Agnès Villette on Invasive Insects

Here is the documentation of Agnès Villette’s talk on Invasive Insects that took place at Stroud Valley Arts on June 8th 2019. It was the first of a series of talks on Art, Ecology and Science Fiction hosted by Invisible College (Stroud). The next will be Maggie Robert’s screening and talk at The Goods Shed in Stroud this Friday, 28th June.


Art, Ecology and Science Fiction Talks in Stroud

Under the auspices of the recently incarnated Invisible College (Stroud) I will be introducing a series of talks about Art, Ecology and Science Fiction at SVA (Stroud Valley Arts) in June. The talks will continue on a monthly basis.

The first talk will be given by Agnès Villette on Saturday June 8th 2019 between  4 – 6 pm.

Asian Long Horn Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) from Agnès Villette’s ‘Alien of the Species’

Agnès will be speaking about her current project: Alien of the Species a photographic series about 12 invasive insects that have recently arrived in Europe. Contrasting interviews with entomologists and environmental humanities theorists, the project maps the complex entanglement of human / animal relationships within disrupted ecosystems subjected to global warming and mass migrations.

The introduction in our ecosystems of the Asiatic Hornet, Anoplophora, the Boxwood moth or the Palm tree Weevil opens complex narrations of global Capitalism, bio war and damaged ecologies where insects invite us to rethink the polarised relation of nature and culture. Building on the media coverage of the disappearance of insects, ‘Alien of the Species’ interrogates discrepancies between how the scientific and environmental humanities create narratives about the underlying interconnectedness of the world we share with insects.

The second talk on Saturday, June 29th 2019,  4 – 6 pm will be by Maggie ‘MER’ Roberts.


Maggie is a British artist who lives and works between London and Capetown. She is a founder member of the cyber-arts collective 0rphan Drift that worked with CCRU (Cybernetic Cultural Research Unit) in the late 90’s and early ‘00’s. Her work employs collage techniques across audio-visual, digital, sculptural and painterly mediums as a way of manifesting virtual frequencies that affect visible reality.  These frequencies – such as expanding cosmic, geological, biotechnical and cultural time scales; animal becomings; climate crisis as the violence of excess and luxury; ‘machine vision’ and communication currents in matter – she sees as catalysts for change.

Maggie will be talking about her current show Uncanny Valley, Difficult Kin at Aspex gallery in Portsmouth and her recent show (with Ranu Mukherjee) If AI were Cephalopod  at Telematic Gallery, San Francisco.

Both events are £5 on the door and Agnès and Maggie will be offering studio visits while they are in town.

Gilbert Adair Reads from SYZEM: Book Two

During a recent visit to Stroud, Hawaii-based poet Gilbert Adair gave an impromptu reading from his recently published ‘SYZEM: Book Two – A Book of Sky and Islands (& a city)’. Gilbert gives a short introduction to the work, in which he explains the inspiration for it. In this case that involves the cultivation of genetically modified crops in Kawaihae designed to withstand pesticides. This is combined with elements of the Anglo-Saxon chronicles, the story of Salome and the ‘Salomania’ craze that spread the Europe and America at the beginning of the 20th century. Following Gilbert’s reading there is a short discussion between myself and Gilbert about the work.

Duke Skullcracker Talk

Below is a recording I recently gave to the FHI Social Practice Lab at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina on April 16th. Many thanks for Pedro Lasch, director of the lab, for extending the invitation.

Vodou 2.0 Talk

Here is a video of my talk ‘Vodou 2.0: Countering Popular Misconceptions of Vodou for the 21st Century’ that I gave at the Konesans Conference in Newcastle on Friday. I highly recommend following the links on my Youtube site, particularly to Math Jerome’s Vodou Connection channel, the most extensive and unadulterated archive of Haitian Vodou ceremonials that I have come across on the internet.

Call for the 6th Ghetto Biennale

A call for artists and curators (calls in Kreyòl, 官话, Português, لغة العربية, Español, русский, Ελληνικά, Deutsche, Français, नॉट available soon on the website)

‘Every form of enslavement generates in one way or another an opposing struggle for liberation’ Carolyn E. Fick, The Making of Haiti, (The University of Tennessee Press 1990)

The Haitian Revolution, possibly one of the most important and overlooked, revolutions of the world appears to have been written out of Western history.

‘The silencing of the Haitian Revolution is only a chapter within a narrative of global domination. It is part of the history of the West.’
Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing The Past, (Beacon Press, Boston 1995)

We welcome projects that both memorialise, and challenge the memorialization of, the Haitian Revolution. We are looking for alternate narratives to the Slaves Revolt. We invite complex readings of the leaders as well as alternate histories from below. We encourage non-binary, queer, surreal and magic versions of the slaves revolt.

We ask for historically reflective, contemporarily comparative and future speculative projects which use the Haitian Slaves Revolt as a starting point.

‘The paradox between the discourse of freedom and the practice of slavery marked the ascendancy of a succession of Western nations within the early modern global economy.’ 
Susan Buck-Morss, Hegel, Haiti and Universal History, (University of Pittsburg Press 2009)

The 6th Ghetto Biennale 2019 will take place from the 29th November until the 20th December 2017. All works must be made and exhibited in Haiti. Artists and curators will be invited to pass, no less than ten days and up to three weeks in Haiti before presenting their work in the neighbourhood.

The deadline for proposal applications is midnight Sun 28th April BST and our decisions will be made and announced by mid-May.

Continue reading “Call for the 6th Ghetto Biennale”