María Antonia González Valerio in conversation with Victoria Vesna on TTT2020 in Vienna: ArtSci PARTICLES interview
ArtSci PARTICLES are interviews by US-American media artist Victoria Vesna (UCLA) with members of the UCLA concentric network. In this episode (no 18) the community is joined by María Antonia González Valerio a Mexican philosopher and professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), who invites us to take a closer look at and consider how we are responding to the pandemic in our institutions, in our bodies, and in our communities. María Antonia is interested in our incapacity to stop, to slow down and questions why we as humans have responded to this unprecedented circumstance with the mentality that we must continue business-as-usual. She proclaims, “Let the extraordinary be extraordinary! Why are we so afraid to stop?”
María Antonia also strongly urges us to resist the normalization of online teaching and education. Within her experience, this platform greatly limits interactions and community-building which are the aspects of education that truly allow for learning to take place. When our eyes and sense of ourselves and one another are limited to a 2-dimensional screen, we lose our bodies, we lose our transmission of affect and connection. This conversation and ideas provoked by María Antonia and Victoria is a reticent call to action, reminding us to remember the phenomenology of our bodies, to step back into ourselves and to reconnect to the physical and each other.
María Antonia González Valerio has a PhD in Philosophy from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) with postdoctoral studies in the area of aesthetics. She is a full-time professor of the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature and of the postgraduate programs in Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Art History and Fine Arts UNAM. She works within the research line of ontology-aesthetics and the interdisciplinary line of arts, sciences and humanities, specifically in the field of art that uses bio-media.
She is the head of the research group Arte+Ciencia (Art+Science) which gathers artists, scholars and scientists in an interdisciplinary work that produces education at an under and postgraduate level, specialized theoretical research, artistic creation and exhibitions. She is also the leader of the research project Medium and Species: Ecology and Evolution within Philosophy of Nature”, linked to the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature and the Faculty of Sciences at UNAM. She is the author of the books Cabe los límites. Escritos sobre filosofía natural desde la ontología estética (México: UNAM/Herder, 2016), Untratado de ficción (México: Herder, 2010) and El arte develado (México: Herder, 2005).