Sensing Practices & Representations of More-than-human Worlds

Jointly organized by:

Dr. Marie Petersmann (Tilburg University)

Dr. Andrea Leiter (University of Amsterdam)

Date: 17-18 March 2022

Time: 09:00-13:00


This conference is the culmination of a series of workshops on the role that emerging technologies play in mediating the agency of the nonhuman. Over the course of 2021, six tech-developers from three winning teams of a hackathon on ‘Enabling Nature’s Autonomous Value Inside City Parks and Public Green Spaces’ organised by the ‘Sovereign Nature Initiative’ start-up were coupled with six researchers from across the environmental humanities. This continuous dialogue and collaboration between tech-developers/start-ups and interdisciplinary researchers enabled to explore how technological devices/prototypes can render the agency of the nonhuman registerable, legible and actionable. How can technologically mediated data on nonhuman agency be legally ‘expressed’, ‘translated’ or ‘represented’? What does this tell us about the legal categories and tools used to make sense of human-nonhuman relations in traditional practices of legal ‘representation’? Might emerging technologies enable nonhumans (whether plants, trees or ecosystems) to ‘participate’ in the political and legal decisions that affect them, and if so, how?

The prototypes developed during the hackathon of the Sovereign Nature Initiative will be exhibited during the conference for participants to engage with them.


Primavera De Filippi (Researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris; author of Blockchain and the Law, published in 2018 by Harvard University Press (co-authored with Aaron Wright), and founder of Plantoid)

Brittany Salas and Elise Cannon (founders and CEO from Sādu)

Vadim Smakhtin (creative engineer at Mathrioshka)

Shivaram K. R. (co-founder and CEO of Curl Tech)