Donna Haraway

2nd Red Stables Art and Ecology Summer School at Bull Island Dublin

This post comes to you from An Arts and Ecology Notebook

It’s great to see all the events that were organised by the RedStables and Dublin City Arts Office for their 2nd Art & Ecology event.

The Red Stables Art and Ecology Summer School took place in St. Anne’s Park, Dublin 3 and North Bull Island, a UNESCO protected biosphere reserve. For further information and bookings contact or 01 222 7377.

‘Natural Kinds’
18 July, 2:00–5:00pm, The Red Stables, St. Anne’s Park, Dublin 3

Natural Kinds was an afternoon of talks and screenings at The Red Stables on Thursday 18th July (2–5pm), looking at notions of classification in the natural sciences and Philosophy, stemming from research artist Jenny Brady who has been engaged with the Red Stables Summer School.

The afternoon included a talk by orchid specialist Brendan Sayers on orchid hybridisation and the wild orchids on Bull Island, and a presentation on the ‘Species Problem’ in Philosophy and Biology by Dr. Niall Connolly, Lecturer in the Philosophy of Science, TCD. The short programme of screenings included Donna Haraway Reads “The National Geographic” on Primates (1987) by Donna Haraway and Paper Tiger TV, Les Oursins (1958), The Love Life of the Octopus (1967) by Jean Painlevé, and Carve Up, Jenny Brady’s new video work made for The Red Stables Summer School.

‘Carve Up’
18 –31 July, 2:00–5:00pm

Jenny Brady’s Carve Up drew on questions around the nature and conception of species with a focus on the wild orchids growing on Bull Island. The work was screened in The Red Stables Gallery between 20–31 July from 12:00–5:00pm daily.

‘The Interpretive Project’

20 July, 3:00–5:00pm, Bull Island Interpretive Centre, Dublin 3 *

The Interpretive Project was a collaboration between Rhona Byrne, Vaari Claffey and Ciara Moore. On Saturday 20th July, the artists hosted a live event at the Interpretive Centre. The audience was invited to attend a hybrid lecture proposing a re-imagined history of the island. This live presentation included readings, film screenings and other visuals. It wove together histories on the origin, mythology and ecology of Bull Island since its appearance 213 years ago.

The stuffed animals who permanently reside in the space played a role at this event. In the process of uncovering the ‘history’ of Bull Island as the site of production and conception of a number of seminal historical artworks, the animals adopted the personae and characters of figures from art history and literature and discussed and reviewed a selection of artworks, offering us new insight from the perspective of the non-human animal. They also shared memories and experiences of life on the island for some of the native species and visitors.

The project also included a participative performance based on the flocking patterns, foraging behaviour and flight formation of the migratory birds on the island and the island itself. This performance was informed by the behaviour and sounds of animals on Bull Island, reflecting the human occasions for such collective behaviours and mass gatherings around ‘feeding, mating and alarm’.

The Red Stables Summer School 2013 was curated by Seán O Sullivan and Denise Reddy.
Image credit: Dublin City Council


An Arts & Ecology Notebook, by Cathy Fitzgerald, whose work exists as ongoing research and is continually inspired to create short films, photographic documentation, and writings. While she interacts with foresters, scientists, and communities, she aims to create a sense of a personal possibility, responsibility and engagement in her local environment that also connects to global environmental concerns.

Go to An Arts and Ecology Notebook

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Adaptation: Between Species / e-flux

Allora & Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs, Cory Arcangel, John Bock, Olaf Breuning, Marcus Coates, Robyn Cumming, Mark Dion, FASTWÜRMS, Shaun Gladwell, Lucy Gunning, Nina Katchadourian, Louise Lawler, Hanna Liden, Hew Locke, Sandra Meigs, Rivane Neuenschwander and Cao Guimarães, Jeff Sonhouse, Javier Téllez , Michelle Williams Gamaker

Curator: Helena Reckitt, Senior Curator of Programs

Civilization notwithstanding, we live with and among nature and animals. Cultural followers such as pigeons, rats, foxes, and – in Canada – bears, live off our refuse, while bacteria reside in our guts. The industrial world eats further into natural habitats, but micro-environments flourish in urban and exurban sites. Responding to the contemporary desire to go “back to nature,” The Power Plant’s summer group exhibition ‘Adaptation: Between Species’ explores interspecies encounters. What happens when humans, animals and the natural world meet? What forms of communication, miscommunication, intimacy, and exchange ensue?

While species live in ever closer proximity, many people feel profoundly cut off both from natural environments and from their own animal natures. Our deep longing to connect with non-human life forms is reflected in contemporary phenomena ranging from the boom in pet ownership and the widespread anthropomorphism in popular culture to the upsurge in vacations that promise to transport us to unspoiled lands.

However, despite this deep-seated sense of alienation from nature, the species are in fact closely related. For instance, as Donna Haraway notes in her book When Species Meet, 90 percent of human cells are filled with the genomes of bacteria, fungi, protists, and such, with only 10 percent comprising human genomes. ‘Adaptation’ explores this commonality between the species and considers the various forms of intelligence and knowledge they share. It also asks what our interactions with other species reveal about our human as well as our animal natures. Highlighting the urge to observe, touch, live with, and mimic other species, the exhibition delves into the intimate and, at times, uncanny fusions that result. Many of the artworks hover between seriousness and absurdity, embracing the potential for fantasy, childish antics and regression at the core of human/non-human relations, and reveling in the transgression of both social acceptability and human identity that interspecies encounters can engender.

Coinciding with the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity, the exhibition considers how adaptation functions as a form of biological and cultural survival. It also takes a realistic view of human/non-human dynamics, acknowledging the unbalanced and exploitative power relations that too often characterize our society’s attitudes toward other life forms.

What do we learn by sharing our lives and this planet with other species? Impersonating and identifying with the natural world and the animal kingdom might contain the seeds for radical change, as we affirm our links with other species, recognize our animal natures and experience the liberation of feeling wild at heart.

A publication together with an extensive program of public events accompanies the exhibition. Highlights include a DJ Set and SKRY-POD public tarot reading by Ontario artists FASTWÃœRMS, a film screening ‘Animal Drag Kingdom’ with works by Guy Ben-Ner, Douglas Gordon, Kathy High, Kristin Lucas, and Steve Reinke and Jessie Mott, a children’s workshop on animal language, and free gallery tours every weekend at 2pm.

SUPPORT DONOR: The Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation

The Power Plant offers free gallery admission all summer thanks to the support of the Hal Jackman Foundation and Media Partner NOW Magazine.

via Adaptation: Between Species / e-flux.