The Blazing World, Or the Climatological Imperative: From Inaction to Reimagination Part II

The Blazing World, Or the Climatological Imperative: From Inaction to Reimagination Part II

Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts (IDSVA)

Courtesy of NASA/JPL/USGS.

March 18, 2024
The Blazing World, Or the Climatological Imperative: From Inaction to Reimagination Part II
Second event in international webinar series
March 22, 2024, 1pm
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IDSVA is pleased to present the second webinar in the International webinar conference series, “The Blazing World, Or the Climatological Imperative: From Inaction to Reimagination,” on March 22, from 1–3pm EDT. The conference series started with a plenary session by Bruce Glavovic on March 15, which began to address urgent questions about climate change from various angles coming from natural science, indigenous knowledge, speculative ontology, and the arts. For this second webinar, please join Elina Staikou (London, United Kingdom/Athens, Greece), Howard Caygill (Barton-on-Sea, United Kingdom/Athens, Greece), Johan Thom & Wayne Binitie (Pretoria, South Africa), moderated by Dejan Lukić, IDSVA Core Faculty (New Mexico). The webinar is free and open to the public. Register here.

Elina Staikou: Experiments in De-CO2MpositioN: The Nitrogen Imperative
This lecture will reflect on “world’s forgotten greenhouse gas” and “our forgotten environmental crisis,” which is the anthropogenic disruption of Nitrogen circulation through air, soil, water, and fire. Staikou will engage elemental theory (the speculative rethinking or reimagining of elements as “climatic, as well as corporeal and diegetic forces”) with diverse experiments in form, scale, and context within the infrastructural and planetary outreach of the Nitrogen Imaginary. 

Howard Caygill: Smithson’s “Proposal for a Monument at Anartica” and the Invention of Climate Futures
The discovery of Robert Smithson’s “Proposal for a Monument at Anartica” [sic] in 2001 was a message in a bottle from a not-so-remote past in which the thought of future climate change was largely confined to the extremes of avant-garde art and strategic planning for environmental warfare. The work juxtaposes positive and negative photostats of a scene of maritime labor in “Antarctica.” The simple reversal of the image exposure reveals a negative Antarctica without snow, a flickering glimpse of a climate future in which polar snow covering has disappeared. 

Johan Thom and Wayne Binitie: Untitled (When my feet fall asleep, they dream of having gills) 
This performance presentation in three fragments forms part of a larger project titled Never Let You Go (2024–) in which Thom and Binitie seek to re-imagine our current fragile relationship with the earth and its water as a series of literary and material fragments. Fragment One comprises a short film screening showing a 1,500-year-old ice core sample slowly melting. This film was shot at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. Fragment Two, will be a site-specific performative reading from the Nirox Foundation in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. In Fragment Three, Binitie will articulate the method of drilling and sampling below the Antarctic surface to relocate an ice core sample of the oldest freshwater on earth to the Nirox Foundation. 

Elina Staikou
teaches philosophy and is currently Chair of Independent Studies at IDSVA. She has authored Deconstruction at Home: Metaphors of Travel and Writing and numerous articles in the field of deconstruction and decomposition.

Howard Caygill is a philosopher and cultural historian educated at Bristol, Sussex, and Oxford Universities in the UK. Most recently serving on the faculties of Goldsmiths, Kingston, and Paris VIII, Howard Caygill is a Core Faculty at IDSVA, and the author of several notable book titles.  He is currently working on the philosophy and aesthetics of the Anthropocene.

Johan Thom holds a PhD in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art (UCL) and is an Associate Professor in Fine Art at the University of Pretoria. Thom’s artistic interests have gradually shifted to a close exploration of the performative, material relationship between the body and found objects.

Wayne Binitie is a graduate of the Royal College of Art, where his PhD explored how history is written, read, and erased in polar ice. Moving between glass sculpture, oil painting, and sound installation, recent exhibitions include Solid, Liquid, Gas at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Ice Floor at the Arup Gallery, and Polar Zero at COP26.

*Image above: Surface of Triton covered with the hexagonal form of solid nitrogen (the Beta crystal phase). 

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Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts (IDSVA)
March 18, 2024

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