Ursula Biemann and Paulo Tavares

Ursula Biemann is an artist, writer, and video essayist based in Zurich, Switzerland. She investigates global relations under the impact of the accelerated mobility of people, resources and information. In her earlier art and curatorial work she made space and mobility her prime category of analysis in “Geography and the Politics of Mobility” (2003), “The Maghreb Connection“ (2006), and the widely exhibited art and research project “Sahara Chronicle“ (2006-2009) on clandestine migration networks. More recently she turned to ecology, oil and water with major art projects including Black Sea Files (2005), Egyptian Chemistry (2012) and Deep Weather (2013). Her video installations are exhibited worldwide in museums and the International Art Biennials of Liverpool, Sharjah, Shanghai, Thessaloniki, Sevilla, Istanbul, and Venice.

Her research is based at the Zurich University for the Arts and she is publisher of several books, e.g. “Stuff it – the Video Essay in the Digital Age (2003), Mission Reports – Artistic Practice in the Field (2008). She is currently working on a new piece on the Ecuadorian Amazon, commissioned by Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

Biemann has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York (1988). She received a doctor honoris causa in Humanities by the Swedish University Umea and the Prix Meret Oppenheim, the national art award of Switzerland.

Paulo Tavares is a Brazilian architect and urbanist based in Quito/London. His work is concerned with the relations between conflict and space as they intersect within the multi-scalar arrangements of cities, territories and ecologies. Grounded on research-based methodologies and commitment to field-work, Tavares’s practice combines design, media-based cartographies and writing as interconnected modalities of reading contemporary spatial conditions. He is currently developing a project on the violence of planning and the politics of ecology in Amazonia at the PhD Programme of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, UK.

Tavares teaches architecture at the Universidad Católica de Ecuador – Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Arte, Quito, and previously held teaching posts at the Centre for Research Architecture – Goldsmiths, and at the Visual Lab of the MA in Contemporary Art Theory, also at Goldsmiths, UK. Writings appeared in many publications worldwide and his work has been exhibited in various venues including CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts – Glasgow, Haus der Kulturen der Welt – Berlin, Portikus – Frankfurt and the Taipei Biennial 2012. He co-authored the artist book Forest Law, published by Broad Art Museum, MSU in 2014.