Uncertainty Seminars

Multispecies Miscommunication

Saturday 29 February 2020, 15:30 - 20:00 hrs
(walk in: 15:00 hrs)
Location: Stroom, Hogewal 1-9, The Hague
Language spoken: English
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Tickets:  € 7,50 presale via Eventbrite/ € 10,- at the door (incl. small meal)

For a notorious experiment conducted in the 1960s, NASA moved three of the stars of the television show Flipper (Sissy, Pamela, and Peter) to a research laboratory on the Caribbean. Their young researcher Margaret Lowe Howell moved into the facilities full-time to teach the pre-pubescent bottle nose dolphin Peter to speak English. Twice daily, she conducted lessons to teach him to enunciate the phrase ‘hello Margaret'. The ‘m' sound proved incredibly difficult for Peter, and the experiment was soon defunded. Research priorities have since shifted to focus on the complexity of other species' own means of communicating, rather than teaching them English.

This edition of Uncertainty Seminars deals with the theme of Multispecies Miscommunication'. Since the attempts to make celebrity dolphins part of the anglosphere, artists and scientists have found numerous ways to approach nonhuman communication: from having sheep play Shakespeare, creating a language for the future inhabitants of Mars, to analyzing the language of fossils from eras other than the Anthropocene. How can experimental practices show us different ways to live in a multispecies environment?

Multispecies Miscommunication continues the research Stroom undertakes under the umbrella term of De Dingen, launched in 2018, on the changing hierarchies between animals, plants, machines, humans, others, and things.

Uncertainty Seminars are hybrid events at Stroom Den Haag, embracing doubt and hesitation as cultural strategy.

Curated by: Lua Vollaard.
Graphic and spatial design: The Rodina

Special thanks to:
The Uncertainty Seminars are made possible by the generous support of the Mondriaan Fund and The City of The Hague.

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Uncertainty Seminars
photo: design: The Rodina