Of Animacy

Of Animacy Reading Group, led by curator Nella Aarne gathers at Stourhead over the summer months in conjunction with artist Sam Smith's exhibition 'Nearness'.

A selection of images from Sam Smith's film, Nearness

This months topic: minerals

Of Animacy Reading Group, led by curator Nella Aarne, gathers at Stourhead over the summer months in conjunction with artist Sam Smith’s exhibition Nearness. The reading group is always open to all and no prior knowledge of the subjects is needed.

There are four gatherings over the summer, each dedicated to a specific text, exploring the effects of plants, animals, water, and minerals on the world around them.

On 28 August, Of Animacy’s discussion at Stourhead focuses on anthropologist Nils Bubandt’s research into the world’s largest mud volcano Lusi in East Java, Indonesia. While activists and scientists debate whether Lusi was triggered by an earthquake or oil drilling, displaced locals scour the mud for magical stones, gifts from an ancient spirit, hoping to change their fortune. For Bubandt, Lusi captures the essence of the Anthropocene, our geological era in which humans’ actions are becoming increasingly indistinguishable from other forces of nature.

Text:

Nils Bubandt, ‘Haunted Geologies: Spirits, Stones and the Necropolitics of the Anthropocene’, Arts of Living on a Damanged Planet (University of Minnesota Press, 2017), pp. 121-141

Excerpts of the text will be read together during the session to support open discussion

For access to and further information on the readings, please email Nella.

Further information

Of Animacy welcomes open discussion with an aim to recognise vital connections for our daily life and political thought.

Reading the text in advance is recommended but not necessary. Printed copies will be available at the gathering and excerpts of the text will be read together to help the discussion.

For access to and further information on the monthly readings, please email Nella.

Of Animacy Reading Group was first convened by curator Nella Aarne at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 2017. The gatherings focus on feminist writings on human and non-human agents in the material world, spanning philosophy and natural and human sciences.