Cite as: Alison Sperling, Introduction to the discussion Art of Encounter: On Non-Human Art Production, ICI Berlin, 20 January 2020, video recording, mp4, 05:25 <>
20 Jan 2020


By Alison Sperling
Alison Sperling received her Ph.D. in literature and cultural theory in 2017. She researches weird American 20th and 21st century literature, the Anthropocene, and feminist and queer theory. She is currently working on her first book manuscript Weird Modernisms.


ICI Berlin
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Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:05:25
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Discussion

Art of Encounter: On Non-Human Art Production

A vast set of associations surrounds both popular and academic ideas of what art actually entails. Art is assumed to be expression, experience, and intention — and often at the same time. Intentionis a difficult concept; it might feel conscious, rational, or substantiated, but is that really the case? The human mind is a notoriously unreliable piece of equipment and hardly capable of understanding its own intentions. In order to discard the assumptions that one has to be conscious to make art, one could hark back to surrealism and place art in the domain of the sub- or un-conscience. But then what’s to keep us from stretching things a little bit further, proclaiming non-human natural entities to be capable of art, of authorship?

This event stems from the research project and exhibition ‘Reading by Osmosis’ (Amsterdam, Zone2Source/Het Glazen Huis, 16 February – 28 April 2019, curated by Semâ Bekirović), focusing on artworks made by non-human artists — by animals, trees, the wind, and other entities and processes. Bekirović’s project focuses in particular on works that are inspired by the human domain, or deploy humans or man-made objects as tools and material and has resulted in the book Reading by Osmosis – Nature Interprets Us.

After a short presentation of Bekirović’s project, the evening will begin with a lecture by Michael Marder.

The lecture will be followed by a discussion with ICI Fellows Daniel Liu and Alison Sperling on the possibility and consequences of non-human art production.


ICI Berlin
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Semâ Bekirović
Daniel Liu
Alison Sperling
Michael Marder

Organized by

Semâ Bekirović
ICI Berlin
In cooperation with the ZK/U, supported by Mondriaan Fund