Artist Bios

Ciclón: Sin Kabeza Productions and SK Symbiotic are collaborative arts and research platforms that aim to move beyond anthroposupremacy in architectures of design and society, with the intention of envisioning and producing speculative modes of engagement that seriously consider networked multispecies communities. Our attempt is to mine methodologies that enable society to move beyond the “blindness” caused by human exceptionalism and uncover what cultural anthropologist Eben Kirksey calls “biocultural hope” in the midst of co-constituted and symbiotic worldings. Since 2011 our production focus has sought to enact response-ability to palpable political ecologies in the Plantationcene. Following the death of our beloved companion toy poodle, Luk Kahlo, our activist research has turned towards the relationships elaborated between species, and an interest in developing technologies to be used in multispecies ethnography, where intense affective encounters forged between street dogs in Chile and India, a German hedgehog, and most recently, wildlife rehabilitation work with squirrels, white tailed deer, and raccoons in NJ, has transformed the way we approach our practice as artists. We work across diverse materialities to translate the affects that arise in our situated research. See SEEDBANK_an_eco_evo_devo_design_fiction_in_SF_Mode_and_the_dream_of_Response-able_Multispecies_Communities.

Collard City Growers: Collard City Growers is a volunteer-run food justice project where we connect arts and culture to growing a wealth of annuals and perennials including vegetables, medicinal herbs, natural dye plants, grains, and fruit trees. We share our homegrown harvest at neighborhood events that host hundreds of community members and passersby who come in search of nutrient dense food or “the best lettuce [they’ve] ever tasted.”

Coven Intelligence Program: Coven Intelligence Program (Efrén Cruz Cortés, Margaretha Haughwout, Suzanne Husky)The Coven Intelligence Program (formerly APRIORI) is a techno-botanical coven whose mission is to track and encourage emerging revolutionary ecologies of work between plants and machines. Our familiars suggest that this alliance has a history reaching back to at least the 1500s. We use our magick to try to understand more deeply the ‘nature’ of intelligence, and how the differences between communication and resource exchange are collapsing. The future of humanity is not at stake, but racist capitalist heteropatriarchy is.

Environmental Performance Agency: The Environmental Performance Agency (EPA) is an artist collective founded in 2017 and named in response to the dismantling of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Appropriating the acronym EPA, the collective’s primary goal is to shift thinking around the terms environment, performance, and agency – using artistic, social, and embodied practices to advocate for the agency of all living performers co-creating our environment, specifically through the lens of spontaneous urban plants, native or migrant. Current EPA Agents include Catherine Grau, andrea haenggi, Ellie Irons, Christopher Kennedy, and spontaneous urban plants.

Elaine Gan is interested in mapping worlds otherwise. Her transdisciplinary practice combines methods from art, science, and digital/environmental humanities to study the timing and temporal coordinations of more-than-human socialities. Through writing, drawing, interactive media, and installation, Gan explores historical materialisms and temporal coordinations that emerge between species, machines, and landscapes, with a particular interest in plants and fungi.

Gan is an artist-theorist who teaches at New York University, Center for Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement (Graduate School of Arts & Science). She is co-editor of an interdisciplinary anthology, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene (Minnesota, 2017) and directs Multispecies Worldbuilding Lab, an experimental podcast about climate change. Her academic writing has been published in journals that include Environmental Philosophy, New Formations, Social Analysis, and Catalyst. Art projects have been exhibited internationally and have been awarded fellowships by the New York Foundation for the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Jerome Foundation, and Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene.

My name is Astrid Grahn-Farley and I am originally from Boston, Massachusetts. I am a student at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and my degree is in French and English literature. After graduation I would like to work as a translator or interpreter, so that I can combine my studies of language and literature. I love poetry and I am especially interested in the translation of poetry across different languages.

Christian Grigoraskos is a father, arborist, and urban land steward based on Mohican land in the Hudson-Mohawk estuary. Christian is one of the founding members of the More Trees Arborist Collective tree care cooperative. He considers the tree canopies his office but also a refuge and connection point where vitality and earth wisdom are shared in special ways unique to that place. Christian plants and cares for many trees enthusiastically and hopes to foster an ecological culture where all species will thrive.

Azure’ Kauikeolani Iversen-Keahi (she/they). Azuré’ is a mixed race mother, grower, writer, creator and record keeper of Kanaka ‘Ōiwi, Filipino, Samoan and European ancestry based on Mohican soils of Upstate New York. Transitioning from the landscape of the Koʻolau Mountains to the Hudson Valley of the Northeast, she began to explore earthwork as healing for herself and the surrounding community led by her commitment to food sovereignty and intersectional justice. Her stories of diaspora,ʻāina-based healing and ancestral reunion have been published in The Greenhorns’: New Farmer’s Almanac, Tropic Magazine, and the Daily Yonder. She serves as the Business Manager at Soul Fire Farm where she weaves indigenous ways of knowing into the design of administrative systems that cultivate care and support for an organization devoted to the land-based liberation of Black and Brown peoples.

