Frontiers in Retreat


Review on Richard Skelton in the Wire

May 2018, issue 411

Richard Skelton’s work created in Frontiers residencies in Skaftfell in 2014–17 reviewed by Spencer Thompson.


Zooetics+ Symposium at MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology

Zooetics concludes its 5 year long research programme with a symposium on April 27-28, 2018 at MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology. 

The Zooetics+ Symposium commences Friday, April 27, 2018 with the sessions “What Does Ecosystemic Thinking Mean Today” and “Knowledge Production Through Making and Living with Other Species,” discussing the habits of thought associated with cybernetics and the transition towards new thinking, inspired by sympoietics. The day will be finalized with a session speculating on what non-human imagination could look like in the session “The Radical Imagination: Toward Overcoming the Human.”

On Saturday, April 28, the program will explore further devices for ecosystemic thinking, discussing relevant artistic methods and practices in the panel “Artistic Intelligence, Speculation, Prototypes, Fiction.” “Creating Indigenous Futures” will be explored through bringing Indigenous values together with science and technology. The need for other, alternative vantage points—of species, of time, of traditions, of beings will be addressed in the session “Futures of Symbiotic Assemblages: Multi-naturalism, Monoculture Resistance and “The Permanent Decolonization of Thought.”

The symposium will conclude with a roundtable and launch of a new artistic research program “Sympoiesis: New Research, New Pedagogy, and New Publishing in Radical Inter-disciplinarity.”

Zooetics+ will be accompanied by a program of performances and installations by Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, Allora and Calzadilla, Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, Rikke Luther and NODE Berlin/Oslo.

Detailed Schedule and Description of Program Sessions:


9:30 AM Registration

10:00 AM Opening Ceremony by Erin Genia

10:15 AM Introduction to Zooetics+ Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM What Does Ecosystemic Thinking Mean Today?
Genealogy, impact and legacy of ecosystematic thought since the dawn of cybernetics. How have the infrastructures changed today since the publication of “Limits to Growth” or “Whole Earth Catalogue”? What tools are there to attune ourselves to perceive the interconnections of natural and man-made systems and to be able to make ethical, political, aesthetic decisions? This session is engaged with the question of how to transition from the habits of thought associated with cybernetics towards new thinking… perhaps sympoietics?
Cary Wolfe and Sophia Roosth
Respondent: Lars Bang Larsen

12:00 PM -1:30 PM Lunch break and Banner Tow Flight by Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Knowledge Production Through Making and Living with Other Species
Visions for species equality. Conviviality. Accessing other-than-human ways of knowing. Learning from other species (vis-a-vis biomimicry of other species)
Scott Gilbert and Stefan Helmreich
Moderator: Caitlin Berrigan
Respondent: Caroline A Jones

3:10 PM – 4:30 PM The Radical Imagination: Toward Overcoming the Human
Often reduced to a capacity of either a subject or consciousness, imagination could be thought as a way of opening up to the future and the unknown. Simultaneously being a sphere of change and transformation, it invents the directions of its own development and acts as a link between a human and the powers of the world. However, is it possible transcend human imagination? What would a non-human imagination look like? The field of imagination enables the exposure of radically impossible possibilities, introduces the perspectives of their development, and overcomes predetermined articulations and representations.
Chiara Bottici, Richard Kearney and Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg
Respondent: Kristupas Sabolius


9:30 AM Registration

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Artistic Intelligence, Speculation, Prototypes, Fiction. Learning Through Artistic Methods.
Artistic methods of speculation, prototype making, modelling and fiction as pedagogical devices for ecosystemic thinking.
Jennifer Allora, Heather Davis, and Sheila Kennedy
Respondents: Larissa Harris and Laura Serejo Genes

11:45 AM – 1:15 PM Creating Indigenous Futures: Indigenous artists discuss their work in relationship to futurity and creative reclamation
Looking ahead to future generations, sustained by the strength of our ancestors and wise to the challenges of living in fraught times, how do we bring our values as Indigenous people to our work in creating Indigenous futures? As artists, how do we apply Indigenous science and technology to creating these futures?
Courtney Leonard (Shinnecock), Jackson Polys (Tlingit), Kite (Oglala Lakota)
Respondent: Mario Caro

1:30 PM -2:30 PM Lunch break

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM Futures of Symbiotic Assemblages: Multi-naturalism, Monoculture Resistance and “The Permanent Decolonization of Thought”
In the age of post-truth, peak oil, alternative facts, and the alternative right, it has never been more urgent to defend the need for the coexistence of other, alternative vantage points – of species, of time, of traditions, of beings.
Emmanuel Alloa, Kim TallBear, with Nuno Gomes Loureiro (Physics Department MIT), ACT graduate students
Respondents: Gediminas Urbonas, Laura Knott, and Nolan Dennis

