Curator | Biennale Exhibition | 2021 | Abandon Normal Devices
From microplastics to fertilizers, pharmaceuticals to personal care products, contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are lively and leaky pollutants that contaminate waterways, eroding environmental and public health. Although invisible to the naked eye, micro-polluting chemicals are everywhere. They are found in the bodies of humans and animals and take long periods of time to move through seas and soils before breaking down into less harmful forms. However, it is not only the physical impacts of water pollutants that harm our bodies and environments, chemical molecules also shape our bodies and worlds in social and ideological ways. Many of us are born onto toxic lands built on unjust legacies or pursue belief systems—from ideas about purity to immunology—that continue social inequalities and put in place new polluting futures. In multiple ways, we are entangled with the very environments we seek to live with, from and in.
The River Mersey in Liverpool, England, is a prime example with a complex history of industrial pollution. In the 1970s, if someone had fallen into the river, locals would say that they would die of poisoning before they would drown. Today, despite highly effective clean up attempts tackling obvious ‘point sources’ of pollution, such as effluent and sewage, this renowned waterway has more microplastic in it than in the pacific garbage patch. Through three newly commissioned online artworks by artists, Mary Maggic, Dr Luiza Prado, and Sissel Marie Tonn, and an accompanying body of research, Toxicity’s Reach traces how contaminants of emerging concern exert agency over our lives in unexpected and lesser-known ways. The online exhibition asks how exposure to chemical water pollutants affects us biologically, socially and ideologically? How might reimagining molecular water-pollution through a focus on the agency of chemicals make us think differently about our daily actions and give us hope to flourish in toxic worlds.
Disturbing Conservation: Reimagining The Universal Declaration of More Than Human Rights
Curator I Workshop I 2020 I MAAT, Lisbon
What is the future of ecological conservation? How might we, as non-experts, care for the ocean and all its inhabitants? And what other kinds of stories might be needed moving forward? Disturbing Conservation ReMapping The Avencas MPA is the beginning of an alternative Interpretation Centre for the Avencas Marine Protected Area (MPA). The project is designed to question critically and creatively what role cultural institutions might play in ecological conservation initiatives? And how the
public can reconsider their responsibility and relationship to Marine Protected Areas?
The workshop created a new display for the Interpretation Centre addressing the future of care and the ocean. Using the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ as a departure point, we drew on ideas from queer ecology, science fiction and systems theory to adopt an ecologically interdependent, bottom-up and non-anthropocentric approach to marine conservation.
Cycles of Toxicity
Stanley Picker Fellowship I Exhibition & Research Project I 2020-2 I Stanley Picker Gallery & Kingston University, London
As part of the Stanley Picker Fellowship I will be exploring histories of contamination and ideas of purity, memory and intersectional thought through micropollutants caused by the abundant use of chemicals in our daily lives. My Fellowship project Cycles of Toxicity is a collaborative fabulation that brings together various communities to retrace the lives of chemical pollutants as they travel through bodies and ecosystems.
Disturbing Conservation: Remapping The Avencas MPA
Curator I Exhibition & Workshop I 2020 I MAAT, Lisbon
An alternative Interpretation Centre for the Avencas Marine Protected Area (MPA). The work is designed to question critically and creatively what role cultural institutions might play in ecological conservation initiatives? And how the public can reconsider their responsibility and relationship to Marine Protected Areas?
In its first iteration, the Interpretation Centre presents three new displays that work to complicate ideas of marine conservation. It re-imagines interpretation as an infrastructure and mediating system for visualising the lesser cared for concerns attached to marine conservation areas.Each display borrows from feminism, anti-colonial thinking, and more-than-human positions to bring forth other stories and realities, by taking care of what and who is being represented in the Centre.
The Ethics Committee of Dark Conservation
Curator I Workshop & Exhibition I 2019 I Porto Design Biennale
A multi-layered and collaborative week-long workshop co-curated with Gillian Russell that culminated in a group exhibition of fictional museum conservation reports. As part of Fiction as Practice curated by Mariana Pestana,
the project involved designers and curators undertaking the guise of a fictional Collection Committee. The group worked to acquire a single artefact and then represent it to the public through conservation reports that embody different value systems expressed as a pluriverse of fictional worlds. The term pluriverse has been taken from Mario Blaser and Marisol de la Cadena and can be defined as the existence of many co-existing worlds, against the practice of one world that dominates over all others. The project used the imaginary and fiction as a vehicle to collectively author new stories to provoke into being an environment where there are many truths of equal standing. In this way, the work actively sought to be in opposition to the singular truths that dominate society and that often go unseen and unchallenged.
