Sonia Levy

SLevy-COTL- ProductionStill

(Photo credit: Creatures of the Lines (working title), Production still (c) Sonia Levy )

Co-Commissioned by Aarhus University's Ecological Globalisation Research Group, Sonia Levy is working on the production of a new film interrogating the normalised slow violences of ecological damage. It will examine how the remaking of water flows to support agricultural and industrial production has upended ecologies in ways that promotes the spread of introduced organisms.

Focusing on the blowback of centuries of modernist projects that have ignored multispecies relationality, the film will course through and with these disturbed ecologies, to explore how desires for economic growth and linear progress produce a landscape of lines: a series of straightened features made through and by forms of imperialism and global accumulation that reach out to distant places. How, it asks, do such linearised worlds prove inviting for some and deadly for others?

Working closely with geographers and other scholars from Loughborough University, as well as Heather Swanson from Aarhus University, the film will draw on current research into new ecological ‘risks’ affecting Midlands waterbodies, such as the increased eutrophication of British water tied to fertiliser importation and the arrival of the Asian Clam in the Grand Union Canal.

The film will describe a recursive and polyvocal multispecies world in industrial ruins. It will endeavour to be a passionate call for additional attention to the permeability and cyclical nature of the watery spaces and how we might ultimately foster more meandering and soggy worlds.

Sonia Levy is a French artist whose research-led practice considers new forms of engagements with nonhuman life forms. Her installation, sculpture, drawing and video works operate at the intersection of art and science, interested in redefining our relationship with the Earth. She graduated from Villa Arson, École des Beaux–Art de Nice in France as well as École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. In 2016 she took part in the Experimental Programme in Political Arts  (SPEAP) at the School of Public Affairs, Sciences Po Paris, a programme developed and led by professor Bruno Latour. Levy has exhibited in the UK and internationally including exhibitions and screenings at Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris; Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris; ICA, London; BALTIC, Gateshead; Obsidian Coast, Bradford-on-Avon; Goldsmiths, University of London; The Showroom, London; Pump House Gallery, London; Verksmiðjan á Hjalteyri, Iceland; and The Húsavík Whale Museum, Iceland. Her work has been published in Verdure Engraved, The Learned Pig, Billebaude and has appeared in NatureCulture and Parallax. She has presented her research at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, The Oslo School of Environmental Humanities  and AURA: Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene.

Additional funding for the film has been contributed by “Ecological Globalisation: Anthropology on the New Pangaea," based at Aarhus University and supported by the Carlsberg Foundation (Distinguished Associate Professor Fellowship CF17-0872).


Risk Related

A series of commissions exploring risk and its social, ecological and economic relations. Read more

Project Partners

Loughborough University Institute of Advanced Studies

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Dr Rachel Murray

Doctoral Prize Fellow in Literature
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Dr Heather Swanson

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Aarhus University
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Professor Paul Wood

Professor of Ecohydrology
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Dr David Ryves

Reader in Environmental Change
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Jez riley French

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The Linearization of Landscapes: Patterns of Water, Terrain, and Life

Thu 18 June 2020

14:00pm - 15:30pm

A reading group led by Sonia Levy, Heather Swanson and Rachel Murray. Read more

For the Love of Corals Screening (IAS 'Water' Theme Launch)

Wed 13 November 2019

14:00pm - 16:00pm

Screening of Sonia Levy's 'For the Love of Corals' as part of the Institute of Advanced Study's 'Water' theme launch. Read more