Human > Nature, Human < Nature? With the rapid rise of genetic technological development and the increasing human intervention in nature, the question of ethical values arises. What has priority: the endless life of a human being or the preservation of the environment for future generations, or both? Biology is not only used for research, but can also turn in the artistic direction in relation to the festival. This is proven by some projects in our European Gardens.
Some of the gardens of Europe are questioning various ecological themes and present them in different ways. Behind these projects could be the question of the desire for endless life, a body without genetic defects, or maybe the increasing climate change, or even the Covid-19 virus, which will surprisingly appeared in 2020. Whatever the reason is, it affects us all. We don’t want to keep you waiting any longer and will now get to the point.
Planting a Resort for Mental Ecology
Starting with Planting a Resort for Mental Ecology, this is a response to the current overwhelming political, environmental and economic uncertainty. The artists and researchers of the MPLab (Mākslas pētījumu laboratorija), who live in the coastal city Liepāja, explore the fragile structure of mental ecology and develop techno-ecological systems and strategies for well-being in times of change. In the web-based exhibition, online visitors can explore physical and virtual gardens designed for self-sufficiency, mental exercises and retreat.
Heartbeat of the earth
For many of us, the term “climate data” evokes images of complicated graphics and diagrams, but the artists explain them through a new lens. The five artists in Heartbeat of the earth used key results from a groundbreaking UN IPCC report and data from scientific institutions to create four interactive artworks about our climate. They addressed the issues of declining ocean life, food consumption, melting glaciers and rising sea levels.
Speculating about the Future
What will the future be like? The Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) – Research Institute for Life Sciences in Flanders- studies the basic molecular mechanisms of life and the complex biology that underlies both health and disease. Speculating about the Future is a collaboration with BOZAR, GLUON and the artists Kuang-Yi Ku & Sandra Lorenzi (program Studiotopia) and serves the research of modern genetic engineering, such as CRISPR CAS9 a gene scissors for changing DNA elements in the genome.
Stories of Athens
At the Ars Electronica Garden in Athens Onassis Stegi presents Stories of Athen: Data Garden, a multimedia installation, and HackAthens 2020, a series of five works in the form of a film, digital games, sounddrama and mobile apps. Although both projects have very different points of departure, they explore the local vs. the global, the endemic vs. the permanent, algorithms, rituals, data, ecology and body.
Waag – Technology & Society
A virus changed our understanding of gardens. Scientists and artists have thought about it and developed a program. Kepler’s exhibition on the Garden of Planet B is a night-time event with live experiments and presentations for a limited audience. It takes place on the grounds of Waag’s Planet B at the Amsterdam Science Park and its edges, where the site reaches former unused farmland with growing biodiversity.
Transmedia Storytelling: Camilla Plastic Ocean Plan
Transmedia storytelling: Camilla Plastic Ocean plan is a web exhibition at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, consisting of a mixture of artistic imagination and fantasy setting about environmental problems. Based on scientific collaboration, numerous artists from different parts of the world create works such as painting, conceptual art, sculpture, 360-degree film and VR experience. In the two-hour workshop “Co-imaginations and co-productions for tomorrow’s world”, organized by the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf and the Institute for Art and Innovation, the future is visualized and designed in a productive way.
This was a small pre-taste of the gardens of Europe. A second part is coming soon, so stay tuned!
A list of all Gardens as well as an insight into all projects that can be seen at the Ars Electronica Festival from September 9 to 13 can be found here.