Speaker: Feral Practice/Fiona MacDonald

Duration: Together – Artist presentation, intro, questions – 45 mins; Solo watching – 30 mins; Solo exercises – 30 mins; Together – Feedback, small group work, discussion – 75 mins. Total: 180mins.

Maximum participants: 30

Can speculative art practices and examples of multispecies interactions and mutualisms nurture deeper and more ethical connection with nonhuman nature? Feral Practice will share examples of audio-visual work, and guide experiments in attention shifting and interspecies communication. The workshop will borrow from Adorno’s negative dialectics, Eduardo Kohn’s forest that thinks, and Jane Bennett’s vibrant materiality. We will work with shifts of perception, close attention, speculation, imagination, and improvisation to engage deeply and differently with nonhuman beings, to perceive them and ourselves in new ways.

Fiona MacDonald works with human and nonhuman beings as Feral Practice to create art projects and interdisciplinary events that develop ethical and imaginative connection across species boundaries. Their research draws on artistic, scientific and subjective knowledge practices to explore diverse aesthetics and create suggestive spaces of unknowing nature.  

Recent projects include: Sum Tyms Bytin Sum Tyms Bit, a film exploring human power and species fragility in Kent, Folkestone Fringe 2020. The Unseeables: a tale of extinction in three birds, film for Scarborough Museum 2020. Myco-Lective an artist collective development programme, with Ama Josephine Budge, Chisenhale Studios 2020. Looking at Bees (film) and Garden to Garden (participation project) with Invisible Dust and South Cliff Gardens, Scarborough 2020. Eyecatchers, National Trust Dunham Massey 2020-21. Ask Somerset’s Plants, radio broadcasts for BBC Somerset and podcasts for Somerset Art Weeks Festival 2019, with Marcus Coates. Phytocentric, performance at LUX London, 2019. Mycorrhizal Meditation, participatory sound work, presented as a digital installation at Taipei Biennale, Governors Island, NYC, Bánkitó Fesztivál, Hungary, Radical Mycology Conference USA, Furtherfield Gallery London, and as live performance at The Bluecoat and UNESCO Paris, 2017-19. Plant Hunting, Invisible Dust for Whitby, 2018. Ask the Wild with Marcus Coates, at Whitechapel Gallery, Tate St Ives, Turner Contemporary, Whitstable Biennale and the Ash Project, and the South London Botanical Institute 2017-18.