Timothy Morton, M.C. Schmidt & Jennifer Walshe in conversation with Arie Altena
Timothy Morton is Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University. He has collaborated with Björk, Jeff Bridges, Olafur Eliasson, Haim Steinbach and Pharrell Williams. He is the author of Being Ecological (2018), Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People (2017), Dark Ecology (2016), Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism (2015), Hyperobjects (2013), Realist Magic (2013), The Ecological Thought (2010), Ecology without Nature (2007), eight other books and 200 essays on philosophy, ecology, literature, music, art, architecture, design and food. He also co-wrote and appears in Living in the Future’s Past, a film about global warming with Jeff Bridges. In 2014, Morton gave the Wellek Lectures in Theory at the University of California. His concept of ‘dark ecology’ inspired a three-year art, research and commissioning project initiated by Sonic Acts and Hilde Methi in Norway and Russia (2014 – 16).
‘The most original compositional voice to emerge from Ireland in the past 20 years’ (The Irish Times) and ‘Wild girl of Darmstadt’ (Frankfurter Rundschau), composer and performer Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin, Ireland. Her music has been commissioned, broadcasted and performed all over the world. She has been the recipient of fellowships and prizes from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York, the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm, the Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt, and Akademie Schloss Solitude among others. Recent projects include Aisteach, a fictional history of avant-garde music in Ireland, and EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT, a work for voice, string quartet and film, commissioned by the Arditti Quartet, which has been touring to critical acclaim.
M. C. Schmidt is a sound artist, video artist and member of the band Matmos (with tenuously legal husband Dr. Drew Daniel) which has enjoyed making albums and/or sharing the stage with Zeena Parkins, Robert Wilson, Anohni, Björk, Dan Deacon, So Percussion, Marshall Allen, the Kronos Quartet, Francois Bayle, snails, oatmeal and so many other people and things. He enjoys sound synthesis, digital and analogue, sampling sounds, reading out loud, playing percussion on unusual objects and the piano. At home in Baltimore, he works in a record shop, and is the president of The High Zero Foundation, a collective which presents festivals of traditional music, improvised music and electro-acoustic music as well as operating a small venue that runs year-round.
Arie Altena is an editor, writer and researcher who works in the field of art and technology. He is an editor at V2_in Rotterdam, and works and lives at Marci Panis in Amsterdam. As part of the Sonic Acts team, he co-organised Sonic Acts Festival (2004 – 15), the Kontraste festivals (2011 – 13), and co-curated the Dark Ecology project (2014 – 16). He is the author of Wat is community art? (2017) and he edited several Sonic Acts publications, such as The Poetics of Space (2010) and The Geologic Imagination (2015). His interviews with artists are published in the Sonic Acts publications, and he occasionally lectures at arts academies and universities. He is currently a member of the advisory board of the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the jury for the Witteveen+Bos-Art+Technology Award. He studied Literary Theory and has worked as an editor for a.o. Metropolis M, the Dutch magazine for contemporary art, and Mediamatic Magazine.