Kingdom Dysphoria @ Biofriction


   Note: Kingdom dysphoria is an invented transposition of the term ‘gender dysphoria’, which describes the distress and violence caused by binary sex assignment. Kingdom dysphoria would be the harm caused on all living and non-living entities as a result of the assignment of fixed categories, taxonomies, species and kingdoms.

    This workshop can be understood as a situation to inquire into the moment in which the biopolitics and the necropolitics based on life and nonlife is being reformed. Working from the understanding of biology ‘as a field of discourse beyond the living world itself' (Elizabeth Povinelli), we want to actively engage with the spacetime of continuities between the bios, geos and mythos (Sylvia Wynter) as apparatuses of knowledge production and world production.

    To start with, we propose to look back at the 19th century, the moment when the microscopic gaze and miniaturization practices were introduced within Western Science and society , and to unravel their relation to the separation between the geos and bios. During this period, the new access to the microscope outside the science lab, and its availability to non-scientists, generated a practice of looking at tiny things. As people learned to see themselves surrounded by the micro, this access to the world propelled the invention of classification and standards of taxonomic/kingdom separations, which silently informed and became embedded within organizations of life. As this was in some ways a violence enabled by the 19th century version of DIY BIO, we think it is important to understand its continuations in contemporary bioart, biohacking and (free) software development. It was also a historical period of immense information sharing via bio-informatics, which has many affinities with technoscientific practices in the 21st Century that define the separation life and nonlife, and who gets to ‘have a life’.

    Hidden in plain sight, the timescale of the geo did not fit the taxonomic efforts of modern fixations, and as we learned with Elizabeth Povinelli and Kathryn Yusoff, the very ontologies and politics embedded in the geos are those of colonial exploitation of bodies and resources.

    At a macro scale, the geos calls for an attention to matter that is almost still, that inform about the latent damages on the planet. And perhaps at a meso scale, that of the mundane studying with at-hand devices, the mythos needs to be unwritten and rewritten. As speciest, racist and ableist forces switch scales too smoothly, we convoke methods for a trans*feminist f(r)iction to fight what could be named “kingdom dysphoria”.

    Kingdom dysphoria is yet another condition that calls for trans*feminist studying and practice, for letting go of technoscientific binarisms and to problematize exteriorities that are provoked by the cuts of modern apparatuses.

    During the workshop, we propose to engage with scanning practices across scales. We will move between electron scanning microscope practices to meso and macro applications of LIDAR (remote sensing). We want to think of scanning as a mode of time travelling through organic compounds which make visible/stabilize for a moment a computational escape velocity that might switch between so-called kingdoms and beyond (from the vegetal to the animal to the mineral). In this way, we can start building a shared understanding of the mutual affections and transitions of the living and the inert matter at the micro scale. Putting a phenomenology of the mundane and the day-to-day in dialogue with a situated criticism of computational technologies for bio-engineering, this workshop might be a groupal attempt to see what it would mean to switch scales and domains with a queer and anti-colonial politics.

+ info about the Biofriction Summer Program: https://hangar.org/es/activitats-recerca-i-transferencia-de-coneixements/biofriction-summer-program/


Packaging Across Networks


Online workshop held on a Telegram channel
July 7&8, 4pm – 7pm CET
An experiment in networked tracing, instigated by Nicolas Malevé, Nestor Siré, Gaia Tedone

Guest speakers and tracers: Cristina Cochior, Marloes de Valk, Maurice Haedo, Swati Janu, Steffen Köhn, Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas, Sam Mercer, Jara Rocha, Luis Rodil-Fernandez, Winnie Soon.

Please join us for a two-days online workshop to reflect and speculate on the poetics and politics of divergent networked infrastructures.

The framework of the Packaging Across Networks Workshop is Nestor Siré’s long-term research on the 'Cuban Paquete Semanal' – a one-terabyte collection of media that is aggregated weekly in Cuba on a physical hard drive and is distributed through a pirate network of distribution via in-person digital copying. In this context we are reflecting upon the material conditions of different networked infrastructures and how they force us to rethink a series of assumptions about the circulations of images and content and create different networked economies.

Over the course of two days of focused exchange, we aim to open up reflections on online and offline networks, informal channels of content circulation, and collaborative practices under conditions of socio-technical asymmetry. Through a set of presentations, discussions and a tracing exercise, we will attempt to articulate the tensions arising when online networked content is disseminated in offline networks as well as the conditions in which these offline networks may resurface online. We will address the social and economic dynamics that subtend these forms of networking. The context of the American embargo against Cuba will serve as a point of reference for this discussion that will extend to other contexts such as Khirkee, South Delhi.

The tracing exercises, which will be conducted at the hands of invited participants–tracers aided by open source software, aims to visualize the various questions and concepts introduced in the presentations and to offer a map for moments of shared analysis and speculation. Focused attention will be directed towards the near future of Siré's project: to find the relevant form of presence of the Art Section of El Paquete in an online environment. We want to collectively discuss which form this can take, which strategies can be imagined, what kinds of alliances need to be built and which trajectories must be enabled. 

The choice to use Telegram has been made to circumnavigate problems of connectivity with Cuba and to explore creative and social responses to instant messaging apps. Please download the latest update of the Telegram app ahead of the event. You can decide to follow the talk from either your phone or computer desktop. Just click on the above link to join the channel at the time of the event. If you don’t have Telegram, you can download the app for free here: https://telegram.org

The workshop is developed as part of the collaborative project 'Critical Tracing and the Post-Photographic Image’ supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Lucerne School of Art and Design. 

+ info and full programme: http://functionariesofthecamera.net/packaging-across-networks/


Caring Assemblies, Porto Design Bienale

in conversation with Ana Isabel Carvalho and Ricardo Lafuente (Manufactura Independente):


Caring assemblies. Designing for better futures is an online and physical public program that aims to question the violence and exclusions of design practices and speculate on how to build better futures at different scales, from molecules to the territories, through four conversations and a speculative fiction workshop. Organised by Bartlebooth, it is a Satellite Activity of the Porto Design Biennale.

+info about the event's context: https://portodesignbiennale.pt/en/events/caring-assemblies?edition=2021

+ better futures: https://betterfutures.bartlebooth.org/