4:30PM – 5:30PM Closing remarks and future plans:

Sympoiesis: New Research, New Pedagogy, and New Publishing in Radical Inter-disciplinarity

Florian Schneider, Corinne Diserens, Lars Bang Larsen, Gediminas Urbonas, Nomeda Urbonas, Judith Barry, Gary Zhang




8:30 PM RASA SMITE and RAITIS SMITS, BIOTRICITY, at the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics



Register here


Nabb+Teeri: Mapping the insignificant 2.-25/2/2018

Titanik Gallery, Turku, Finland

In the autumn before retreating to their anthill to overwinter, the wood ants eat all the energy-containing eggs and cocoons that would otherwise not survive the winter. Deep underneath the anthill, below the frost line, the wintering ants huddle together in large heat-storing lumps, their size similar to that of a clenched hand. The ants continue to change their place in the formation so that everyone in turn can get inside to keep warm. The queen ant is kept in the middle. 

The works on display, however, have formed in dry, rigid, and rectangular spaces. Things that are barely 

perceptible move slowly on the edges of the field of vision, while others melt together in the middle of the room. There may have been a 56-hour blackout. Then the primates too gather in the warmest room of the house. Friends have deliberately forgotten some translucent materials in the studio. Texts have piled up and now form snowdrifts on both sides of the corridor. The workroom chaos has been simplified to an abstract, visual conundrum with a lossy compression; a sharp-edged polygon mesh; a porous, ruined space; a limitlessly scalable object that moves with the help of a mouse. The neighbours that are of different species have been in touch. The possibility of sculpting things, either in the dark or with completely closed eyes, remains to be taken into account. 


Whiteness in its righteousness 
bleaches creatures colorless 
tolerates no 

- Ursula K. Le Guin / Whiteness. Meditations for Melville, part II 


Nabb+Teeri is an artist duo formed in 2008 whose practice is characterized by the preconditions of working in changing locations. Alongside of borrowed, recycled and remodelled or found materials and objects, their stratified, mesh-like works include elements created with 3D modelling or other digital technologies. Nabb+Teeri are graduates of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki (MFA, 2011). They live and work in Övermark, a village in Finnish Ostrobothnia. The exhibition is part of the Frontiers in Retreat Project. Frontiers in Retreat is funded with support from the European Commission’s Culture Programme. Artists’ working has also been supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Finnish Cultural Foundation.


Further reading and listening: 
Ursula K. Le Guin / Whiteness. Meditations for Melville, part II. First appeared in Los Angeles Review published by Red Hen Press in 2014. The poem is included in the Keynote 5/8/14 Deep in Admiration by Ursula K. Le Guin at the Conference on Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet at Santa Cruz in 2014.


Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects | Centre d’Art i Natura de Farrera CAN

Online exhibition Edge Effects: Natural movements at Farrera's Edge, has now been launched!

The site is curated Lluís Llobet, Lluís Sabadell Artiga, Pere Báscones and Marta Prunera, and it presents works by artists Frontiers artists Anna Rubio, Quelic Berga, Joanès Simon-Perret, Kati Gausmann, Nabb & Teeri, Tuula Närhinen, and Tracey Warr.


Edge Effects – Active Earth in AQNB


Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects | KC GRAD | 27/11 – 03/12/2018

Edge Effects exhibition by KC GRAD presents several Frontiers and Serbian artists at KC GRAD in October 27 - December 3, together with an extensive side programme. Curator of the exhibition is Ljudmila Stratimirović, art director of Cultural Center GRAD.


Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects | HIAP @ Art Sonje Center | Programme

Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects - Active Earth exhibition at Art Sonje Center, Seoul by HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme presents it's public programme, including performance-concert by mirko nikolić and Tuomas A. Laitinen, and two Learning Sessions co-curated by Bora Hong, Haeju Kim, Hyejin Yeo. Click to read more 

Full Edge Effects Programme:

Tuesday, November 7

Exhibition Opening
4–6 PM, Art Sonje Center Project Space & Parallax Hanok

Active Earth Séance by mirko nikolić & Tuomas A. Laitinen
6–7 PM, Art Sonje Center Art Hall

Wednesday, November 8

Artist Talks:
Nabb+Teeri, Elena Mazzi, mirko nikolić, Tuomas A. Laitinen
Moderated by Jenni Nurmenniemi
Held in English with spontaneous Korean translation
4–6 PM, Art Sonje Center Art Hall 

Friday, November 10

Learning Session 1

Reading Art & Ecology: Artistic Practices for Symmetrical Life
7 – 9pm, Art Sonje Center Parallax Hanok
Panel: Rohwa Jeong, Kyounghee Lee, Bora Hong, Haeju Kim, Hyejin Yeo
Music: Gyepi sisters
Co-curated by: Bora Hong, Haeju Kim, Hyejin Yeo


