The Reading Room #16 – Ecologies of Existence (part 2)

Syncrude Aurora Oil Sands Mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada.

April 29 2017

Location: Stroom Den Haag

Readers: Julia Bee, Christoph Brunner

Texts: Félix GuattariFred Moten

Following: Reading Room #15 – Ecologies of Existence (part 1)


Ecologies of Existence

The current planetary situation, as it may be, is perceived as one of crises; ecological, economic, and psychological. In opposition to a surrender to these paralysing processes, but also keeping in mind the risk of subsuming the “ecological” as a label for anything and everything, we ask: What kinds of artistic practices and aesthetic strategies emphasise a kind of “ecological thinking”? And how can we conceive of such an ecological thinking so that it does not become a haunting “new call to order”, falling victim to the reductive tendencies of our mental, political, and social present?

For this cluster of events we have chosen texts by Isabelle Stengers and Félix Guattari on the environmental and ecological, as well as texts by Denise Ferreira da Silva and Fred Moten which bring together radical positions in ecological and post-colonial/de-colonizing thinking that together bridge 25 years of thought on the topic. These texts do not only depict artistic and aesthetic practices as important factors of change, but cast them quite literally as the embodiment of a continuous experiment in a multi-faceted notion of ecological thinking. We will also examine some artists and artworks who we find particularly interesting within the light of these readings.

Co-existing events Stroom Den Haag – Van Abbemuseum

Finissage of The Intimate Earthquake Archive

30th of April, 14 – 17h

Het Oog, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven

Before this Reading Room starts co-curator of the series Sissel Marie Tonn will give a small introduction to her project The Intimate Earthquake Archive that has been on show in the Van Abbemuseum over the past 5 months. On the 30th of April (the day after the Reading Room) Christoph Brunner will give a small lecture at the finissage of the project at the Van Abbemuseum, relating the texts discussed in the Reading Room to the installation on show. Toni Pape, who is a recurring guest lecturer at the series will also give a presentation of the current issue of a online journal that he co-edits. In this talk he will present how the theme of exhaustion as potential figures in the journal as well as in the installation on show.


Please reserve a spot by sending an email to We will also provide you with a copy of the texts.

Julia Bee
is assistant professor for image theory at Bauhaus University Weimar. She works on perception and desire, visual anthropology and images based research practices. Last publications include “Dramatisierungen des Anfangens. Die Intros von Homeland, True Blood und True Detective.” (Dramatization of Beginning. The Intros of Homeland, True blood and True Detective, in: Gerko Egert und Adam Czirak (Hg.): Dramaturgien des Anfangens, Berlin 2015; “Gewalt, Begehren Differenz. Zu einer Politik der Wahrnehmung” (Violence, Desire, Difference. Toward a Politics of Perception), in: Jochem Kotthaus (Hg.): Sexuelle Gewalt im Film, Weinheim und Basel 2015. 

Christoph Brunner is assistant professor for cultural theory at Leuphana University Lüneburg. He works on the intersections between art, philosophy, and activism with a specific focus on emergent collectivity and technopolitics. Together with Yvonne Volkart he organized the symposium “Ecologies of Existence” in 2016. Before coming to the north of Germany he worked at Zurich University of Arts and studied in Montreal and London. He is member of the SenseLab in Montreal and initiated the ArchipelagoLab for Transversal Practices at Leuphana. 


A note from the curators

We are very excited to begin a new year of Reading Room events with our collaborators at iii and Stroom, Den Haag. This year we are expanding our curatorial activities outward by partnering with the Archipelago Lab, an art and philosophy research hub at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany. In this collaboration we look forward to creating an exchange of scholars and artists that encourages a cross-disciplinary, ongoing discussion around urgent and compelling ideas which can potentially resonate with artistic practice. 

The Reading Room is a series of reading groups revolving around short texts provided by invited guests – contemporary researchers, cultural theorists, philosophers and artists – who join us to provide insight and context to the topics at hand. The Reading Room is a joint cooperation between the artist-initiatives Platform for Thought in Motion and iii.