Monster Talks 5: It’s Not the End of the World

Monster_Talks-Podkast-Art-final_01

What does it mean for the world to end? Does it end in the same way for all? And might it have already ended for some? During the summer and autumn of 2019 the art collective SUPERFLEX flooded Cisternerne, an exhibition space for contemporary art in the abandoned underground water reservoirs of Copenhagen, and invited visitors into a dark, post-apocalyptic world. The title of the exhibition was It’s not the End of the World, and in this podcast-episode Line Henriksen from the Monster Network met with independent artist Katja Aglert, PhD candidate Ida Hillerup Hansen and postdoctoral researcher Marietta Radomska in the cold dark depths of Copenhagen to discuss the (non)ending of the world.

About the researchers and artists of this episode:

Katja Aglert is an independent artist whose practice is transdisciplinary in nature, and includes both individual and collaborative projects. She is an executive board member of The Seed Box, an international environmental humanities collaboratory headquartered at Linköping University. She teaches regularly at Umeå Art Academy, and Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design.

Ida Hillerup Hansen is a PhD candidate at the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University in Budapest and currently a visiting researcher at Institute for Cultural Inquiry at Utrecht University. Their research explores embodied experience of loss through a lens of contemporary grief discourse and feminist poststructuralist and psychoanalytic theories of mourning.

Marietta Radomska, PhD, is a Postdoc at the Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping University, and Department of Cultures, University of Helsinki. Her current research focuses on ecologies of death in the context of contemporary art. She is the author of the monograph Uncontainable Life: A Biophilosophy of Bioart (2016), and has published in Australian Feminist Studies, Somatechnics, Angelaki, and Women, Gender & Research, among others. Queer Death Studies Network website: https://queerdeathstudies.net/ |The Posthumanities Hub website: https://posthumanities.net/

Monster Talks is a podcast series that explores the figure of the monster and the concept of the monstrous as important thinking tools for addressing dynamics of power, inclusion and exclusion, discrimination and violence. The podcast is made possible by the support of Nordic Culture Point and produced by The Monster Network in collaboration with Network for Gender Studies at UiS. All episodes are available from the podcast’s website at UiS.

Artwork by Joanne Teresa Taylor, NettOp, University of Stavanger.

Monster Writing Month 3

Cookbook: How to create a writing monster

As seen on this blog

by Katrine Meldgaard Kjær and Line Henriksen

Making writing monsters is easier than you think, and an ideal family activity to have fun with over the holiday break. Living with them is another story (this might be a life-long ethical exercise in living with something that you do not fully control). Follow these easy recipes and have your own monsters ready in a fraction of the time it takes to order them online:

1

Collage Monster

Ethos Lab 1
Photo by Marie Blønd for ETHOS Lab.

You will need: 

For 1 collage monster: 

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • A text
  • Hope
  • Scissors
  • Vulnerability
  • Tears
  • Agony
  • Glue
  • Colleagues (can be substituted by friends, family, total strangers, or 7 dogs)
  • A time-keeper with a timer

Aim:

To recreate your own text using other people’s sentences.

Method: 

  1. Cut sentences from your text. If you have 9 colleagues, you’ll need 9 sentences. If you have 5 total strangers, you will need 5 sentences. If you have 7 dogs, you will need around 133 sentences and the ability to work with chewed up material. Important: you do not need to use all your text! When you have the sentences you need, put the remaining text aside.
  2. Round one: 
  • Share a sentence with one of your colleagues. Choose something that you think they’ll like.
  • Receive one sentence from one of your colleagues.
  • Take 5 minutes to glue the sentence you receive onto a piece of paper. You can modify it in any way you want: delete or rearrange words, add words with your pen, write a new sentence using the words you were given, etc. Just keep in mind: you are still trying to write about the subject of your old text.
  • The time-keeper will let you know when the time is up.
  1. Round two: 
  • Share a sentence with one of your colleagues (not the same as before). Choose something that you think they’ll like.
  • Receive one sentence from one of your colleagues (not the same as before).
  • Take 10 minutes to glue the sentence you receive onto your paper. You can modify it in any way you want: delete or rearrange words, add words with your pen, write a new sentence using the words you were given, etc. Keep in mind: you are still trying to write about the subject of your old text.
  • The time-keeper will let you know when the time is up.
  1. Repeat the rounds until everybody have received a sentence from everybody else.
  2. Final round: take 10 – 20 minutes to reorganize and polish your text in any way you please. Add sentences, glitter or/and drawings. Keep in mind: you are still trying to write about the subject of your old text. The time-keeper will let you know when the time is up.

