Pascal Schwaighofer is a multi- and interdisciplinary artist, a Mellon Graduate Fellow at the Society for the Humanities, and a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at Cornell University. His research is grounded in environmental humanities, visual culture, and critical theory. Starting from the material culture of apiculture, his dissertation project explores the modern Western fascination with honeybees and its transdisciplinary influence on linguistics, cybernetics, economy, and ecology. The thesis revisits the findings of Nobel Prize-winning ethologist Karl von Frisch (1886-1982) and Thomas D. Seeley, the Horace White Professor in Biology at Cornell University; it tracks the ontological and epistemological reshuffling prompted by von Frisch’s “Bee Language,” Seeley’s “Honeybee Democracy,” and the dramatic decline in pollinator populations worldwide. Against the backdrop of major ecological disruptions, Pascal uses the study of honeybees to probe the complex imbrication of neurobiology, tropology, and political concepts such as democracy and care.


Pascal has written “The Book Hive: A Material Metaphor,” an essay currently under review for the collection “Critical Insect Studies and the Long Eighteenth Century,” a special issue of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. In this essay,he discusses the epistemological implications of the hiving system designed in the form of a book and the visual impairment of its inventor, Genevan naturalist François Huber (1750–1831). In addition to his academic research, Pascal pursues a research-based artistic practice focused on the comparative strategies of technology and aesthetics. His artworks have been acquired by private and public collections and exhibited in major European museums, such as the Aargauer Kunsthaus (Switzerland); Kunstmuseum Luzern (Switzerland); Kolumba Museum (Cologne, Germany); MAGA museum (Gallarate, Italy); Centre Culturel Suisse (Paris, France); Center of Contemporary Art (Plovdiv, Bulgaria), and many others. In collaboration with art curator Jan Verwoert, Pascal is the author of Tulipmania, a publication focusing on the link between contemporary aesthetics and the abstract economy of tulips in the seventeenth century. He was awarded the prestigious Swiss Art Awards and the Manor Art Prize, Switzerland, and in 2019 he received a Production Grant from Cornell Council of the Arts and was awarded the Cornell University Comparative Literature Essay Prize. 

His artistic practice has been exhibited in several institutions across Europe such as the Center of Contemporary Art, Plovdiv, (BJ); Kunstmuseum Lucerne, (CH); MAGA museum, Gallarate, (IT); Aargauer Kunsthaus, (CH); Kolumba Museum, Cologne, (DE); Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, (FR); Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano, (CH); AR/GE kunst, Galerie museum, Bozen/Bolzano, (IT). Recent lectures include La classe sterile, with Christian Marazzi, at Museo Vincenzo Vela (2016); The Fable of the Bees, at Performa Festival (2015); Tulipmania, with Jan Verwoert, at Le Foyer, Zurich (2014). He was awarded the Manor Art Prize, Ticino, Switzerland and the Swiss Art Awards (2011). In January 2016 Tulipmania was released, a publication based on a dialogue between Jan Verwoert and Pascal Schwaighofer as an extension of a multi-part work called Economimesis. In 2011 he was selected for the Collection Cahier d’Artiste, a publication series promoted by the Swiss Art Council Pro Helvetia.


Publications
...............

Featured in:
Diacritics: A Review of Contemporary Criticism
Volume 46, number 3 (2018)
https://www.diacriticsjournal.com

Tulipmania
Pascal Schwaighofer, Jan Verwoert
Le Foyer, Zürich / edition fink, Zürich, 2016
German, 128 pages, 64 color illustrations, soft-cover.
ISBN 978-3-03746-194-5
http://lefoyer-lefoyer.blogspot.ch http://www.editionfink.ch

Bex & Arts 2014, Émergences,
art&fiction publications, 2014
English, French, 21 x 28 cm
ISBN: 978-2-940377-79-4
http://www.bexarts.ch/2014

Pascal Schwaighofer
Kolumba, Köln, 2013
Limited edition: 300 copies
21 x 16.5 cm
http://www.kolumba.de

