Stefanie Hessler

Stefanie Hessler is Director of Kunsthall Trondheim in Norway and editor and curator of the exhibition Sex Ecologies, together with Katja Aglert, artist and Professor of Art in the Gender Studies Department at Linköping University and Artistic Leader of the Seed Box in Sweden; the team of Kunsthall Trondheim (Prerna Bishnoi, Carl Martin Faurby, Katrine Elise Pedersen, and Kaja Waagen); and RAW Material Company in Senegal. Hessler curated the 17th MOMENTA Biennale in Montreal, 2021, and is the editor of Tidalectics and Prospecting Oceans, both published by the MIT Press.

  • Agnieszka Kurant

    Agnieszka Kurant

    Collective Intelligence

    Stefanie Hessler and Jenny Jaskey

    Newly commissioned texts on the phenomenon of collective intelligence and the work of the artist Agnieszka Kurant by Anselm Franke, Caroline A. Jones, Franco (Bifo) Berardi, and others.

    Agnieszka Kurant: Collective Intelligence explores the artist's work over the last ten years, examining her interdisciplinary practice, which focuses on collective intelligence—a phenomenon observed in bacteria, animals, social movements, internet, cities, and inside our brains—where novel forms emerge in unpredictable ways out of interactions among thousands of elements or agents in a complex system.

    This book brings together newly commissioned texts by some of the most renowned thinkers in their fields: curator and writer Anselm Franke, art historian Caroline A. Jones, media theorists Jussi Parikka and Matteo Pasquinelli, anthropologists Stefan Helmreich and Tobias Rees, philosophers Rosi Braidotti, Franco (Bifo) Berardi, Manuel Delanda, and Yuk Hui, science writer Philip Ball, writers Elvia Wilk and Esther Leslie, science fiction writer Ted Chiang, and many others.

    Contributors

    Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Monika Bakke, Franco Bifo Berrardi, Rosi Braidotti, Nicolas Bourriaud, Philip Ball, Shumon Basar, Ted Chiang, Manuel De Landa, Diedrich Diederichsen, Anselm Franke, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Graham Harman, Stefan Helmreich, Yuk Hui, Caroline Jones, Nora Khan, Esther Leslie, Matteo Pasquinelli, Jussi Parrika, Tobias Rees, Elvia Wilk

    Copublished with the Berggruen Institute

    • Hardcover $27.95
  • Sex Ecologies

    Sex Ecologies

    Stefanie Hessler

    Sex Ecologies explores pleasure, affect, and the powers of the erotic in the human and more-than-human worlds. Arguing for the positive and constructive role of sex in ecology and art practice, these texts and artistic research projects attempt nothing short of reclaiming the sexual from Western erotophobia and heteronormative narratives of nature and reproduction. The artists and writers set out to examine queer ecology through the lens of environmental humanities, investigating the fluid boundaries between bodies (both human and nonhuman), between binary conceptions of nature as separate from culture, and between disciplines.

    In newly commissioned texts from such writers as Mel Y. Chen and Jack Halberstam and a selection of influential essays—including an annotated version of Audre Lorde's “The Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power”—as well as images and sketches from works in progress by a diverse group of artists, Sex Ecologies combines insights from the fields of art, environmental humanities, ecofeminism, gender studies, science, technology, political science, and indigenous studies.

    Sex Ecologies, which accompanies an exhibition of the same name at Kunsthall Trondheim, emerges from an arts-driven research project collaboratively developed between the art center and the Seed Box environmental humanities collaboratory. Conceived not as a result but as a seed arising from this transdisciplinary fertilization, the volume presents a case for the role of sex in environmental and social justice.

    Contributors

    Katja Aglert,Tarsh Bates, adrienne maree brown, Mel Y. Chen, Pauline Doutreluingne, Léuli Eshrāghi, Jes Fan, Ibrahim Fazlic, Jack Halberstam, niilas helander, Stefanie Hessler, Jenny Hval, Anne Duk Hee Jordan, Jessie Kleemann, Audre Lorde, Nina Lykke, Montserrat Madariaga-Caro, Camila Marambio, Astrida Neimanis, Pedro Neves Marques, Okwui Okpokwasili, Marie Helene Pereira, Margrethe Pettersen, Laure Prouvost, Filipa Ramos, Catriona Sandilands, Sami Schalk, Serubiri Moses, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens, Kim TallBear, Anna Tje, Alberta Whittle, Victoria Wibeck, Elvia Wilk

    Copublished with Kunsthall Trondheim (Norway) and the Seed Box (Sweden)

    • Paperback $29.95
  • Prospecting Ocean

    Prospecting Ocean

    Stefanie Hessler

    Investigating the entanglement of industry, politics, culture, and economics at the frontier of ocean excavations through an innovative union of art and science.

    The oceans are crucial to the planet's well-being. They help regulate the global carbon cycle, support the resilience of ecosystems, and provide livelihoods for communities. The oceans as guardians of planetary health are threatened by many forces, including growing extractivist practices. Through the innovative lens of artistic research, Prospecting Ocean investigates the entanglement of industry, politics, culture, and economics at the frontier of ocean excavation. The result is a richly illustrated study that unites science and art to examine the ecological, cultural, philosophical, and aesthetic reverberations of this current threat to the oceans.

