Fractal Thinking A conversation

Fractal Thinking  A conversation


As part of her ongoing conversational project, Pandora Box artist Susanne M. Winterling will be joined by professor Denise Ferreira da Silva to talk about poethical ethics, the practice of the ‘what If’, and fractal thinking.

Ferreira da Silva proposes that we understand fractal thinking as a way of welcoming the complexity and complication resulting from an engagement with existents and events that, refusing the empire of time, attends simultaneously to the infra (quantic) and supra (cosmic) dimensions of existence. Ferreira da Silva situates this proposal within her larger offering to the unthinking of the world, black feminist poetics, which she draws from the work of black feminist and other radical interventions. As a poethical tool, fractal thinking rehearses the kind of compositional thinking that she hopes can break through the formalisations of the kind of thinking that relies only on the Understanding’s capacity to related to the world as an object.

Initiated by artist Susanne M. Winterling, Pandora Box is “a collective artefact which started with a group of artists, poets and cultural producers, as they began talking to each other from different angles and unusual positions.” Using the format of the conversation, Pandora Box explores the possibilities of forming alliances and creating networks of solidarity to think the world anew.

The series of conversations that compose Pandora Box are available online at

Pandora Box will soon become a book published by Archive Books.

The event is hosted by Federica Bueti, Chiara Figone and Susanne M. Winterling.

Denise Ferreira da Silva is Director of The Social Justice Institute (the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice) at the University of British Columbia. Her academic writings and artistic practice address the ethical questions of the global present and target the metaphysical and onto-epistemological dimensions of modern thought. Academic publications include Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) and the edited volume Race, Empire, and The Crisis of the Subprime (with Paula Chakravartty, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). She is the principal editor for the Routledge/Cavendish book series Law, Race, and the Postcolonial (with Mark Harris and Brenna Bhandar). She has written for publications of the 2016 Liverpool and São Paulo Biennials and creates events and texts as part of her Poethical Readings practice in collaboration with Valentina Desideri. She was an advisor to Natasha Ginwala, curator of the Contour 8 Biennale (Mechelen, 2017).

Susanne M. Winterling works across a range of media to explore the sentient economy, digital cultures and the social life of materials across our built environment. Winterling’s recent practice reflects upon political as well as aesthetic solidarity among human and animal species in today’s challenging geopolitical context. She also remains focused on historical feminist practices and the commons. Winterling is a professor of Contemporary Art at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo and a professor of Sculpture at HfG Offenbach.