13th Gwangju Biennale — Minds Rising Spirits Tuning

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Minds Rising

This bilingual online journal is intended to serve as an ensemble of our research process, featuring interdisciplinary content and artistic ideas. Performing as the “extended mind” of the 13th edition of the Gwangju Biennale and published on a bi-monthly basis, it has a tripartite focus: artistic/literary, scholarly, and theoretical; and includes features such as long-read essays, poetry, sonic features and video space for participant contributions, as well as time-based and live programming, laying the intellectual and artistic groundwork from which the Biennale unfolds.

The upcoming issues includes: online gaming culture and gender paradigm; plural cosmologies and geopoetics of Eurasia; queer life trajectory embedded in indigenous shamanistic culture; fetishized “smart” technology in daily life in North Korea; tragic historical trauma embedded in female bodies through Jeju and Gwangju uprisings in South Korea; connections between Buddhism and networked technology; the role of South Korean shamanism in healing societal trauma; and solidarity movements and planetary struggles after 1980 as a way to explore the renewed global significance of the Gwangju Uprising, forty years on this month of May.

The online platform is designed by Studio Remco van Bladel and Studio RGB, with Managing Editor Young-jun Tak.

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Bimonthly No. 1

With our first issue, we commence with artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña’s “Rain Dreamed by Sound reading Theresa Hak Kyung Cha” composed in the vein of mourning, self-exile and recovery: The place where “the tongue that is forbidden is your own mother tongue.”

Artist Outi Pieski and archeologist Eeva-Kristiina Harlin address the activation of re-matriation processes through traditional Sámi craftsmanship, reempowered Sámi goddesses, embodied practices, and communal forms of making. Technology researcher and writer Maya Indira Ganesh’s foray speaks to feminist takes on cyborgs and bots while building a larger conversation on how machine learning is reshaping the virtuality of desire, body image, and commits to making “wiggle room” away from tech bro culture. Researcher Dr. Ko Bo-hye’s latest study on Gwangju local women’s lives in Korea excavates scarce historical records of feminist struggles at the patriachal ancient time, and spotlights women’s crucial roles in modernization, independence, and democracization of the country, which have been overshadowed by Seoul-oriented feminism as well as heteronormative narrative in history.


Between Flesh: Tech Degrees of Separation

By Maya Indira Ganesh


Ládjogahpir Rematriated: Sámi Women and the Influence of Colonialism

By Eeva-Kristiina Harlin and Čiske-Jovsset Biret Hánsa Outi/Outi Pieski



By Ana Prvački

Bimonthly No. 2

With our second issue, we ask:

How does the logic of settler colonialism manifest in new forms of police surveillance? How can re-strengthened ancestral ties counter its toxicity? In epistolary form, Elizabeth Povinelli writes on the inventive strategies of aboriginal dissent and the notion of the gift. / What does Daoist classic Zhuangzi have to say about our “constant reworlding with the world”? Mi You considers how the many forgotten Eurasian stories about our connection to the Earth figure the ethics of moving as a geospatial and cosmic pursuit. / What about gender metamorphosis among the indigenous communities of the Russian Far East? Iaroslav Volovod and Valentin Diaconov write on queer forms of sexual and biopolitical creativity and the female spirits who frequently bested their creators. / Are there hierarchies of and within suffering? Who deserves remembrance and commemoration? How are women included in the heroic narrative of uprisings? Kyeong-Un Jeong revisits the symbolism of the “rice balls” that women in Gwangju prepared to support the city’s front-line demonstrators and also Jeju islanders’ shared grief.