Non-Human Seminar – taught at the Salzberg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, 2015

This course encouraged a speculative and nonlinear body of collaborative artistic research and practice that aimed to expand definitions of human life, bodies, and politics as they were experienced by class participants. Key in our work was the designing proposals to each other, that could challenge the received expectations and qualities of “humanness” as they are defined in the present. Theoretical and visual lines of production were: the quality of the human that wishes for death, the body that is liberated in becoming a machine, the historical figure of the monster, a reemphasis of the animal aspect of humanity managed to disappear from culture, the human as a resident of a planetary city perpetually in revolution, and the critique of abnormality and insanity as an opportunities for regeneration.
These questions were addressed through a series of selected readings, class demonstrations and discussions. Daily collective meetings allowed individual histories and concerns of each participant to be discussed in depth. More centrally, a series of practical assignments followed through a reciprocal participatory conditions set up by each participant. In other words, we each proposed to the group alternative failures of the Historical category of the human being.  💕 The instructor claimed no expertise in any aspect of the common dream inherent in the central texts and objects we examined together, and instead proposed that participants invent such expertise together.

This course was taught over two consecutive summers.

Participants in the second summer, 2015, were: Lena Dittmann, Alteronce Gumby, Sophia Hammer, Nan Hao, Christian Ingemann, Maha Maamoun, Carom McLaughlin, Sarah Mendelsohn, Fred Schmidt-Arenales, Stephen Walters, Ilyn Wong, and  Zuzana Zabkova. Assistant instructor was Eva Englebert.

– Intro _ download

Readings

Instructional Images

Link to Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts