Author and artist Linda Weintraub will lead a series of hands-on methods with visiting artists and scholars, faculty and students. In her approach, she re-establishes the physical organism as a tool for investigation and discovery, thus activating “sensory studies,” a growing field of academic inquiry, and “new materialism,” which is a current development in philosophy. The day will be divided into topics based on chapters in her recently published book, What’s Next?: eco materialism & contemporary art (Intellect). Together with guest participants, Weintraub invites her audience to consider the remarkable capacity of the human organism to discern, interpret, and apply evidence of the material and energetic environment.
PRESENTERS: Linda Weintraub, Wenda Gu, Laura Parker, Jiayi Young, Iain Kerr, Vera Wittkowsky, Terence Koh.
11 – Noon. CHAPTER ONE: SECRETIONS
“TARTISTIC EXPRESSION VIA DNA”
PRESENTER: Wenda Gu. Participants will paint with ink infused with DNA from human hair, a form of “Ink Alchemy” that embodies the rich symbolism of ancient China, and addresses contemporary conditions and considerations.
Noon – 1 pm, CHAPTER TWO: DIRT
“TASTE of PLACE”
PRESENTER: Laura Parker. Participants will experience the remarkable variability of soil and its influence on the taste of the foods in which they grew.
“I BELIEVE SOIL IS….. Mysterious, Commonplace, Unclean, Beautiful….”
Participants will interrogate their personal relationship to soil, prepared by Lind Weintraub.
1 pm - 2 pm, CHAPTER 2: UTILITY OF PEOPLE
“UNSEEN: THE INVISIBLE MENACE”
PRESENTER: Jiayi Young. Participants will come together to reconsider human agency for a more sustainable future of carbon neutral. Through building, seeing, playing and experiencing, UNSEEN helps to visualize one metric ton of CO2.
2 pm – 3 pm, CHAPTER FOUR: FIRE
“TOTALLY WARM: THE MATERIALITY OF HEAT”
PRESENTER: Iain Kerr. Participants will discover the cosmic extremes of heat on planet Earth by foraging and preparing sweet drinks ‘cooked’ by sun, micro-organisms, rocks, and minerals.
3 pm - 4 pm CHAPTER FIVE: TECHNOLOGY
"THE PHONE IN THE APPLE: MATERIAL TECHNOLOGY - DISSOLVING BODIES”
PRESENTER: Vera Wittkowsky. Participants will explore their physical and emotional entanglements with their cell phones and related social / environmental issues via a guided mental journey to conceptualize performances / artworks.
4 pm – 5 pm CHAPTER SIX: WHAT’S NEXT?
“WHAT’S NEXT? ECO MATERIALISM!”
PRESENTER: Terence Koh. Participants will explore the possibility that relinquishing dependencies on electronics, mechanics, and corporations results in emotional enhancements, not deprivations.