Uncertainty Seminars

Multispecies Miscommunication

Saturday 29 February 2020, 15:30 - 20:00 hrs
(walk in: 15:00 hrs)
Location: Stroom, Hogewal 1-9, The Hague
Language spoken: English
Join facebook event

Tickets:  € 7,50 presale via Eventbrite/ € 10,- at the door (incl. small meal)

Participating artists (more will follow soon):
Jenna Sutela, Adelaide Lala Tam & Kuang-Yi Ku, Missouri Williams

For a notorious experiment conducted in the 1960s, NASA moved three of the stars of the television show Flipper (Sissy, Pamela, and Peter) to a research laboratory on the Caribbean. Their young researcher Margaret Lowe Howell moved into the facilities full-time to teach the pre-pubescent bottle nose dolphin Peter to speak English. Twice daily, she conducted lessons to teach him to enunciate the phrase ‘hello Margaret'. The ‘m' sound proved incredibly difficult for Peter, and the experiment was soon defunded. Research priorities have since shifted to focus on the complexity of other species' own means of communicating, rather than teaching them English.

This edition of Uncertainty Seminars deals with the theme of Multispecies Miscommunication'. Since the attempts to make celebrity dolphins part of the anglosphere, artists and scientists have found numerous ways to approach nonhuman communication: from having sheep play Shakespeare, creating a language for the future inhabitants of Mars, to analyzing the language of fossils from eras other than the Anthropocene. How can experimental practices show us different ways to live in a multispecies environment?

Participating artists and projects:
(more will follow soon)

Adelaide Lala Tam & Kuang-Yi Ku - The New Ultimate Imperial Feast
The New Ultimate Imperial Feast is a dining experience that bridges developments in biotechnology and agriculture with cultural traditions to broaden our perception of future food systems. At the Uncertainty Seminars, they will serve and showcase six of the feasts' courses: the super hybrid shark fin, moon ginseng soup, roasted rooster, pig milk cheese platter, and a course of eel, developed especially for this dinner at Stroom.

Jenna Sutela - nimiia cétiï (2018)
nimiia cétiï is an audiovisual work by Jenna Sutela using machine learning to generate a new written and spoken language.

Missouri Williams
Theatrical performance with animals.

Multispecies Miscommunication continues the research Stroom undertakes under the umbrella term of De Dingen, launched in 2018, on the changing hierarchies between animals, plants, machines, humans, others, and things.
Curated by: Lua Vollaard.
Graphic and spatial design: The Rodina


Adelaide Lala Tam is a food designer who dismantles industrial food production systems to gain a critical understanding of our modern relationship with food. Recently, her vending machine and video work ‘0.9 Grams of Brass' won the Future Food Design Award 2018 in both the jury and audience categories, and the ‘Ultimate Milk Cow project' featured among the Water School collection from Studio Makkink and Bey at Salone del Mobile Milan 2019.
Formerly a dentist, Kuang-Yi Ku is a bio-artist and social designer. He founded TW BioArt (a Taiwan bioart community) to stimulate the fields of BioArt and Science + Art in Taiwan. His works often deal with the human body, sexuality, interspecies interactions, and medical technology, and aim to investigate the relationships among technology, individuals, and the environment.

Jenna Sutela works with words, sounds, and other living media, such as Bacillus subtilis natt? bacteria and the "many-headed" slime mold Physarum polycephalum. Her audiovisual pieces, sculptures, and performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, often in relation to technology. Sutela's work has been presented at museums and art contexts internationally, including Guggenheim Bilbao, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, and Serpentine Galleries. She is a Visiting Artist at The MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) in 2019-20.

Uncertainty Seminars are hybrid events at Stroom Den Haag, embracing doubt and hesitation as cultural strategy.

Special thanks to:
The Uncertainty Seminars are made possible by the generous support of the Mondriaan Fund and The City of The Hague.

Archive Uncertainty Seminars
>> click here

Uncertainty Seminars
photo: design: The Rodina
Adelaide Lala Tam & Kuang-Yi Ku, 'The New Ultimate Imperial Feast'
photo: Billy Elvis
Adelaide Lala Tam & Kuang-Yi Ku, 'The New Ultimate Imperial Feast'
photo: Billy Elvis
Jenna Sutela, 'nimiia cétiï', 2018
photo: courtesy the artist