Human Entities 2020: Andrea Pavoni + Margarida Mendes

  • Location:
    Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Campo Santa Clara 142-145, 1100-474 Lisbon, Portugal. Open-air event.

Human Entities 2020: culture in the age of artificial intelligence
Fourth edition
Programme of public talks, November 2020
All welcome, free, booking required
Talks in English

Thur 5 November 2020, 18.30
navigating the urban fog: on urban adaptation
Andrea Pavoni, researcher at DIN MIA'CET ISCTE-IUL

The talk dives into the impalpable atmosphere of everyday urban life, through which we breathe, experience, and feel the city. In times of aesthetic capitalism, politics of fear, ubiquitous computing, and airborne diseases, this inconspicuous background has become the battleground of urban politics. Digital technologies, branded imaginaries and normative regulations increasingly weave into this hazy everyday, deeply affecting the corporeal, emotional and intellectual paths through which we navigate the city.

How to make sense of this ongoing reconfiguration of urban experience? Three dimensions may be highlighted: the imperative of adaptation at the core of neoliberal ideology; the politics of comfort informing the engineering of safe and pleasurable atmospheres in the city; and the systemic delegation of intellectual, emotional and ethical urban skills to techno-legal proxies, that feeds functional stupidity, social anxiety, and existential disorientation. After unpacking their composition and the political consequences thereof, the talk will conclude, tentatively, by gesturing towards ways to experience the urban otherwise.

Andrea Pavoni
Andrea Pavoni is a research fellow at DIN MIA'CET, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal. Unfolding at the intersection between critical geography, social theory, and philosophy, his research explores the relation between materiality, normativity and aesthetics in the urban context. He is editor of the Law and the Senses Series (University of Westminster Press) and associate editor of the journal Lo Squaderno, Explorations in Space and Society. His book, Controlling Urban Events. Law, Ethics and the Material, is out on Routledge.

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Thur 12 November: Margarida Mendes
River systems and the molecular body
Margarida Mendes
Curator, researcher and activist

Can we actually trace the exact perimeter of a river’s molecular cartography and the extent of the consequences that these systems of catalytic flux have within and outside living bodies? River systems and their surrounding infrastructures are enormous hydrogeological, chemical and electromagnetic systems that connect their surrounding inhabitants and ecosystems through an irreverent flux of discharges and motions that humans attempt to tame through flowage rights and coastal restoration projects. Hence, aquatic and riverine infrastructures are essential points of departure for system analysis and reflection about the bodies and ecosystems, from the molecular through to the planetary scale. In attempting to understand the connection between river flux, noise, toxicity, and industrialization, I will focus on the habitats of the Mississippi and the Tagus rivers, questioning how the level of background noise and chemical imbalance may be connected with endocrinological disruptions. By investigating the chemical and vibrational continuity between bodies and the environment, I will speculate how different ontologies and mechanisms for sensing and registry might be needed, in order to provide a deeper debate about ecosystems under distress.

Margarida Mendes
Margarida Mendes's research explores the overlap between cybernetics, ecology and experimental film, investigating environmental transformations and their impact on societal structures and cultural production. She is interested in exploring alternative modes of education and political resilience through her collaborative practice, programming, and activism. She was part of the curatorial team of the 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016), 4th Istanbul Design Biennial (2018), and 11th Liverpool Biennial (rescheduled for 2021). In 2019 she launched the exhibition series Plant Revolution! which questions the interspecies encounter while exploring different narratives of technological mediation and in 2016 curated Matter Fictions, publishing a joint reader with Sternberg Press. She is a consultant for environmental NGOs working on marine policy and deep sea mining and has directed several educational platforms, such as escuelita, an informal school at Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo - CA2M, Madrid (2017); The Barber Shop project space in Lisbon dedicated to transdisciplinary research (2009-16); and the ecological inquiry curatorial research platform The World In Which We Occur/Matter in Flux, (2014-18). She is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture, Visual Cultures Department, Goldsmiths, University of London with the project “Deep Sea Imaginings” and is a frequent collaborator on the online channel for exploratory video and documentary reporting

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The talks will be in English and followed by a Q&A session.

This events are part of Human Entities 2020: culture in the age of artificial intelligence
Read more about the programme here:

Organised by CADA in partnership with the Lisbon Architecture Triennale
Financiamento/Funded by: República Portuguesa – Cultura / Direção-Geral das Artes
Apoio/Support: Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, ISCTE-IUL e NOVA LINCS