After watching a nature documentary about the underwater rituals of a little pufferfish, curators Lucia Pietroiusti and Filipa Ramos found themselves wondering how humans were prone to recognize as extraordinary what is familiar and known to them. The fact that such small fishes were capable of using their own bodies to draw incredible, mandala-like circles on the sand seems remarkable, almost unbelievable to us humans, exactly because we see in them a beauty, craftiness, and ingenuity that we generally only ascribe to life forms we consider more “complex.”
The question that followed—What is a circle for a fish?—led the two of them to initiate a series of gatherings in which artists, botanists, musicians, performers, philosophers, scientists, spiritualists, storytellers, and others were invited to share their ideas, feelings, and stances on matters concerning environmental, social, and more-than-human justice and emancipation.
For the Mythopoesis for Techno-Living Systems Workshop I, they will speak about this long adventure of wonder, discovery, learning, and transformation, and share their past, present, and future stories, achievements, and desires.
LUCIA PIETROIUSTI is a curator working at the intersection of art, ecology, and systems, usually outside of the gallery format. She is the founder of the General Ecology project at Serpentine London where she currently works as Strategic Consultant for Ecology, and is currently developing the Institute for General Ecology as a distributed, independent organization. Ongoing projects include The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish, an interdisciplinary festival on consciousness and intelligence across species (with Filipa Ramos, since 2018). Pietroiusti is the curator of Sun & Sea (Marina), the Lithuanian Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (2020-2022); Being Mothers (2021–2022), POWER NIGHTS at E-WERK Luckenwalde; and the 8th Biennale Gherdeïna, Persons Persone Personen, (with Filipa Ramos, May–September 2022). She co-curated the 13th Shanghai Biennale, Bodies of Water (2020/2021) and Helsinki Festival (2022), dedicated to artificial and more-than-human intelligences. Publications include: More-than-Human (with Andrés Jaque and Marina Otero Verzier, 2020); Microhabitable (with Fernando García-Dory, Spanish edition published in 2020; English edition forthcoming in 2021); PLANTSEX (MAL Journal, 2019); and Sun & Sea (Marina) (2019).
Lisbon-born FILIPA RAMOS is a writer and curator with a PhD awarded from the School of Critical Studies at Kingston University, London. Her research, manifested in critical and theoretical texts, lectures, workshops and edited publications, focuses on how culture addresses ecology, attending to how contemporary art fosters relationships between nature and technology. Ramos is Director of the Contemporary Art Department of the city of Porto and curator of the Art Basel Film sector and a founding curator of the online artists’ cinema Vdrome. Ongoing and upcoming projects include the arts, humanities, and science festival The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish (since 2018) and the 8th Biennale Gherdëina (2022), Persons Persone Personen, both with Lucia Pietroiusti. In 2021, she co-curated the 13th Shanghai Biennale, Bodies of Water, and the group exhibition Feet of Clay at Porto’s City Gallery (with Chus Martinez). She is a lecturer at the Master Program of the Arts Institute of the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Basel.