Okto-Lab and GLASMOOG (Academy of Media Arts Cologne) are excited to announce the opening of our exhibition Octopus Encounters: An Immersive Library of Octopus Aesthetics. The exhibition is the product of an ongoing exploration into octopuses and the methodologies for studying them by researchers from the University of Kassel, Germany and the University of Tasmania, Australia.
Octopuses have been fascinating people in recent years as highly idiosyncratic, inquisitive and intelligent creatures. This revelation coincides with a need for us humans to recalibrate our modern, exploitative relationship to our environment. The very different ecology, bodily make-up and neurological organisation of octopuses proves as much a challenge to our established ways of understanding nature as it provides intriguing ways for its reconceptualization. Thus, Okto-Lab searches both for new methods to approach nature at the example of octopuses and explores octopuses as key-creatures for humanities urgent ecological renewal in the 21st century.
Using curation as a method of interdisciplinary research that interweaves the sciences, humanities and arts, the exhibition was developed in a collaborative process with invited artists and scientists. The exhibition presents 17 artistic and scientific positions, that each explore and approach octopuses or our relationship with them in different ways and through different media and means, including dance, performance, imaging-technologies, video installations, sound, drawing, documentary and creative writing. The result is a research exhibition or interdisciplinary laboratory, where visitors themselves can examine octopuses and our relationship with them through the works displayed.
Octopus Encounters is Okto-Lab’s second output, building on our first exhibition OktoLab19 at Plimsoll Gallery (University of Tasmania) in 2019. Over the coming weeks, we will be developing a more substantial documentation of the exhibition on our webpages (www-okto-lab.org & www.khm.de/glasmoog/). There will also be further events which will be advertized through the webpages as they are confirmed.