Curatorial Research Project I 2019-ongoing
A long-term collaborative curatorial project in the form of workshops, exhibitions and commissions with artists, designers, researchers, scientists and diverse communities. Its aim is to rethink forms of ecological conservation, imagined and pursued.
Preserving elements from the 21st century for future generations is arguably needed more than ever before. However, little public discussion is being had about how current conservation practices—from new technologies to management strategies and initiatives—embody and reflect value systems that are deeply entrenched within our culture. Whether we are conscious of it or not, these practices of protection and restoration are sites where worlds are made and unmade.
Situated at the intersection of curating art&design, artsci and technology the project politically questions and debates new perspectives relating to ecology and biodiversity prompting public discussions of what must live and what must die. Its approach is threefold (1) rereading technologies of conservation, industry and ecology, (2) rethinking these spaces, categories and knowledge dynamics through an expanded lens and (3) storytelling for lesser-known worlds.
The Science of Belonging: Stories of bones, bodies, blood and hair
Curatorial project I 2020-21 I various venues
A collaborative storytelling project exploring how who we are is shaped by theories and practices of evolution, genomics, bloodlines and hereditary. Beyond scientific methods, which often lack attention to social paradigms, alternative efforts to govern knowledge production can be found in communities who engage personal genomics, biotechnology and critical race theory to intersect, trouble and deepen understanding of a politics of being and belonging.The Science of Belonging works with diverse civic and scientific communities to collect, integrate, store and perform alternative knowledges around DNA which are realised in the form of workshops, installation and performance drawing from co-creation, memory techniques and loci practices.
Playbour—Work, Pleasure, Survival
Curator | Exhibition | 2018 | Furtherfield, London
Playbour – Work, Pleasure, Survival, was an art and research platform dedicated to the study of the worker as they are asked to draw on internal resources and self-made networks to develop new avenues of work, pleasure, and survival in an age of data technologies. This exhibition featured ambitious and newly commissioned installations based on an earlier transdisciplinary co-research lab. Newly commissioned works by Arjun Harrison & Benjamin Redgrove, Marija Bozinovska Jones, and Michael Straeubig, and existing work by Cassie Thornton.
Assembling a Moving Island
Curator | Public Art Circuit | 2018 | Azores Islands
Assembling a Moving Island featured 6 temporary public art commissions across the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. As a starting point, each work mapped what passed in and out of the island of Sao Miguel, retracing material and immaterial frictions, from historic flora being transported from the Global South to natural information such as seismic activity. Works by Nora Al-Badri & Jan Nikolai Nelles, Camposaz, Navine Khan Dossos, Luiza Prado, Sascha Pohflepp & Chris Woebken, Daniel Rourke, Shift Register (Jamie Allen + Martin Howse).
Curator | Lab | 2018 | Furtherfield, London
Playbour was a lab for supporting collective research, shared learning and co-creation, developing interdisciplinary public situations and encounters for thinking about how we value the convergence of work, play and well-being, and the contours of work and play itself as they are being redefined through data and neuro technologies. The lab lead to a group exhibition at Furtherfield, London.
Digital Dark Ages
Curator | Biennale Exhibition | 2017 | Abandon Normal Devices
A group exhibition with commissioned site-specific works exploring the possibilities and challenges we face when preserving our digital lives for future generations. As urgent work continues on how to archive, standardise and up-date our growing library of digital records, what should remain and what will disappear? New commissions and existing works by Nora Al-Badri & Jan Nikolai Nelles, Charlotte Jarvis, Sam Lavigne, Martha McGuinn, Simone Niquille, Shift Register (Jamie Allen, Martin Howse, & Merle Ibach), & Thomas Thwaites.
Co-Building Worlds: Data Capitalism
Performative conference paper | 2016 | Data Publics conference, Goldsmiths & Gasworks Gallery, London
What are the experiences of living in worlds shaped by data capitalism? What compromises do we make daily? This conference paper collected a range of responses and represented them as a curatorial fabulation in an attempt to expand knowledge and understanding of data capitalism.
Creative Critical Campaigns
Curator | Workshop | 2016 | SPACE [Art+Tech] as part of AntiUniversity, London
A day-long workshop that examined and appropriated some techniques used by the burgeoning “neuro-marketing” industry.
