Grounding is a refocusing of our gaze; a search for a new connection with what lies beneath our feet. Understanding our ethical role in the planet’s transformation requires the ability to recognize nature as a complex, self-sufficient system that we are only a part of. Natural formations exist as open systems of continuous interspecies communication. The origins of this outlook can be traced back to the soil science developed by Vasily Dokuchaev and reflected in Vladimir Vernadsky’s works on the biosphere.
Dokuchaev considered soil as a systemic phenomenon, consisting of biotic and abiotic factors. Vernadsky continued his thought and gave living organisms, primarily humans, a leading role in the transformation of the planet. Anthropogenesis is an integral part of the abiotic layers of the biosphere and humanity, as a powerful geological force, becomes a creator and destroyer all at once. This capacity demands transforming the mind from a mind-for-itself into a mind-for-the-Earth. Grounding is about neutralizing the disruptive potential of technology and the strain from accelerating growth. At the same time, it’s a responsibility to cultivate biotechnical shoots in contrast to the destructive competition between the man-made and the natural. The matter of soil, woven from symbiotic connections, can serve as an inspiration and foundation for the cultivation of this responsibility.
Natalia Fedorova (RU)
An artist talk by Natalia Fedorova, “From Seedling to the Sky”, will cover bioart projects with a dendrological focus. In Olga Kisseleva’s “EDEN”, the memories of trees are addressed to help geographically remote trees, and possibly humans, avoid catastrophic scenarios. In “Tree ID”, by Agness Mayer Brandis, the tree is addressed as a possible bearer of different Umwelten, or sensual perceptions of the world, through volatile organic components.
Aleksandr Kapitonov (RU), Maria Sviridova (RU), Andrey Lazukin (RU), Grigorii Kirgizov (RU)
Technology mediates our relations to the biosphere, codifies and shapes them. They can constitute a means of both care and control. Today, they codify primarily the second element: exhaustive control and accelerating exploitation. In this conference we’ll try to look at the first element—care—and hear from scientists and engineers who try to make technologies more careful towards nature and point us to technosymbiotic possibilities.
Sybille Neumeyer (DE), Julia Vergazova (RU), Nikolay Ulyanov (RU), Liliia Akivenson (RU), Evgenii Savenko (RU), Alla Mitrofanova (RU)
To care is to give: to give shelter to life, life-saving antibiotics (Sybille Neumeyer), gentle footsteps (Julia Vergazova and Nikolay Ulyanov) or a voice (Liliia Akivenson and Evgenii Savenko). But who is the giver and who is the receiver in the human-soil relationship? How will technologies help us take care of the soil and hear it? And where is the invisible border between care and control among the dominant logic of agricultural productivity?
Anastasya Kizilova (RU)
A turning point in human history was the discovery of Louis Pasteur’s microbiology and the victory over infectious diseases in the mid-19th century. In an instant, the science of hygiene became a set of superstitions. In today’s world, concepts of hygiene are controversial.
Liliia Akivenson (RU), Evgenii Savenko (RU)
A sound performance based on a joint project that arose from two elements: noise, and an anthropological interest in how people react to the spontaneous invasion by «unthinkable sound» of their private and hermetic sound reality. Every audible sound has its source, but what could we do with the sudden appearance of unfamiliar disturbing noises that persistently change everyday life towards total unrecognisability? The mythologeme of the «Hum of the Earth» interests artists as a vantage from which to interpret non-everyday noise and its contexts: from the subjective-affective to the mass-eschatological.
Andrey Bundin (RU), Roman Smirnov (RU), Ksenia Bahtina (RU), Evgenii Khlopotov (RU), Anton Shchegolev (RU), Natalia Grishina (RU), Anastasia Birulia (RU)
A performance of a laptop orchestra is based on the research and artistic reflection of the underground world’s sonic nature. Acoustic material of the work consists of sounds recorded using contact microphones attached to the ground, trees, rocks. In addition, performers use musical expression interface and sound synthesis engine, specifically developed for this performance. Every performer plays a specific part, and then all parts are combined into a complex spatial sound field.
Boris Shershenkov (RU)
Sound performance “Techno-soils. Vibrofabricat „isdedicated to working with vibrationalfields of urban techno-soils. The streams of mechanicalenergy captured with the geophonesbecome audible when the equilibrium states of theauthor’s electroacoustic system of thePhonotrone type are violated.
Anna Kaplan, Victoria Gopka, Grigorii Kirgizov, Aliya Sakhariyeva, Khristina Ots, ITMO University, Art & Science Center (ITMO University), Art.ITMO.Residency, Dokuchaev Central Soil Museum