Ideas of kinship and genetic relatedness have a troubled history. They have acted as a spur to ethnic essentialism and violence; but are also central to groundbreaking investigations in sociology and anthropology – investigations that invite us to imagine new forms of friendship and solidarity by asking us to reconsider who, or what, we consider to be ‘family’.
During a day-long series of workshops, SSEA will explore the potential for unseen inter-species allegiances, mergings and cleavages, challenging the reductive binaries of mainstream Western biology. In doing so, SSEA also hope to build kinship and community amongst participants: enacting alternative forms of kinship with each other, and to re-imagine kinship with non-humans.
Blood is a metaphor for relatedness of a distinctive and often troubling kind – but blood also has its own history and poetics. The biome is a concept that scales radically, from microbial communities living in the gut, to entire assemblages of human, animal and plant ecosystems spanning regions and even continents. Blood and the biome – including tensions and congruences between them – will structure SSEA’s work throughout the day.
Throughout the day SSEA will interweave informal talks and presentations with practical workshops that bring together drawing, writing, sound and sculpture; seeking to find ways of integrating research and practice, making and thinking.
SSEA is a collaboration founded in 2016 between artists, academics in science and technology studies, and spiritual practitioners. SSEA’s long-term aim is to provide free, interdisciplinary education at the intersection of science studies, contemplative practice and the arts, grounded in an exploration of alternative forms of social organisation.
Miriam Austin, Jenny Bangham, Matt Drage, Ana María Gómez López, Paul Gwilliam, Boris Jardine, Lizzy Laurance, Al Page
41 Acre Lane, London SW2 5TN, UK