Humans Need Not Apply
Curator | 2016 | AI in Asia, Digital Asia Hub, Hong Kong
Intended as a contemporary snapshot of key themes and provocations relating to the rise of AI, this pop-up exhibition featured works by James Bridle, Matthieu Cherubini, Agi Haines, Mario Klingemann, and Simone C. Niquille.
In the Robot Skies
Narrative Short I 2016
Directed by Liam Young and written by Tim Maughan, In the Robot Skies was a narrative short shot entirely through autonomous pre-programmed drones. The film explores the drone as a cultural object, not just as a new instrument of visual storytelling but also as the catalyst for a new collection of urban subcultures.
PostHuman Unit for NeuroCapitalism
Curator | Research Unit | 2014-17 | various venues
What it means to be human is expanding. Against a backdrop of new neuros, increasingly
medicalised consumers and large-scale techno-scientific information structures, the PostHuman Unit for NeuroCapitalism (PHUNC) was a research and design unit engaged in co-creating new visions of post-consumer and post-producer subjectivities through a temporary community of neuro and data-capitalist research.
Ground Truth: The Migrant Machine
Curator I Workshop I 2015 I Furtherfield, London
A day-long workshop looking at how society is locked-into contemporary conditions that bring migration into being. The workshop challenged participants to expand and rethink what potential responses to migration could be, creatively and beyond. How can we work with the technologies associated with migration (and their social effects) to inform and enact virtual mobility and cultural activism?
Big Bang Data
Curatorial Advisor | Exhibition | 2015-6 | Somerset House, London
A large-scale exhibition that explored the phenomenon of the information explosion we are currently experiencing.
Assistant Curator | Exhibition (touring) | 2014 | Barbican Centre, London
A comprehensive presentation of digital art, media and production. This immersive and interactive exhibition brought together for the first time a range of artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, musicians and game developers, all pushing the boundaries of their fields using digital media.
The Institute Effect
Co-Curator | Exhibition | 2013 | Close, Closer, 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Lisbon
A living, changing homage and challenge to the contemporary cultural institution. Intended as a constantly changing stream of activity, 12 pioneering institutions of architecture engaged in innovative and groundbreaking practice were invited to takeover the exhibition space, hosting a public programme of their choosing taking consecutive turns in bringing an ever-changing international residency programme to Lisbon.
Public Programme I 2013 I Tent, London
Made to Order
Public Programme I 2012 I Tent, London
Black Book Interviews
Curator I Public Programme I 2012 I Seventeen
The Black Book Interviews was structured as a daylong series of dynamic dialogues exploring independent design, science and technology critique. The conversations were documented on site through design writing, illustration, cartography and stenography, by journalists, illustrators and artists. It resulted in a free, tangible journal. interviewers included Steven Ounanian, Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad, Revital Cohen, Beatrice Galilee and more.
Electric Futures Technology Week
Assistant Curator I Public Programme I 2013 I KX
The Filling Station was a temporary pavilion on the banks of the Regent's Canal near King’s Cross. Electric Futures was a week of workshops looking at the relationship between design and emerging technology. The events include a performance by Choi Ka Fai and a DNA Hacking workshop by Tuur van Balen.
Earth Not a Globe II
Co-curator I Exhibition I 2009 I Rokeby
Two part-exhibition: The Earth Not a Globe takes as its starting point the phenomena of flat earth theorem whose belief system of 'flatness' diverges from the earth as a globe. Thinking about scales of perception, their limitations and how we deal with this on a tangible level the exhibition brings together a selection of artists who employ cartographic systems of resisting one point of view for another potential combination. Featuring works by Paul B Davis, Tom Badley, Giles Bailey, Chris Collins, Neil Montier, Sean Raspet, Conrad Ventur, Laura White.
Earth Not a Globe I
Co-curator I Exhibition I 2009 I Rokeby
The Earth Not a Globe takes as its starting point the phenomena of flat earth theorem whose belief system of 'flatness' diverges from the earth as a globe. Thinking about scales of perception, their limitations and how we deal with this on a tangible level the exhibition brings together a selection of artists who employ cartographic systems of resisting one point of view for another potential combination. Featuring works by Kari Altmann, David Raymond Conroy, Richard Healy, Oliver Laric, JT Lowen, Matt McQuillan, Jasiek Mischke, WITH(withyou.co.uk).