Artworks for Jellyfish

Amanda Boetzkes & Ted Hiebert, eds. (forthcoming: 2022). With contributions by Amanda Boetzkes, Bug Carlson, Nicole Clouston, Marc Couroux, Silas Fischer, Ted Hiebert, Terrance Houle, Jessica Jacobson-Könefall, Ryuta Nakajima, Sky O’Brien, Juliana Pivato, andAmanda White.

After humans destroy the world we have created for ourselves, what will be left are the jellyfish. This, at least, is the provocation by artist Marc Dion who notes that the environmental crisis that defines the Anthropocene is not equally terrible for all species and in fact conducive to the flourishing of, among others, jellyfish. This is almost certainly not what Joseph Beuys had in mind when he spoke of how “everyone is an artist” and together we are creating the “total artwork of the future social order,” but what would happen if we held these provocations together? Artworks for Jellyfish collects responses from artists, theorists and scholars interested in the question of how art can mediate and mitigate our imagination of the future—or, to put it a little bit differently, how to make art for jellyfish.

Casual Encounters—Catalyst: Cindy Baker

Ted Hiebert, ed. (forthcoming: Spring 2021). With contributions by Théo Bignon, Richard Boulet, Blair Brennan, Michelle Lacombe, Aaron McIntosh, Mary-Anne McTrowe, Veronika Merklein, Mikiki, Christine Negus, Shanell Papp, Kristin Rodier, Zoë Schneider, and Stefanie Snider. Catalyst Book Series Volume 05.

A mattress, conceived as a place to crash, together. A hot tub, imagined as a site to encounter the end of the world. In times of networked connectivity what's perhaps more radical than embracing virtuality is to think about the stakes of the body, community, and personal encounter. These are themes engaged by the work of performance artist Cindy Baker, whose projects speculate on the forms of intimacy and interaction that art is capable of generating. In Baker's words, her art uses the medium of "context" in order to explore questions of community engagement and social inquiry. Brought together by Baker as catalyst, the contributors to this volume share a spirit of creative community and the belief in context as an important element of transformative social practice.

Naturally Postnatural—Catalyst: Jennifer Willet

Hiebert, T., ed. (2017) Naturally Postnatural—Catalyst: Jennifer Willet. With contributions by Warren Cariou, Louise Chance-Baxter& and IAIN BAXTER&, George Gessert, George Gessert & Beth Franks, Christian Kuras, Marta de Menezes, Natasha Myers, Kira O'Reilly, Melentie Pandilovski, Paul Vanouse, Amanda White & Alana Bartol and Robert Zwijnenberg. 254 pages. Seattle: Noxious Sector Press. | View book: | pdf download

In the 21st century, a humanly-impacted climate is the natural state of planetary affairs: a global environmental disaster but perhaps also an artwork of geological scale. Responding to this idea requires an artistic spirit with an ecological conscience--perfectly espoused by the work of artist Jennifer Willet. From speculations on the genetic future to reflections on the ways that art challenges engagement, interaction and analysis, the contributions in this book share a key concern of Willet's: a recognition of the complexities of artistic engagement in a time when the stakes of technological living have never been higher.

Ludic Dreaming

Cecchetto, D., Couroux, M., Hiebert, T. and Priest, E. (2017) Ludic Dreaming: How to Listen Away from Contemporary Technoculture. London: Bloomsbury Press.

In a decidedly playful way, Ludic Dreaming exaggerates philosophy's and the arts' shared fondness for fabulation and the role it performs in forging images of "truth" from what has no need to be true--a fondness for purely expressive correspondences or what Deleuze (after Nietzsche) called "the powers of the false." Such an approach is "post-critical" precisely to the extent that waking life is characterized by the kind of radical proximity of things that gives dreaming life its discomfiting immediacy. A post-critical thinking, therefore, substitutes vital involvement for analytical duty. As such, we affirm dreaming as a technique (for thinking how) to engage with a world where the goings-on of dreams are no longer wholly the prerogative of sleep. Ludic Dreaming proceeds, then, to performatively instruct how dreaming's peculiar thoughtfulness can bear on a world whose events are as over- and underdetermined as any happening we might concoct in repose. Contemporary life, whether taken in its slumbering or stirring profile, can from this point be approached as a dream because its flows of images, sounds, feelings, ambiences, ideas, promises, and meanings are as proximate and promiscuous as any fantasy. Dreams have never been accountable to the immediacy of the reality that they are. Now it's life's turn.

Plastic Blue Marble—Catalyst: Amanda Boetzkes

Hiebert, T., ed. (2016) Plastic Blue Marble—Catalyst: Amanda Boetzkes. With contributions by Shannon Bell, David Cecchetto, Mark Cheetham, Ted Hiebert, Doug Jarvis, Serena Kataoka, Anne Pasek, Andrew Pendakis and Maria Whiteman. 185 pages. Seattle: Noxious Sector Press. | View book: | pdf download

Our earth is no longer the solitary blue marble pictured from outer space by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972. Now, scholars such as Amanda Boetzkes imagine it as a plastic blue marble, mediated as it is through the paradoxes of intersectional and elemental thinking, anthropogenic change, and the ongoing project of imagining the futures we are building together. From visions of catastrophe to poetic journeys through the urban, social and artistic imagination, the contributions in this volume redistribute the currents of Boetzkes's ecological and theoretical insights. They discover new terrains of consideration, styles of thinking and creative forms of engaging with art, philosophy and ecological speculation.

A formalized forum for informal inquiry

Hiebert, T. (2015) A formalized forum for informal inquiry. Seattle: Noxious Sector Press. 134 pages. | View book: | pdf download

This volume collects the curatorial writing produced at Noxious Sector Projects, a window gallery in downtown Seattle, curated by Ted Hiebert between 2011-13. The gallery had as its mandate to be a "formalized forum for informal inquiry" and to exhibit works that creatively challenged the boundaries between the imaginary and the everyday. Featuring the work of: Jackson 2bears, Cindy Baker, Cedar Tavern Singers, Tanya Doody, Neal Fryett, Tetsushi Higashino, Doug Jarvis, Arthur & Marilouise Kroker, Christian Kuras & Ben Tanner, Christian Kuras & Duncan MacKenzie, David LaRiviere, Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman, Urich Lau, Deirdre Logue & Allyson Mitchell, Susan MacWilliam, Ingrid Mary Percy, M.E.D.I.U.M., Steven Rayner, Janet Marie Rogers & Alex Jacobs, Scott Rogers, Second Front, Nathan Shafer, Cara-Ann Simpson, Jason Tentor, Jennifer Willet & Kira O'Reilly.

In Praise of Nonsense

Hiebert, T. (2012) In Praise Nonsense: Aesthetics, Uncertainty & Postmodern Identity. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. 236 pages. | View book: | pdf download

In Praise of Nonsense explores the possibilities and parameters of a postmodern imagination freed from the philosophical responsibilities of fiction, fact, and replication of lived experience. Mobilizing an array of scholars and contemporary artists, this study examines postmodern thinking through the lenses of identity and visual culture. Speculative, critical, and always creative in its approach, In Praise of Nonsense focuses on theories of disappearance, irony, and nonsense, where the pleasures of the imaginary give rise to artistic inspiration. When truth is unhinged, so is falsity, and all artistic thinking is called into question. The book takes on the ambitious project of holding postmodernism accountable for its own conclusions while also considering how those conclusions might still be given philosophical and artistic form.