Our Loves Are Not Only Human – On Permaculture Networks, Atomic Blasts, Artificial Bodies & Bioplastics


Projects space Römerstrtaße
Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart
February 21 – March 29, 2020

The exhibition Our Loves Are Not Only Human is dedicated to selected digital projects that have been produced over the past two years in the context of the Web Residencies by Solitude & ZKM. Since 2016, the Akademie Schloss Solitude has been supporting artists, designers, technologists, hackers, and researchers who use the Internet as a production site and who practice innovative and alternative approaches in dealing with digital media, technologies, and topics. The aim is to promote the critical examination of digital culture, as well as the facets and effects of the digitalization of media, art, culture, and society. For the first time since the program has been established, various works by Web Residents will be transferred from their online presence to an offline exhibition.

The thematic calls for proposals of the last two years have addressed issues such as: What can we learn from machines and how much do we depend on them in our living and working environment? How can we use new technologies to tell stories about alternative (and especially non-Western and non-patriarchal) communities? How do new care technologies relate to the general crisis in care? With which technical innovations, hacks or open source strategies can we counter the causes and effects of climate change? Which new applications can serve to undermine power structures in today‘s network systems and organizations? The works presented in the exhibition Our Loves Are Not Only Human — On Permaculture Networks, Atomic Blasts, Artificial Bodies & Bioplastics deal with the topic of collective care and responsibility in society.

The participating artists Johanna Bruckner, Gary Zhexi Zhang & Agnes Cameron, Umber Majeed and Tiare Ribeaux stage a speculative future in which both human and non-human worlds are taken into account. The group exhibition raises awareness of community and inclusion experiences and encourages the building of new relationships. The assembled works show the need to develop alternative narratives and modes of action, and make use of different concepts: artists in the exhibition process ideas of speculative feminism, for example the artist Umber Majeed creates a speculative fiction about the feminist historicization of Pakistan as the first »Muslim nuclear state« and Johanna Bruckner developed nanotechnical, non-binary beings in a world characterized by molecularization and networking.

The Permaculture Network by Gary Zhexi Zhang & Agnes Cameron illustrates how a digital/ organic infrastructure can function as both an organic community intranet and a means of interacting with the environment. In addition, the project opens a conversation about ecological preservation and recuperation. Tiare Ribeaux drafts both an instruction manual and an aesthetic and mythological concept to rethink the material paradigms of plastic production in which we seem to be trapped. In the much quoted chapter ‘Playing String Figures with Companion Species’ Donna Haraway sums up: »We are all responsible to and for shaping conditions for multispecies flourishing in the face of terrible histories, and sometimes joyful histories too, but we are not response-able in the same ways. The differences matter – in ecologies, economies, species, lives.« [1]

The exhibition Our Loves Are Not Only Human shows artistic works in which the social and ethical dimensions of care between humans, non-humans, other species, and the world of things collide. Stimulating one’s own imagination, the focus is on the technology-based knotting, nurturing, restoring, acting, and criticizing of (im)material relationships.

Curated by Digital Solitude (Inga Seidler, Denise Helene Sumi and Sarie Nijboer)
Text by Denise Helene Sumi


View the projects online
Johanna Bruckner, »Molecular Sex, Synthetic Love and Quantum Bodies«
Gary Zhexi Zhang & Agnes Cameron, »Permacultural Network«
Umber Majeed, »In the Name of Hypersurface of the Present«
Tiare Ribeaux, »Bioplastics Cookbook for Ritual Healing«

  1. Jump Up Donna Haraway, Staying with the trouble. Making kin in the Chthulucene, 2016