(Onsite at Gallery 44)
Do you have photosynthesis envy? Imagine the ability to send messages directly from one finger to the next, bypassing your brain—like a plant's ability to communicate directly with its roots and nearby flora. Thinking through the milieu: decentralizing thinking while spending time with plants is a series of reading groups hosted by Gallery 44 Artist-in-Residence Soft Turns, delving into the more-than-human relationships surrounding us. Selected readings from the fields of philosophy, psychology, plant biology and media theory will engage discourses that consider alternate forms of thinking, like in plants or AI.
Over the course of this series, close readings of Teresa Castro, Thomas Fuchs, Sabu Kohso, Jussi Parikka, Matteo Pasquinelli, Isabelle Stengers, Hito Steyerl, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Elvia Wilk paired with material, visualization exercises and discussions will consider recent movements towards “decentralized thinking” as a critique of the "individual" in Western thought and others to acknowledge emergent more-than-human relationships and their agency.
Session four reading: an excerpt from James Bridle, Ways of Being, 2022.
The excerpt will be distributed to participants by email once registered.
Interested in further readings? View Soft Turns’ reading list here.
The artists wish to thank the Toronto Arts Council for their generous support.
Soft Turns is the collaborative effort of Wojciech Olejnik and Sarah Jane Gorlitz. Alongside simple mechanisms —pulleys, mirrors, paper, lenses—and crucially, their own bodies, they use stop-motion animation’s capacity to stretch and collapse time, to attempt to get as close as possible to the rhythms of their subjects. The results are slow-paced, immersive, intimate video-centred installations. Recent research interests include: controlled artificial environments such as greenhouses and data centres, plant-human interactions and the physics of information. Feature articles about their work have been published in Canadian Art and Esse. Their work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally, most recently at the Plumb (Toronto, 2021) 8eleven (Images Festival, 2018), and The Art Museum at the University of Toronto (2018). Sarah Jane is a white settler of English and Menonite descent and Wojciech immigrated from Poland as an adolescent. Together, they have been privileged to live and participate in several communities abroad and in Canada, including a pivotal three year residency at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph (2016-19). They currently work and live with their two young daughters in the Lakeshore Village Artist Co-op, on the lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, in what is commonly referred to as Toronto.