In this lecture, Natasha Myers, an associate professor of anthropology at York University, will discuss Becoming Sensor, a multimodal research-creation project situated on Dish With One Spoon Lands in Toronto, in solidarity with Indigenous resurgence projects in the city’s oak savannahs.
These are the sites where Indigenous people in this region have been conspiring with the land and with fire to grow nourishing worlds for generations before colonization.
Working at the edges of anthropology, art, ecology, and activism, this project begins from the premise that the colonial restoration ecology projects taking shape on these lands participate actively in Indigenous dispossession. Becoming Sensor experiments with kinesthetic attunements, inventing protocols for an “ungrid-able ecology” responsive to both the sentience of the land, and to the power-moves of colonial land governance, with the aim of detuning settler common sense and activating accomplices in the work of restoring Indigenous leadership to the care of oak savannah lands.
Natasha Myers is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University and director of the Plant Studies Collaboratory. Her current ethnographic projects speculate on the contours of a Planthroposcene, with investigations spanning the arts and sciences of vegetal sensing and sentience, the politics of gardens, and the enduring colonial violence of restoration ecology. In addition to her award-winning book, Rendering Life Molecular (Duke, 2015), recent co-authored and co-edited books include Le Ravissement de Darwin: Le langage des plantes (Éditions la Découverte, 2020), What is Life? (Das Neue Alphabet, Spector Books, 2021) and Reactivating Elements: Ecology, Chemistry, Practice (Duke, 2022). A full list of publications can be found at natashamyers.org.