Deep Histories Fragile Memories
LUCA School of Arts Brussels
Middelheim Museum Antwerp Symposium and Fieldguides Gathering
Nov 8-9, 2022

Symposium and Fieldguides Gathering
Nov 8-9, 2022

Participants: Kate Briggs, Paco Calvo, Alexandra Crouwers, Lukas De Clerck, Sepideh Karami, Laurens Dhaenens, Wendy Morris, Nele Möller, Rachel O’Donnell, Renée Turner, Catalina Valdez, Els Viaene

Venue: LUCA School of Arts Brussels and Middelheim Museum Antwerp

Rooted Encounters: Fields, Forests and Other Imaginings
Ecologies of Artistic Research

Deep Histories Fragile Memories research group organizes a symposium on pluralist entanglements of artistic thinking with other research ecologies and considers art’s potential for making a stand within current challenges. Thinking along with philosophies of plant biology, with feminist critiques of biotechnology, colonialism, and science, with histories of plants out of place, with bark beetles and bitter roots, we explore the collaborative possibilities of ambulatory libraries, storytelling-as-method, and ecologies of listening.

Please register by November 7

Registration here



Symposium / Rooted Encounters

Nov 8, 2022
Luca School of Arts, Brussels

Morning Session / Talks:

09h Reception/coffee

09h15 – 10h Alexandra Crouwers

10h – 10h45 Sepideh Karami


11h15 -12h Kate Briggs

12h – 12h45 Renée Turner


Afternoon Session / Keynotes

14h – 15h Paco Calvo / Planta Sapiens: how to bridge the gap between plant science and the arts

15h – 16h Rachel O’Donnell / The Politics of Natural Knowing: Plant-Based Contraceptives in Highland Guatemala


16h30 – 17h30 Catalina Valdez / Perspectives on and from the third landscape

Gathering / Ambulatory Libraries

Nov 9, 2022
Braem Pavilion, Middelheim Museum, Antwerp

10h reception/coffee

10h15 – 12h45

Fieldguides for a Preternaturalist / Wendy Morris

Windmaker / Lukas De Clerck and the aulos

Apacina. A Contemporary Herbal and Ambiguous Tale / Polyvocal Reading of Fieldguide #2 / Rachel O’Donnell, Orlando Preternaturalist and Fifteen Voices.

13h – 14h Lunch

14h – 15h

Hysteries and Visitations: Plant of the Damned / Walk

15h – 17h

Whispers of Wind / Ecologies of listening with Els Viaene and Nele Möller.​

Rooted Encounters’ who’s who

Alexandra Crouwers

Alexandra Crouwers is an artistic doctoral researcher and visual artist at KU Leuven and LUCA. In her overwhelmingly digital practice she works with experimental animation, virtual models, text, and audio to explore ecological collapse, ecological grief, and regeneration in relation to a former forest – a clear-cut plot of family-owned land in The Netherlands. Alexandra lives and works in Antwerp.


Sepideh Karami

Sepideh Karami is an architect, writer, teacher and researcher with a PhD in Architecture. She completed her architecture education at Iran University of Science and Technology, and at Chalmers University in Sweden. She works through artistic research, experimental methods and interdisciplinary approaches at the intersection of architecture, performing arts, literature and geology, with the ethos of decolonization, minor politics and criticality from within. Sepideh is lecturer at Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.


Kate Briggs

Kate Briggs is a writer based in Rotterdam. She is the translator of two volumes of Roland Barthes’s lecture notes at the Collège de France, The Preparation for the Novel (2011) and How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces (2013), and co-translator of Michel Foucault’s Introduction to Kant’s Anthropology (2008). Her 2017 book, This Little Art, is at once a memoir, a treatise and a history and offers an account of the nature and stakes of translation. She is currently working on a novel-essay entitled The Long Form. Kate is a recipient of the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize.


Renée Turner

Renée Turner (US/The Netherlands) is an artistic doctoral researcher at LUCA and Leuven University, and educator at Rotterdam Arts and Science Lab. As a Fellow at V2 Lab for Unstable Media in Rotterdam, Turner explores a range of topics from AI to natural intelligence through a slow reading approach. In the context of the research cluster deep histories fragile memories, she proposes a close reading of her urban garden to excavate stories, history, and knowledge embedded within a relatively few meters of soil.