    Prospecting Oceans takes as its starting point an exhibition by the photographer and filmmaker Armin Linke, which was commissioned by TBA21–Academy, London, and first shown at the Institute of Marine Science (CNR-ISMAR) in Venice. Linke is concerned with making the invisible visible, and here he unmasks the technologies that enable extractions from the ocean, including future seabed mining for minerals and sampling of genetic data. But the book extends far beyond Linke's research, presenting the latest research from a variety of fields and employing art as the place where disciplines can converge. Integrating the work of artists with scientific, theoretical, and philosophical analysis, Prospecting Ocean demonstrates that visual culture offers new and urgent perspectives on ecological crises.

    • Paperback $29.95
  • Tidalectics

    Tidalectics

    Imagining an Oceanic Worldview through Art and Science

    Stefanie Hessler

    Essays, research, and art projects that formulate a Tidalectic worldview, addressing our most threatened ecosystem: the oceans.

    The oceans cover two-thirds of the planet, shaping human history and culture, home to countless species. Yet we, as mostly land-dwelling humans, often fail to grasp the importance of these vast bodies of water. Climate change destabilizes notions of land-based embeddedness, collapses tropes of time and space, and turns our future more oceanic. Tidalectics imagines an oceanic worldview, with essays, research, and artists' projects that present a different way of engaging with our hydrosphere. Unbound by land-based modes of thinking and living, the essays and research in Tidalectics reflect the rhythmic fluidity of water. 

    Tidalectics emerges from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21)–Academy, the only Western arts organization entirely dedicated to work on climate change and the oceans. In 2016, TBA21–Academy became the first cultural organization to gain UN observer status at the International Seabed Authority Assembly. The book presents newly commissioned work from a range of disciplines and often-neglected perspectives, alongside classic “anchor texts” by such writers as Rachel Carson. The contributors include an anthropologist from Fiji, a Norwegian scholar who specializes in maritime legal history, the author of the first comparative history of Caribbean and Pacific Island literatures, and a poet from Barbados who coined the term “tidalectics” as a play on “dialectics.” The art projects documented in the book form part of an exhibition curated by the volume's editor, and include a video of the infinite whites, blues, and grays of Antarctica; a collection of oceanic smells from the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica; and a quartz submersible capsule designed to communicate with cetaceans. Tidalectics provides a unique collection of the strongest voices in oceanic thinking, bridging arts, oceanography, history, law, and environmental studies.

    With contributions byNabil Ahmed, Tamatoa Bambridge, Kamau Brathwaite, Guigone Camus, Rachel Carson, Cynthia Chou, Paul D'Arcy, Tony deBrum, Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Keller Easterling, Bill Graham, Francesca von Habsburg, Stefan Helmreich, Stefanie Hessler, Cresantia Frances Koya Vaka'uta, Rosiana Lagi, Stéphanie Leyronas, Chus Martínez, Astrida Neimanis, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Markus Reymann, Philip E. Steinberg, Khal Torabully, Lingikoni Vaka'uta, Davor Vidas, Susanne M. Winterling

    Artists surveyed in the bookAtif Akin, Darren Almond, Julian Charrière, Em'kal Eyongakpa, Tue Greenfort, Ariel Guzik, Newell Harry, Alexander Lee, Eduardo Navarro, Sissel Tolaas, Janaina Tschäpe & David Gruber, Jana Winderen, Susanne M. Winterling

    Copublished with TBA21-Academy, London

    • Hardcover $34.95

Contributor

  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

    Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

    The Commissions Book

    Daniela Zyman and Eva Ebersberger

    A massive anthology of texts, visual material, and research on TBA21's commissions and the foundation's vast collection of over 700 artworks.

    "What survives after the artwork?" asks curator and researcher Natasha Ginwala in one of the essays in Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary: The Commissions Book, a new and comprehensive publication by the art foundation Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), founded by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza in Vienna, Austria, in 2002. "The artwork is not just the thing in itself, but also the metaphysical infrastructure and unfinished relationships that produce it," Ginwala writes. In that sense, this anthology of texts, visual material, and research on TBA21's commissions and the foundation's vast collection of over 700 artworks serves as vivid testimony to the processes and relationships that enabled them.

    In more than 1,300 pages, The Commissions Book engages with more than 100 works of art, proposing a speculative topography that organizes and weaves together sequences of potential narratives and interrogations along with close examinations of different works of art and a collective archive of images. The stories embedded in these works, as well as in TBA21 and TBA21-Academy's practice--an itinerant site of transdisciplinary research and cultural production engaging with the oceans--is a story of making new connections, or rather creating interconnections. Bringing together visual and written material from TBA21's commissioning practice and vast history of exhibitions and live events, The Commissions Book also goes beyond the foundation's archives to present new works and commissions by Cecilia Bengolea, Claudia Comte, SUPERFLEX, and Territorial Agency, amongst many others. New essays by Natasha Ginwala's and such transdisciplinary feminist thinkers as Astrida Neimanis and Eva Hayward transcend individual artistic positions and ask questions that lie at the core of TBA21's program.

    • Hardcover $35.95