Courtesy of Timothy Morton.

We were pleased to bring prominent philosopher Dr. Timothy Morton to our audiences. Morton is one of the key proponents of Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO) and an influential thinker on contemporary art and its engagement with ecological issues. Their book, All Art is Ecological, postulates that a “haunting weirdness” is necessary for an artwork to be ecological. Backing this insight is their thinking in Dark Ecology, which traces the recursive logic born out of the development of agriculture, leading us to our current environmental tipping point. It is thinking such as this, leading to a radical understanding of the roots of our collective crisis, that may allow us to understand a path away from the precipice.

Dr. Morton’s lecture was part of a parallel program related to our current solo exhibition Rights of Passage by Lou Sheppard. Sheppard’s sonic and video installation embodied Morton’s “haunting” as sound and image reverberated, dragged, animated, and characterized the current ecology of navigable waters in Toronto. We invited Morton to speak on their research in order to build a critical frame around Sheppard’s work, identifying a radicality that eliminated a construction of nature as other and instead understood an ecology with the rights and needs of culture.

Together with Morton, we attempted to envision how the queering of our interdependence with our surroundings can be a form of ecology within and without nature.

 

Dr. Timothy Morton is Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University and Director of the Cool America Foundation. They have collaborated with Laurie Anderson, Björk, Jennifer Walshe, Hrafnhildur Arnadottir, Sabrina Scott, Adam McKay, Jeff Bridges, Olafur Eliasson, Pharrell Williams, and Justin Guariglia. Morton co-wrote and appears in Living in the Future’s Past, a 2018 film about global warming with Jeff Bridges and is author of the libretto for the opera Time Time Time by Jennifer Walshe. Morton has written All Art Is Ecological (Penguin, 2021), Spacecraft (Bloomsbury, 2021), Hyposubjects: On Becoming Human (Open Humanities, 2021), Being Ecological (Penguin, 2018), Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People (Verso, 2017), Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence (Columbia, 2016), Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism (Chicago, 2015), Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World (Minnesota, 2013), Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality (Open Humanities, 2013), The Ecological Thought (Harvard, 2010), Ecology without Nature (Harvard, 2007), 8 other books and 270 essays on philosophy, ecology, literature, music, art, architecture, design, and food. Morton’s work has been translated into 14 languages. In 2014 they gave the Wellek Lectures in Theory.

See also:

Rights of Passage LP

Rights of Passage LP
vinyl LP
Oct 2023

Lou Sheppard “Rights of Passage” Vinyl LP launch

Lou Sheppard “Rights of Passage” Vinyl LP launch
Launch and performance
28 Oct 2023

Timothy Morton: Haunting Weirdness

Timothy Morton: Haunting Weirdness
Online lecture
23 Nov 2022

Lou Sheppard in conversation with Michael Maranda

Lou Sheppard in conversation with Michael Maranda
Online conversation
8 Nov 2022

Reciprocal Landscapes: Jane Mah Hutton

Reciprocal Landscapes: Jane Mah Hutton
in-person lecture
25 Oct 2022

Streams~

Streams~
Nuit Blanche
1 Oct 2022

Do Rocks Listen?

Do Rocks Listen?
workshop
17 Sep 2022

Scores

Scores
Rights of Passage
Summer 2022

Film stills

Film stills
Rights of Passage
Summer 2022

Exhibition views

Exhibition views
Lou Sheppard
16 Sep – 3 Dec 2022

Opening night

Opening night
Lou Sheppard
16 Sep 2022

Lou Sheppard: Rights of Passage

Lou Sheppard: Rights of Passage
exhibition
16 Sep – 3 Dec 2022

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