Online Seminar: Postnatural Ecologies
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Led by Madrid-based Institute for Postnatural Studies (IPS), this interactive seminar series is an introduction to the concept of ‘postnature’; a theoretical framework for understanding and engaging with contemporary ecologies and discourse. The seminar’s two sessions will focus overall on postnature as a framework enabling contemporary creation.

The first session is led by artist, researcher, and IPS co-founder Gabriel Alonso, delving into the genealogies of the postnatural, looking at how modes of thinking across time have shaped the human relationship to the ‘natural world’, from nature/culture binaries to the foregrounding of theories of symbiosis and cohabitation. Through a journey visualising territories, materials, artworks and philosophical references, we will come to identify today’s ecological crises together. The session will then become a conversational platform wherein we share individual perspectives and raise questions that might expand our understanding of the postnatural.

The second session, led by artist and fellow IPS co-founder Yuri Tuma will look closely at Acoustic Ecologies as an aspect of postnature. We will treat this subject as a resource that moves us away from the supremacy of the visual, enabling us to embrace listening practices for building sensitivity towards “otherness” and inhabiting ecological crises. Our shared exercises shall explore the differences between ‘hearing’ and ‘active listening’ through writing, vocalisations, readings and sound. 

Session timings:

Saturday 28 October –  3:00-5:30 pm Dubai / 1:00-3:30 pm Madrid

Saturday 18 November –  3:00-5:30 pm Dubai / 1:00-3:30 pm Madrid

Both sessions shall require preliminary reading and short exercises in preparation. To get the most out of the program, registered participants are encouraged to attend both sessions. Limited seats are available. Free to participate. 

While the program will be run fully in English, participants may engage with the proposed exercises in the languages of their choice.

The Institute for Postnatural Studies is a centre for artistic experimentation from which to explore and problematise postnature as a framework for contemporary creation. Founded in 2020, it is conceived as a platform for critical thinking, a network that brings together artists and researchers concerned about the issues of the global ecological crisis through experimental formats of exchange and the production of open knowledge. From a multidisciplinary approach, the Institute develops long-term research focused on issues such as ecology, coexistence, politics, and territories. These lines of investigation take different shapes and formats, including seminars, exhibitions, and residencies as spaces for academic and artistic experimentation. The Institute for Postnatural Studies works at the intersection between Spain and international practices and debates. From its headquarters in Madrid, a 300m² warehouse with a workshop, residency spaces, and shared workspaces, it invites artists, researchers, and cultural agents to create dialogues with alumni and the broader public. In parallel, the Institute has created the publishing platform Cthulhu Books.

Based and born in Madrid, Gabriel Alonso is a visual artist and researcher formed between the ETSAM (Madrid), the Technische Universität (Berlin), and Columbia University in New York at the MS-CCCP, where he graduated with honours with his research thesis An Archaeology of Containment. In his works, through various formats such as installation, sculpture, photography, or video, he investigates contemporary relationships between fiction and materiality, in order to blur binomials between the natural and the artificial, the human and the non-human, understanding nature as a complex cultural construct. Represented by Pradiauto Gallery (Madrid), his work has been exhibited in different galleries and international exhibitions across Spain, the United States, Belgium and Germany, among others. He has taught as faculty member in US and Spanish universities, alongside an active trajectory of lectures, talks and workshops in different international institutions. Since 2016, Gabriel has received multiple research and publication awards and in 2020 he founded the Institute for Postnatural Studies. In parallel to his academic experimentation, research and curatorial practice, he develops an editorial practice through the platform Cthulhu books.

Yuri Tuma is a multidisciplinary Brazilian artist living in Madrid who focuses on the investigation of contemporary narratives related to sonic ecologies through sound art, installation, and performance as a way to address and reevaluate the human/animal binomial imposed by science and Western thinking. In early 2020, he co-founded the Institute for Postnatural Studies (IPS). In addition to academic programming and artistic direction, he coordinates the Institute’s publishing project, Cthulhu Books, to showcase the political potential of imagining new worlds and possible futures for the planet through academic and artistic research. Since 2021, additional to residencies and coordinating workshops around interspecies thinking and sound ecologies, Tuma has worked with educational and mediation programs at Spanish institutions including Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Matadero, La Casa Encendida, INLAND, among others. 



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