Our art/research projects are process-oriented and aim to benefit multi-species communities, honor shared histories, landscapes and seascapes, reveal the hidden and include the excluded, against the backdrop of continuing violence and damage to life systems.
Our first collaboration, The Iceland Project, begins in summer 2017 in Iceland, and we're developing projects in Mexico and Japan for subsequent years.
We are living in a world that is irrevocably altered by human presence. Efforts at conservation, environmental activism, and engagement with the nonhuman world require a new approach based upon the forging of mutually reinforcing relationships of community amongst humans and nonhumans. We are looking to communities that live in close proximity to the nonhuman world with conscientiousness and deep cultural histories with respect to plants and animals, the land and the ocean. By looking at such communities in Iceland and Japan and elsewhere, we hope to learn how to share our worlds better. This "Intelligent Activism" project brings together research, artistic practices, and activist engagement in order to forge new models for more symmetrical engagement with human/nonhuman communities and develop better forms of relating global environmental concerns to local communities.
- Documentary film about our research and work in local communities
Art/social science exhibit that reveals visually and in text, our findings and work
A series of books, one from each year during the project's duration
Stronger protections for marine life from human activities in Iceland and other countries where we work
A collaborative process with locals in the western fjords in Iceland that highlights local knowledge and creates space to reflect on changes in economic pressures and land-based lifeways
An example of intelligent community process-oriented collaborative activism that can be applied to other communities in the world
It is through projects that bridge arts and sciences that we discover and empathize. Through collaboration, we learn to thrive with others.
More on the Project Theme
Human control and domination over the rest of nature is part of a delusional and alienated stance, preventing many persons from recognizing other species’ sentience, agency, intelligence, emotional and communicative capacities. Human conceptions of possible communications across species have been limited by epistemological assumptions considered central to the practice of science in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – the assumption of a neat distinction between the ineffable human mind and the material body, and the related assumption that the scientific intellect could (and should) hold itself entirely aloof and apart from the material world of nature in which the human body is so clearly entangled. The several researchers engaged in this project hold that both these assumptions are seriously obsolete; this project aims to disclose new avenues for rigorous research and reflection more appropriate to the dawning recognition of our human corporeal and psychological embedment in the more-than-human collective of earthly life, and hence of the inescapable participation not just of the human body but of human cognition and imagination with the unfolding lives of other organisms and indeed with the dynamic activity of the material landscape itself.
In many traditional cultures, certain dreams -- wherein another animal makes itself felt with uncanny power -- are taken to be instances of direct contact and interchange with that other species. Researchers who work closely with other animals have written of dreams as a medium through which a more direct or implicit communication can unfold, unhindered by the perceived lack of a common language between species. Such dreams can alter ways of thinking, ways of acting, and ways of relating to other-than-human species. It may be that a careful attention to dreams, coupled with a keen attention to the contemporary behavior of local creatures as well as events unfolding in the local earth, may extend arenas for communicative avenues across species. We explore interspecies communications in various artistic and scholarly venues in Iceland.