Jun 9, 2021 — 18:00

Špela Petrič: Of Plants, Algos and Exultopia

Lecture recording link: https://vimeo.com/562867951

By recognising the ubiquitous, (eco)systemic embeddedness within algorithmic logic, Špela Petrič’s recent work examines the potential of AI, design and robotics to create compelling ways of engaging with plants. As we cannot "step out" of the computational system Petrič will attempt to subvert its intentions by using feminist principles of resistance – to practice erotics, cultivate passions of everyday and seek pleasures not instructed from elsewhere. In Petrič’s recent project the "Plant Sex Consultancy to PL'AI", an interdisciplinary team of artists, programmers, designers and engineers delicately and fastidiously approach plant pleasure. Inspired by the plants' own resilience in totalising circumstances, what emerges at the nexus of art, computation, and vegetal becoming formulates new possibilities of interspecies relations in exultopias to come.

The lecture will be followed by discussion with researcher and curator Hana Janečková and Q&A.

Špela Petrič is a Ljubljana and Amsterdam based new media artist who has been trained in the natural sciences and holds a PhD in biology, currently working as a researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her artistic practice combines the natural sciences, wet biomedia practices, performance, and critically examines the limits of anthropocentrism via multi-species endeavours. She envisions artistic experiments that enact strange relations to reveal the ontological and epistemological underpinnings of our (bio)technological societies. Her work revolves around the reconstruction and re-appropriation of scientific methodology in the context of cultural phenomena, while working towards an egalitarian and critical discourse between the professional and public spheres. Petrič received several awards, such as the White Aphroid for outstanding artistic achievement (Slovenia), the Bioart and Design Award (Netherlands), and an Award of Distinction at Prix Ars Electronica (Austria).