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  • Writer's picturePosthuman Art Network

Juliette Pénélope Pépin

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

Juliette Pénélope Pépin's practice investigates human and non-human perceptions: their phenomenology, mythology and technological frameworks. Through installations, videos, images and speculative narratives, Juliette Pénélope examines the meanings of «seeing» and «being seen» in our time.

Through participatory, collective and interdisciplinary projects, Pépin sets the limits of her practice beyond the art space. Reflecting on the multiple paradigms that shape our time, she values and develops participatory, discursive and negotiable research projects.

She is currently programmed as an artist-researcher at the ICA Kyoto (Kyoto Center for Contemporary Art - Fall 22). Recent exhibitions include the group show ‘Hydrographism’ with her collective LIMB at Brighton CCA Dorset Place (UK), the group show ‘When, Suddenly’ with University Plurality at Espace Voltaire (FR) and ‘working conditions’ a commission for BLINDSIDE Gallery (AUS).

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Biocœnose; [Re]-learning with the bio-‘immutable’. An art research on alternative forms of co-existence, human and non-human, informed by scientific and cultural apprehension of frogs in France and Japan. It has been a year of thinking with frogs and their biotopes about possible futures informed by their Umwelten. Referring to Umwelt theory (J. Uexküll) zoo semiotics and zoo poetics, Biocœnose looks at specific socio-cultural contexts in which some frog representations (mostly French and Japanese) have emerged and how they inform interactions with those species (e.g. association to fertility, witchcraft and death). Simultaneously, the project refers to broader theories, especially hydro and eco-feminism. I, the author, am part of a research fellow program at the ICA Kyoto (autumn 22) with Biocœnose. During this residency I will study the Glandirana Rugosa, a Japanese frog found in the Kyoto region and the Rana Dalmatina, a frog found in the Île-de-France region. I will analyse the representation of frogs in Yokai and Japanese folk stories as well as in French superstitions and tales like «Les fables de la fontaine». I will examine the evolution of these frogs from a biological point of view, focusing on the perception (vision) of frogs and their relationship with their environment - the pond. Simultaneously, I will investigate the visual culture of French and Japanese frog influencers on the social network Instagram. This body of research will later be transformed and shared through a series of ‘artworks’, a public program and a monographic publication. For the Posthuman residency I will employ a distinct method from the one at the ICA Kyoto. I will research what it signifies, from a post humanist perspective, to think frog bodies and their Umwelten. The research will be informed by contemporary biological discoveries and mainstream visual culture trends as well as posthuman theories and practices to think with frogs about their bodies. Using predominantly AI as a medium to shape and transform my research, I will consider the implications of this technology in thinking about frog-machine intra-action. In terms of visual restitution of the residency, I will develop an ‘experimental’ iconography of the research – a sort of chaotic yet coherent visual essay.


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