Join us for a participatory discussion between evolutionary biologist Shrese and artist Jack Young, recipient of the 2022 Spike Island Engagement Fellowship for South West-based Curators. Together they explore critiques of the body-as-machine metaphor and discuss the possibilities of the Body-Forest metaphor as an alternative. The evening includes the premiere of a newly commissioned short film by Paul Samuel White, Felix Drake and Jack Young, as well as a reading from Young’s hybrid chapbook of interspecies intimacies and folk-horror, URTH.
Attendees will be given informal opportunities to share their ideas in small groups and contribute to the conversation throughout the evening. Copies of URTH will be available to buy at the event.
Shrese holds a PhD in Evolutionary Biology and left the academic world in 2007. He is an independent investigator and is interested in understanding the impact of biology, in particular genetics, on the way we see the world, life and ourselves as humans.
Jack Young is an artist and participatory educator living in Bristol. He writes experimental fiction and non-fiction with a focus on queer ecologies, and his hybrid chapbook URTH will be published by Big White Shed in 2022. He co-hosts the literary podcast Tenderbuttons. As an educator, he works with young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, developing arts-based critical pedagogy with a particular emphasis on multilingual filmmaking, applied theatre and creative writing. He has worked with schools and institutions in Barcelona and London including MACBA, Institut Moisès Broggi, Royal Academy of Arts, Horniman Museum, Tate and Gasworks. Jack is the recipient of the 2022 Spike Island Engagement Fellowship for South West-based Curators.
The Body-Forest is a programme of engagement activities and public events devised by Jack Young, recipient of the 2022 Spike Island Engagement Fellowship for South West-based Curators. The programme explores how thinking of the body as an interconnected ecosystem rather than as a machine – a metaphor developed under capitalism – might shift the way we think about our human connection to the world. Drawing on the work of biologists Pierre Sonigo and Shrese, among others, The Body-Forest will include participatory workshops, discussions, radical history walks, reading groups and more. The programme will interrogate how the concept of the Body-Forest might de-centre the human, and change the way we think about time, language, desire and community in an age of overlapping social and ecological crises.
This event is part of the West of England Visual Arts Alliance programme, supported by Arts Council England.