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Contact joeyogemail@gmail.com

I am interested in an extra-disciplinary approach to spatial enquiry, exploring multivalent ecologies through video, installation and performance, and asking how human and nonhuman environments interpenetrate. My practice endeavours to use and abuse art as a means to escape intellectual conformity, oscillating between multiple perspectives in a semi-directed wander toward an unknown horizon. I want to link experience and a holism which unifies scientific approaches to environmental responsibility and sustainable development [1] with a plurality of worldviews. An aesthetics of co-extensive anthropogenic and natural phenomenon is deployed with the hope of offsetting the increasingly problematic hegemonic discourse of 20th century, Western capitalism [2]. These expansive and activist ways of seeing and doing are of vital import due to the existential threat posed by chronic environmental degradation and the absolute failure of contemporary practices in politics, economics and ethics [3].

Graham Harman’s Object Oriented Ontology [4], which posits objects that forever withdraw beyond physical manifestations and what can be thought about them, and Bruno Latour’s Actor Network Theory [5], where inanimate things become multivalent actors that continually shift register, inform a disavowal of strict dichotomies that separate humans from everything else. William James’ pragmatism and radical empiricism [6] inspire a multilayered understanding of a rich, emergent world, populated by multifaceted agents which interact within ambiguous fields of experience.

Another compelling area which speaks to the human subject’s connectivity with the physical world, one which draws the relatively unfamiliar vitality of inanimate objects into a more tangible realm, is Extended Cognition. This thesis builds on Embodied Cognition, a psychological framework which embeds psychological experience in bodily activity, and further posits that we outsource various aspects of cognition to the external environment [7]. Tools and information repositories, for example, can effectively act as parts of our minds, affecting how we act and what we believe [8]. For me, the social, cultural and ecological norms in which we are embedded similarly supplement our ability to navigate and respond to the world [9].

I also considering ecological and evolutionary theory as territories for artistic exploration: Niche Construction (a theory which considers environmental modification by organisms to be an evolutionary process [10]); the Holobiont [11] (a view of communities of organisms acting in symbiosis as a conceivable whole rather than historical conceptions of the individual); and Sympoeisis (the co-creation of interacting species), as expounded by Donna Haraway [12] for example. I am intrigued by the scope for linking these interdisciplinary conceptions, which are taking root in fields such as anthropology and geography with more esoteric and mystical worldviews [13].

[1] There are increasing attempts to study natural and anthropogenic systems in concert as a means to guide policy making. For example, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005), conceived Ecosystem Services, the natural systems which provide humans with benefits such as clean water and provisions, as a form of natural capital that is necessary for human wellbeing (Guerry et al., 2015). Recent studies have attempted to define and measure the environmental limits within which a viable global population needs to operate in order to maintain a liveable biosphere (Rockström, 2009; Steffen, 2015). This conception of ‘planetary boundaries’ has been combined with limits relating to securing human dignity in ‘donought economics’ (Raworth, 2012).
[2] The Aesthetics of Natural Environments (Broadview Press, 2004), p76-88, Arnold Berleant, edited by Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant. Another aesthetic context is the practice of ‘Deep Mapping’, which does not seek the authority and objectivity of conventional cartography but rather combines democratised knowledges and multi-media representations in a politicised manner (Springett, 2015).
[3] Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Viking, 2006), Jared Diamond and Bruno Latour’s 2013 Gifford lectures, which outline the need for a new generation of peoples to rise up and fight for Gaia (the manifestation of Earths dynamic systems) in the face of the catastrophic risks posed by environmental degradation and climate change, and the counterproductive actions of powerful elites.
[4] see G. Harman, ‘The Third table’, 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts No.085, dOCUMENTA 13 (2012), Harman’s starting point is Eddington’s two tables – the one we experience in everyday life and the one described by physics – discussed in A. Eddington’s 1927 Gifford lectures. And, Immaterialism: Objects and Social Theory (John Wiley & Sons, 2016) where he adopts the theory of evolutionary symbiosis in order to understand the transformation of social objects.
[5] Reassembling the Social (Oxford University Press, 2005), Bruno Latour Through disavowing the imagined entity, the ‘Social’, Latour traces the emergence and evolution of various non-human ‘actors’ and the networks they form. Using historical and contemporary examples he painstaking reconstruction of events showing how things often conceived of as inanimate act in the world and often evade easy or definite categorisation, for example see Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies (Harvard University Press, 1999), for a dissection of science in practice and teh emergence of new actors the world. In the Modes of Existence project he attempts to trace where different types of network cross, see An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 2013).
[6] Essays in Radical Empiricism (1912), William James, posits that the world is made up of neither matter nor thought but pure experience and A Pluralistic Universe (1909), William James, argues that generalised concepts distort our view of reality.
[7] Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension (Oxford University Press, 2008), Andy Clark.
[8] Controversially Clark and Chalmers go as far as to suggest that our beliefs can be dictated by something as mundane as a notebook, The Extended Mind (The MIT Press, 2010), pp. 27-42, A. Clark and D. Chalmers, edited by R. Menary,  This edited collection presents opinions from the fields of psychology and philosophy which argue for and against this position.
[9] In Other Words: Essays Towards a Reflexive Sociology (Stanford University Press, 1990), Pierre Bourdieu
[10] Niche Construction Theory: a Practical Guide for Ecologists in The Quarterly Review of Biology, Volume 88, No. 1 (2013), John Odling-Smee et al.
[11] See the lecture “Turtles… dialectics all the way down” by Scott Gilbert for a fuller development of the term holobiont.
[12] Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin in Environmental Humanities, vol. 6, pp. 159-165 (2015), Donna Haraway, and Making Oddkin in the Chthulucene at the Anthropocene Consortium Series 2016, Evergreen State College (see DH’s examples of art and activism at CROCHET CORAL REEFNever Alone, and the Black-Mesa Water-Coalition), 10:45 to start and 1:23:45.
[13] See Henare, A. J.M., Holbraad, M., Wastell, S. (eds), Thinking Through Things: Theorising artefacts ethnographically (London: Routledge, 2007) and Springer, Simon, The Anarchist Roots of Geography: Toward spatial emancipation (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016). And Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness (Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 2001) by Ralph Abraham, Terence McKenna and Rupert Sheldrake as an example of an extra-disciplinary, para-scientific conversation.

See subpage for CV

Contact joeyogemail@gmail.com

“While I complain of being able to glimpse no more than the shadow of the past, I may be insensitive to reality as it is taking shape at this very moment, since I have not reached the stage of development at which I would be capable of perceiving it. A few hundred years hence, in this same place, another traveller, as despairing as myself, will mourn the disappearance of what I might have seen, but failed to see.” Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Quest for Power, p.43

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