Photo of hands working with chicken poo fuel cell

14 Dec: ‘How does soil prototype…?’

Our very own Helen Pritchard is taking up a new position as Professor and new head of research at the Institute Experimental Design and Media Cultures (IXDM) at the FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Basel, Switzerland and will be giving an inaugural lecture on the topic of ‘How does soil prototype…?’. Big congrats to Helen for this amazing new journey!

Abstract for the talk below and more details on the event available here:


‘How does soil prototype…?’

Despite the ways in which the end of carbon-based energy demands the recognition of human-earth relations, the emerging imaginations of energy transition and net-zero remain powerfully attached to the individual and the image of the “smooth life”. In their inaugural lecture Helen V. Pritchard asks what if we start with soil, how can we imagine infrastructures otherwise and design practices that can flip paradigms, embrace grimy creativity and ferment revolt. How does soil prototype communities? How does soil prototype (regenerative) queer imaginaries? Critiques of technology and digitalization? Exhaustion? Creative and innovative uses of technology? Humuspunk? Alternative histories of energy? Stories of damage? (Overwhelming) refusal and unknowing? Working across time, space and scales (micro, meso, macro… microbes, ghosts, sedimentations)? From crushes on nematodes and counter cloud actions, to delving into microbial fuel cells and energy harvesting, Helen will consider these questions through their work with Regenerative Energy Communities and The Institute of Technology in the Public Interest (TITiPI), proposing to define and cultivate a plurality of material practices of resistance, reclamation, recovery, generosity, flourishing and joy.