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Stuart Hall Library Research Network: More-than-Human Care

Talk Research Network: Ecological Sci-fi Stephanie Moran and Keiken

18 Feb 2020
  • Address

    Red Room,
    Chelsea College of Arts, 45 Millbank, SW1P 4RQ

  • Time


  • Admission

    Booking required.
    £3 (booking fee applies)

Scientists have been incorporating more and more attributes based on animal perception and behaviour into media, a process that has been intensifying since the beginnings of Modernism, from steam engines to AI (Lippit, 2000; Parikka, 2010). If we are already cyborg, we are also already interspecies cyborgs, albeit in anthropocentrically instrumentalised, alienated form. As artist Jennet Thomas’ dystopian sci-fi film proposes, “The category ‘human’ is falling apart…” (Animal Condensed>>Animal Expanded#2).

Stephanie’s PhD research considers how an understanding of what it is to be human might be altered by reversing the technologised relationship: to think about ourselves as part of a shared ecosystem and to consider the embodied experiences of other species that share our world but inhabit very different experience-worlds. It aims do this through group storytelling from animals’ perspectives, addressing the problem of what may be translatable, communicable, or imaginable beyond the human.

This presentation, followed by a conversation with Keiken colllective, will discuss Stephanie’s research for ecological science-fiction group storytelling, drawing on her knowledge and experience of the Stuart Hall Library collection. It will be framed by Sylvia Wynter’s decolonial ecological thought, and her use of Gregory Bateson’s ‘descriptive statement’ of the human.


Stephanie Moran is an artist and researcher, studying for a 3D3-funded PhD with Plymouth University’s interdisciplinary digital research group, Transtechnology Research. Stephanie is also an Associate Partner at design and tech research agency Etic Lab. She is currently experimenting with the use of interspecies bots, algorithmically-generated scripts, nonlinear hypertext, and computational modeling from the animals’ perspective. Her avatar, @alien_ontology is an interspecies Twitter bot currently trying to be a bat.

Recent papers presented include KRAKEN?: AI, Octopuses and Alien Intelligence for Goldsmiths, Visual Cultures department; Alien Holobiontology for Digital Ecologies II: Fiction Machines conference at Bath Spa University; Visual Democratisation at EVA London 2019; Future Ghosts and Biosemiotic Chronotopes for Haunted Geologies symposium at the University of Plymouth 2019; and Coding the Digital Occult: the Binary [Techno]pagan and Vodun Ontologies of Cyberspace, for the Occulture conference, Berlin 2018.

Keiken, Japanese for experience, is a cross-dimensional collaborative practice based in London and Berlin and founded in 2015 by artists Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori, and Isabel Ramos. Through an intersection of moving-image, new media installation, virtual/augmented reality, and gamified performance they test-drive impending futures. Recent projects include Behind this Screen I am on the Real Earth for Transmediale, HKW, Berlin (2020), Feel(s) 360 for Image Behaviour at London’s ICA and Feel My Metaverse (with long-term collaborator George Jasper Stone) for Jerwood Art’s Collaborate!, London (2019) and Transmediale (2020). Keiken have shown work at IMPAKT Festival, Utrecht; LUX Moving Image; Space Art + Technology, London; MIRA Festival, Barcelona (2018); and Tate St Ives (2017).

Image: Storytelling Card Barberry Carpet, @alien_ontology avatar. ©Stephanie Moran, 2020.