08 June - 11 June | 18:30 - 23:59
Exhibition #11: Dark Habitats Dark Ecology
_Program curated by Alfredo Ciannameo with the support of Matthias Fritsch // Dark Habitats Dark Ecology is part of the series Dark Society
Human advancements and ecology are not sharing the same nature. The planet did not evolve all those Eras influenced only by our conceptions, and will not do that as well when the truly post-human will follow the post-dinosaurs. But today, the human factor is introduced in the ecological continuum through conditions exploiting resources dictated by geo-economical and geo-political dynamics: not privileging us above the way we think about life, rather happening on its own way.
Dark Ecology states exactly this: the inner mechanisms of ecology are not intimately depending by our cultural mystifications and they are based on dimensions behind our human values, ethics, visions and so on; lying in an ontological sphere with its own rules in which humans are not the only relevant aspect even in a moment when their catastrophic interventions risk the planetary collapse.
In this dark perspective, our culture about living-systems becomes one key-role which must be discussed in order to better understand this alien conditions of ecology. Artists share the responsibility to look into this and tune their work on what can be defined: non-human agencies. Human habitat, on the other hand, is the synthesis between ecology and culture which can help us to understand how we perceive and shape the world. In it, we participate by voicing infinite qualities of beauty and pre-announce future directions of staying together in our even possible environment.
Artists, in this new phase of absolute imperative of innovation for a dramatic change, find ways to envision their experience using knowledge and processes borrowed from research in laboratories of biology, design, cultivation, food, health, landscape, nomadism and urbanism.
The exhibition Dark Habitats Dark Ecology challenges artists and audience to reflect on alternative ways to look into the state of home-sustainability and shows examples in which technology and science can reveal our human, specific way to impress upon the idea of nature an always beautiful but ecologically problematic sense of living.
Paul Seidler, Paul Kolling, Max Hampshire: terra0 – installation is a prototype of a self-owned augmented forest. It is currently being set up at 52°27'39.8"N 13°50'22.9”E – 30km in the east of Berlin. The Project emerged from research in the fields of crypto governance, smart contracts, economics and questions regarding representations of natural systems in the techno-sphere. It creates a framework whereby a forest is able to sell licenses to log its own trees through automated processes, smart contracts and blockchain technology.
In doing so, this forest accumulates capital. A shift from valorization through third parties to a self-utilization makes it possible for the forest to procure its real exchange value, and eventually buy itself.
Michael Ang: Dune Field Modulator – installation is a set of objects that use light as an intervention to change our perception of landscape. The modulator is designed as a nomadic technology that can be carried into the field. As you move through the landscape an ephemeral light-space is created between you, the modulator, and the environment. Dune Field Modulator was designed for the Gobi desert sand dunes in Mongolia.
Even in this remote territory all landscape is mapped. By changing our interaction with the landscape, the modulator makes it again an unknown and exploratory place. The modulator can be seen as a tool for technological intervention that mediates a direct spatial-body relationship between human, object, and landscape.
Theresa Schubert: Morphological Twists – Prints + video – condenses the most simple organisms to highly complex philosophical questions. In the artistic research project Growing Geometries I - tattooing mushrooms, fungi generate their growth by processing organic material. Together with the treatment of the mushroom with tattoo needles, their natural growth creates a closer proximity to that of mankind than to that of plants. A natural phenomenon is translated into a moment of critical analysis of processes of growth with the simplest of means. Theresa Schubert's tattooed mushroom are fruits of a deeper lying mesh whose growth can take any shape or form based on devitalized organic material causing revitalization.
Ivan Henriques: Microscope Light Machine – installation. Millions of other living entities surround us all the time and are vital to our well being and also for life in the natural environment. However they exist in such a mode of being that not only many of their behaviour escape human perception, but their presence all together.
Using optics techniques, a droplet of water becomes a lens magnifying the biodiversity of microorganisms from an specific location. When the water droplet is beamed by a laser, It creates a microscope-live-cinema installation. The same magnification from the microorganisms creates a holographic image in the transparent trapezoid.
