• Ecologies of Transmission. Electromagnetic Agency in the Anthropocene

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

    Since humans discovered the nature of electromagnetic waves and started to use this knowledge for the development of communication technologies, the density of microwave radiation on the planet has added up to 1018 times the level reaching us naturally from the sun—creating an atmosphere within our atmosphere that continues to increase in density through new applications of microwave technology every day. Electromagnetic waves are biologically active and living cells react to them; humans cannot consciously perceive but a small range of their spectrum as visible light, or warmth on the skin, while some animal species actively possess perception abilities of a bigger part of the frequency spectrum. With the advent of the “Wireless Age,” the nervous systems of all human and non-human bodies have become receiving antennas; cell tissues are traversed by alternating and direct currents as well as electromagnetic fields constantly and everywhere by now, affecting more and more the living conditions of humans, animals and plants.

    This presentation will use the book “LIMEN. Ecologies of transmission” (Berlin/Mexico City, 2016), an artistic publication and project exploring today’s condition of “lived electromagnetism” by the artists Mario de Vega and Victor Mazon together with Daniela Silvestrin, as a starting point to present artistic projects and works that render visible the agency of electromagnetic radiation & energy and thereby confront taboos in this specific scientific field of research, employing different formats to scrutinize the excessive way of exploitation of today’s techno-scientific know-how and its dangerous devotion to the illusion of indefinite progress and increase of economic return. It takes the excessive use of the electromagnetic sphere and the manufacturing of ignorance as a starting point for a creative and critical investigation of methodologies of power and control in the techno-scientific developments, which paved the way and create a main condition for what has become the Anthropocene and the Wireless Age we are living in today.

    Daniela Silvestrin

    Daniela Silvestrin is an independent researcher and curator with a background in law, history of art and curatorial studies. In her research she explores hybrid artistic practices at the intersection of art, law and science that explore new ways of relating to vibrant materialities, driven by the emergence of critical political and ethical concerns in an era where techno-science increasingly impacts all life and blurs known distinctions between the human and non-human, life and matter. Her work critically reflects on the implications of new technologies, analyzed and discussed through the lens of artistic reflection and knowledge production. Since 2014 she works with the new initiatives STATE Experience Science and Disruption Network Lab in Berlin.


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).