Call for Works: Life as we know it
Deadline: May 30, 2020
Nature designs toward stasis, toward stability and equilibrium. Without exhausting its finite resources or placing its own survival in harm’s way, nonhuman nature develops elegant ways of weathering complex challenges. The staying power of natural forms and systems has influenced human thinking and expression since the beginning of our species, and yet much of this more-than-human knowledge has been lost within the structures that have come to shape (post)modern (post)industrial society. In response, biomimicry emerged to restore homeostasis to human production.
Biomimicry is an interdisciplinary field of study spanning biological research, engineering, and design that seeks to reconcile technocentrist and ecocentrist lines of thought. In practice, biomimicry tends to favour profitability over sustainability, and has been taken up within the realms of surveillance technology, space exploration, and military defense. This extraction of natural knowledges for sometimes violent and often unecological ends signals a fundamental misuse of biomimetic ideology.
Life as we know it seeks to engage biomimicry from perspectives born from the deep ecology, restorative design, and alternative technology movements. The exhibition’s curator, Megan MacLaurin, asks artists to look beyond instrumentalist views of the non-human natural world and toward a relationship modeled on intrinsic value, respect, and advocacy. For example, how have plant forms, animal behaviours, and the cycles of entire ecosystems shaped artistic practice? How can we destabilize nature/culture and human/non-human binaries and refigure the anthropocentric hierarchies that sustain them? What is ‘human nature’ and how do our technologies reflect this?
We welcome submissions from all new media arts disciplines. Areas of artistic practice favoured for inclusion in this exhibition include, but are not limited to: bio art, digital and web-based art, machine learning, analog electronics, experimental audio-visual works, and research-based practices.
Priority will be given to applicants who are Indigenous, Black, people of color, women, LGBTQ2+, people with disabilities, and/or are members of other equity-seeking groups.
● Project description and artist statement (2 pages maximum)
● Documentation (maximum five images and one video; please provide a URL)
● Detailed description of technical requirements (please outline materials provided by the artist and materials expected from InterAccess)
● Current CV (3 pages maximum)
● Artist biography (100 words)
Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Life as we know it | Artwork Submission”.
● The exhibition will take place at InterAccess from September 9 - October 24, 2020.
● Selected artists will be notified in June 2020.
● All artworks must be ready for exhibition by August 31, 2020.
● All participating artists will receive an artist fee in accordance with the 2020 CARFAC fee schedule.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Megan MacLaurin is a curator and arts facilitator born and based in Toronto/Tkaronto, Canada. She holds an M.A. in Art History & Curatorial Practices from York University and a B.A. in Art History and Arts Administration from the University of Ottawa. Her research and curatorial practice explore the intersections between natural and technological ecologies in a changing climate. Megan is currently the Programming Coordinator at InterAccess and Co-Director/Curator at Bunker 2 Contemporary Art Container.
Image: Scenocosme (Grégory Lasserre & Anaïs met den Ancxt), Echoes, 2016. Presented as part of Vector Festival 2019. Photography by Yuula Benivolski.