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Ecologies of Practices and Thinking


Elke Marhöfer


Ecologies of Practices and Thinking

Dissertation in Fine Art, Valand Academy, 2015

Artist's books:

No, I am not a Toad, I am a Turtle!. Berlin: Archive Books, 2012. With Illustrations. ISBN 978-3-943620-00-9

prendas — ngangas — enquisos — machines {each part welcomes the other without saying}. Berlin: Archive Books, 2015. With Illustrations. ISBN 978-3-943620-35-1

Shape Shifting. Berlin: Archive Books, 2015. With Illustrations. ISBN 978-3-943620-36-8, in collaboration with Mikhail Lylov

Nobody knows, when it was made and why. Berlin: Archive Books, 2015. With Illustrations. ISBN 978-3-943620-37-5


How does a new materialist film practice look? To approach this question the practice-led material driven research explores dynamic ecological relations and processes of thinking and practicing. It employs an animist methodology which allows it to relate to the nonhuman as an active participant, rather than a passive object of inquiry. By this it activates a path into materiality and knowledge production different from conventional human-focused epistemologies and intensifies affinities and bonds with the other-than-human. Forming particular connections with matter and situating oneself within specific and relations, the project mobilizes and is mobilized by the affects, percepts and sensations of the more-than-humans. The first chapter inquires into inherited scientific, technological, social-political and philosophical epistemologies often based on colonial and anthropocentric presumptions and mappings of the world.

However, the research does not strive to rewrite or reclaim for example, a certain history or a place, it instead outlines concepts like becoming or lines of flight that pass through these legacies, building more complex and fruitful interrelations and geographies. The writing often collaborates with Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, as their philosophy explicitly acknowledges inhuman forces and ambiguous ontologies. In the second chapter the focus moves towards processes, when individuals become multiplicities, when animals, plants and things are endowed with inhuman force or personhood, when matter is enthusiastic and territories are not just static backgrounds. From here the research literally travels. It travels with specific singularities and their material based practices — an entire ecology of practice often building innumerable interconnections and even landscapes. Situating itself within the ecological relational field, the research project explores methodologies of collaboration and becoming with the more-than-human practiced by sorcerers and fabulists from Cuba and South Korea, and by farmers from China, Burkina Faso and Japan.

This is thesis no 54 in the ArtMonitor dissertation series.

ISBN: 978-91-982422-2-5


This dissertation is published in English.

Order the artist books:

Elke Marhöfer's artists books can be ordered through Archive Books.


The dissertation, artist books and films are e-published in GUPEA - Gothenburg University Publications Electronic Archive. Download the dissertation and view films here

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