Zooetics is a coinage, a word in progress to explore new ways of engaging human knowledge and research with other forms of life and to imagine designs, prototypes and interfaces for future interspecies ecologies. Zooetics encompasses all life from mammals to molluscs to microbes, and addresses the paradigm shift in science, culture and society proposed in the argument of the Anthropocene. It engages with shifts in contemporary understandings of nature and human/non-human agencies.

Zooetics is a cross-disciplinary exploration of future environmental fictions and models and is part of the Outreach and Education Programme of the Frontiers in Retreat project. The metastructure of Zooetics was initially inspired by the site specificity of Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania (KTU), where the campus is historically negotiating its borders with the Lithuanian Zoo and a valley named after romantic era poet Adam Mickiewicz. By colliding these three territories - a poetic approach with scientific and other discipline approaches, by using fiction and art as a tool to reach towards the unimaginable, Zooetics offers prototypes for future, radically altered interspecies relations.

The Zooetics discursive programme entailed a series of public keynote lectures in December 2014 and October 2015 held at KTU. The lectures and workshops, given by leading international writers, artists, designers and researchers, outlined and opened up debate on the Anthropocene, the concept of Nature, interspecies interactions, new materials research, food and farming research, communities of species, maker culture, spatial design, contagious and infectious stories. The visiting speakers were Keller Easterling, Matthew Fuller, Caleb Harper, Natalie Jeremijenko, Jae Rhim Lee, Timothy Morton, John Palmesino & Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, Dimitris Papadopoulos, Christian Schwägerl and Skylar Tibbits. 

Zooetics is conceived by artists Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, with writer Tracey Warr, and curator and writer Viktorija Šiaulytė. Besides Frontiers in Retreat (EACEA EU Culture Programme), Zooetics was supported by Lithuania’s Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and Lithuanian Council for Culture.

- Tracey Warr

Zooetics lectures by Keller Easterling, Matthew Fuller, Caleb Harper, Natalie Jeremijenko, Jae Rhim Lee, Timothy Morton, Dimitris Papadopoulos, Christian Schwagerl, Territorial Agency, Skylar Tibbits