Project of Video Pool Media Arts Centre
In partnership with INCUBATOR: Hybrid Laboratory at the Intersection of Art, Science and Ecology
Co-presented by Plug In ICA

Opened December 6, 2013, Plug In ICA
Unit 1 – 460 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Videos of all the talks from the Toxic Life and Engineered Death symposium are available here!

Image: Elaine Whittaker

Image: Elaine Whittaker, West Nile Virus, mylar, gouache, petri dish, 2013

The idea of “Toxicity”, theoretically and practically, entrenches itself into the standard phenomenological understanding of the co-constitution of society and technology. The cultural deciphering of toxicity reconstructs not only the current environmental situation, but also socio-political contexts by looking into modes of contemporary cultural and technological production, the extraction of minerals,toxic waste, local and international policies, economy, finances, community-based responses and the thematics of production, consumption and disposal. The project considers the changes that Toxicity causes in the cultural, socio-political, psychological (in the sense of Guattari’s Planetary Psychopathology) and ecological landscape relating to art and technology by looking into Info-Pathologies and the methods and manners of the “infiltration” of technologies into facets of ordinary life, thereby challenging the inherited taxonomies. “Toxicity” also connects to biopolitical conflicts in the real and virtual worlds involving: energy control and the choice of fuel material and alternative energy sources; the thematic of entropy; the inheritance and programmability of life; the causes and consequences of environmental changes; the question of environmental sustainability; micro and macro ecology; GM products, life, death and appearance. The dualities of power and right, sovereignty and law, are inextricably bound to contemporary biopolitical discourses. In Foucault’s own words: “For capitalist society it is the biological that is important before everything else; the biological, the somatic, the corporeal. The body is a biopolitical reality, medicine is a biopolitical strategy.”

In addition to the exhibition, the works will be further contextualized for Canadian audiences through a hands-on bioart workshop held by the Australian artist Niki Sperou and a public symposium including a variety of artists from the exhibition and significant Canadian and international theorists in the art/science domain.


Plug In ICA

Toxicity is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts As well as With additional support from:
Video Pool gratefully acknowledges our funders
Background Image by Niki Sperou