How can a consideration of “weeds”–plants that are designated as undesirable, and marked for eradication–help us speak about a variety of pressing political and ecological issues? How does the resilience of nonhuman beings, living in our anthropogenic times make them flag bearers of a shared future? marisa prefer, Sreshta Rit Premnath and Radhika Subramaniam, all three of whom are engaged in art and education, presented perspectives on this subject and led a discussion with the audience.
marisa prefer works at the intersections of ecology, environmental justice and stewardship, drawing from alternative pedagogies, deep observation and ancestral wisdom in experiments that cultivate care among multi-species communities. As a land-based practitioner and educator, marisa has partnered with artists and organizers at spaces such as Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Earth Matter, The High Line, the New York Hall of Science, Pioneer Works, Red Hook Initiative, Socrates Sculpture Park and Vera List Center for Art and Politics among others.
Radhika Subramaniam is a curator and writer with an interdisciplinary practice through which she explores the poetics and politics of crises and surprises, particularly cities and crowds, cultures of catastrophe, migration and mobilities, walking, art, and human-nonhuman relationships. She is Associate Professor of Visual Culture at Parsons School of Design/The New School where she was also the first Director/Chief Curator of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (SJDC) from 2009-2017. Previously, she was Director of Cultural Programs at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the founding executive editor of an interdisciplinary journal, Connect: Art. Politics.Theory.Practice, published by Arts International.
Sreshta Rit Premnath is an artist and founding-editor of Shifter Magazine. His recent installations and videos have explored the interdependent relationship between human bodies and architectural structures. He is particularly interested in how our occupation of space and endurance over time is shaped by systems of power and control. Premnath has presented solo exhibitions at venues including the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, the Institute of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, and Nomas Foundation in Rome, among others. Premnath is Associate Professor of Art at Williams College.
The event is funded in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Ruth Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts.