CONF Mar 19, 2023

Deep Sea Babies (Krakow, 13-15 Apr 23)

Podbrzezie Gallery in Karakow, Apr 13–15, 2023

Ewelina Jarosz

Deep Sea Babies: Navigating between Dystopias and Utopias for the Blue Planet

An international academic conference organized by the Institute of Polish Philology and the Institute of Art and Design at The Pedagogical University of Krakow, Poland in cooperation with the Intermedia Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland.

Held at the Pedagogical University of Krakow and online (hybrid event).

“Bodies of water” (Neimanis 2017) and “transcorporeality” (Alaimo 2010) are the concepts that represent both the dystopian and utopian states of our current ways of inhabiting the Blue Planet (Earle A. Sylvia, McKibben Bill 2009; Skinner, Winifred 2011). The massive scale of rivercide, lake depletions in droughts and heatwaves, decreasing aquatic biodiversity, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification are human-made phenomena that produce the dynamic and diverse reality of the Hydrocene (Bailey-Charteris 2021) or Aquatocene (Šebjanič 2021). These terms are used in the environmental humanities and art to keep hope alive or raise critical awareness in our epoch of multispecies alliances for surviving in less hospitable waters of the ableist patriarchal capitalism (Gumbs 2020), infested with (micro)plastic waste, underwater networks (Starosielski 2015), and poisonous substances. They all produce ubiquitous and viscous “hyperobjects” (Morton 2013) and phenomena such as the Great Pacific Patch or mass extinction in the river Oder.

The titular “deep sea babies” is a hydrosensual attempt (Sprinkle, Stephens 2021) to grasp our contemporary transitional and ephemeral more-than-human environmental identity. Although we all are immersed in the post-apocalyptic condition, we seek how to engage positive ecospheric emotions to open up new fluctuating possibilities of environmental consciousness, action, and agency. The concept of “deep sea babies” invites contaminated multispecies hybrids we all are to help us envision the possibility of growing-with-the trouble of global and local ecologies.


Thursday, April 13, 2023

9.00–9:30 Official welcome and conference opening
9:30–10:30 Keynote lecture
Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris, University of New South Wales, Soaking in the Hydrocene as disruptive epoch (online)

10:30–11:00 Coffee break

11:00–12:30 Merfolk and SF water creatures
Anna Markowska, University of Wrocław, Aquatic nympholepsia for a decolonised imagination
Shealeen A. Meaney, Russell Sage College, NY, Merfolk of the Anthropocene: Cli-fi, Mer-Cons, and transcorporeal fantasies (online)
Caroline Elgh,TEMA G, Gender Studies, Linköping University, A curatorial journey across coastlines and media. Science fiction and visual art as Chthulucene types of oceanic imaginaries in times of ecological crises
Chair: Anna Markowska

12:30–14:00 Blue affective methodologies
Karolina Kolenda, Pedagogical University of Krakow, The tides of hope and the depths of despair: towards affective methodologies in envisioning the future of the Blue Planet
Fiona Middleton, University of Southampton, UK, Deep ocean literacies: reaching, touching, grabbing
Anna Salata, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Utrecht, The Netherlands, Excluded among excluded. Multispecies trauma in the underwater non-binary environments (online)
Chair: Ewelina Jarosz

14:00–15:30 Aquatic lunch break

15:30–17:00 Blue (post)humanities in Central Europe
Agata & Marta Polak, The voice of the city river Ślepotka
Maja Rup, University of Warsaw, Dead zones in the Baltic Sea and their naturalcultural status
Karolina Majewska-Güde, Berlin, Two silences, or a dialogue with a human. On Zbigniew Warpechowski’s and Raša Todosijević’s performances with fish
Chair: Karolina Kolenda

17:00–18:30 Queering bodies of water
Federico Rudari, UCP Lisbon, Bodies in space: a queer ecology of contagion
Daniela Weiss, Art Academy of Szczecin, Mapping chaotic waves – stinking hydrofeminism, queering gay and un-cissing bodies
Zuza Koprowska, University of Fine Arts in Poznań, Laguna Blu – lesbian* watery spaces
Chair: Tomasz Sikora

Friday, April 14, 2023

09:00–10:00 Keynote lecture
Ewelina Jarosz, Pedagogical University of Krakow & Justyna Górowska, Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Launching the hydrosexual movement for the Baltic region to navigate between utopias and dystopias

10:00–10:30 Coffee break

10:30–12:00 Aquatic hope & virtual embodiment
Carla Sopie Tapparo, Argentina, Modified branchial imaginations, in defense of chaos and eros as a way back to hope through curiosity (online)
Lux Æterna (Karina Gorzkowska, Yana Maroz, Katarzyna Oczkowska, Agata Polak), Poland, Deep Virtual Babies
Valentina Demarchi, Politecnico di Milano – Design Department, Meta 32 circa and the (sense-)making of its piece Konfluencja as an exemplary case of sea-centred “Appropriation Art-ivism” practices
Chair: Justyna Górowska

12:30–14:00 Blue eco-technologies
Agata Dyczko, Poland, To be touched with the sound of water. To loose boundaries. To immerse or to tell a story
Wiktoria Kozioł, SWPS, Poland, Water in video games – an exercise in game design
Paul Wiersbinski, Germany, Mortal Toys (online)
Małgorzata Owczarska, Poland, "Above" and "under" waterscape – sensory reinforcement in blue anthropological fieldwork
Chair: Magdalena Worłowska

14:00–15:30 Aquatic lunch break

15:30–17:00 Hydro-art(ivism): expanding disability studies and indigenous knowledge
Sebastian Mühl, Institute of Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture of Art Academy of Latvia, Calling for rain: the world-making art of Khvay Samnang
Mo Tomaszewska, Kraków, River-size topic
Agata Stronciwilk, University of Washington in Seattle, University of Silesia in Katowice, In and out of the water. Mari Katayma's aquatic spaces (online)
Chair: Anna Chromik

17:30–18:30 Roundtable discussion

19:00 The Blue Humanities Archive presentation (curated by Justyna Górowska) Venue: Nuremberg House, ul. Skałeczna 2, Krakow

Saturday, April 15, 2023

17:00 Hydrofeminist film screening (curated and chaired by Marta Grabowska) Venue: Nuremberg House, ul. Skałeczna 2, Krakow

Organising Committee: dr Ewelina Jarosz, dr Karolina Kolenda, in cooperation with dr Justyna Górowska.
Conference Scientific Committee: dr hab. Magdalena Stoch, dr hab. Tomasz Sikora, dr Małgorzata Kaźmierczak.

- Åsberg Cecylia, Ecologies and Technologies of Feminist Posthumanities, “Women’s Studies”, 50(8)2021, pp. 857-862.
- Alaimo Stacy, Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self, Indiana University Press 2010.
- Bailey-Charteris, Revealing the Hydrocene: Reflections on Watery Research, “Przegląd Kulturoznawyczy” 2(48)2021, pp. 431-445.
- DeLoughrey Elizabeth, Didur Jill, Carrigan, Anthony (eds.), Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities. Postcolonial Approaches, Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature 2015.
- Earle A. Sylvia, McKibben Bill, The World is Blue: How our Fate and the Oceans Are One, National Geographics, Washington, D.C. 2009.
- Gumbs Alexis Pauline, Maree Brown Adrienne, Undrowned. Black Feminists Lesson From Sea Mammals, AK Press 2020.
- Hand, Kevin Peter, Alien Ocean: the Search for Life in the Depths of Space, Princeton University Press, Princeton 2020.
- Haraway, Donna, Staying with a Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Duke University Press Books 2016.
- Helmreich, Stefan, Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas, University of California Press, Berkley 2009.
- Neimanis, Astrida, Bodies of the Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology, Bloomsbury Academic London, 2017.
- Morton, Timothy, Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, London 2013.
- Robertina Š Šebjanič, Aquatocene: A Subaquatic Quest for Serenity in: Reilchle Ingeborg (ed.) Plastic Ocean: Art and Science Responses to Marine Pollution, the Gruyter 2021, pp. 136-155.
- Skinner, Brian J., Winifred Murck Barbara, The Blue Planet: an Introduction to Earth System Science, 3rd ed., Hoboken, Wiley, NJ 2011.
- Sprinkle, Annie, Stephens, Elizabeth with Klein, Jennie, Assuming Ecosexual Position. The Earth as Lover, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, London 2021.
- Starosielski, Nicole, The Undersea Network, Duke University Press, Durham and London 2015.

Technical information:
Stream online:
FB fun page Instytut Filologii Polskiej Uniwersytetu Pedagogicznego w Krakowie

Accessibility information:
The assistant is available to the blind or visually impaired (please inform the organizers if you need one)
Captions with transcription of the conference will be provided
Venue accessibility

Podbrzezie Gallery:
The gallery is located on the 1st floor of the building. The building is adapted to the needs of the disabled. A platform that provides access to the building is accessible from the ground floor. There are accessible toilets on each floor. The lift is equipped with handrails and audio information. Wall and floor cladding is made of non-reflective matt materials.

Nuremberg House
The building is adapted to the needs of the disabled. The gallery space is located on the ground floor. The entrance to the gallery is at the level of the pavement.

CONF: Deep Sea Babies (Krakow, 13-15 Apr 23). In:, Mar 19, 2023 (accessed Jul 15, 2024), <>.