The World in Which We Occur (TWWWO) is a curatorial research-based entity that explores themes concerned with artistic inquiry, philosophy of science, and ecology. TWWWO began as a live event series over the telephone co-curated by Margarida Mendes and Jennifer Teets in 2014, and has thus expanded to other formats such as Matter in Flux, an online monthly study group with participants from different fields across the world. TWWWO takes into account modern day issues rooted in the history of materiality and metabolism as well as pertinent politically enmeshed scientific affairs shaping our world today.
Loosely inspired by, and set in the legacy of hybrids growing out of artist James Lee Byars’ 1969 "World Question Centre," The World in Which We Occur’s event series underlines the necessity for inquiry over an assertiveness of responses. “Could you offer us a question that you feel is pertinent in regards to your own evolution of knowledge?” asks Byars at the end of the line. The World in Which We Occur unveils incentives or queries as to generate further questions to build upon. It also aims to open up other areas of knowledge and speculation stemming from the core exercise of explicating one’s relationship within the current state of nature, in an era of erratic climatic behaviors. As a curation of voices, each session departs from an assisted dialing room set in an auditorium and is shared with an audience of listeners. The sessions are outsourced in the form of a growing voice archive.
The speakers recorded in previous sessions include Ravi Agarwal, Nabil Ahmed, Kai Bosworth, João Camargo, Carolina Caycedo, Cormac Cullinan, Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, Peter Fend, Fran Gallardo, Lori Gruen, Joyeeta Gupta, Clive Hamilton, Stefan Helmreich, Paul N. Edwards, Pedro Neves Marques, Stuart McLean, Barbara Orland, Joana Rafael, Rory Rowan, Jenna Sutela, Paulo Tavares, Anna Tsing, Etienne Turpin, Mi You.
The hosts of The World in Which We Occur met in the streets of Paris in 2014. Ever since, they have dialogued on the overlap of science, art, and philosophy with a strong penchant towards climate change politics, critical epistemological subjects, social justice, and new understandings of the body and political subjectivity.
Jennifer Teets is a curator, writer, researcher and performer based in Paris. She is known for her research on cheese, mud, and terra sigillata – their transitioning towards materiality and entity and their ability to become something else when put in an exhibition or an essay. Her research and writing combines inquiry, sciences studies, philosophy, and fiction-critique, and performs as an interrogative springboard for her curatorial practice. Together with artist/philosopher Lorenzo Cirrincione (2014-onwards) she curates Elusive Earths, an ongoing in situ work, process, and dialogue that looks to the elusiveness of rare clays, soils, and earths with forgotten origins. Over time this research has involved different forms of replication, extraction, and multiplication of processes and their distribution as “clay narratives.” She has written extensively on art and curating in international art magazines and other publications and frequently lectures on curating and artistic research. Her writing can be accessed here: https://sciences-po.academia.edu/JenniferTeets
Margarida Mendes is a curator and educator based in Lisbon. Exploring the overlap between cybernetics, ecology and experimental film, her personal research investigates the dynamic transformations of the environment and its impact on societal structures and cultural production. She is interested in exploring alternative modes of education and political resilience through her collaborative practice, programming, and activism. She curates across the world and was part of the curatorial team of the 11th Gwangju Biennale “The 8th Climate (what does art do?)”, (2016) and 4th Istanbul Design Biennale "A School of Schools" (2018). In 2016 she curated the long-term research exhibition MATTER FICTIONS, at Museu Berardo, Lisbon, publishing a joint reader with Sternberg Press. She has directed several educational platforms, such as escuelita, an informal school at Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M), Madrid (2017), The Barber Shop project space in Lisbon dedicated to transdisciplinary research (2009-15). She is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture, Visual Cultures Department, Goldsmiths University of London with the project “Deep Sea Spectrum” and is a frequent collaborator of the online channel for exploratory video and documentary reporting Inhabitants.
The World in Which We Occur, XII Baltic Triennial, CAC, Vilnius, 2015. Photo credit: Andrej Vasilenko. Drawings by Zin Taylor.
The World in Which We Occur logo designed by Nuno da Luz. Website designed and developed by Pedro Neves Marques.
The 2018/19 program is kindly supported by Foundation For Arts Initiatives