Oliver Kellhammer: Oliver Kellhammer is an ecological artist, educator, activist and writer. Through his botanical interventions and public art projects, he seeks to demonstrate nature’s surprising ability to recover from damage. His work facilitates the processes of environmental regeneration by engaging the botanical and socio-political underpinnings of the landscape. It continues to evolve and has taken various forms such as small-scale urban eco-forestry, inner city community agriculture and the restoration of eroded railway ravines. Kellhammer works as a part-time lecturer in Sustainable Systems at Parsons/New School for Design and has been a permaculture instructor for many years (certified by PINA the Permaculture Institute of North America). He is based in New York’s Alphabet City and rural British Columbia.

Scott Kellogg is the Educational Director of the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center, an urban ecojustice education non-profit in Albany, New York. He also collectively ran the Rhizome Collective in Austin Texas from 2000 to 2009. Scott is the author of “Urban Ecosystem Justice” (Routledge, 2021) and “Toolbox for Sustainable City Living” (South End Press, 2008). He teaches Environmental Education at Bard College and Urban Political Ecology at SUNY Albany and has a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from RPI.

Jack Magai and More Trees Arborist Collective: With a family background in engineering, undergraduate work in math and chemistry, and a degree in dance and literature from Bennington college, Jack started working in the tree care field in 1985. He started pruning trees in Seattle in the 90s and became certified as an arborist by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) in 1997. He has studied tree mechanics with Claus Mattheck, is qualified by the ISA in Tree Risk Assessment, and is a member of the American Society of Consulting Arborists. In 2020 he and his four employees purchased his business and began operating as a worker-owned cooperative called More Trees Arborist Collective.

Under his artist’s hat he has been making and performing dance and performance works for 30 years. His recent work illuminates the tensions between our experiences of nature and our ideas of it.
He has two sons with the writer Amy Halloran.

Beverly Naidus‘s art life has straddled the socially engaged margins of the art world, artful activism collaborations, and community-based art projects. Much of her work deals with ecological and social issues that have adversely affected her and those around her. Her belief that trauma, both collective and personal, can be healed by story telling and creative activism deeply informs her work.  Her primary forms are audience-participatory installations, photo/text projects, and artist’s books. She has shared her work in city streets, online, in alternative spaces, university galleries and major museums. Her work has been written about in many books and journals and has developed an international audience.  As a writer, she has published many essays about ecoart and radical pedagogy. Her book, Arts for Change: Teaching Outside the Frame has had a broad influence on fellow teaching artists.  After successful chapters in New York City and Los Angeles, including fruitful periods in Minnesota, Halifax, Nova Scotia and western Massachusetts, she has made a home in the Pacific Northwest, on Coast Salish land, since 2003. She is currently recovering from many decades of subverting within neoliberal academia and is now co-directing SEEDS (Social Ecology Education and Demonstration School). www.seedweb.org and www.beverlynaidus.net  Pronouns: she/ze/badass

Dan Phiffer: Dan Phiffer is a software developer and artist. During the day he helps build web software at The Markup. On nights and weekends he is building a new web publishing platform called Pepperweed. He draws on many years of working professionally with cultural institutions, most recently at the ACLU, the New Yorker magazine and the Museum of Modern Art. He has consulted for many clients including the Asia Society, the New York Times, the National Museum of American History, and KCET public television. Phiffer’s art projects often use computer networks as a raw material, and have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, and SFMOMA. He studied computer science at Harvey Mudd College in California, and received his graduate degree from NYU’s ITP program in New York City.

Praba Pilar: Praba Pilar is a diasporic Colombian artist disrupting the contemporary ‘Cult of the Techno-Logic’ through performances, digital and electronic installations, participatory workshops, and experimental public talks. She has a PhD in Performance Studies, is Director of the slow-tech MAKER Space at Pro ARTS, and is Co-Director of the Hindsight Institute.

marisa prefer: invisible labor helps to facilitate relationships between plants and people, working to decenter colonizer narratives about ecological entanglements and collectively reimagine interactions on land with medicine and food. marisa prefer works as part of invisible labor to steward landscapes in NYC– as a Horticulturalist-in-Residence at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a Farm Manager at Earth Matter on Governors Island and a frequent collaborator with artists, scientists and organizations working on projects related to marginal ecologies. http://invisiblelabor.org

Radical gardeners NYC is a network of novice and experienced gardeners who connect to share gardening skills, plant based healing and resources from an autonomous, anti-capitalist perspective. We hold sessions out of the Base in Brooklyn, where we organize collective, often subversive, public space gardening projects, host guest presentations and maintain an open seed saving library.

