Afterlives Workshop by Helen Stratford

From: 31st March 2018 10:00 am

To: 31st March 2018 5:00 pm

Fermynwoods Contemporary Art


Cultured Natures & Natured Cultures: An exploration into the boundaries between human and non-human inhabitation




#WildLearning #OutdoorInstituteofArt


Led by architect and artist Helen Stratford, this workshop will use theoretical and practical strategies to explore the boundaries between human and non-human inhabitation, starting from a series of feminist texts to explore the impact of ‘human’ inhabitation on ‘nature’ and visa versa.


At the same time, we will physically unearth how nature persists and makes its place within our human architectures.

Working outside, we will make a mapping of these inbetween spaces, uncovering the ways that wildlife is managed but also how it continually alters and threatens the integrity of our human-made world.

Part survey, part inhabitation, part conversation. The workshop will provide a means to think about and discuss the challenges to definitions of architecture and human habitation that these post occupancy inhabitations provoke.

How can we explore the boundaries between human and non-human; between nature and culture; between managed wildlife and wildlife management? What can we learn from detailed looking outside; out there; in the woods; in the wild; at the edges of human habitation? Where does the wild end and the domesticated begin?

Please bring a text and an artist’s work to share with the group, such as your own practice or the following:

Donna Harraway – The Companion Species Manifesto – Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2003. (pp. 1-10)

Karin Reisinger – ‘Abandoned architectures: Some dirty narratives’ in Architecture and Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies edited by by Hélène Frichot Catharina Gabrielsson and Helen Runting, London: Routledge, 2017 (pp 202 – 211)

Michael Landy – Creeping Buttercup,

Helen Stratford – Alterlives 2017

This workshop is the first of our new Outdoor Institute of Art: Wild Learning workshops, a series of training sessions for Artists working outdoors.

Helen Stratford Afterlives paintball

Helen Stratford is an architect, artist and practice-led PhD researcher at Sheffield University, researching Performative Architectures. Located between live art, visual art, architecture and writing, Helen’s practice is collaborative – working with architects, artists, curators, diverse communities and publics to develop site-specific interventions. Including live events, walks, video-works, speculative writing and artists’ books. While exploring everyday processes of place-making, these interventions search for modalities that work between and expand architectural conventions.

In Alterlives feminist writers, architects and critics describe how human-made architectures have been radically altered by non-human uses and adaptations. Built to keep unwanted incursions of weather, wildlife and woods out, architectural boundaries are being expanded by uses and inhabitations other than intended. Through these incremental reclamations ‘nature’ is making complex and diverse architectures: architectures for humans and non-humans together. Alterlives is a concept initial coined by feminist technoscience studies scholar Dr Michelle Murphy.


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