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Karen Barad, honorary doctor 2016, on how matter comes to matter within and through the arts

News: Oct 12, 2016

HDK is proud to announce this year's honorary doctor: Karen Barad, PhD in theoretical partical physics and today professor at the Department of Feminist Studies, University of California. During her stay in Göteborg she will give a lecture and a talk on Saturday October 22.

In her book, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (2007), Karen Barad has developed important understandings of physics, feminist theory, and philosophy, with a focus on questions of science and justice. Her work has also generated new perspectives for artistic and educational research as well as works based in artistic and educational practices. Today she is one of the most influential names in her field, and has a strong impact in various artistic and educational contexts. Karen Barad's ideas, theories and approaches can be important components in a deepening ethical development of the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts and also for connections outside of the faculty’s disciplinary boundaries.

Karen Barad says matter comes to matter, not only language, discourse and culture. In the article Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter she ‘…offer an elaboration of performativity—a materialist, naturalist, and posthumanist elaboration—that allows matter its due as an active participant in the world’s becoming, in its ongoing “intra-activity.” It is vitally important that we understand how matter matters.’ (Barad, 2003 p.803).
Barad's theories are grounded in the thinking of Niels Bohr, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Donna J. Haraway and Jacques Derrida. She has developed new concepts that are of importance for trans-disciplinary work in research, art and education. Through the introduction of an ethical onto-epistemology she question the division between being and knowledge, and illustrates what occurs in the meeting between material, human/ non-human and the environment in new ways.

Karen Barad has developed new concepts that are of importance for trans-disciplinary work in research, art and education. For HDK and the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts her theories and perspectives can provide new understandings of matter and material on many levels. Karen Barads ideas, theories and approaches can be important components in a deepening ethical development for different art and educational practices and research; Design, Music, Pedagogy, Visual art, Performance, Theater, Literature, Art and crafts and more. But her theories and approaches also opens for important connections outside of the faculty’s disciplinary boundaries and new and perhaps unexpected inter-disciplinarily meetings to take place.

We welcome everyone to take part of an open lecture and talk by and with Karen Barad.

DATE: Saturday 22 October

TIME: 13.00 – 16.00
13.00 – 14.00: Karen Barad holds a talk on her ideas and theories.
14.15 – 15.15: Open discussion with an invited panel. A discussion with different approaches to Karen Barads ideas and theories in relation to artistic and educational practices, and more.
15.25 – 16.00: Time for questions and comments from the audience.

LOCATION: Sjöströmsalen, Academy of Music and Drama, Artisten, Fågelsången 1, Göteborg
Note! The lecture hall takes only 400 people, so be on time, we follow the simple principle of first come, first served.

Moderator: Dr. Tarja Karlsson Häikiö, Docent, Associate Professor in Visual arts, Head of Department of Visual and Material Culture Unit, HDK, Gothenburg University, Sweden. Research interests in the subject areas, besides Visual Art Education, also in child culture, assessment, documentation, aesthetic learning processes, higher arts education, learning and art based practice, setting of educational environments, practical knowledge.


Dr. Kajsa G. Eriksson is an Artist and Associate Professor in Visual Arts at the Art Teachers Program, HDK, Gothenburg University, Sweden. Eriksson holds a PhD in Design and together with Dr. Lena TH Berglin she runs the independent studio Vague Research Studios. In her research her aim is to conduct experiments including situated bodily practices within larger field of exploration and ideology and to discover new formats. Collaboration and the transformative force of art in everyday life is the platform that her teaching, artistic practice, and research has evolved from.

Dr. Lena TH Berglin is an Associate Professor in Design and Material Practices at The Textile Technology Department, University of Borås. Berglin holds a PhD in Interaction Design and together with Kajsa G. Eriksson she runs the independent artistic research studio Vague Research Studios. The basis of her research practice is the interplay between material technologies and social contexts and experiences that turn up in everyday life. Transdisciplinarity and material technology experiments is the foundation her research and teaching methodology.
Vague Research Studios is an artistic research studio specializing in material as technology/culture/education/performance. www.vrstudios.se

Dr. Magdalena Górska, Assistant Professor at the Graduate Gender Program, Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University. Her research develops a nonuniversalizing and politicized understanding of embodiment where human bodies are conceptualized as agential actors of intersectional politics. Her work offers anthropo-situated while posthumanist discussions of human embodiment and agency and focuses on the quotidian corpomaterial and corpo-affective practices as political matters. She is an author of a dissertation book Breathing Matters: Feminist Intersectional Politics of Vulnerability and a founder of the Breathing Matters Network.

Hillevi Lenz Taguchi, is professor of Education and Child and Youth Studies in the Department of Child and Youth Studies at Stockholm University.
Her present research interests concern methodologies and research practices in material feminist and posthumanist research, as well as developing a transdisciplinary theory that connect theory and practice in the emerging field of educational neuroscience.

Dr. Elisabeth Belgrano, independent scholar and singer.
She has been specializing in vocal Baroque music, with a special interest in French and Italian 17th century music. She has been touring and presenting her performance research at festivals and conferences in Europe as well as in the US. In 2011 Belgrano was awarded a PhD from University of Gothenburg, for her thesis ”Lasciatemi morire” o farò ”La Finta Pazza”: Embodying Vocal Nothingness in 17th Century Operatic Laments and Mad Scenes - the first artistic PhD in Sweden within the field of Performance in Theatre and Music Drama.

Imri Sandström, Doctoral student, Valand Academy, Gothenburg University, Sweden.
 Howe Across Reading – Performing the Past is an investigation into aspects of the histories and languages of New England in the north east of USA and Västerbotten in the north of Sweden, with and through the writings of poet and literary scholar Susan Howe. The project looks at, and listens to, how sounds, times and spaces are generated in ongoing translation and trans-historical reading and writing across geographies, religions, and literatures. Howe’s texts are here a condition for searching, a means to navigate within archives, narratives, language based time-space.


Originally published on: www.gu.se

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