Otherwise is a 3-day multisensorial and experimental festival-as-research taking place between 01.03.19 and 03.03.19 at Gessnerallee in Zurich.

In response to the idea of the post-anthropocene, a life after human exceptionalism, ecological catastrophes, political extremism, and accelerated global fossil capitalism, we aim to seek strategies and practices that help us overcome the stasis that originates from one dominant narrative proclaiming doomsday and no possible way out.

With Otherwise we want to encourage participants to stay with the trouble we are facing — some of us sooner than others. Acknowledging the fact that asymmetrical power structures, uneven distribution of risk and responsibility and a non-correlative cause-effect relationship are the nature of the Anthropocene discourse, we are looking for survival strategies nevertheless. Bringing together approaches ranging from aesthetics to activism, art to policy making, global south to north, Otherwise aims to reframe disaster as the potential for transformation — what is left otherwise?

With this first edition of Otherwise — a festival-as-research — we straightforwardly ask how to possibly live in the ruins of the Anthropocene — the epoch which marks humanity’s becoming of a geological force. With its small-scale format Otherwise means to provide a breeding ground, a space for the in-between, for collective overwriting, unsettling and enacting biases beyond individual and society, nature and culture, geology and technology. It creates a framework that challenges one-way perception and provokes collective becoming of its participant-collaborateurs. Sessions at Otherwise will engage the whole sensory apparatus ranging from talks to walks, meditation to simulation, inhalation to fabulation. Together we will playfully, subversively and collaboratively un-learn and re-think what planetary inhabiting means.

The exciting programme includes contributions by IXDM researcher Merle Ibach and the research team of Thinking Toys for Commoning.

Otherwise festival is initiated and curated by Michaela Büsse (PhD candidate at IXDM) and Benjamin Burger (performer and artistic director of the performance-production Extraleben) as part of their ongoing artistic research project H0 — Institute for Metamorphosis. H0 is short for “Null Hypothesis” and represents the omnipresence, indulgence and constant beaconing of grey goo scenarios in the light of the so-called Anthropocene. Through aesthetic investigations into the full spectrum of contingencies Institute for Metamorphosis aims to unsettle what is taken for granted with specific, speculative, minor and situated counter practices.

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