“What Viruses Know About Politics?” | Filipa Ramos

26 January 2021 5pm - 7pm


In 2014, social theorist Brian Massumi authored What Animals Teach Us About Politics?, “an extended thought experiment in what an animal politics can be”. Seven years later, humanity’s belonging to the natural realm has never been so asserted, as human-induced climate change renders the entanglement of causes and consequences even more visible and epidemics expose how intimate are the transactions that continuously take place across different life forms. If the logic of “us” [humans] learning from “them” [animals] needs to be questioned alongside other extractivist legitimisations, it may also be time to widen the reflection on other-than-human politics to understand what other politics and ethics can living and non-living beings shatter, inaugurate and reveal. In this talk, I will explore the possibilities and limits of viral political wisdom and discuss what they disclose of our present and near future.

— Filipa Ramos

Filipa Ramos is a Lisbon-born writer and lecturer based in London. She is interested in thinking with animals and beyond disciplines. She is Curator of Art Basel Film and co-curator of “Bodies of Water”, the 13th Shanghai Biennale (2021). She co-founded and co-curates Vdrome, a programme of screenings of artists’ films. She is Lecturer at the MRes Art at Central Saint Martins, London, and the Master Programme of the Arts Institute, Basel. She was Editor in Chief of art-agenda, Associate Editor of Manifesta Journal and contributed for Documenta 13 (2012) and 14 (2017). She edited Animals (Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, 2016) and curated the group exhibition “Animalesque” (Bildmuseet Umeå, Summer 2019 / BALTIC, Gateshead, Winter 2019/20). She curates the ongoing festival The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish with Lucia Pietroiusti for the Serpentine Galleries, London.

This lecture is presented in partnership with the MVS Proseminar at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto.

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