Interdisciplinary Conference


in Art & Science

27-29 September 2023, Malta Society of Arts, Valletta

Creatures of future/past
Roberta Buiani, Kaethe Wenzel
Keywords: Extinction and adaptation, SciFi fashion, cabinet of curiosity emergent life, mobile installation

Media for bone costumes: animal bones, canvas, silk, boning

Emergent is a mobile gallery exploring life forms that exceed the categories defined by traditional methods of classification in the era of biotech manipulation, new digital worldmaking, and climate change transformations, through narratives of mutation, adaptation, and emergence. It is designed to both have its own distinctive identity and to accommodate the woBirthing the Motherrk of different artists. It is the result of care and collaboration. Part 3, Creatures of Future/ Past is a sui generis wardrobe containing magical bone costumes that speak to the past and to the future. These half-organic half-mechanical apocalyptic outfits take up our ambiguous relationship with animals – the mass consumption of living beings, the ongoing extinction of species, but also the longing for human-animal communication. When worn, they evoke death and consumption, animals as friends, relative, and Other, separation and merging, and possibly shamanistic ideas of energetic human-animal connections and SciFi scenarios of extinction, survival, discovery, and re-birth.

Emergent Concept: Roberta Buiani, Installation: Kaethe Wenzel,
Fabrication: Spencer Barclay

Roberta Buiani

(PhD Communication and Culture, YorkU) is an interdisciplinary artist and media scholar based in Toronto. She is the co-founder and artistic director of the ArtSci Salon at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences (Toronto) and co-organizer of LASER Toronto. Her scholarly work focuses on emerging life forms exceeding the categories defined by traditional methods of classification. Emergent is a postpandemic mobile gallery containing such life forms, through encounters at the intersection of art and science. She has exhibited internationally in galleries (Bevilacqua La Masa, Venezia) at art festivals (Transmediale, Berlin; Hemispheric Institute Encuentro; Sao Paolo), community centres (Immigrant Movement International, Queens NY, Myseum of Toronto), and science institutions (RPI; the Fields Institute). Her writing has appeared on Space and Culture, Cultural Studies and The Canadian Journal of Communication among others. Currently, she is Scholar in Residence at Sensorium, Centre for Digital Arts and Technology (York University), and acting Coordinator of NEWONE, Learning without Borders, an interdisciplinary program at New College’s University of Toronto.

Kaethe Wenzel

Wenzel hacks into stereotypes and structures of Urban consumption, providing ready-to-go products to survive patriarchy: prosthesis to complete bodies defined as lacking; devices and costumes to change ideas and body perception; machines and survival kits for tackling the obstacles of hegemonial culture. She works about Queer Ecologies and hybrid bodies, infiltrating urban systems and services – from the streets to the internet. Her techniques range from surveys to Speculative fiction to explore the collective production of culture, interfaces of art and science, and the production and negotiation of public space.

She is an internationally active artist and professor for Aesthetic Practice in its Contexts at European University Flensburg, Germany. She has been a Senior Fellow at IFK/Linz Art University and a Fulbright Exchange Scholar and guest professor at SVA in New York 2009-10. She has received numerous grants, taught at international institutions, and run all kind of open space, open source art initiatives. Her works can be found in international collections, f.ex. Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, LWL Museum für Kunst und Kultur - Westfälisches Landesmuseum, the Artist’s Book Collection at Telavi State University etc.

Publications include

Käthe Wenzel: Mixed Systems. Works 2010-2018, with esssays by Gabriele Dietze, Jessica Ullrich, Matthias Reichelt. German and English, 232 p. Kerber Verlag, Berlin 2019.

Käthe Wenzel/ Manfred Blohm (ed.): HalfLife – Machines/Organisms – artistic positions in the context of climate change and extinction. German and English, 202 S. Fabrico Verlag, Hannover 2018.

Hosting Institution


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