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The near exclusive focus of capitalist cultures on the needs of humans is leading to rapid extinction for animal and plant species that are not considered direct resources. And those that are considered resources are subjected to conditions that focus entirely on fast growth and rapid and brutal death so these species can deliver what is considered their value. On all fronts qualities of life such as the availability of clean air and fresh water are at stake, next to the issues of bare survival. In this panel, this range of issues is not considered as primarily a technological question that can be solved with better designs. It is considered as first and foremost a cultural phenomenon that underpins politics, economics, and technologies. 21st-century societies need to thoroughly reconsider their relations with nonhuman beings. From a relationship between humans with all the rights and entitlements and everything else as object or resource, a relation of reciprocal collaboration needs to be developed. This implies the acknowledgement of certain kinds of subjectivity in nonhuman beings.

In the panel, a range of art, design and political projects will be presented and discussed that all bring in practice this notion of reciprocal collaboration between humans and nonhumans. Is it sufficient for humans to grant rights to nonhumans? Can legal or political structures be developed that support reciprocal collaboration? How can humans relate to mostly unknown subjective experience of nonhumans? Can the artificial nonhuman perceptions of AI’s open up new ways of understanding here?

The panel was put together by Klaas Kuitenbrouwer – R&D Het Nieuwe Instituut, curator of the Neuhaus temporary academy for more than human knowledge, and custodian of the zoöp project.

21:15 – 22:15

Oasis, Foyer, Theater aan het Spui, The Hague

Delany Boutkan, Marten Kuijpers, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Setareh Noorani
Alex Walker