Into Polyphonies Unknown is an entangled net of words and images, a holder of cacophonic thoughts and sensations, a weaving of documents, resonating on multiple scales at once. The publication Into Polyphonies Unknown attempts to polyphonically document the Performative Symposium for Ecological Spectatorship (organized by Gaia’s Machine in 2018) and researches further its topics of ecology and performance. You will find multiple essays, exercises, a manifesto and visual texts throughout. We invite you to cast the net of yourself into the text and join us as we entangle themes such as ecological spectatorship, post-anthropocentric thinking, otherworldly timescales, nonhuman performances and more. For more information: hku.nl/en/research/more-research-and-expertise/hku-press/into-polyphonies-unknown-gaia-s-machine

Published by HKU Professorship for Performative Processes

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Into Polyphonies Unknown

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This publication was initially created to document the works presented at our interdisciplinary Performative Symposium (2018). However it has since grown to include essays elaborating on our individual research interests, as well as polyphonic texts which form the basis of our work as a collective. 

In our practice we are continuously driven by questions concerning ecological spectatorship, aesthetic knowledge and collective and non-hierarchical ways of working. These are questions like; How to stage ecological spectatorship; a sensory attentive mode of being-with the artwork? How to practice interdependency in (artistic) research processes? How can and do aesthetic and scientific knowledge inform each other? What is the critical power of aesthetic knowledge?

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In documenting the Performative Symposium we use a more-than-democatic representation, giving space for the myriad voices to align and collide. For each artwork presented this includes giving accounts from the spectator, the artist, the curator and the nonhuman. We are also aware of the failings of the Performative Symposium, and have highlighted these through interviews.

Writing this publication has been a thoroughly collaborative process between Gaia's Machine, mostly held over Zoom meetings during the lockdowns of COVID-19. 

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