Paco Calvo

Paco Calvo is a Professor of Philosophy of Science, and Principal Investigator of MINTLab (Minimal Intelligence Lab) at the University of Murcia (Spain). His research interests range broadly within the cognitive sciences, with special emphasis on ecological psychology, embodied cognitive science, and plant intelligence. In his research at MINTLab, he studies the ecological basis of plant intelligence by conducting experimental studies at the intersection of plant neurobiology and ecological psychology.


Rachel O’Donnell

Rachel O’Donnell is Assistant Professor in the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program and the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies programs at the University of Rochester. With a background in Political Science, International Development, and Latin American Studies, Rachel’s writing and teaching have been focused on global feminist politics and Central America. Currently, her work investigates the history and political economy of bioprospecting in the region. Her research in writing studies has been about academic labor, social reproduction theory, and political consciousness.


Catalina Valdés

Catalina Valdés holds a PhD in art history (EHESS/UNSAM), works as a lecturer, curator and independent researcher. In her work she explores the intersection between art history and the history of the natural sciences, focusing on the visual and material culture of Chile and Latin America from the 19th century to the present. One of her main subjects of study is the visual representations of nature, which she approaches from a materialist, artistic and socio-environmental perspective.


Wendy Morris

Wendy Morris is an artist and professor at KU Leuven and LUCA and founder of the research group dhfm. Wendy is working on the project Nothing of Importance Occurred: Recuperating a Herball for a 17th century Enslaved Angolan Midwife at the Cape. Through an examination of European, African and Asian histories of plant contraceptives she is exploring bodies of knowledge that would have flowed to the settlement at the Cape in the 17th century and informed the practice of a midwife in the Slave Lodge. She works through forms of Travel gues, polyvocal Herballs, Audio-Eeries, Duets, across the Atlantic, Clandestine Radioworks, and Fieldguides.


Lukas De Clerck

Lukas De Clerck lives and works in Brussels. His artistic practice is currently centered around the Aulos, an ancient-Greek double reeded double pipe that got extinct more than a millennium ago. Inevitably auto-didact, he tries to imagine different improvised sound worlds. Furthermore, he likes to work with recognizable, almost everyday sound production, like gargling, whistling and sneezing. Throughout De Clerck’s work, a tension between the extra- and the ordinary prevails.


Els Viaene

Els Viaene started her work as a sound artist/field recordist in 2001. With a set-up of two small microphones, she listens, zooms into and enlarges the aural landscapes surrounding us. The natural rhythms and textures of the sounds hidden in those landscapes form the basis of her work. Working on these sound materials for performances, sound compositions or installations, she makes the listeners travel in imaginary and organic environments. Through the specific use and set-up of sound within a space, her installations create new spaces within existing ones, either emphasizing or making disappear the physical borders of that space. In doing so, she often plays with the notions of seeing and hearing, the perception of what we see and hear and how both interfere.


Nele Möller

Nele Möller is a Brussels-based artistic researcher working primarily in sound, video, performance, and writing. Her research-based practice focuses on forest conversations, historical nature inscriptions, and listening practices. She completed her Master of Fine Arts at HFBK Hamburg in 2020 and is currently working towards a PhD in the Arts under the title “The Forest Echoes Back” at the University of Leuven and LUCA School of Arts Brussels.


Laurens Dhaenens

Laurens Dhaenens is a lecturer at LUCA School of Arts and a postdoctoral research fellow of the Flemish Research Foundation – FWO at the University of Leuven. His research is situated in the fields of exhibition studies, global art history and digital humanities, and focuses on the circulation of artists, artworks and texts since the nineteenth century. He is an expert in art from South America and made several modern and contemporary art exhibitions, such as Transatlantic Modernisms: Belgium-Argentina 1910-1958 (Mu.Zee 2022) en Henrique Alvim Correa and 10 Contemporary Artists (Pinacoteca de Sao Paulo 2021-2022).