• Terrestrial Post-­Terrestrialism: Beyond Post Nature

    SESSION D: New Materialisms and Infrastructures
    Day 3. Saturday, 29th October.
    12:00 – 14:00
    Venue: ASM: Arts Santa Mònica

    This talk surveys the contexts and theories that generate the urge for the artist to make investigative work based around ideas of post-terrestrial life and identity. It outlines how embracing the notion of the experiment as artistic practice contributes towards an enriched plurality of knowledge.

    Since 2009 the artist has been working with a displacement and simulation themed series of projects that reflect on space research, post-humanism, post-terrestrialism and the future of species. The growing network of orbiting space platforms and deep space probes is seen as an extension of the human sensory cortex, allowing us to place an abstracted awareness at distances of millions of kilometres. Taking the idea of the biological simulator as an example of De Landa’s ‘transcendental empiricism’, or Baudrillard’s ‘hyperreal’ the artist has created a series of research based projects that connect this nexus to cultures of model organisms commonly used in space bioscience. The principles of biosemiotics and simulation theory allow for an augmented reality whereby these organisms are grown or nurtured in partial space or non-Earth environments. These project-experiments present arguments on how an amateur and artistic positioning can contribute meaningfully to research on life outside of its natural environment and in future ecosystems. One longer term project employs a rigorous scientific methodology to attempt to produce a new species theoretically capable of living in extreme alien environments. Through the methodology of staging experiments as an aesthetic and scientific exercise in attempting the impossible or merely ambiguous, the artist strives to create discourse on the process, nature and politics of the acquisition and access of new knowledge and understandings, and how an artistic stance within a scientific context poses novel questions about plurality.

    Andy Gracie

    Andy Gracie, London -1967, works across various disciplines including installation, robotics, sound, video and biological practice. This work is situated between the arts and the sciences, creating situations of exchange between natural and artificial systems which allow new emergent behaviours to develop. The underlying focus of his activities has often involved a study of organic intelligence, emergence and the placing of technological agents in situations where they are able to network with natural systems. More recently his work involves reactions to the science of astrobiology; notions of the origins of life coupled with a re-examination of its boundaries. His practice employs scientific theory and practice to question our relationships with environment, technology and the notion of the ‘other’ whilst simultaneously bringing into focus the very relationship between art and science.

    His work has been shown internationally and has included several special commissions for new works. He has also presented at numerous conferences and seminars internationally and has written and published a number of articles and papers. His work has also been featured in books by Stephen Wilson, Linda Weintraub, William Myers and Dmitry Bulatov.

    His large scale installation ‘Autoinducer_ph-1’ has received honourable mentions from VIDA and Ars Electronica in 2007. The ongoing project ‘Drosophila titanus’ received an honorary mention from Ars Electronica in 2015.


Department of Art History
Universitat de Barcelona
c/ Montalegre 6-8.
08001 Barcelona

Call for Papers
Organizing Committee

The images for the Art and Speculative Futures conferences are generously provided by artist Regina de Miguel from her video Una Historia Nunca Contada desde Abajo (2016).