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Adaptive cycle. from Lance H. Gunderson and C.S. Holling, Panarchy: Understanding transformations in systems of humans and nature (Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2002), adapted by Caroline Castro for Anthropocene Back Loop: Experiments in Unsafe Operating Space by Stephanie Wakefield (London: Open Humanities Press, 2020).

Date

April 30, 2021

Time

1:00 PM–2:30 PM PDT

Research

Infrastructure

Contributors

Location

Video Conference

As part of Christina Battle’s Fellowship with 221A, titled Imagining New Systems of Exchange, we invite you to a talk by Stephanie Wakefield. Throughout Christina’s fellowship, we have learned from Wakefield’s writing, especially their articulation of the Back Loop, a concept from ecology that describes the “phases of release and reorganisation, times of collapse, creative destruction and renewal” (1) that occur repeatedly across ecological systems. Considering our current moment, Wakefield reminds us that this is a time where we can “decid[e] for ourselves, locally and in diverse ways, where and how to inhabit the back loop.” (2

For this event, Wakefield will lead a conversation to help us think more deeply about infrastructures and the ways in which their reimagining might present an opportunity to consider crisis anew: “Exploring this crisis and its responses through the lens of infrastructure, I suggest, offers other possibilities for moving forward amidst the splinters of the present, not in order to merely survive or manage them, but to transcend and take hold of them in new and creative ways.” (3) 

1: Wakefield, Stephanie. “Inhabiting the Anthropocene Back Loop.” Resilience International Policies, Practices and Discourses, Volume 6, Issue 2 (2018): 1-18, 
2: Ibid.
3: Wakefield, Stephanie. “Infrastructures of liberal life: From modernity and progress to resilience and ruins.” Geography Compass, Volume12, Issue7 (July 2018): 1-14

Contributors

  • Christina Battle (Edmonton, Amiskwaciy Wâskahikan ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᕀ ᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ, Canada) holds a B.Sc. with specialization in Environmental Biology from the University of Alberta, a certificate in Film Studies from Ryerson University, an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and a PhD in Art & Visual Culture from the University of Western Ontario. Her research and artistic work consider the parameters of disaster; looking to it as action, as more than mere event and instead as a framework operating within larger systems of power. Through this research she imagines how disaster could be utilized as a tactic for social change and as a tool for reimagining how dominant systems might radically shift. She collaborates with Serena Lee as SHATTERED MOON ALLIANCE and has exhibited internationally in festivals and galleries as both artist and curator, most recently at: The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba (Brandon), The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Colorado), Latitude 53 (Edmonton), The John & Maggie Mitchell Gallery (Edmonton), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto),  Capture Photography Festival (Vancouver); Forum Expanded at the Berlinale (Berlin), Blackwood Gallery (Mississagua), Trinity Square Video (Toronto), Untitled Art Society (Calgary), 8-11 (Toronto), Nuit Blanche Toronto, Galveston Artist Residency (Texas); Studio XX (Montreal), Le Centre des arts actuels Skol as part of Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal (Montreal), Thames Art Gallery (Chatham, ON), Casa Maauad (Mexico City); and SOMArts (San Francisco).
  • Stephanie Wakefield is an educator and researcher specializing in human-environment relations, urban resilience and sustainability, and social-ecological systems thinking. Wakefield is currently Director and Assistant Professor of the Human Ecology program at Life University (Marietta, GA), and holds a PhD in Human Geography from the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at The City University of New York Graduate Center. Wakefield’s books include Anthropocene Back Loop: Experimentation in Unsafe Operating Space (Open Humanities Press) and Resilience in the Anthropocene: Governance and Politics at the End of the World (Routledge, co-edited with David Chandler and Kevin Grove).  They frequently publish articles in academic and cultural journals including Political Geography, Geography Compass, Geoforum, Environment and Planning E: Nature and Place, and e-flux architecture. Along with scholarly publication and teaching, Wakefield frequently works with government organizations, community groups, art institutions and non-profits to explore experimental sustainability planning and community resilience design.

Acknowledgements

Unceded Territory

221A acknowledges that the area called Vancouver is within the unceded Indigenous territories belonging to the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. 221A recognizes that the colony of British Columbia was created through organized dispossession and colonial violence. 221A seeks to shift its organizational practices to work together with Indigenous people to end ongoing violence, dispossession and displacement.