Samia Rahimtoola is an assistant professor of English at Bowdoin College in Maine. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Brooklyn Rail/River Rail, BAEST: A Journal of Queer Forms and Affects, Hubbub, and elsewhere. She is completing a book of poems exploring interactions between the techno-ecologies of the desert and the racialized body.

Margaret Rhee is a poet, new media artist, and scholar. She is the author of Love, Robot (The Operating System, 2017) named a 2017 Best Book of Poetry by Entropy Magazine, awarded an Elgin Award by the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and the 2019 Book Prize in Poetry by the Asian American Studies Association. She is also the author of poetry chapbooks Yellow (Tinfish Press, 2011), and Radio Heart; or, How Robots Fall Out of Love (Finishing Line Press, 2015), awarded a 2017 Elgin Award, Science Fiction Poetry Association and named a 2015 Split This Rock Poetry Book We Love.

Craig Santos Perez is an indigenous Pacific Islander poet originally from Guam. He is the author of five books of poetry and a professor at the University of Hawaii of Manoa.

Paul Sargent: Paul Lloyd Sargent is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and video editor living between Brooklyn, Syracuse, and Wellesley Island, NY. His research-based art practice focuses primarily on the supply and disposal chain through an amalgam of new media art, radical cartography, grassroots activism, and sustainable culture as art practice. In particular, his recent work examines the impact of the international shipping industry on the ecologies, economies, and communities along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.

jackie sumell is a prison abolitionist and multidisciplinary artist inspired by the lives of everyday people, working at the forefront of the public campaign to end isolation in the United States. sumell invites us to imagine a landscape without prisons. She has spent the last 2-decades working directly with incarcerated folx, most notably, her elders Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox. Her work, anchored at the intersection of art, education, permaculture and social practice has been exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. She has been the recipient of multiple residencies and fellowships including a 2021 Art Matters Fellowship, 2020 Art 4 Justice Fellowship, S.O.U.R.C.E. Fellowship, 2020 Creative Capital Grant, A Blade of Grass Fellowship, MSU’s Critical Race Studies Fellowship, Robert Rauschenberg Artist-as-Activist Fellowship, SorosJustice Fellowship, Eyebeam Project Fellowship and a Schloss Solitude Residency Fellowship. She received a B.S. from the College of Charleston, and M.F.A. from Stanford University

Marta Lucía Vargas is a poet, teacher, and founding member/poetry editor of Aster(ix) Journal. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including HTI Open Plaza and The Lake Rises: poems to and for our bodies of water. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Drew University and lives in New Jersey.

Dawn Weleski: Dawn Weleski’s art practice administers a political stress test, antagonizing routine cultural behavior by re-purposing underground brawls, revolutionary protests, and political offices as transformative social stages. Recent projects include The Black Draft (with Justin Strong), a live mock sports draft event during which ten Black former Pittsburghers, from all professions, are drafted to return home and City Council Wrestling, a series of public wrestling matches where citizens, pro-am wrestlers, and city council members personified their political passions into wrestling characters. She co-founded and co-directed Conflict Kitchen (with Jon Rubin), a take-out restaurant that serves cuisine from countries with which the U.S. government is in conflict, which has been covered by over 950 international media and news outlets worldwide and was the North American finalist for the Second Annual International Award for Public Art in 2015.

Lisa Wujnovich is a poet, farmer, and herbalist. 2021 marked her 32nd year of farming at Mountain Dell Farm, her small organic vegetable farm in upstate New York. Lisa has two published chapbooks, “Fieldwork,” & “This Place Called Us.” Her poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies including “Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology,” “NOW, the online journal of Hobart, Festival of Women Writers,” and “Seeing Things: An Anthology of Poetry.” She has an MFA in Poetry from Drew University.

Dr. Adam Zaretsky of NADLinc is a nomadic Wet-Lab Art Practitioner mixing Ecology, Biotechnology, Non-human Relations, Body Performance and Gastronomy. Zaretsky stages lively, hands-on bioart production labs based on topics such as: foreign species invasion (pure/impure), radical food science (edible/inedible), jazz bioinformatics (code/flesh), tissue culture (undead/semi-alive), transgenic design issues (traits/desires), interactive ethology (person/machine/non-human) and physiology (performance/stress). A former researcher at the MIT department of biology, Adam runs labs on DIY-IGM (Do-It-Yourself Inherited Genetic Modification of the Human Genome). His art practice focuses on an array of legal, ethical, social and libidinal implications of biotechnological materials and methods with a focus on transgenic humans, methods of transgenesis and germline aesthetics.