Nov 27, 2020

MUTATIONS. Interdisciplinary Thematic Residency 2020–2021

Clara Jo, »Untitled«; Ana María Gómez López, »Inoculate (B. Semperflorens)«, 2019; Joana Quiroga, Rainer Zenz, via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0 Joana Quiroga; Maxwell Mutanda, »Time-lapse photograph«; Sabina Hyoju Ahn, »Sonomatter (Soil bacteria)«, 2016; Grayson Earle, »Untitled«, 2020. CC BY-NC Grayson Earle; Angela Anderson, »Oil Well in the Landscape, Ft. Berthold, North Dakota«, 2018.

»Mutations transcend dichotomies of premodern/modern, pro-science/anti-science, and north/south, inviting us to focus on entanglements and interdependencies.«

Emma Kowal, Joanna Radin, and Jenny Reardon
From Indigenous body parts, mutating temporalities, and the half-lives of postcolonial technoscience, Social Studies of Science, 2013.


The thematic focus group »Mutations« is a cooperation between the Akademie Schloss Solitude, and the KfW Stiftung, an independent non-profit foundation which focuses on intercultural dialogue and artistic production in the global context. This marks the first time in its history that the Akademie Schloss Solitude has expanded its profile with a content-related program. Both locally and digitally, international artists and creative thinkers have been engaging with the topic of »Mutations« since October 2020 through immersive group labs:

To define the mutational is, at its most basic, to set apart a condition at odds with an established order. In the life sciences, this translates to alterations in chromosomal sequence, molecular transformations in cells, tissues, and organisms that are tracked within empirical contexts construed by modern science. Yet embedded in the idea of mutation are blind spots underpinning the designation of order itself. This is true not only in conceptual terms, disciplinary methodologies, or institutional priorities, but also through socio-political configurations that frame what is deemed disparate or exceptional in the first place.

The thematic focus group »Mutations« at Akademie Schloss Solitude is comprised of seven fellows representing a variety of artistic and interdisciplinary backgrounds. The group is marked by intersecting interests that expand mutation beyond bounded interpretations of biological structures and systems. Be it in the worsening ecological crisis, the systematic persistence of capitalist and post-colonial structural violence, or the ongoing waves of a viral pandemic, the urgency of reevaluating mutations serves as a homing device. Over the course of nine months, the »Mutations« fellows will engage in discussions and reflection on the critical potential of mutations for rethinking and reclaiming integrative conceptions of life and livelihood, where the individual connotations of the term converge with its planetary implications.


The thematic focus group »Mutations« is comprised of the following fellows:

Sabina Hyoju Ahn: Media and sound artist (Austria/South Korea), Website
Angela Anderson: Video artist and researcher (USA/Germany), Website
Grayson Earle: New media artist (USA), Website
Ana María Gómez López: Artist, writer, and researcher (Netherlands/Colombia/USA), Website 1, Website 2
Clara Jo: Video artist (Germany), Website
Maxwell Mutanda: Multidisciplinary researcher, visual artist, and designer (Zimbabwe), Website
Joana Quiroga: Visual artist and philosopher (Brazil), Website