D. Haraway's Staying with the Trouble' as an artistic methodology?
21st of February, 19:00 - 20:30
Donna Haraway defines Chthulucene as the following: “It is a compound of two Greek roots (khthôn and kainos) that together name a kind of timeplace for learning to stay with the trouble of living and dying in response-ability on a damaged earth”. Instead of enacting a game-over attitude, staying with the trouble calls for our ability to make oddkin: to mix and merge with each other in unexpected collaborations and combinations; to make things interesting.
“Interesting research is research conducted under conditions that make beings interesting.” — Vinciane Despret
To Haraway herself, the philosophy of Vinciane Despret comes as a manifestation of the key principles of staying with the trouble: understood at once as a survival strategy on our planet, a call for personal responsibility for its current condition, and the way of polite, responsible and responsive research.
“The first and most important thing at risk in Despret’s practice is an approach that assumes that beings have pre-established natures and abilities that are simply put into play in an encounter. Rather, Despret’s sort of politeness does the energetic work of holding open the possibility that surprises are in store, that something interesting is about to happen, but only if one cultivates the virtue of letting those one visits intra-actively shape what occurs. They are not who/what we expected to visit, and we are not who/what were anticipated either. Visiting is a subject- and object-making dance, and the choreographer is a trickster. Asking ques- tions comes to mean both asking what another finds intriguing and also how learning to engage that changes everybody in unforeseeable ways. Good questions come only to a polite inquirer, especially a polite inquirer provoked by a singing blackbird. With good questions, even or especially mistakes and misunderstandings can become interesting. This is not so much a question of manners, but of epistemology and ontology, and of method alert to off-the-beaten-path practices.”
— Donna Harraway
What would become of artistic research, if one configures it with Haraway-Desperetian approach in mind?..
‘Staying with a trouble’ as a way of (artistic) thinking — and being — in the world?..
The upcoming reading group at Exposed will depart from these questions. We will look specifically into Chapter 7: ‘A Curious Practice’, in which Haraway’s own thinking is intertwined with the propositions of philosopher Vinciane Despret, celebrating her incomparable ability to think-with other beings, human or not. Throughout the chapter, several principles of “polite research” — the research in Chthulucene — are formulated by the author; and our intention will be to see if and how those principles may be related to the state of a contemporary artist/researcher. Moreover, taking our own practices as an alternative entry point to the discussion, we will search for other principles — to add to Despret and Haraway’s.
Please email us at if you like to participate
(we will also email you the reading materials).
🔮Tea and snacks are on us!🔮
The discussion will be moderated by filmmaker Alyona Larionova and Sasha Burkhanova-Khabadze.
Alyona Larionova (b. 1988, lives and works in London) is an artist and filmmaker based in London. She received her BA Honours in Photography from London College of Communication and her MFA in Media from Slade School of Fine Art. Recent and upcoming shows include screenings at Sharjah Art Foundation; as well as participation at the 11th edition of Lo Schermo Dell’Arte Film Festival in Florence; 35th Kasseler Dokfest, the 20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil; and the 7th Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art.
Sasha Burkhanova-Kahbadze is the founder and curator at Exposed.