This work is a step further in the project Microscopic Chamber#1 that explores the huge biodiversity of microorganisms which lives in water as phytoplankton, copepods, diatoms, algae, amongst many other lifeforms fundamentally important for human life. The installation Microscope Light Machine was exhibited at the Brazilian Embassy in Tokyo from 7-9 of March 2017, and was developed during the Project to Support the Nurturing of Media Art Creators from CG-ARTS.
Matthias Fritsch: Ecopolis – installation. The project focuses on developing a system of an urban area that could be the habitat for most of earth’s human population. Matthias imagines a sustainable way for a largest number of inhabitants in order to preserve life on a steady level for an infinite future on this planet. As the starting point of developing urban planning he is focusing on the citizens’ sustainable daily routines and to support those activities he develops open source tools like a living room humus generator that will be presented in the show.
Acci Baba: Exodus – video installation. An experimental film to explore behaviours of an artificial system reaching the point of saturation. Central to the work is the aesthetic combination of geometry and life, expressed by collinear structure and living ants. The sugar water falls from the sky, artificially creating ecosystem for ants to survive. Ants walk along the infinite path, leaving pheromones for the others to follow. Soon one of the ant chose to escape from the saturated system, realising they have been walking on a infinite path. The others followed and continued walking in to the void as they form an another circular loop. Through the perspective of micro organism, the artwork finds the relation between the viewers to reflect the formula emerging from the hyper reality.
Mélodie Melak Fenez & Brian Kiel: Condensed and falling in drops - performance. At the intersection of a sound installation and a performance, this duo creates a resonating territory of frequencies. Standing waves, physical boundaries of sound that can be felt as they pass through you, sonically materialise the space between walls, physically connecting all present. Amidst this atmosphere, plants attached through an array of oscillators populate, develop and emphasise the delicate stability of the territory.
Jo Caimo: Koorvorming is a participatory performance. The audience is invited to sing together following a prerecorded voice, which functions as a musical score. The score is played over an array of custom made earpieces. Participants are blindfolded. One ear is used to listen to the score over the earpiece, while the other is closed with a earplug, so while singing participants are unaware of what is happening around them. Immediately after the performance every participant receives a CD with the audio recording of the performance and they can listen to it at home.
Valery Vermeulen: Mikromedas – performance is a new data-driven musical project in which compositions are elaborated using data from space and deep space in a radically new way. In the project compositions are produced using sampled radio astronomical data coming from various sources e.g. data stemming from several spacecrafts such as Voyager1 and Voyager2 or data originating from various astrophysical objects such as pulsar stars (which might be up to 22000 years old). Other sources that are used in the composition process include synthesized sounds as wel as data feeds from satellites turned into sound and music using newly developed sonification techniques.
Marta Zapparoli: Intervention with Antennas, Trans-world-receivers and Detectors. Exploring, discovering and listening below the surface of the audible to other possibilities of what can exist in the space. Focusing on the inaudible spectral site of the location where we are now - not to dream or be elsewhere, but to understand that here and now happens as a sonic reality which is constantly mutable. Catching these frequencies using tools and devices like detectors, antennas, receivers, and sending these signals into a vortex of information in real time. Stimulating our senses from other sonic realities, which constantly cross our bodies, interrupting our balance, polluting our existence. Developing and recognizing different ways of perceiving and listening beneath the audible.
Budhaditya Chattopadhyay: Decomposing Landscape. To capture the essence, if not the historical particulars, of the regions on the decay. We have arguably entered the Anthropocene – ‘a new geologic era, defined by unprecedented human disturbances over earth’s ecosystems’. In this era, climatic integrity of natural, pastoral landscapes in emerging economies like India is endangered.
Ongoing project Decomposing Landscape creates a discursive rather than an immersive situation using digital mediation to facilitate in-depth and contemplative observation of a transitive landscapes. With a media anthropological approach, the project frames the slow decay of these sites with the help of digital convergence, staging augmented environments for site-specific interpenetration between sound, video and still images. Diffusing the sonic elements in the spatial practice of multi-channel moving image projection the final outcome of the project includes an Ambisonics sound composition and a multi-channel sound/video installation.
The works have been developed through a meticulous collection of materials from various locations at India in extensive fieldwork (2009-2011) supported by Prince Claus Fund Amsterdam. This collection has been forming a digital archive to be used for realizing the work(s). The project aims to delineate gradual transfiguration of the developing societies in the wider public, using digital technology to mediate engendered sites in contemporary art.
