Production still from ‘Harvest’ by Hertog Nadler

Wednesday 9.12.2020 
Eco Noir: Dark Day for a Bright Future
Host: Jack Faber, Doctoral trainee, Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki

Language: English
Progam online

The symposium is dedicated to the fragile and complex ways in which we share our habitats and environment with other species in times of crisis. Becoming more urgent than ever, in light of the state of emergency imposed by the recent pandemic waves and their vast influence, the symposium looks at how we can change the current escalating course of crisis towards a different path. By creating deeper connections based on equality with other species, we can have a wider understanding of the roles we can play for the betterment of the environment we live in, and therefore, have better understanding and deeper connections with each other. Keynote speakers, including Dr. Amir Vudka and the artist duo Hertog Nadler, will address the issues ethics in making artworks with animals, the forced perception of other species as enemies through art and media, and more.The day includes the official launching of the book Eco Noir: A companion for Precarious Times.

Read the Eco Noir book online

More information about the exhibition 

Program 9.12.2020

Progam online. Please note that the times given in the schedules are in Finnish time (CET+ 1)

13:00 Jack Faber: Presentation of Eco Noir Project – Seminar, Book and the ‘Cooking for the Apocalypse’ Exhibition 

13:15 Hertog Nadler: Natural Acts – on ethics and aesthetics of interspecies relations in artworks

The manner in which nature with its entire animal kingdom is treated and represented in artworks not only tells us about our own nature, it reveals our evolutionary (hi)story and in some cases validates our hierarchical position in ‘the food chain’. In the lecture-encounter ‘Natural Acts’ we hope to shed light on ethics and aesthetics of interspecies relations. Additionally, we will share some of our own work experience, insights and doubts in the context of including animals in art projects. 

Chaja Hertog and Nir Nadler, aka Hertog Nadler, are an award-winning artist-duo, filmmakers based in Amsterdam.

14:15 Break 

14:30 Dr. Amir Vudka: Bug Wars - Interspecies relations in the outer reaches - Part I

The lecture and discussion will explore military-industrial-cinematic representations of space insects in sci-fi films. In films such as Independence Day, Aliens and Starship Troopers, alien bugs appear as representations of dehumanized others, concealing colonial fantasies and patriarchal anxieties. Military-cinematic campaigns against imaginary space insects can inform attitudes towards real political minorities, whether foreigners, refugees, or women. The militarized Hollywood blockbuster functions as a martial ritual of purging the abject to secure the integrity of the national body and its borders. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s concept of ‘becoming-animal’ and Donna Haraway’s notion of ‘making kin’ will be offered as alternative approaches. Making kin with bugs in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, or the becoming-insect in District 9, are ways of ‘staying with the trouble’ (as Haraway puts it) in these precarious times.  

Dr. Amir Vudka is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He is a film programmer at Theater De Nieuwe Regentes (The Hague) and artistic director of Sounds of Silence Festival for silent film and contemporary music.  

15:30 Break 

15:40 Dr. Amir Vudka: Bug Wars - Interspecies relations in the outer reaches - Part II 

16:40 Break 

17:00-17:45 Online tour at ‘Cooking for the Apocalypse’ exhibition
Discussion about the book ‘Eco Noir: A companion for Precarious Times’ and the project with Jack Faber, Chaja Hertog, Nir Nadler and Amir Vudka.

Read the Eco Noir book online