Ahali Conversations with Can Altay podcast

Episode 16: Lucia Pietrousti

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We are hosting curator Lucia Pietrouisti; and hearing her take on inhabiting institutions and much much wider ecosystems.

Lucia was in charge of public programming at the Serpentine Gallery in London when she launched the General Ecology program. This was not only a program of content as usual, but rather included an in-depth look into the institution’s ecological footprint and thus came with a range of challenging questions around environmental responsibilities.

We discuss with Lucia the intricacies of maneuvering such realms with severe conventions and bureaucracies. An example she gives is the military in Venice, where they installed the infamous art opera sun & sea (Marina) for the 2019 Venice Biennale.

Episode Notes & Links:

Lucia Pietrouisti often devises ways to intersect her research field with art and systems. https://luciapietroiusti.earth/about-me

Curated by Lucia, “Sun and Sea (Marina)” is an opera-performance by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, and Lina Lapelytė. Commissioned by the Lithuanian Pavilion, it was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation during the 58th Venice Biennale. https://www.sunandsea.lt/en/Venice-Biennale

General Ecology Program is the Serpentine’s long-term and ongoing project researching complexity, more-than-humanism, climate justice, and environmental balance. https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/general-ecology

Curated by Lucia alongside Filipa Ramos, “The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish” is a series of gatherings to bring together a wide range of thinkers and practitioners from various disciplinary ambits across art, literature, environment, science, and technology. https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/whats-on/shape-circle-mind-fish/

Filipa Ramos is a curator, writer, and teacher. She is also an intrepid explorer that considers diving as a cinematic experiment and moving-image-based technologies as gateways to oceans.

Make sure to listen to the Ahali Episode featuring Filipa: https://www.ahali.space/episodes/episode-12-filiparamos

Fire management is the process of planning, preventing, and fighting fires to protect people, property, and forest resources. It also involves fire to attain forestry, wildlife, and land-use objectives. https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/fire-management

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. They provide scientific assessments on climate change, its implications, and potential future risks, as well as put forward adaptation and mitigation options. https://www.ipcc.ch

Lina Lapelytė is is an artist, composer, musician, and performer currently exploring the phenomena of song to examines the issues of displacement, otherness, and beauty. http://www.linalapelyte.com

The Venetian Arsenal is a complex of former shipyards and armories clustered together in the city of Venice. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venetian_Arsenal

“Powers of Ten and the Relative Size of Things in the Universe” are two short films written by Charles and Ray Eames. It depicts the relative scale of the Universe according to an order of magnitude based on a factor of ten, first expanding out from the Earth until the entire universe is surveyed, then reducing inward until a single atom and its quarks are observed.https://www.eamesoffice.com/the-work/powers-of-ten/

Ecocide is mass damage and destruction of ecosystems – severe harm to nature that is widespread or long-term. https://www.stopecocide.earth/what-is-ecocide

The Dakota Access Pipeline or Bakken pipeline is a 1,172-mile-long underground oil pipeline in the United States. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakota_Access_Pipeline

“Sensing the Planet” is the launch event of Black Atlantic. It will highlight issues of race and environmental harm while enforcing the role of interdisciplinary artists in imagining new futures built on principles of sustainability and justice. https://www.dartington.org/event/sensing-the-planet/

Black Atlantic is a new decolonial arts partnership, co-established by UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre, Serpentine Galleries, Royal Court Theatre, and Dartington Trust, that aims to strengthen the role of arts and culture in advancing social and climate justice.


Ben Vickers is a curator, writer, explorer, publisher, technologist, and luddite. He is CTO at the Serpentine Galleries in London, co-founder of Ignota Books, and an initiator of the open-source monastic order unMonastery. https://benvickers.net

The Delphic Oracle known as the Pythia was the high priestess of the temple of Apollo and she was the most authoritative oracle among male-dominated Ancient Greece and the most powerful woman of the classical world. https://podcasts.apple.com/tr/podcast/pythian-school-of-futures/id1541454333?i=1000503897028

Judith Butler’s “Excitable Speech” provides an intelligent analysis of hate speech to propose a speech act theory of verbal injury that is not dependent on the grammar of accountability. https://books.google.com.tr/books/about/Excitable_Speech.html?id=I7D_AC_aKEMC&redir_esc=y

Realized in 2016, “Devaluing Property Real Estate Agency” is an Installation-Performance by Cooking Sections that scrutinizes the peculiar history of Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) in Britain. http://www.cooking-sections.com/Devaluing-Property-Real-Estate-Agency

Richard Powers is an American novelist whose works explore the effects of modern science and technology.http://www.richardpowers.net

Episode recorded on Zoom on August 11th, 2021.

Interview by Can Altay. Produced by Aslı Altay & Sarp Renk Özer. Music by Grup Ses.

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