Gaia Season: A Body in the Form of a Planet celebrates Gaia theory and the influence of interdisciplinary biologist Lynn Margulis’ life and work.
Earth is a body in the form of a planet: a self-regulating organism sustaining life for the purposes of life. At the same time, the cell structures Margulis devoted her life to researching form our own world-skin: the dermal boundary that keeps us separate from, yet interrelated to, the planetary body and its multitude of species. As Margulis, Dorion Sagan and James Lovelock assert, we are not apart from Gaia but a planet in the form of a body.
Through creative approaches and practices, Gaia Season invites groups and individuals who are imagining our collective futures. From the microbial to the planetary, we look within to look out: to our bodies and the world, the universe in a declarative or a gesture.
Programmed by Susanna Davies-Crook and Sarah Shin.
Image: Bloom by Sammy Lee.
On this day of active research in the garden, artists, speakers and gardeners lead journeys and enquiries into organisms, slime trails and compost, and expanded ways of looking at life.
Knee-deep in swamps and water, pulling up clumps of mud and silt, Margulis studied the microbial in order to understand Gaia as a whole. Ignota’s Gaia season echoes Margulis’ methods of hypothesis and experimentation to dig into the theories of Gaia and the practice of examining life on Earth.
In light of the devastating earthquake in Morocco on 8 September 2023 and the catastrophic loss of life, Camden Art Centre and Ignota would like to invite visitors to this free event to donate the cost of a ticket to the following charities supporting those in need.
- Amal Women’s Training Center (a Marrakesh-based women’s charity delivering food to victims in need)
- Rif Tribes Foundation (an NGO working to bring aid and support to the affected remote villages)
- British Red Cross
Himali Singh Soin and David Soin Tappeser will perform their work Our Quake Here Ever Feels, as planned, in awareness and compassion.
- 14:00-14:15 – Susanna Davies-Crook and Sarah Shin: Welcome and Gaia meditation
- 14:15-15:15 – Tom Jeffreys: Talk followed by Q&A
- 15:30-15:45 – Harun Morrison on being artist in residence at Greenpeace and introducing his Environmental Justice Questions project
- 15:45-17:00 – Harun Morrison, Environmental Justice Questions workshop, places limited, sign up here.
- 16:00-17:00 – Wild Alchemy workshop, ‘What Future Will We Dream When We Dream With Plants?’, places limited, sign up on the day.
- 17:00-18:00 – Taey Iohe: ‘What leaks out of our bodies, out of the planet?’ in the CAC artist’s studio.
- 18:00-19:00 – Hylozoic/Desires (Himali Singh Soin and David Soin Tappeser) performance Our Quake Here Ever Feels
- Throughout the day: stalls, mini-workshops and offerings by Community Apothecary, Wild Alchemy and WORMS.
Ignota: Gaia and Philosophy Talk, Friday 6 Oct
Ignota: Gaian Worlds, Saturday 7 Oct
At Unsound 2023, Ignota presents three journeys as a planet in the form of a body, a body in the form of a planet. These journeys take the forms of sonic choreographies, games and enquiries to explore the boundary between the internal and external. Traversing this world-skin – coming together and coming apart – they challenge the illusion of separation between individuation and collaboration, self and other.
with Josh Appignanesi, Buzz Baum and Anouchka Grose
12 September 2023, 18:30-22:00
Reference Point, London
In this reading group and talk, we will come together to read Gaia and Philosophy by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan (Ignota, 2023) and explore what Gaian ideas of interdependence, collaboration and symbiosis offer for life on Earth.
After reading from the text, filmmaker Josh Appignanesi will discuss Gaia theory through the lens of activism alongside Buzz Baum from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and psychoanalyst and writer Anouchka Grose. Josh’s new film My Extinction asks: What does it take for us to act on the climate crisis – especially if we’re the kind of person who should already be acting?
Gaia describes a living Earth, an idea with precedents in natural science and philosophy for 2,500 years, and longer in many indigenous belief systems. If the Gaia hypothesis has provided a basis for a new ecology, connected to rich world-views, how can we effect real change for the future of our planet? What are the alternatives to failing systems underpinned by greed and short-termism?
We will read from Gaia and Philosophy together, so there is no need to read the text in advance. Copies will be available to buy and read from, or feel free to bring your own!