Reading on Empathy with guest reader Katarina Jazbec
Film still from You can’t Automate Me, 2021
by Katarina Jazbec
18:00 – 19:30 CEST
20:00 – 20:30 CEST
You can attend
online and off-line
Please register by sending email to
with subject line ‘Reading on Empathy no. II’
or via Eventbrite link
This reading group event is part of SEA Foundations’ longer term research art and sustainability fold #01 on Empathy
Donations are welcome
Mimetic Traps: Forests, Images, Worlds
This reading session wraps around and beyond the theme of empathy exploring the essay Mimetic Traps: Forests, Images, Worlds by Pedro Neves Marques. The text was kindly recommended by artist Katarina Jazbec who will also read and discuss it with us in connection to her practice.
The essay is part of the book Intercalations 4: The Word for the World is Still Forest, edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin forming a collection of essays and thoughts about the forest as a generative multinature.
Pedro Neves Marques follows up on ideas of Donna Haraway, Michael Taussig, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, of Yanomami shaman Davi Kopenawa and on Amerindian multinaturalism. To claim that the world consists of multiple images of nature quite differs from the multicultural perspective that we are used to from our Western approach. Pedro Neves Marques questions the irreducibility of the worlds because there is nothing such ‘one world’, and suggests that we must learn how to inhabit in between worlds/the borders instead.
Ambiguity of images
Through four subchapters, Neves Marques examines the ambiguity of images and their mimetic attributes. The image-doubles refers to the Amerindian notion of human interiority where the inner image mirrors the outer material image. While exteriority and interiority doubles each other it is not an attempt to reduce such mimesis to a mare duality of body and mind. Understanding of the image-spirits is coming from the Amerindian myths which refer to a common humanity that was once visible and shared across all beings but now is invisible and dispersed across species who see themselves as humans but can not see a human in other beings. The subchapter image-traps reflects on the above-mentioned concepts in relation to the usage of technoscience media and their potentiality to serve as traps that can bring us to the other worlds, to be the ‘frontier technologies’ connecting distant bodies. Finally, the last subchapter brings forward thoughts on the objectivity of the anthropological image.
Pedro Neves Marques
Pedro Neves Marques (they) is visual artist, filmmaker and writer. They are the editor of the books YWY, Searching for a Character Between Future Worlds (Sternberg Press, 2021) and The Forest and the School/ Where to Sit at the Dinner Table? (Archive Books, 2015), both on themes intersecting ecology, anthropology, anti-extractivist politics, as well as science fiction and futurity. They are the author of two books of short stories: Morrer na América (Abysmo Editora and Kunsthalle Lissabon, 2017) and The Integration Process/ O processo de integração (Atlas Projectos, 2012). They were a guest-editor for e-flux journal #65, the Supercommunity issue, for the Venice Art Biennial in 2015, on the theme of “Apocalypsis”, since available by Verso, and have written for magazines such as e-flux Journal, The Baffler, and Art Agenda, as well as publications by HKW, MIT Press, Sternberg Press.
Katarina Jazbec is a visual artist working in film and photography currently residing in Rotterdam. In her work, which is based on long-standing participatory research, she builds heterotopias and looks for new forms of storytelling while exploring the current questions of ethics, identity, freedom, justice, and economic inequality. For her film Permeating Hearts, which is about reading with prisoners in Belgium, she was given a Tënk Award at FIDÉ Paris 2019. The film is part of the reading circle, the long-term explorations through community shared reading, that Katarina Jazbec occasionally organizes.
You Can’t Automate Me
Her most recent film You Can’t Automate Me (2021) brings us to the port of Rotterdam where we encounter the lashing community. These strong and resilient workers are largely invisible even though they still play a crucial role in our economy. Jazbec invites to traverse this huge, seemingly impenetrable, hub of human and technological activity. Through the stories of these lashers, also the stories of animals hiding in containers and crossing the oceans as stowaways become present in the film, emphasising the non-human perspective. The film, which is part of IFFR 2021, will be introduced by Katarina Jazbec during the reading session and screened at SEA Foundation for participants of the on-site reading.
Sign-up for attendance by sending email to secretariat[-]seafoundation.eu with the subject line ‘Reading on Empathy no. II’
See our previous or upcoming reading sessions:
More suggestions for reading? Check out the Empathy recommended book list