Readings, performances, conversations

Carrier Bag Fiction

With Sophia Al-Maria, Dorothee Elmiger, Victoria Sin, Hito Steyerl and others

Thu, Mar 19, 2020
Thu, Mar 19, 2020
Restaurant Weltwirtschaft
In English
Sophia Al-Maria, Beast Type Song, 2019 (video still)

The event is postponed. The decision is based on the public administration’s current guidelines and recommendations on how to deal with the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). More...

Stories of hunting and killing suggest that only heroic acts by individuals can form the framework for great stories. In her 1986 essay The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, the visionary author Ursula K. Le Guin presents a feminist story of technology that centres the collective sustenance of life and takes narrative as a tool for world-making.

According to this alternative theory of human evolution, the primary inventions of humankind were not phallic weapons of domination and hunting, but “carrier bags”, humble containers: a basket of wild oats, a medicine bundle, a net woven from one’s own hair. The bag of stars. In her essay, Le Guin proposes a departure from linear, conflict-centered heroic stories and outlines a gatherer's narrative practice of receiving and holding different worlds of imagination, in which dualisms such as light and dark, female and male, good and bad dissolve. For in the words of Donna Haraway, who introduces Ignota's new volume, ‘It matters what worlds world worlds’.

The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction has now been published with an introductory essay by Donna Haraway and illustrations by Lee Bul by Ignota Books as the inaugural edition of the new series Terra Ignota. The editors Sarah Shin and Ben Vickers invite artists, writers and thinkers to gather around Le Guin's "carrier bag" and explore the subversive ideas of this essay in readings, performances and conversations. Other artists and writers contribute rituals, micro-stories, recordings through the ether to be embodied and channeled by those present.

With Sophia Al-Maria, Jesse Darling, Dorothee Elmiger, Victoria Sin, Hito Steyerl and further contributions by Season Butler, Laurel Halo, Taylor Le Melle, Nisha Ramayya and Himali Singh Soin, curated by Sarah Shin and Ben Vickers

In cooperation with Ignota Books