Symposium Producers-Parasites-Hosts (VU, 4 October)

To round off Annabel Howland’s long-term project and to mark 10 years since the 2008 global financial crisis, a symposium is being held at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to respond to her installation in the main entrance hall (until 8 October).
Thurs. 4 October, 17:30-20:15. Doors open 17:15.
College zaal KC07, opposite the main entrance at VU Amsterdam,
1105 De Boelelaan,1081 HV Amsterdam

The event is free, but please register here.

P r o d u c e r s – P a r a s i t e s – H o s t s grew out of many conversations with scientists, bankers and economists over seven years. The symposium will expand upon these conversations. The installation in the central hall and corridor of VU’s main building comprises a montage of conversations played on headphones, drawings and text printed on translucent film mounted on the windows, photographs, plant roots, and more.

Speakers:
Toby Kiers University Research Chair and Professor of Mutualistic Interactions, VU Amsterdam. Investigates how cooperation between species evolves and persists. Her recent work focuses on trading in nature and how complex ‘biological markets’ can emerge among plants and their symbiotic fungi.
Albert Menkveld University Research Chair and Professor of Finance, VU Amsterdam. His research agenda focuses on securities trading, liquidity, asset pricing, and financial econometrics. He had exclusive access to the data for the 6 May 2010 Flash Crash.
Katja Kwastek Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, VU Amsterdam. Her research focuses on processual, digital and post-digital art, media history, theory and aesthetics, and the digital and environmental humanities. In 2004, she curated the first international exhibition and conference project on “Art and Wireless Communication”.
Alena Alexandrova Cultural theorist, independent curator. She teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and is currently writing a book titled Anarchic Infrastructures: Re-Casting the Archive, Displacing Chronologies. She is the author of Breaking Resemblance: The Role of Religious Motifs in Contemporary Art (Fordham University Press, 2017) and regularly contributes to art publications and catalogues.
Clare Butcher Art educator. She was an education Coordinator for documenta 14 and has taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, the Piet Zwart Institute’s Master of Education in Art, and the University of Cape Town. She has an MA in Curating, is an alumnus of De Appel Curatorial Programme and the author of the essay about P r o d u c e r s -P a r a s i t e s – H o s t s, ‘Do you read me? Really read me?’
Victor Caldas A biophysicist by training, Victor is a post-doctoral associate at VU Amsterdam/AMOLF researching foraging patterns and network connections of mycorrhizal hyphae. He is interested in biological imaging and machine learning.
Simon Ferdinando Artist, currently a PhD candidate at Liverpool John Moores University. His research examines work by Antonin Artaud and Francis Bacon derived from the work of Vincent van Gogh.
Tim Neutel Final year student in the Fine Arts department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam. He also studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and previously at Utrecht University, graduating with a BSc in Physics & Astronomy.
Renée Ridgway Artist, curator, educator. She is currently a PhD candidate at Copenhagen Business School’s department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, a research affiliate at Leuphana University’s Digital Cultures Research Lab and a fellow at CAIS (Center for Advanced Internet Studies) in Bochum. Her current research investigates the historical and organisational implications of search engines in a digital society.

Moderator: Tony Curzon Price Economics adviser to the UK Government. He was editor-in-chief of openDemocracy, where he is on the board, and before that ran a maths start-up in Silicon Valley. His academic work was in game theory and market design.

Annabel Howland’s artistic research weaves a speculative web connecting art, science and finance. In her ongoing project P r o d u c e r s -P a r a s i t e s – H o s t s, such themes as cheating and cooperation, transparency and instability, profit and loss, intermingle with stories of microbial cooperation, dark pools and human debt. The multimedia presentation at VU during GET LOST – art route concludes this phase in her research. The installation in the central hall and corridor of VU’s main building comprises a montage of conversations played on headphones, drawings and text printed on translucent film mounted on the windows, photographs, plant roots, and more. Prompted by the consequences of the 2008 global financial crisis, Annabel Howland launched this research-based art project in 2012. These conversations have given rise to a multitude of forms presented over recent years in various contexts. Throughout P r o d u c e r s -P a r a s i t e s – H o s t s, Howland has followed closely research by VU Professor of Mutualistic Interactions, Toby Kiers. Kiers has drawn on economics models for her research into the trade in nutrients between plants and fungi in the soil. Howland broadened this conversation by engaging with VU Professor of Finance, Albert Menkveld, around his work on flash crashes and robotic trading. Tony Curzon Price has been a valuable interlocutor throughout this project.

Images of the installation and the accompanying audio can be viewed and heard here.

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