Thursday, 22 April 2021

08:00 – 08:15 (CET)
Introduction & Kick-of

08:15 – 09:15 (CET)
“Civic creative practice projects – The Afterlives of Cities”
Conversation with Charity EDWARDS, Monash, Melbourne

09:30 – 10:30 (CET)
“Undisciplined: Of Architectural Nomadism and the Rebellious Practice”
Conversation with Dr Eduardo KAIRUZ, Monash, Melbourne

10:45 – 11:45 (CET)
“Making Kin, with Plants”
Conversation with Dr Bo ZHENG, SCM, Hong Kong

Online Access

Venue: ZHdK Gallery 1 + 2

Saturday, 24 April 2021

10:00– 11:00 (CET)
“Can we learn to listen to a tree?”
Conversation with Christina DELLA GIUSTINA, Amsterdam

11:00– 12.00 (CET)
“Demented Yourself! How? and Why?”
Conversation with Dr Yanki LEE, Hong Kong

12.30 – 13.30 (CET)
Conversation with Michael SIMON, ZHdK, Zurich

Online Access

Venue: ZHdK Viaduktraum

Detailed Programme

Conversation with Charity EDWARDS: "Civic creative practice projects – The Afterlives of Cities"

During 2021, The Afterlives of Cities research collective will launch a new makerspace in the remote regional Victoria town of Warracknabeal: the Creative Circuit. This project involves the design, construction, and ongoing public programming of a creative space at the intersection of low-cost technology, local craft skills, discarded materials and electronics, and imaginative play. It will provide free-of-charge digital fabrication equipment and training to marginalised groups, support the development of community-led enterprise, build local capacity to organise and operate collaborative environments, and bring together young children and elders from the town to recover their futures through the making of stories, cities, puppets, and parades. Creative Circuit also continues our investigation of ‘civic creative practice’ (Morgan et al., 2020) - exploring, testing, and tweaking the needs of communities with those communities by pairing creative practice researchers, educators, social organisers, artists, contemporary makers and local people to create other ways of imagining their towns and cities via material and technology re-use - and extends our research network through collaborations with Monash University's Conceptual PlayLab, multiple government bodies, and a number of local community organisations. This lecture will explore working in remote landscapes and the importance of making together to seed civic projects of creative endeavour.

Charity Edwards is a lecturer, urban researcher, and registered architect, with Masters degrees in both Architecture (RMIT) and Environment (University of Melbourne). She has practiced architecture for 20 years and continues to collaborate with artists, filmmakers, and scientists to create buildings, landscapes, public programming, and urban strategy. At the present, she is a lecturer at Monash University’s Department of Architecture, where she focuses on interdisciplinary teaching across architecture, interior architecture, and urban planning and design. She is also co-founder of The Afterlives of Cities research collective, which brings together expertise in architecture, astrophysics, digital fabrication, speculative fiction, and art installation to recover futures in space.
Charity’s research explores the destructive, uneven, and more-than-human impacts of urbanisation at the scale of the planet. She foregrounds long-disregarded spaces of remote and offworld environments in these processes in particular, and is currently investigating how this manifests in the Southern Ocean via increasingly autonomous underwater technologies as part of her PhD in urban theory. In doing so, she asks why the urban so often conflicts with popular and romantic understandings of wilderness.

Morgan, T., Edwards, C. & J. Crow. 2020. After Warracknabeal. Architect Victoria, Autumn 2020, 18-21.

Conversation with Charity Edwards | Critical Ecologies 2021

Conversation with Dr Eduardo KAIRUZ: "Undisciplined: Of Architectural Nomadism and the Rebellious Practice"

In this presentation, based on his homonymous forthcoming book (Anthem Press, 2022), Eduardo meticulously unpacks an unruly form of architectural production that is a consequence of its development in contexts of profound sociopolitical instability (i.e. corruption, violence, poverty, and exile). Framing this examination with narratives that immerse the audience in contexts dominated by crisis, conflict, and dislocation, Eduardo puts forward an unorthodox form of architecture and spatial production which aids to the contingent elaboration of new (and increasingly necessary) spatial narratives.

Eduardo Kairuz is a Melbourne-based Venezuelan architect concerned with the spatial implications of a world in perpetual crisis. His research is focused on architecture's relationship with power as a mechanism to address questions of social and spatial justice. Eduardo has published and exhibited internationally, including articles for IDEA Journal, Architectural Research Quarterly, AD, and Trans. Group exhibitions include the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space and the Gwangju Design Biennale. Solo shows include Variations at The Substation in Melbourne and Dismantled at Centro Cultural Chacao in Caracas. The latter was the subject of the edited book Eduardo Kairuz: Dismantled (Uro Publications). Eduardo's current research looks at problems of representation in the new climatic regime and the formulation of a resistance aesthetics that can contribute to stimulate public action. Before joining Monash University, Eduardo was a Visiting Lecturer at the School of Architecture at University of Technology Sydney and an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at Universidad Central de Venezuela. Prior to these appointments, Eduardo practised architecture in Caracas for many years, designing award-winning slum rehabilitation projects that include the Communal House of Barrio San Miguel, La Vega and the Vertical Gym of Barrio La Cruz, Chacao..

Conversation with Dr Bo ZHENG: "Making Kin, with Plants"

How do we, homo sapiens, make kin with plants? Bo Zheng shares the ideas that have grown out of his practice over the last eight years. He discusses ways to develop intimacy with plants, through drawings and erotic performances.

