C3 PRACTICING CONTAMINATION THROUGH VEGETARIAT: ON THE FORMS OF RESISTANCE THROUGH THE CRACKS OF WOUNDED AGENCY

Agnieszka Anna Wołodźko


In the present paper, I will discuss how the mourning of the loss of centered agency has to be confronted with the vegetariat – the contemporary matters of resistance through the plants’ resilience exercised in the art by Špela Petrič. I will argue that the loss of fixed and autonomous agency that we have been mapping through the theories of flat ontologies of anthropocenes, has been actualised into what the artists Špela Petrič after Catriona Sandilands names in her work vegetariat. The question is thus not how to imagine different agencies, or how to capture them, but how to live and raise within their mutations. How to condition multiple agencies and their risky contaminations in order to care before them? The resistance begins with the acknowledging that we are already vegetariat – multiplicity of commons that thrive on contamination. Through discussing the art of Petrič, this paper will thus further analyse how enacting the contaminating relationality of asymmetric dependence, conditions the very movement of the resistance that becomes the ethics within commons. In other words, how to care and become responsible before the multiple that might kill us, exhaust us and multiply us?

Agnieszka Anna Wołodźko is a lecturer at the Centre for Arts in Society at Leiden University and lecturer and researcher at AKI Academy of Art and Design, ArtEZ where she established and coordinates BIOMATTERs, an artistic research program that explores how to work with living matters. Her research focuses on posthumanism and intersection between art, ethics and biotechnology. She is an artistic and a public curator of exhibitions and events on art working with living matters and art and science relations. Her recent relevant publications are: “Forgotten Rituals of Yearning,” Capacious: Journal for Emerging Affect Inquiry; “Materiality of affect. How art can reveal the more subtle realities of an encounter,” in This Deleuzian Century: Art, Activism, Life (eds.) Rosi Braidotti and Rick Dolphijn; currently working on her book “Bodies within Affect. Practicing Contaminating Matters through Bioart.”

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