Angela Anderson

Angela Anderson, North Dakota is on Fire, 2018.

Three (or more) Ecologies

A Feminist Articulation of Eco-Intersectionality

This project represents the most recent iteration of my ongoing research into the seemingly perpetual conflict between ‘labor’ and ‘nature’ in the context of industrial development. Central to my work is the question of value, and in particular the registers of value that fall out of or do not fit into capitalism’s system of “general[ized] equivalence” (Felix Guattari), in which every possible thing or relation is reduced to a monetary calculation. Of particular interest to me is the activation of the auto-poetic potential of audio-visual media, through associative and experimental montage, as a means of expressing affective registers that are difficult or impossible to articulate within the hegemonic patriarchal logics of austerity and efficiency, in turn within the constant speeding up of life under the banners of “growth” and “productivity”.

The title “Three (or more) Ecologies” refers to Felix Guattari’s short text in which he lays out what can be described as an intersectional mode of thinking ecology, namely as an “ethico-political articulation … between the three ecological registers (the environment, social relations and human subjectivity)”. Taking “The Three Ecologies” as a starting point, the audio-visual research project I will develop at Buechsenhausen attempts to bring together two seemingly disparate locations on the globe – the Dakotas in the US and Rojava in Northern Syria – where women are actively struggling against the patriarchal and earth-devouring machines of militarized extractive capital, and powerfully articulating the urgent need to recognize a different register (or registers) of value to the one currently offered by capitalism.

As the recent First Nations’ peaceful, women-led uprising on the Standing Rock Reservation, so powerfully demonstrated with the rallying cry “Mni wičoni”, or “water is life” in Lakota, the “environment” cannot be conceived separately from the formation of human subjectivity and our social organization. This sentiment is echoed in the on-the-ground experiments in stateless democracy rooted in feminist ecological sensibility happening in Rojava. It is no coincidence that both of these struggles have been met by an incredible amount of violence on the part of state and private forces driven largely by the interests and ideologies of extractive capital.

Through the creation of a multi-channel composition consisting of documentary footage, interview material, music, and text, my intention is to go far beyond merely representing an assumed reality or reporting on these particular topics. Through the conscious activation of the qualities and potentialities of aural and visual media as machines for creating worlds, my hope is to contribute towards feminist and post-human ethics that recognize the value of creative production and find strength in multiplicity, having as a goal, as Rosi Braidotti puts it, “the transformation of negative into positive passions“.*

Text: Angela Anderson

* Braidotti, Rosi: Affirming the Affirmative: On Nomadic Affectivity, Rhizomes 11/12 (Fall 2005/Spring 2006).

Angela ANDERSON is an artist and filmmaker working at the intersection of philosophy, ecology, economics, migration, media, and feminist & queer theory. Central to her work is an awareness of the intimate connection between media production, memory and apprehension, and the potential of audio-visual media to open up new lines of flight. She holds a BA in Economics and Latin American Studies from the University of Minnesota, an MA in Film and Media Studies from the New School (NYC) and is pursuing her PhD at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Originally from the northwoods of Wisconsin, USA, she lives and works in Berlin. Since 2013 Anderson has been collaborating with Angela Melitopoulos on the audio-visual research projects Unearthing Disaster, The Refrain (2015) and Crossings (2017), which was shown at documenta 14. In 2016 she produced her short film The Sea Between You and Me (2016) for the show Voice Outside the Echo Chamber curated by Katayoun Arian at Framer Framed (Amsterdam). Other recent exhibitions include Minnesota Street Project (San Francisco – 2017), Holbaek Images (2016) and the Thessaloniki Biennale (2015). Anderson is also the exhibition designer for Forum Expanded at the Berlin International Film Festival and has worked with many other artists and filmmakers on the realization of performative, filmic, and installation projects.