ZHENG Bo lives and works on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. Committed to multispecies vibrancy, he investigates the past and imagines the future from the perspectives of marginalized communities and marginalized plants. He creates weedy gardens, living slogans, and eco-queer films to cultivate ecological wisdom beyond the Anthropo-extinction-event. His works are in the collection of Power Station of Art in Shanghai, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Singapore Art Museum, and Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. His projects are included in Liverpool Biennial 2021, Yokohama Triennale 2020, Manifesta 12, the 11th Taipei Biennial, and the 11th Shanghai Biennial. His practice has received support from numerous art spaces in Asia and Europe, most recently ICA Shanghai, @KCUA in Kyoto, Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong, Villa Vassilieff in Paris, and TheCube Project Space in Taipei. In 2020, as artist-in-residence at the Gropius Bau in Berlin, he engaged in conversations with plant scientists and ecologists to speculate how plants practice politics.He taught at China Academy of Art from 2010 to 2013, and currently teaches at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, where he leads the Wanwu Practice Group.

Conversation with Christina Della Giustina: "Can we learn to listen to a tree?"

Can we learn to listen to a tree? And if so, and our listening becomes relational, do trees listen too?

The research studies the water cycle of trees. It processes environmental data on sap flow from scientific research on climate change, transposing it into a musical score and enacting it collaboratively.

By turning climate data into musical performances, the research draws attention to the complex water-cycling and sophisticated energy balance of trees under changing environmental conditions. Its queries are relevant for contemporary scientific research concerned with climate futures, as well as questions regarding art’s stance and the contemporary locus of its transformative power. The project proposes that we face these challenges together.
Christina Della Giustina lives and works in Amsterdam. She lectures at HKU Fine Art’s MA and BA departments at University of the Arts Utrecht, and is about to complete her practice-based PhD at Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.

Christina studied Philosophy, Art History and Linguistics at University Zürich and Fine Art and Political Theory at Jan van Eyck Academy Maastricht.
Her trans-disciplinary artistic research practice explores more-than-human encounters as political ecology understanding the sonic as medium for relationality. It revolves mainly around re-coding data from scientific climate research into cultural contexts, experimenting with site-sensitive, time-based work such as sound, light, performance, composition, drawing and writing.
The imaginative approach of Christina’s complex ‘ecology of translation’ generates enquires, collaborations and events through the encounters it creates. Its results have entered the public discourse by invitations to main cultural venues in Amsterdam, Bangalore, Basel, Berlin, London, Montreux, Prague, San Francisco, Zurich etc.

Conversation with Dr Yanki LEE: "Demented Yourself! How? and Why?"

What if everyday objects and even the city became demented? This was the speculative statement we used when investigating innovative ways to inspire citizens to find out more about dementia. “Demented Yourself” is an artistic expressive method on the topic of dementia that we use to engage younger citizens to immerse themselves into the world of others through actualisation.

Yanki LEE works between Hong Kong, London and Växjö. Dr LEE is a design researcher with social innovation and inclusion at the heart of her practice. In addition to research and publication, she teaches and creates educational programmes that build long-term, community capacities. As part of her transdisciplinary practice, she often develops objects and exhibitions as co-creative tools when working with groups or institutions. She works with businesses, governments, and academia across the world to design and deliver innovative social research that unlocks wicked social problems using immerse design methodologies. She taught and researched at the Royal College of Art (RCA) at London after her graduation from Architecture between 2000 until 2012. After awarded Fellow of the Royal College of Art and UK-China Fellowship of Excellence for her works in crossdisciplinarity and transculturality, Dr Lee was invited back to her hometown to become the founding director of the Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) Lab at the Hong Kong Design Institute. Since 2017, she founded Enable Foundation, a social design collective and education charity after received major funding from HKSAR Government’s Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (SIE) Fund to pioneer innovative cross-generational and transdisciplinary programmes through design researches and actions.


Conversation with Prof. Michael Simon: "NEW GREENLAND. The Jungle and the Desert."

How do we inform ourselves in times of the digital information age? How to catch the attention of the audience to ecological and social issues in times of total online availability? This availability is often called an information jungle. The New Green Land project researches new ways of communicating obvious and hidden issues by going the opposite way. Instead of cutting through the jungle it starts in a deserted place in order to find ways of communication through hybrid theatre performance.

Michael Simon is a german designer and director for ballet, drama and opera. His designs have been seen all over the world from Australia to Canada and the US, from Japan to China and throughout Europe. He has worked for many years with the choreographers Jiri Kylian and William Forsythe. The titles of some of the works are Isabel’s Dance, Impressing the Czar, Limb’s Theorem , Kaguyahime, Stepping Stones, Whereabouts Unknown, Wings of Wax, Arcimboldo, One of a kind, Doux Messonges and Zugvögel. His working relationship as stage designer with Pierre Audi, director of the Amsterdam Opera started in 1990 with Monteverdi’s „Il Ritorno d’Ulisse“ in Patria and continued until 2011 with the production of the two Iphigenie operas by Gluck. Amongst other designs the most important were „Writing to Vermeer“, directed by Peter Greenaway and Saskia Boddecke in the Amsterdam opera, „Wozzeck“ at the Brussels opera, directed by David Freemann, Claudel’s drama „Tête d’or“ directed by Anne Delbee at Comédie Française, Paris, „Lear and „Hamlet“ directed by Li Liuyi at the National Center for Performing Arts Beijing, „Peony Pavilion“ and „Dunhuang, the light of heart“ by choreographer Fei Bo for National Ballet of China, Beijing.

Conversation with Michael Simon | Critical Ecologies 2021