Gan Elaine photo

Elaine Gan
Enchanted Realists: Situated, Partial, Viral


Artist-theorist Elaine Gan’s lecture Enchanted Realists: Situated, Partial, Viral extends another fascinating proposition from her thought reservoir in which feminist theory meets art. At Sonic Acts, Gan reworks received concepts of species into more plural forms, endowing the scientific road to change with a magical clarity in which no part is without say.

In her lecture, Gan begins by setting her ground: mosquitoes speak, rocks listen, birds map, fungi do history, dogs signify. These acts change the work of the arts, sciences and humanities, inviting new modes of transdisciplinarity, or what Gan calls, practices of enchanted realism. The lecture draws on feminist theory to explore experiments with sound, image and interaction, and how they articulate situated practices, partial perspectives and viral politics.

Gan Elaine photo

Artist-theorist, producer and curator Elaine Gan works at the intersections of feminist science and technology studies, environmental/​digital arts and humanities, and multispecies anthropology. She teaches at New York University, Center for Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement, and directs the Multispecies Worldbuilding Lab. She is co-editor of the anthology Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene (2017) and writes about rice assemblages, feminist technoscience and experimental media. 


Gan Elaine. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Magical Thinking: Towards a Future Worth Living – Conference Day 2

at De Brakke Grond
Sun 23 Feb 15:00 — 18:00

This conference proposes the idea of magical thinking’ – a belief that thoughts and actions can influence the world – as a provocation. In current dystopian scenarios of the future life on Earth, from environment to democracy, imagining a future worth living might reduce anxiety that paralyses action and create openness to a more inclusive way of thinking. The question that needs answering is what is a future worth living (and for whom), and which tactics could get us there. How do we get from climate emergency and catastrophic populism, fuelled by extractive capitalism, to a world of social/​ecological justice and multispecies equality? With focus on artistic research and strategies of visibility and mobilisation that art holds, this forum wishes to open critical discussions and propose possible ways to the future worth living.

Unlearning the Environmental Knowledge

Unlearning the perspective of Anthropos’ when thinking about the environment activates different ways of understanding earthly surroundings. New modes of transdisciplinarity are summoned to engage in thinking with more-than-human agents in order to uncover narratives about the climate crisis. From the 1815 volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora to the US’ nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll – the beginning of the new era in the history of Earth, the Anthropocene – an artist, a curator and a theorist in this block present on a series of encounters with volcanoes, seas, jungles, rocks and other interconnected planetary species and technologies. 

This panel will be moderated by Mirna Belina.

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