers and other powers, upon the well-being of all Earth’s inhabitants« (Tresch 2016). If immersive media can act as a training device for such sensorial development, we must think beyond the screen when engaging with the digital.
The first workshop was convened November 1 – 4, 2022, by Karolina Żyniewicz, Charlotte Roschka, with the title Capturing Leakage: body flows and material investigations. The second workshop stretching senses school – Mycelium and neuronal forests will be held November 9 – 11, 2022, by Maxime Le Calvé, Yoonha Kim and Paulina Greta in partnership with Natalija Miodragović and Dimitra Almpani-Lekka. Starting from research conducted at Matters of Activity on two distinct yet potentially coinciding topics (mycelium feeding behavior / »digital twin« neuronal forests), participants from diverse backgrounds will be guided by the mentors of the stretching senses school, as well as MoA researchers. Together, we will mix and learn how to work out flimsy VR installations and movement »scores« (Bjerre Jensen 2020) in the context of art-science collaborations.
Counteracting the hierarchical communication model, tiny beings such as neurons and most hyphae non-linearly connect, grow, die and support in their own dynamic tempo. Ecologist Suzanne Simard compares the cooperative system of the forest to a neural network. Fungal filigrees connect with tree roots, facilitating kin recognition and defence signalling while transferring nutrients and carbon, enhancing the whole forest ecosystem. It’s easy to forget that our mind-bodies are made of that same lively microscopic stuff: these hypo-selves are self-organized in symbiotic assemblies, and these aren’t as straight as Science wants us to think. The collective making process of a virtual experience could be a way to affect our sensory faculties beyond the realm of language, filled with »the lure of the possible« (Debaise 2017).
The goal for this workshop will be to develop an intimate relation with the more-than-humans (mycelium / neurons) over the period of two days and a half, taking the creative experience of an immersive digital piece as the continuation of collective fieldwork with the students. This exploration will also aim at communicating these affective shifts to the public.