Biodiversity by other (all?) means: a theatre for post-natural futures
Clemens Driessen (Wageningen University)
Claire Waterton (Lancaster University)
Tahani Nadim (Humboldt University Berlin )
Esther Turnhout (Wageningen University)
Tahani Nadim
Noortje Marres (University of Warwick)
Saturday 3 September, 9:00-10:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

This session seeks to convene a wide range of approaches to and interventions in the sciences, technologies and practices of biodiversity conservation. Including (but not limited to) forms of citizen science, public labs, DIY/biohacks, community/guerilla gardening, design, performance and ecoart.

Long abstract:

In recent years, numerous 'other means' of engaging with biodiversity have emerged: from citizen science, public labs and do-it-yourself/biohacks, to community or guerilla gardening and eco-art. Here, 'other means' signal not only an extension of disciplines and arenas which traditionally engage biodiversity but also a multiplication of the object "biodiversity" itself. From the micro to the macro, from mediating a single local ecological relation to holistic dreams of rebooting Gaia, biodiversity is increasingly sought in less likely spaces, where urban metabolism, industrial ecology, and novel ecosystems could be found (or made) to intertwine. How has biodiversity become material (in both senses of the word) for different forms of (political) intervention and contestation? How to practice multispecies participatory knowledge production, animal architectures and the interspecies internet?

This session convenes a range of approaches to and interventions in the sciences, technologies and practices of biodiversity conservation. Besides traditional paper contributions we invited also presentations 'by other means': theatrical performances, product launches, exhibits, design workshops, experimentations with genres of policy analysis and scientific reporting, literary and poetic contributions or critiques, etc. In concert with lively experimentation, this session wants to debate possible forms of political accountability and epistemic closure, critically exploring the implicit or explicit promises of 'participatory citizen science' or 'art saving the world'. We would thus like to collectively specify and discuss claims associated with these 'other means' as leading to more democratic epistemologies, more directly connecting publics, evoking new forms of environmental aesthetics and moralizing new environmental subjects.