with Robertina Šebjanič, Kat Austen, Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz in the framework of the exhibition Aural Aquatic Presence, 18 September 2016
Kat Austen "Experiments in Interspecies Empathy: The Coral Empathy Device"
We have a lot in common with coral. It builds shelter to protect itself, and lives in symbiosis with microorganisms, which – like our microbiome – help it to survive. Coral acts like a steward to much other marine life, providing a home for the algae with which it lives symbiotically, and creating reefs that are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. Using stewardship as a common starting point, Kat will discuss her piece The Coral Empathy Device (2016) in the context of exploring interspecies empathy through artistic investigations into the marine environment and human perception. Drawing on an approach that melds together multiple knowledges, Kat will explain both the conceptual approach and her methodologies in the research and creation of a piece that challenges the audience physically to prompt a lived experience connecting human-in-air and coral-in-water.
Kat Austen is a succession of experiences and an assemblage of aspirations. She is also a person. She creates artworks and experiences that explore multiple knowledges, boundaries and authority in an environmental context. She has a studio in Berlin and lectures at University College London’s Arts and Sciences BASc, is Artist in Residence in UCL’s Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences, and part of the London Creative Network.