Artists scientists and other animals

Hi everyone

I recently worked with Louise Boscacci from Visual Arts and Kimberly Maute from Biology to create a new subject that would bring students in the arts and sciences together to work on/with/for animals. I’m uploading the syllabus (Interspecies Cooperationsyllabus) – might be of interest to other boundary-crossers.

Plus it was interesting to find out how many hybrid art-science collaborations are underway – at universities around the world and here!  More bodies funding artist residencies in science research laboratories and space centres, quite thrilling! The report I wrote gives an overview so I’m uploading this too – it has some links that might be useful:  ReportArtistsScientists



MECO asks some questions

These questions were generated as a result of the first MECO Research Camp, held at the Bundanon Trust Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre, Riversdale NSW from July 2 – 5, 2015.

  1. How could we forget Gaia?
  2. Do we value the non-human for its own sake or because it is good for us?
  3. Wither Finitude?
  4. What do we do when we know we have limits (to time) (to resources)?
  5. Why do we behave as if we don’t have limits?
  6. Why do we reach for convenience?
  7. Why do objects seem smaller, the further away they are?
  8. How can we engage with ‘nature’ in art but not always treat it as wild/ sublime – ie. a basis for subsistence and economic survival?
  9. Does the earth care what we do?
  10. Does a lyrebird care?
  11. Does grass care?
  12. Does bacteria care?
  13. Define care.
  14. Does a human care?
  15. How to care with skin in the game?
  16. How to care like a sociable object?
  17. Where do (I) (we) care?
  18. Why do (I) (we) care?
  19. What just forms of relation with non-human (objects/ animals) do not involve self/ othering?
  20. What about birds and drones?
  21. Prehension, just humans objects animals?
  22. How does all of this, inform my practice?
  23. Does the idea of connecting animal, mineral, or vegetable move us past our fear for the body?
  24. Have we grown out of our fear of technology being separate to us and should we be concerned for technology becoming/ being a part of us?
  25. Would it be possible to make a structure that reflects the idea of animal, mineral and vegetable being one that we could exist with?
  26. Does nature abstract ecology?
  27. Is this a time for melancholia?
  28. How do we care for entropy?
  29. What does thought do?
  30. How do we mourn without nostalgia (presupposition that nostalgia is a problem)?
  31. Where is sympathy?
  32. Can we celebrate entanglement?
  33. When is it not a problem to mourn with nostalgia?
  34. When is it a problem to mourn with nostalgia?
  35. If I am living in the Anthropocene and implicated. Entangled what might I invest on how much I respond in practices, daily life choices, relations with “earth others”?
  36. What is the Anthropocene good for?
  37. How do we turn towards (orientate) the Anthropocene?
  38. Can the Anthropocene invigorate truly critical work?


MECO Manifests

MECO: A research network for critical and creative practices.

The following were generated as a result of the first MECO Research Camp, held at the Bundanon Trust Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre, Riversdale NSW from July 2 – 5, 2015. Research Camps are opportunities for members of the network to focus on intensive research-generation. Rather than being performance or outcome focused, camps are spaces where ideas are teased out collaboratively, and core concepts are analysed through participatory research structures.

MECO manifests


MECO is/ is not a retreat

Practice thought.

Thinking-making doing.

MECO manifests patience.

What are the methodologies of retreat?

Moving towards personal encounters

Value progress

Loss / gain

How do we take action?

MECO local encounters

Practice is a method and technique

How do we use retreat as a manoeuvre?

How do we negotiate / navigate encounter?

Operating in the space between retreat and conflict

MECO makes/ enacts spaces

Speculative frames

We are just practicing?

Share and support

Research community.

MECO fosters

MECO resists

What kinds of resistance can we undertake?

MECO manifests urgency

Thinking making doing tethering

Local patience

MECO manifests


Retreat Spread Entangle

MECO enacts an ecology of practice

The Anthropocene retreats

Retreating from the Anthropocene

The anthropogenic retreat

Moss = Anthropocene

How can we be the voice of the Anthropocene?

How can we be like the moss?

Do we need to confront to retreat?


Wait for another time

Find hopeful paths

Consumption is not waste

Multiple practices that are not competing

The agency of moss

Moss proposition

Indeterminate scale

MECO evolves

But is not ‘like’ evolution.

What would a human version of moss look like?

How can we retreat?

MECO as an evolution will continue to change.

To impact with posterity.

How can a retreat move us forward?

Pulling back under pressure

What trace will MECO leave?

 MECO manifests


Mossy resistance

Pick enemies make them smell

Dogma = constraints


What we do

Who we are

Retreat as a step towards something else.

Imagine a set of stratagems that create spaces of effective engagement.

Do, play, think, make

Bring an idea or exercise that has evolved from your specific practice to a larger group setting in order to think/ engage with a particular problem/ concept/ material.

Thinking art.




Imagination family

Community network

Studio lab

Critical creative practice


Thinking practice

Practice thought

Rivers flow


The rituals of home

MECO manifests


to build an ecology of practice that celebrates entanglement.

think pause (paws) make do

retreat is productive

sometimes it is better to hold your tongue

not acting is an action in itself

be hyperlocal

hyperlink the hyperlocal

holding ground

present to the in-place encounter

refuse belonging




assume a space for exchange/ encounter/ slowness


saying no is important

she did not ask

Abstraction without extraction.