We believe this will be East Asia’s first conference on art and ecology. Our hope is that this conference will bring together researchers and practitioners working in the intersections of art, ecology, indigeneity, geopolitics, and STS (science and technology studies) to build a cross-regional network of sustainable collaboration.

The conference includes three panels. We will consider both scholarly/scientific research and artistic/curatorial practice. We welcome submissions by advanced doctoral students, junior scholars, early/mid-career artists and curators.

This conference is organized by Wanwu Practice Group as part of the Embodying Local Knowledge Symposium organized by Critical Ecologies.

Call for Proposals

Panel 1: Art and Microbial Worlds

This panel invites abstracts that discuss practices at the intersection of microbial ecologies and art. We will consider theoretical papers, artistic reflections, and provocations that explore various aspects of co-existing with microorganisms, including the roles of microbes in human health, food, energy, and culture. We also welcome submissions that propose theoretical and artistic observations on the histories of microbiology, pre-scientific techniques, and scientific research on microbes. Additionally, we seek contributions that engage with artistic investigations of microbial ways of knowing and being, microbial impact on other species, and broader macroecologies. Presentations might be on topics as diverse as (but not limited to):

  • Microbial ecologies, food, and art
  • Fermentation, microbes, and art
  • Health, microbial ecologies, and art
  • Microbes in scientific research, synthetic biology, and art
  • Pre-scientific practices and ways of knowing in dealing with microbes
  • Microorganisms, macroecologies, and art
  • Microorganisms, biofuels, and art
  • Microbial ecologies, biology, and art
  • Microbial ways of knowing and being and art

Please submit your proposal to panel convenor Timurgalieva Olga at otimurgal2-c@my.cityu.edu.hk

Panel 2: Art, Ecology, Geology, and Climatology

This panel welcomes abstracts that discuss artistic research and practices that focus on ecology in connection to geological and climatic topics. We seek both scientific approaches and mythological/animistic/totemistic/multinaturalistic approaches on multi-species relations existing interdependently in a certain geological and climatic setting. While it is relatively undemanding to have a sense that all living and nonliving things are existing or arising in dependence upon other things, it is challenging to illustrate and express the dynamic, fluctuating relationships through different artistic media. Thus, we seek both presentations that emphasize on topic or/and methodology. Presentations might be on topics as diverse as (but not limited to):

  • Ecological topics depicted in traditional mythologies and folklores
  • New myth creation and storytelling on ecology, geology, and climatology
  • Ecology, geopolitics, and art
  • Ecology, climate change, and art
  • Geontology and art
  • Worldviews seen from other-than-human species, geological and climatic entities

Please submit your proposal to panel convenor NAGASAKA Aki at anagasaka2-c@my.cityu.edu.hk

Panel 3: Art, Ecology, and Contested Indigeneity

This panel highlights the intersection of ecologically concerned arts and Indigeneity within a proposed geopolitical framework. In particular, it intends to call together voices from East Asia, Southeast Asia, and other regions where the contested notion of “Indigeneity” is emerging through the collective endeavour of communal actions, social movements, artistic initiatives, and theoretical provocations which strive to illuminate contemporary Indigenous experiences. As these processes unfold, ecological thinking and art have come to play crucial roles. The former offers alternative ontological models that lead to a cosmopolitics beyond the occidental naturalism and modern scientism; the latter reweaves the relationship between the human species and the environment through sensory fabrics, providing means of making hearable and visible for the marginalized. At the crossing of art, ecology, and Indigeneity, this panel looks for insights into issues including, but not limited to, the follows:

  • Reflections on the inclusiveness and exclusiveness of existing conception of Indigeneity from regional perspectives
  • The bearing of cosmological thinking, eco-cultural traditions, eco-political challenges, and media environment on Indigenous identities and sovereignty
  • Alternative frameworks of self-identification for the Indigenous, the rural, and other marginalized communities
  • The role of arts (e.g. visual arts, performance, lens-based media, and creative storytelling) in foregrounding, politicizing, and navigating through contemporary Indigenous experiences
  • The potential of “Indigenous media” in allying the marginalized humans, other-than-human beings, and sentient entities
  • Multiple modalities of “artistic modernity” informed by ecological thinking and contemporary Indigenous art
  • The ontological, epistemological, methodological, and ethical challenges faced by contemporary Indigenous art practices, curation, and criticism

Please submit your proposal to panel convenor LIU Mankun at mankunli2-c@my.cityu.edu.hk

Submission Guidelines

Please submit an abstract (500 words) and a short bio (250 words). Full papers are welcomed but not required. Proposals should be sent to the individual panel convenor by September 10, 2021.

Key dates

September 10: extended submission deadline
September 15: accepted proposals notified
November 12-13: online conference


We plan to publish papers developed from this conference as a journal special issue.