The Adventures of Landscapes

Mar 08 2024 Friday
07:00 PM - 08:30 PM
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Age Group Adults
Add to Calendar 03/08/2024 07:00 PM 03/08/2024 08:30 PM Asia/Riyadh The Adventures of Landscapes

Inspired by Anna Tsing’s The Mushroom at the End of the World (2015) and Eduardo Kohn’s How Forests Think (2013), we will be focusing on how alliances between humans and non-human forms of life are formed. How does cross-species collaboration help in creating complex ecosystems and do forests think, and how do they think?  In describing the world that extends beyond the humans, we will be looking for a helping hand in Indigenous sense-making as a means to experience the world as a collaborative process and to explore multiple ways of knowing. How can we think and see in more-than-human ways? 

A conversation between researcher and anthropologist Patricia Viera and visual artist and author Ursula Biemann. Moderated by program creator Anna Kirikova. 


OTHER MINDS is a cross-disciplinary program centered around the ways of thinking and seeing in more-than-human ways. It has been created in response to the curatorial vision of Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale 2024, After Rain, which embodies revitalization and renewal. It situates itself within a wider narrative of the co-existence of humans and non-humans.

Neuroscience has proved that the human brain cannot grasp the world as it is. If the objective world exists, how can we even come close to discovering it? 

The scientific and culturological tools developed to date allow for an experience of the “other”, or alternative ways of perceiving the world. With OTHER MINDS, we have assembled an array of scientists, thinkers, and artists to elaborate on plant-animal-microorganism-human relations through the new findings in neurosciences, biology, and anthropology, as well as through the metaphorical findings of the artworks presented at the Biennale. 

We will look closer at how non-human beings interact with reality, communicate, and create fascinating entanglements through their relationship with others, including humans. By receiving theoretical and practical insights from the program’s contributors, we might probably be able to see the world around us a bit closer to what it is — a world where all life is thoughtful life. 

The program was created in collaboration with Anna Kirikova and Daria Ozerskaya.

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Patricia Vieira

Patricia Vieira is a research professor at the Center for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra in Portugal. Her fields of expertise are Latin American and Iberian literature and cinema, utopian studies, and the environmental humanities. Her most recent book is States of Grace: Utopia in Brazilian Culture (SUNY UP, 2018), and her most recent co-edited book is The Mind of Plants: Narratives of Vegetal Intelligence (Synergetic, 2021). She is currently heading a European Research Council-funded project titled “ECO - Animals and Plants in Cultural Productions about the Amazon River Basin” and co-coordinating a Gerda Henkel Foundation-funded project titled “Resilient Forest Cities: Utopia and Development in the Modern Amazon.”

Ursula Biemann

Ursula Biemann is a Swiss artist and author whose practice centers on fieldwork, often in Indigenous territories, and the creation of networks between different fields of knowledge. Her artistic practice reflects on the political ecologies of forests, oil, and water, creating critical perspectives on the dynamics of extraction and also proposing alternative ecocentric modes of relating to the natural world. Biemann recently published the online monograph Becoming Earth on ten years of her ecological video works and writing with UNAL Bogota and the book Forest Mind with Spector Books (2022).

Anna Kirikova

Anna Kirikova is an independent curator and cultural projects developer based in Paris. Between 2018 and 2022, she was the Director of the International Programme at The Manege Central Exhibition Hall in St. Petersburg, where she commissioned and organised programming for exhibitions and other cultural events. Her most notable projects at The Manege include Éspirits by Christian Boltanski, Utopia Saved by Lee Bul, As They See Us in collaboration with Magnum Photos, and NEW NOW – a research project delving into ideas of the present moment and exploring potential scenarios for our shared future. As a result of the collaboration with the Diriyah Biennale Foundation, Anna has created and is co-presenting a major public programme, Other Minds, at the 2024 Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale.


Image Copyright: Aerial view of Iceland’s landscape © Extreme-photographer / iStock