In Absent Places We Dwell
activeRat, Berne et Genève 2012
English, French, 66 x 45 cm
ISBN: 978-3-9521842-7-1
http://www.pianonobile.ch

Pascal Schwaighofer /
Misha Stroj
AR/GE kunst - issue #13
Mousse Publishing, 2012
Limited edition: 800 copies (1 booklet, 1 Poster)
English, Italian, German, 21 x 15 cm
http://www.moussepublishing.com

OPOYAZ
Pascal Schwaighofer
edition fink Zürich, 2012
Italian/English, 25,5 x 21 cm, 92 pages
ISBN: 978-3-03746-161-7
http://www.editionfink.ch

Cahiers d'Artiste Pascal Schwaighofer
Edizioni Periferia, Luzern, 2011
Edited by Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council
Italian/English, Softcover, 165x240 mm, 48 pages
ISBN 978–3–907474–88–4
http://www.prohelvetia.ch


Lectures & seminars
...............

Poli(t)tico
Workshop
Polittico Research Lab, University of Pisa, Italy, 2019
https://polittico.unipi.it

The Sterile Class
Seminar
November 21-22, 2016
CCC Research Master Programme at HEAD – Geneva School of Art and Design
https://head.hesge.ch

The Common
15 Juli 2016
Pascal Schwaighofer im Gespräch mit Vesna Tomse, Stadtsoziologin und Daniela Kühne, Dozentin für Öffentliches Recht, Universität Luzern
Maagplatz, Zürich
http://lefoyer-lefoyer.blogspot.ch

Tulipmania
Lecture performance
March 11, 2016
Le Foyer, Zürich
http://lefoyer-lefoyer.blogspot.ch

Tulipmania
Lecture performance
January 31, 2016
Kunstmuseum Luzern
http://www.kunstmuseumluzern.ch

The Fable of the Bees
Lecture
October 5, 2014
Performa festival, La Fabbrica, Losone
http://www.performa-festival.ch/2014

Tulipmania
Lecture with Jan Verwoert
July 3, 2014
Le Foyer
Müllerstrasse 57, CH-8004 Zürich
http://lefoyer-lefoyer.blogspot.ch

Jacques Derrida trifft Alexander Kluge oder: Zur Aktualität des Poststrukturalismus für zeitgenössisches philosophisches und künstlerisches Handeln
Colloquium
May 8, 2014
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, ZHdK, Switzerland
http://www.zhdk.ch

Cannibalismes et autres «pratiques» d’assimilation
Workshop
March 24 - 28, 2014
l'Ecole cantonale d'art du Valais, ECAV, Sierre, Switzerland
http://www.ecav.ch

Mythological Reenactment Lecture/debate
December 4, 2013
with Nicola Soldini, architect, historian and lecturer
at SUPSI-Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana.
i2a, Istituto Internazionale di Architettura, Vico Morcote
http://www.i2a.ch


Awards
...............

Production Grant, CCA, Cornell Council of the Arts, 2019
Comparative Literature Department Essay Prize, Cornell University, 2019
Canton Zurich Art Award, 2017
Production Grant, Pro Helvetia, 2017
Research Grant, Pro Helvetia, 2016
UBS Culture Foundation, 2015
Pro Helvetia Studio Residency, New Delhi, India, 2014
Manor Art Prize,Ticino, Switzerland, 2011
Swiss art awards, 2011
Collection Cahier d’Artistes, Pro Helvetia, 2011

Jury
...............

2022
Jury member Master Program, École cantonale d’art du Valais, ECAV, Valais, Switzerland

Jury member Bachelor Program École cantonale d’art du Valais, ECAV, Valais, Switzerland

2015-2017
Jury member Swiss Performance Award
http://performanceartaward.ch

2014
Jury member Master Program, HEAD – Geneva School of Art and Design, Switzerland


© All images are copyright Pascal Schwaighofer. Texts copyright Pascal Schwaighofer and the respective authors.