Zooetics: Cross-disciplinary Approaches to Interspecies Ecology in Art, Science and Technology

Kaunas University of Technology (KTU)
"Zooetics: Cross-disciplinary Approaches to Interspecies Ecology in Art, Science and Technology"
December 5–20, 2014

Kaunas University of Technology
KTU Santaka Valley
59 K.Baršausko Street
51423 Kaunas


National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre of Kaunas University of Technology and Jutempus Interdisciplinary Art Research Program launches "Zooetics," a five-year-long exploration of future environmental fictions and models.

"Zooetics" is a notion in progress to explore new ways to engage human knowledge and research with other forms of life—from mammals to microbes to mollusks—and to imagine designs, prototypes and interfaces for future interspecies ecologies.

The "Zooetics" research aims to address the crisis in human relationships with the environment by unpacking notions of anthropocene, nature and inter-species, and looking at new conjunctions across these concepts. Part of the "Zooetics" process will involve finding a common language across disciplines in the sciences and arts. Another part will engage the frontier site of disconnection between human knowledge and the knowledge of other life, by using fiction (literary and visual) as a method to engage with the unknown, unknowable and apparently insoluble.

With its initial event—a series of public lectures and seminars in December 2014—"Zooetics" addresses the paradigm shift in science, culture and society proposed in post-humanist research and in arguments for the anthropocene age. This discourse is inspired by and situated within the site of the historically negotiated border between Kaunas University of Technology and the Lithuanian National Zoo.

On this border a new terrain for hi-tech scientific research and innovation infrastructure is being projected. "Zooetics" looks at the possibilities of innovation on the conjunction of the arts and sciences that rethink the human impact and responsibility towards the environment. Leading thinkers and practitioners from the cross-disciplinary fields engaging science, technology, art, design, and architecture will converse in a three-week series of keynote lectures.

Schedule of public lectures & registration

December 5, 6–8pm
More info & registration
Christian Schwägerl: "Sense, Sensors and Sensitivity"
Natalie Jeremijenko: "BiodiverCITY: Organism-centric Urbanism"

December 12, 6–8pm
More info & registration
Skylar Tibbits: "Self-Assembly & Programmable Materials"
Caleb Harper: "Future of Urban Food Research: CityFARM"

December 19, 1–4pm
More info & registration
Timothy Morton: "I Believe in Coral"
Jae Rhim Lee: "The Infinity Burial Project"
Territorial Agency (John Palmesino & Ann-Sofi Rönnskog): "From Cold War to Warm Wars: Territorial Transformations in the Anthropocene"

The research process in-between actual meetings will be facilitated with an evolving online glossary and reading group initiated by Jutempus and available on www.zooetics.net. The outcomes of the "Zooetics" exploration will be presented through an exhibition and symposium in 2017 and will instigate further research to be followed up in a series of incubators in Finland, Iceland and Lithuania in 2015–2016.

"Zooetics" is part of the Media Lab Initiative of Kaunas University of Technology and will serve as a pilot project leading to the launch of a new cross-disciplinary research institution based in Kaunas, Lithuania.

"Zooetics" is also part of the Outreach and Education programme of the Frontiers in Retreat project funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author and the commission cannot be held responsible for any of the views contained therein.

"Zooetics" lecture and seminar series are supported by Lithuania's Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology; Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania; and Lithuanian Council for Culture.

Concept by Gediminas Urbonas, artist and professor at the MIT Program in Art, Culture & Technology, Cambridge, USA; Nomeda Urbonas, artist and PhD fellow at the Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Norway; Tracey Warr, writer and senior lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, UK; and Viktorija Šiaulytė, curator and researcher at Jutempus Interdisciplinary Art Program, Lithuania.

More information here.

Kunstakademiet i Trondheim
Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU)
N-7491 Trondheim

Visiting address:
Innherredsveien 7 (Industribygget)

Contact form
adm [at] kit.ntnu.no
Tel. +47 73 59 79 00
Fax. +47 73 59 79 20