Saturday, November 11

Learning Session 2
Reading Sympoiesis (Donna Haraway)
7 – 9pm, Art Sonje Center Parallax Hanok
Lecture: Yoomi Choi
Co-curated by: Bora Hong, Haeju Kim, Hyejin Yeo



* RSVP / Pre-registration for the Learning Sessions:


Interview with Kati Gausmann

by Tinna Guðmundsdóttir

New Frontiers artist interview by Tinna Guðmundsdóttir, Director of Skaftfell – Center for Visual Art:


Interview with Richard Skelton

June 14 2017 in Seyðisfjörður, by Tinna Guðmundsdóttir

An interview with Frontiers artist Richard Skelton by Tinna Guðmundsdóttir, Director of Skaftfell – Center for Visual Art, is now available online:


Zooetics: Future Energy Summit 3/10/2017 11am–6pm

Energy Summit Conference and workshop

Silver Screen Cinema, Cinema 2 Folkestone Town Hall, Guildhall Street, Folkestone CT20 1 DY, United Kingdom

Free entry, registration required:

Future Energy Summit brings together professionals and enthusiasts from the fields of art, design, life sciences and the humanities to Folkestone, UK for a meeting on the opening weekend of the Folkestone Triennial 2017, to re-imagine and re-script future models of energy, and its role and impact on citizenship and culture.

The ever growing appetite for energy that leads to extreme fossil fuel extraction is being disrupted by a number of revolutionary processes including the rapid transition to renewable energy, and the digitizing and networking of energy production and distribution infrastructures. Massive consumption of energy, demand for new kinds of energy storage, and the development of smart grids are changing the way these networks operate. In this context of increasing demand and the ever-moving target of fossil fuel exhaustion, the future of energy is determined by our capacity to reprogramme our energy dependencies.

In order to undo the way in which modernity has dictated energy provision, Future Energy Summit will emphasize two key perspectives: first, relearning the numerous ways that living organisms produce and store energy — for example, microbes producing energy when breaking down glucose with the help of enzymes, which occurs in both human andnonhuman bodies — and second, reconceptualizing energy independence and energy grids by looking at ‘maker culture’ inspired production models. Testing these models is crucial for the future of the planet in our era of dramatic climate change because not only do they transcend the role of the passive consumer — they also create alliances and associations across disciplines, fields and ontologies.Future Energy Summit, joined by academics, artists, designers, makers and inventors, looks for productive fictions, prototypes and models that can imagine a new diversity of energy interdependencies.

The invited participants of the Summit include prominent researchers and scholars from the fields of energy and science humanities, such as Jelena Martinovic, a historian of science, who will discuss energy, threat, and adaptation strategies, by considering near-death experiences and their relevance in scientific and clinical research in the 19th and 20th century; Tere Vadén, a philosopher whose work inquires into the relation between the humanities, energy, and the project of modernity; and Imre Szeman, the author of Energy Humanities: An Anthology and a key figure in these debates.Artists and designers Cédric Carles and Thomas Ortiz of Paleo-Energetique, will discuss their energy archaeology project, amassing an archive of a multiplicity of energy production patents and inventions which have been previously neglected, censored, or forgotten. Artist and researcher Rasa Smite (a collaborator with Raitis Smits and RIXC in Riga, Latvia) will introduce the artists’ approach in building a “techno-ecological” perspective, and will demonstrate the findings of RIXC's Biotricity research. Also, discussing the sonic expressions of “Pond Battery”, aninstrument that is fuelled by bacteria living in mud, Rasa will give a hands-on workshop on how to make your own mud battery. Stephanie Karpetas, a social entrepreneur and activistwill share her expertise and experience of engaging communities to be part of a local energyrevolution, helping people take ownership and control of their own local energy generation, distribution, and use. The Summit respondent is Asa Calow, a creative technologist and a co-founder of the Institute of Unknown Purpose – a new US-UK technology research initiative working on new forms of post-transition digital infrastructure. New materiality in battery production will be discussed by Viktorija Makarovaite and Sofia Perez-Villar, research scientists at Kent University and scientific advisors for the mushroom batteries deployed at the Folke Stone Power Plant, a work commissioned from Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas for Folkestone Triennial 2017.

Future Energy Summit is brought together by Zooetics, a research platform exploring human, non-human, and poetic knowledge spheres in order to imagine new prototypes and interfaces for future interspecies ecologies. Future Energy Summit is part of Folkestone Triennial 2017, and is supported by theLithuanian Council for Culture, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, and Arts at MIT. Zooetics is an Outreach and Education Program of Frontiers in Retreat, a network supported by the EU “Culture” Programme (EACEA 2013-1297). This communication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained herein.