Caring and Narrating
Aesthetic Strategies to Counter the Climate Crisis
With Yvonne Volkart and Birgit Schneider

01.12.2023, 19:00
/rosa, Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 35, 10178 Berlin

Yvonne Volkart: Technologies of Care

In the art of the last decade, a relational, cross-species turn has taken place—a techno-eco-feminist turn toward the environmental, toward ontologies of becoming-together and caring for the Earth. It is a new sensibility toward planet Earth’s grounding on physical forces, in the midst of the total technologization of the world. This eco-sensibility is based on technologies, practices, and aesthetics in art that enable, poeticize, celebrate, and deploy paying attention to the more-than-human as a political practice of desire and counterappropriation of dispossessed worlds––in short, Technologies of Care. In this process, technical means and data play an essential role; especially as they come with the hope that, on the one hand, measuring data can be used to render the factuality of unknown or denied environmental phenomena and, on the other hand, that they generate new forms of attention toward the environment.

The author claims, though, that the potential of technologies of care is to be sought less in the use of innovative technologies and well-intentioned themes than in the enabling of aesthetic experiences of co-existence with earthly beings, and their difference and foreignness. Her argumentation is based on the in-depth analysis of exemplary artistic projects; many of them are in the interdisciplinary field of art and science––an ideal site for strange encounters, and processes of mutual translation and distortion. The value of artistic practices, she states, does not lie in the visualization and transposition of abstract data into a language that touches. Rather, it lies in trans-making things, and in the disturbing effects that such acts of disfiguring trigger: the creation of cross-species commonalities instead of the othering which prevails in the dominant discourse.