In this guest lecture Malin Graesse (University of Oslo) discussed how animal bodies are mediated and understood through infrastructure and landscape design. She will pose questions concerning the role of art and design in ecosystem processes in water bodies.
In recent years the idea of a binarity between nature and culture has been questioned by scholars and artists within diverse fields of interest. This understanding of human beings as part of geological, environmental, and ecological processes can potentially challenge established knowledge systems and invites us to question conceptions of nature. Taking her point of departure from case studies of fishways (linear habitation links in waterbodies), Graesse will discuss how the idea of nature and ecosystem processes comes into play in art, design and architectural practices from the 1970s onwards. In this talk, Graesse will direct attention to a fishway sculpture in Grand Rapids Michigan and reflect on how interdisciplinary research can broaden our understanding of the relationship between art, the earth and the more-than-human.
Malin Graesse is an art and design historian, and environmental humanities researcher living and working in Oslo. She has worked with theories of craft and design where she most recently co-authored a chapter in an anthology on Nordic design culture to be published at Routledge in 2022. In 2016 she received the theory grant of the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts for her MA thesis on the social and ecological design of Austvtan Craft Central. She has curated the exhibition Tid. Tråd. Tegn: Inge Bjørn i Guttormsgaards arkiv (2019) at Guttormsgaard's Archive, Blaker, and has published articles in journals like Kunsthåndverk and Kunstavisen. Graesse has recently written on the sculptural practice of Johanne Hestvold (published by Heavy Books in 2021) and is part of the interdisciplinary scenography research project +Habitat+.