Present Futures Festival 2023

Engagement activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in a professional or community conference, workshop or symposium

Laura Bissell (Chair), 24 Jun 2023

Pleasure Ecologies Panel Discussion

In Matter and Desire, biologist and philosopher Andreas Weber situates ecology as a practice of building relationships, longing for connections, and expressing these desires through our bodies. How do ideas of pleasure, love, care, the erotic, and sensuality intersect with ecological thinking and art-making? How are artists exploring these ideas through their practices? Connecting with ideas of pleasure activism, pleasurable ecologies and queer and feminist perspectives: Ama Josephine Budge, Rosanna Cade, Adham Faramawy and Leonie Gasson will reflect on their work.

The panel will be a hybrid format of live and online presentations chaired by Dr Laura Bissell (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).

About the panel:

Adham Faramawy is an artist based in London. Their work spans media including moving image, sculptural installation and print, engaging concerns with materiality, touch, and toxic embodiment to question ideas of the natural in relation to marginalized communities.

Leonie Rae Gasson. Leo (she/her) is a Scotland based multi reality director. She fuses live performance with digital media including film & VR to make experiences from a queer neurodivergent perspective. She has made work for the National Theatre of Scotland, Tron Theatre, Boundless & has been mentored by Gob Squad & Punchdrunk. She is co-artistic director of Produced Moon. Current work in development includes REIN, a multi-artform installation that tells the story of fantastical dyke subcultures living & fucking in rural Scotland, and Sagittarius A* a new VR theatre work about breakups, black holes & quantum physics. Previous work includes Death Becomes Us for the National Theatre of Scotland, an immersive exploration of the rhetoric of control used by the Brexit campaign featuring a blindfolded audience, a binaural soundscape, interviews with a dominatrix and a community chorus of European migrants. Her mixed reality work fuses live performance with virtual reality and includes For now we see the borders are more permeable than we thought which draws from Judith Butler’s Frames of War.

Ama Josephine Budge Johnstone is a speculative writer, artist, scholar and pleasure activist whose praxis navigates that which she has termed “Intimate Ecologies” to explore Blackness, aesthetics and queer, pleasurable, interspecies futures. Ama is an Associate Lecturer at University of the Arts London: Central Saint Martins, and also teaches at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. Ama’s wider intra-disciplinary work thinks through sustainable ecologies of care and more-than-survival for BIPoC women and queer folk in the arts and academia. She has had essays, short fiction and art writing published internationally, and has been exhibited across Europe. Ama is a curatorial fellow with Frame Contemporary Art Finland (Helsinki) and EVA International (Limerick); a participant of the first Postnatural Independent Programme (Madrid); and was the 2020/21 Keith Haring Fellow in Art and Activism with Bard College (New York).

Rosana Cade (they/them) is a renowned queer artist and facilitator based in Glasgow, Scotland. Their work straddles the worlds of experimental contemporary theatre, live art, queer cabaret, film, children’s performance, site specific, and socially engaged practices. Rosana enjoys using live performance practice to create contexts that invite people to step beyond the boundaries they usually act within, giving audiences/participants sensorial live experiences they may not feel able to partake in elsewhere. They see the act of creating live works as practicing imaginative world building, taking us beyond an restrictive realities towards new possibilities. For the past 12 years Rosana has toured their work extensively across Europe to a range of venues and organisations such as Gessnerrallee in Zurich, Battersea Arts Centre in London, Fierce Festival in Birmingham, Teatro Maria Matos in Lisbon, Frascati in Amsterdam, Kampnagel in Hamburg, Tanzquartier in Vienna, Summerhall in Edinburgh as part of the Made in Scotland and British Council showcases, and Vier Nul Vier in Gent, as well as to North America, Australia and Hong Kong. Rosana has a long-term collaborative practice with their partner Ivor MacAskill as Cade & MacAskil, who recently created a new, spectacular semi-autobiographical mid-scale show, 'The Making of Pinocchio', commissioned by Tramway, Fierce, Kampnagel, and View Nul Vier.

Rosana is also the co-founder of Glasgow Buzzcut, an organisation that supports live art and experimental performance in Scotland.


TitlePresent Futures Festival 2023
LocationCentre for Contemporary Art
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionInternational event