BAK Research Fellow: Prof. Rosi Braidotti, Director of Centre for the Humanities, Utrecht University, Utrecht

If art and the humanities share one thing, it is the human at the center of their respective realms, or rather, their mutual investment in how people process, document, and analyze their human experiences. Under the pressure of new contemporary realities, however—global neoliberal capitalism, migration, technological developments, depleted nature and devastated environment, to name but a few markers of our time—the concept of the human as we had previously known it has undergone dramatic transformations. Not only have some been dehumanized to the level of becoming “inhuman,” but even the phenomena we thought to have controlled (such as nature), or thought to have invented and control (the capitalist market, technologies, among others), have seized control over our lives in the current age referred to as “the posthuman.” Realized in collaboration with BAK Research Fellow Rosi Braidotti and the BAK team, this semestral program outlines potential artistic, intellectual, and activist itineraries of working through this complex reality, and attempts to create an understanding of the altered meanings of art vis-à-vis such critical present-day developments.

The program includes a research exhibition, Anthropocene Observatory (February–April 2015), developed by curator Anselm Franke (Berlin), artist Armin Linke (Berlin), and the collaborative team of Territorial Agency (John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, London), as well as a series of discursive and performative assemblies preliminary titled The Posthuman Glossary. These assemblies revolve around critical issues of posthumanity, algorithm culture, and digital citizenship in present-day artistic and intellectual work. As a constituent part of the project, BAK’s Learning Place is structured around these questions, as are extensive educational curricula for the secondary schools involved in the collaboration.

Realized in collaboration with Centraal Museum, Utrecht; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; MAR at Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague; MaHKU, Utrecht; Posthuman International Network; and Utrecht University, Utrecht.

  • Part of Future Vocabularies long-term research and propositional trajectory rethinking art’s conceptual lexicon