Finished! You have now created your very own collage monster in no time, with very little effort, and eternal damnation to follow. Bask in your own accomplishments with lightning, a good thunderstorm and some hubris before the consequences catch you unawares.

2

hello text

Programme
Photo by Marie Blønd for ETHOS Lab. Artwork by Mia Makila.

You will need:  Continue reading “Monster Writing Month 3”

Monster Writing Month 2

This blog post springs from and reflects on the Monster Writing workshop at ETHOS Lab, IT University of Copenhagen, November 2019. It is written by using and not accepting track changes. For other examples of multiple voices as monster methods, listen to the Monster Talks podcast episode Collective voices and the materialisation of ideas – monster as methods, or read the introduction to the Monster Network special issue of Somatechnics Journal, Promises, Monsters and Methodologies: the Ethics, Politics and Poetics of the Monstrous

Tracked Changes Vulnerabilities: Reflections on writing with monsters

By Marisa Cohn, Katrine Meldgaard Kjær and Line Henriksen

1 Track Changes2 Track Changes3 Track Changes4 Track Changes5 Track Changes

Monster Writing Month 1

Writing Monsters

by Katrine Meldgaard Kjær and Line Henriksen

Image

Hello text

I don’t know if you want to be written

What might it mean to think of writing as monstrous? Or the act of writing as the act of creating a monster? Like the weird scientist in the lab. Like Frankenstein chasing his creation across the Arctic after rejecting it.

Hello text

I am not sure I like you

Continue reading “Monster Writing Month 1”

Monster Writing Month

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer – what better time to conjure a monster!

Ghost_trees_in_snow_2December is Monster Writing Month at The Monster Network! We will bring three blog posts that each engage with the interconnections between writing and the monstrous, between creature and created, between words and worlds. Exploring writing as an un/lively process, and text as something that always escapes the control and intent of the author, Monster Writing Month asks what kind of creatures the writer summons – and what creatures summons the writer.

Keep an eye out (and press it back in) for the first blog post on Friday 6 December!

The Monster Writing blog posts are inspired by the workshop ‘Monster Writing’ organized by Katrine Meldgaard Kjær and Line Henriksen at ETHOS Lab, IT University of Copenhagen, November 2019.

Image: Ghost Trees in Snow, Wikimedia Commons. Sheila Sund from Salem, United States

Monstrous architecture

— Guest post from architects Signe Pērkone and Ramón Córdova –

In July of 2019, the Monster Network was invited to give a keynote at the symposium Monstrous Ontologies: Politics, Ethics, Materiality at the University of Roehampton in London (you can listen to our keynote here). One of the presentations at the symposium was delivered by the architects Signe Pērkone and Ramón Córdova, who talked about how they work with the monster in their own architectural practice. We were intrigued and interested by what we heard, and saw a lot of connections to how we think, work, and write with the monster in the Monster Network. So we asked them if they wanted to write a blog post for us!

In what follows, Signe and Ramón write about their experience working with, amongst other things, a territory occupied by a vast landfill close to the southern border of Mexico. During their talk they showed a video from the landfill, which can be viewed here (password: Ecologies).

Before giving you a chance to explore architecture and the monster, we let Signe and Ramón introduce themselves:

Signe and Ramón are architects and researchers based in Riga, Latvia. They strive to practice architecture as an integral part of the affective and relational lived experience. They have studied, worked and done research in Europe and Mexico, and their work has been presented in various conferences, art exhibitions and publications. They are interested in expanding their practice by intersecting it with other disciplines, and fostering discussion of its becomings and emergence from territories and assemblages of human and non-human components.

Image
Image from Signe Pērkone and Ramón Córdova’s video ‘Landfill clips’ (password: Ecologies)

Meeting the Monster Half Way

Monster as a Tool for Enriching Spatial Practices

 There are territories, places and spaces that after establishing relations with certain agents or in particular conditions become monstrous assemblages in the collective imagination, from slums to squatted buildings, and from crime infested city communities to remote landfills inhabited by migrants. But what does this monstering mean for the places themselves? What does it mean for us, who need to interact with them? Even more, those who deal with spatial disciplines, such as architecture, are often called upon to intervene in these territories, to make sense of them, to “improve” them. However, there is a danger in acting before understanding because, in one way or another, this leads to forced conclusions, filling in the gaps in knowledge with assumptions, and normative faux-solutions. Continue reading “Monstrous architecture”