About the part that art plays in a globalising society

Framer Framed

8 May 2020
17:00 - 19:00

Reading Room: Plastic Hypersea

Framer Framed and the Nomadic Reading Room invite you to join our new online series of events, in the face of the COVID-19 lockdown. On Friday 8 May we will host a second session of the online Reading Room: Plastic Hypersea co-curated and led by Sissel Marie Tonn and Alexis Shotwell.

During the first session, with guest reader Dani Admiss, we discussed the concept of purity politics from Shotwell’s recent book Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times. In this Reading Room, we will turn to think about toxicity, pollution, immune response, and the politics of ‘cure’. We’ll start with Eli Clare’s vital work on the contradictions of ‘cure’ – the deeply held and intertwined beliefs that some bodies, minds, and environments are damaged or broken and need to be fixed, alongside the fact that some transformations are not livable or desired. How can we fight environmental destruction without leveraging anti-disability rhetoric or practices? How can we focus on cure without aiming to eradicate that which cannot, or does not want to be, cured? We’ll then turn to a discussion of Mel Chen’s gorgeous considerations of ‘immunity nationalism’, toxicity, interdependence, chemical intimacy, fragility, and queerness. We’ll ask what space we might open as curators and artists for holding the contradictions and seductions of ontological multiplicities.

Online Reading Room: Plastic Hypersea 2

The title of the reading room refers to the concept by Mark and Dianna McMenamin called the ‘hypersea’, which is the vast mass of living cells interconnected across bodies and environments through water. This inner ocean is increasingly becoming polluted by microplastic particles, but the title also refers to plasticity as it is used in neuroscience – it is possible for us to change our habits, entrainments and cultural traditions. How can the concept of being connected e.g. through our shared hypersea give a new sense of embodied/ecological awareness?

????? ??????: Alexis Shotwell
????: Excerpts from Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure (2017) by Eli Clare and Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect (2012) by Mel Y. Chen.

As spots are limited, we ask that you sign up in advance to receive the texts and meeting links: reserveren@framerframed.nl

This event is FREE and in English and will be recorded for our online programing.

About The Reading Room

The Reading Room emerged as an event series taking place bi-monthly at Stroom Den Haag between 2015-2018, and was organised by Jonathan Reus, Sissel Marie Tonn and Flora Reznik. Currently it exists as a nomadic format, shape-shifting into new contexts where collective study might provide useful insights.

Ecology /


Exhibition: On the Nature of Botanical Gardens

Contemporary indonesian perspectives by nine Indonesian artists


Reading Room: Plastic Hypersea
Reading Room on Contemporary Art and Ecological Awareness
Reading Room: The Rights of Future Generations
Reading together: 'Rethinking representation: The challenge of non-humans' by Mihnea Tanasescu & 'Enfranchising the future: Climate justice and the representation of future generations' by Inigo Gonzalez-Ricoy and Felipe Rey
Reading Room: On Hydrofeminism
Reading together: 'Hydrofeminism: Or, On Becoming a Body of Water' (2012) by Astrida Neimanis


Alexis Shotwell

Academic, writer

Danielle-Maria Admiss

Curator, Researcher

Sissel Marie Tonn