Keynote speakers

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing (University of California Santa Cruz & Aarhus University, professor)

Coat of Many Colors: The More-than-Green in Green


Anna Tsing is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Niels Bohr Professor at Aarhus University, where she co-directs Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA) with Nils Bubandt. AURA works to form connections across the humanities and natural sciences based on overlapping forms of curiosity and field-based observation.  Between 2013-2017, AURA team members conducted research on the landscape dynamics of a former brown-coal mine in central Jutland; a special section of Journal of Ethnobiology on this fieldwork has just been published (2018).  Working with AURA team members Jennifer Deger and Alder Kelerman, Tsing is currently working on a digital media project, Feral Atlas, which shows the world-ripping ecological consequences of imperial and industrial infrastructures. Tsing's most recent books are The mushroom at the end of the world: on the possibility of life in capitalist ruins (Princeton University Press, 2015) and Arts of living on a damaged planet (co-edited with Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan, and Nils Bubandt, University of Minnesota Press, 2017). Tsing is also the author of Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (Princeton University Press, 2005), which has become a standard text in geography, sociology, critical theory, feminist studies, environmental studies, and political economy. She also coedited five anthologies, including Communities and Conservation: Histories and Politics of Community-Based Natural Resource Management (with J. Peter Brosius and Charles Zerner, Altamira Press, 2005), and, more recently, Words in Motion: Towards a Global Lexicon (with Carol Gluck, Duke UP, 2009).

Brigitte Luis Guillermo Baptiste (Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute Bogotá, director)

Queering ecology in TransColombia


Brigitte was born in 1963 in Bogotá, Colombia, and born again in 1998, after 35 years of living as Luis Guillermo. By then she was already a biologist and scholar working on biodiversity management by local communities in her country, and held a MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida. Married to Adriana, she lives as a couple with two girls aged 16 and 14, who do not make a big deal of the gender trouble of their parents. As a professor in landscape ecology at the Bogotá Jesuits University, Brigitte has contributed for many years to the creation of its faculty for environmental and rural studies, and brought voice to the idea of both biological and cultural diversity to her classes in architecture, design and science. Despite her failure to complete a PhD in environmental economics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, in 2009 she was appointed general director of the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute, the national facility for biodiversity research in Colombia, supposedly the country with the richest biodiversity in the world. As such, she has been developing environmental policies for Colombia’s post-conflict areas, raising awareness that cultural diversity is part of nature’s diversity. The author of 15 books, a popular TV series, and regular newspaper columns on fashion, economics and ecological thought, as well as a social media activist, Baptiste is a much-respected figure throughout Latin America whose innovative research and alternative narratives have eroded prejudice, built bridges and generated social change. At the same time a scientist, an advocate of gender diversity and an inspiring public intellectual, she was awarded the Prince Claus Fund for culture and development prize in 2017.

Natasha Myers (York University Toronto, associate professor)

Seeding Plant/People Conspiracies to Root into the Planthroposcene:

Ten no-so-easy steps for growing livable worlds


Natasha Myers is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University, the convenor of the Politics of Evidence Working Group, director of the Plant Studies Collaboratory, co-organizer of Toronto’s Technoscience Salon, and co-founder of the Write2Know Project. Her book Rendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter (Duke UP, 2015) won the 2016 Robert K. Merton Prize from the American Sociological Association’s Science, Knowledge, and Technology Section. It is an ethnography of an interdisciplinary group of scientists who make living substance come to matter at the molecular scale. Myers’ current projects span investigations of plant-people conspiracies in a range of contexts, including studies on the arts and sciences of vegetal sensing and sentience, the politics and aesthetics of garden enclosures in a time of climate change. Most recently, she has launched a long-term ethnography on restoration ecology and enduring colonial violence in Toronto’s High Park oak savannahs. Myers is also experimenting with the arts of ecological attention through a research-creation project with award winning filmmaker and dancer Ayelen Liberona. Becoming Sensor engages art and anthropology to design protocols for an “ungridable ecology” grounded in decolonial feminist praxis.  &

Olaf L. Müller (Humboldt University Berlin, professor)

Green Shadows: Goethe, Ritter and Ørsted on the Polarity of Green and Purple


Olaf L. Mueller studied philosophy, mathematics, computer science, and economics in Göttingen (Germany) and Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1996, he was a research fellow at Jagiellonian University (Kraków), in 1997 at Harvard University. Since 2003, he holds the chair for philosophy of science at Humboldt University (Berlin). On invitation of the Japanese Society for Goethean Natural Science, he worked as a guest professor at Keio University (Tokyo). In his books, he argues against skepticism à la Matrix (2003); in favour of good old metaphysics (2003); in favour of moral observation (2008); and in favour of Goethe's attack on Newton's optics (2015); at present he is writing a book about the role of beauty in physics (2019). In his papers, he defends freedom against the neurosciences, pacifism against adherents of just war, individual justice in climate ethics against Western egoism, and mind/body-dualism against materialism. His main concern is a humanistic interpretation of modern science and technology: Both ought to be achievements of humans for humans.

Thomas Feuerstein (Artist, Vienna)

Green Unicorns


Thomas Feuerstein is a Vienna based artist and writer whose work oscillates between the fields of fine art and media art. Born in 1968 in Innsbruck, he studied art history and philosophy at the University of Innsbruck, and obtained his doctoral degree in 1995. In 1992 he founded the office for intermedia communication transfer and the association Medien.Kunst.Tirol, and was the co-editor of the magazine Medien.Kunst.Passagen from 1992 to 1994. After research commissions from the Austrian Ministry of Science on art in electronic space and art and architecture in 1992 and 1993, he has been a regular lecturer and visiting professor at numerous universities and art academies. As an artist, Feuerstein bridges the interface of applied and theoretical science. His projects combine complex bodies of knowledge from philosophy, art history and literature, to biotechnology, economics and politics. His artistic narratives examine the interplay between individuality and sociality, and aesthetically translate research into molecular sculptures, and the aesthetics of entropy. His artworks comprise the most diverse media, including installations, drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, radio plays, net and biological art. Feuerstein focuses particularly on the interplay between verbal and visual elements, the unearthing of latent connections between fact and fiction, as well as on the interaction between art and science. At the core of his practice is an artistic method he calls “conceptual narration.”

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