The multi-channel sound composition (developed during an artist residency at ICST, Zurich University of the Arts) has received the First prize in Computer and Electronic Music category of Computer Space festival, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2014, and released on Touch, London, March 2015.
Benjamin Graf: Seedbomb.city When activism turns business – Benjamin Graf uses the tactics of seed bombing and guerrilla gardening for his business model. He says: One seedbomb might not have an impact, but 1 billion do! Seedbomb City brings more green into the city. Equipped with seedbombs and seedpills they make guerrilla gardens on the way and beautify loose grounds and bleak roadsides. Guerrilla gardening is also about reclaiming the city and actively shaping it. A true "Green Revolution"!
Margherita Pevere: Placenta – prorotype – is a living sculpture with a hybrid body. It is the first iteration of a work being especially developed for Spektrum's Dark Ecology Dark Habitats exhibition. A bacterial colony grows on technological relics thanks to a pump that feeds nutrients and moisture. This apparently functional system produces an excrescence of microbial cellulose that progressively envelops the relics. The ambiguous aesthetics of cellulose - recalling skin and body matter - and its leaking materiality counter the engineered structure of technological artifacts. A camera placed inside the excrescence streams live images of the exhibition space and the audience as seen through the layer of cellulose: at the beginning of the exhibition images are clear, but become blurred as the cellulose thickens. Yet, because cellulose is a translucent material, shades and lights are still perceivable. The work critically reflects on the interdependence between living systems, namely how non-human identities radically inhabit and reappropriate man-made habitats
Nana MacLean & Lorenzo Colocci: Silenscape – AVperformance Slowly, cracks and flaws are forming in our romantic construct of the forest, the humus, the ocean. Our landscapes change and with them whole ecosystems reform and grow towards a new nature. The story is a tale of loss and destruction. But who is losing here? For my ongoing research project on bacterial communities in the plastisphere, old landfills are being visited as a symbolic and physical projection of a new habitat. Bacterial evolvability is more fluid than any other organism on earth and can serve as reporting voice from a damaged planet.Together with sound artist Lorenzo Colocci, these places have been explored to propose us new mental images of our future landscapes. What are our new landscapes? Their texture, their sound, their new ecologies?
Smell Lab Berlin: Smell Walk – Collected Smells. Smell is something that we use on a daily basis but whose meaning and significance often evades our 'enlightened' human nature. Our reactions to smells are just that: reactions. To smell something remains still an act of injesting and incorporating the source into our bodies, and to that we remain decidedly sensitive. With this smell walk, we will wander through the neighbourhood with our noses open, to sensitize ourselves to an aspect of our minds which we may not be conscious of and to see the highly urbanized human-scape of Neukölln through a perspective picturing our habitat in a new light.
Fermentation Workshop by Denkwerkstatt NAHrungswandel (on registration: click here) Discover the rich and diverse possibilities of this old conservation technic and start experimenting yourself. We will give you a brief introduction into the world of fermentation and its potential for health, sustainability seasonal and regional food consumption. In the second part we will show you how easy and rich food fermentation is. In the end of the workshop you will have your own self made jars of fermented organic vegetables.
Maria-Leena Räihälä & Manuel Bonik: Morgenvogel Real Estate / intervention. The relationship between birds, architecture and art is the subject of Morgenvogel Real Estate, an artistic real estate company in Berlin that enthusiastically brokers birdhouses. Whether the builders admit it or not, new Berlin architecture is hostile to birds. Wherever you look, you'll find smooth surfaces where no robin can find a home. Still they have established themselves in the diverse facades of Berlin, and want to keep doing so, since it’s become more and more difficult in other places. The countryside – so-called "nature" – is covered with monocultures. If one wants to become a lucky bird, he’d better go to the city. Berlin, you should be happy that such immigrants are still perched in your city!
moderated by Matthias Fritsch: Artists are invited to discuss further their work as well as their current research offering an inside of the constellation of artistic approaches on the topic of the exhibition.
- Ivan Henriques: Hybrid-forms of Symbiosis between Tech and Nature
- Andrew Müller: Eat insects to Save Capitalism?
- Smell Lab: Smell-mapping in urban-scape
- Matthias Fritsch: Daily routines for a sustainable City