At a time of ecological and environmental crisis, the political and policy process alone is too slow to guide a deep search for understanding and interventions that will save the planet and its species. In response, and as an interventionary practice, the diverse international group of artists, scientists, designers, and algae that constitute The Algae Society examine the human position in a global ecology through the lens of our algal fellow travellers, with a view to ultimately adopting a posthuman philosophical position and practice with human and algae as companion species. The Society is taking this moment to instigate action for the future and explore speculative futures, solutions, and radical discourse directions. It’s attitude is consistent with a solarpunk ethos, gesturing toward a prefigurative politics with hope, inspiration, and adaptability as core practices.
Conscious that wider public acceptance of a posthuman position requires considered communicative and persuasive practice, The Algae Society works primarily through the medium of art exhibitions, accessible to the public in the places they gather, such as museums and public events. The continually evolving body of work of The Algae Society engages with multi-sensory, multi-scale, and multi-age art and science based installations, interactions, and experiences. Members of The Society work across many mediums including sculpture, painting, mark-making, video, material development, technology, projection, generative code, intervention, performance, interaction, experiment, and analysis.
By creating social spaces in which humans can encounter algae, the exhibitions aim to bring greater appreciation of and empathy with algae. The Society works with algae as primary companion species as, while clearly non-human, they are familiar, common, and accessible at first glance, but with potential for far richer exploration and collaboration. Embedded in a social context, the Society is able to explore beyond issues of the environment and ecology to social, cultural, and non-human justice; local, regional, and global community; radical indigenism; and speculative futures.
Fundamentally, The Algae Society asks, “What does our world look like when we take seriously the proposition of algae as equal species?”