Mirko Nikolić (b. 1984)
Imagine ‘waking up’ in a period of global warming, not in an Anthropocenic universe, but in a much-more-than-human world, where humans are ones among many many others. To dwell in this place, most probably we need to find ways to ‘work-together’ with “beings that have absolutely nothing to do with [us]” (Chauvin, 1969).
My performances strive to create affective and spatiotemporal ‘assemblies’, situations of flat relations among beings, particles, processes, in the sense that none of the entities involved enjoys a position of privilege ― ontological, political, ethical ― over another. All beings are considered equally real or equally existing. In reality, this type of power(less) constellation does not pre-exist, but I believe it can be attempted to bring it together.
In my recent projects, I address sites and contexts in which some entities are fully subjected to interests of humans by being pushed into the background, made invisible or even immaterial. For instance, economic operations often assume as given or ‘natural’ the other-than-human elements and their processes (e.g., trees, carbon-dioxide, sheep). The activities of these entities are qualified as ‘externalities’, whereas they in fact form the flesh and ground of human-oriented economies.
To respond to this ‘hidden’ dimension of our economies, I try to foreground the invisible/immaterial labours, to rethink these ‘natural’ actors as equal ‘collaborators’, and to ‘work‒with’ them. Through performance of technological/data/matter assemblages, the aim is to rewire our existing working procedures towards different modes of ‘flat’ collaboration across the human/nonhuman divide. Sketching ‘flat ecologies’ for a more-than-human world.
Mirko Nikolić (b. 1984, in Belgrade, Serbia) works with diverse combinations of media, galvanised by a performative approach. Currently he is a doctoral candidate in Arts and Media practice at the University of Westminster, London. Recent shows include Despite Efficiency: Labour (UCA, Canterbury), Slike – Frontiers in Retreat (Savremena Galerija UK Ečka, Zrenjanin), all that is air melts into city (Arebyte Gallery, London).