The information that our bodies know and use without conscious thought is a rich form of knowledge that allows for a more fully-embodied connection to the non-human world. Engaging in such forms of ‘embodied knowledge’, creative climate change communicator Worm (Angela Chan) with Suzanne Dhaliwal and Farah Ahmed, sound artist Robbie Judkins and writer João Florêncio present an evening of performance-lectures that draw on ecology as both a subject and a methodology.
This evening of research-based presentations explores how knowledge may be shared in a non-hierarchical manner, an aim crucial to In formation III. Each presentation will work to move outside of the normative lecture format and to dismantle understandings of human-centered individualism. Advocating for social change, and against restrictive dichotomies between humans and humans, humans and non-humans and non-humans and non-humans, these presentations touch on animal advocacy, mental health, decolonisation, intersectionality, queer theory, performance art history and posthumanism.
Embodied Knowledge: Ecology and Performance is programmed in partnership with curator Ben William Harris and has evolved from research into performance theory and socially engaged ecological art practices.
Angela Chan is a creative climate change communicator and independently runs Worm, an online art and climate change platform. Alongside engaging with the online community through interviews and projects with creative practitioners, Worm gives talks and workshops on the intersections of art, ecology and environmental justice, most recently with Tenderpixel and Somerset House. Angela has a background in art history and is working towards an interdisciplinary MA in Climate Change: History, Culture and Society. Her research interests focus on climate and social justice, decolonial theory and contemporary Chinese science fiction; she also writes cli-fi as algaela. Angela is based in London and has worked in arts and climate change organisations such as Cape Farewell and Julie's Bicycle. She is currently at the V&A working in sustainability while doing curatorial research.
Farah Ahmed is part of the team at sustainable arts charity Julie's Bicycle. Her role involves coordinating Julie’s Bicycle’s international network of participants and alumni of their Creative Climate Leadership training programme, and developing JB's agenda on climate justice. Farah also works as a freelance art producer, curating programmes celebrating contemporary, inclusive South Asian narratives. Farah’s interest lies in the intersection between art, climate justice and decolonisation.
Suzanne Dhaliwal is an advocate provocateur, interdisciplinary artist, lecturer, environmental justice and anti-oppression trainer. Since 2009, she has been the co-founder and director of the UK Tar Sands Network, which has challenged BP and Shell investments in the Canadian Tar Sands in solidarity with frontline indigenous communities, spurring the internationalisation of the divestment movement. Suzanne has led campaigns and artistic interventions to challenge investment in the Arctic and Nigeria that violates the rights of indigenous people and those seeking justice after the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster. Suzanne worked alongside the Ogoni People and British-Nigerian artist Sokari Douglas-Camp to send a life-size sculpture to Nigeria for the 20th anniversary of the execution of the Ogoni 9 and Ken Saro-Wiwa. She has also lectured at Oxford University on white supremacy in environmentalism. For a decade, she has offered creative strategy workshops to decolonise activism and to recentre indigenous, black, POC and frontline voices and strategies. She recently joined the Doc Society podcast Mothers of Invention as social media and impact producer and climate advisor.
João Florêncio is a lecturer in History of Modern and Contemporary Art and Visual Culture at the University of Exeter, UK. His interdisciplinary research navigates the intersections of visual culture and performance studies with queer theory, philosophy, medical humanities and posthumanism, in an attempt to probe the porous boundaries of the human body and to think inhuman forms of embodiment, desire, ethics and community.
Robbie Judkins is a sound artist and musician with a focus on performance, improvisation, composition, broadcasting and audio-visual work. His work also explores political and personal issues; particularly animal advocacy and mental health. Robbie performs as Left Hand Cuts off the Right, is the creator of Animal Sounds on Resonance FM which investigates how artists are using sound to explore human and non-human animal relationship and hosts Parallax View on 199Radio. He is also a member of punk band Casual Sect. In recent years he has created work that has been included at the Barbican Centre, Chelsea College of Art & Design, ICA, Cafe Oto, Whitechapel Gallery, NTS Radio and more.
Ben William Harris is an independent curator who has programmed across London, Portugal and Melbourne. Ben continues to research performance art, socially engaged eco-practice and posthumanism, while also holding affiliations to Block Universe, Kingsgate Workshops and Slate Projects. Having studied curating at Central Saint Martins, he continues to develop his practice while also working as a Public Advisor at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.