About the part that art plays in a globalising society

Framer Framed

The Reading Room, Jonathan Reus, Sissel Marie Tonn en Flora Reznik. Photo: © Betul Ellialtioglu, 2019.

24 Apr 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. Our first online Reading Room: Plastic Hypersea is on 24th of April and hosted by artist Sissel Marie Tonn and Dr. Danielle-Maria Admiss is the guest speaker.

Reading Room Group Photo

We depart from a question of whether our awareness of the virus has challenged our sense of embodiment. More than ever, we must come to terms with the fact that we are in constant interaction with invisible material entering and exiting our bodies. We are not sealed-off, discrete entities. Rather, we are leaky, co-contaminating, porous and deeply dependent upon one another and the environment we co-create.

On 24 April, Tonn and Admiss will discuss Alexis Shotwell’s generative and timely concept of ‘purity politics’ taken from her most recent book Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times. From air purifiers and water filters to chemical-free cleaning products and personal toxicity-testing, purity politics can be thought of as a form of doing and thinking that promotes individual acts of purification, cleansing and healthism. The intention is to separate us from the impurities of the world. However, as Shotwell convincingly demonstrates, toxicity is already here. It is in human and multispecies bodies; embedded in landscapes and it is interconnected to the past, present and future ways in which we live and exist within capitalist modes of production. Importantly, it is also differentially distributed across race, class and multispecies—harming some bodies over others. Together, the reading group will unpack the harmful subtexts of purity politics and consider ways of rethinking toxicity and accounting for the unequal distribution of harm in interconnected toxic worlds. How can we—as collective individuals—engage these methods and values in our own toxic surroundings?

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?

????? ??????: Dani Admiss
????: Excerpts from Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times by Alexis Shotwell.

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 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