Ars Electronica Garden HYDRA (Sevkabel Port / St. Petersburg)


Sevkabel Port (RU), NADO Curatorial Agency (RU)

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The project explores water-related environmental issues which affect climate change and the Earth’s biosphere in the context of artistic statements. The main metaphor of the exhibition is reflected in the name of the project – Hydra stands for both water, the element closest to St. Petersburg, and a mythical creature that grows new heads in place of felled ones. We constantly hear a lot of terrible and sad news about rising temperatures, species extinction, changing landscapes, water pollution, and we often feel powerless in the face of these global processes. We are used to talking about ecology in a practical way, focusing on possible personal impact and starting simple – limiting personal use of plastic, sorting garbage, using cars less, etc. Because each of us can influence the situation at least a little bit. Within a powerful nature, a human comes into conflict with the forces of nature and with himself. The artistic approach helps to work with this dual situation of power and impotence and to perceive environmental problems as a struggle of the elements on Earth, a battle of the Titans, in which humanity is taking part on equal terms. Globally, on the scale of the planet, nature is invincible — it responds to hardships with new phenomena, but whether these new “Hydra heads” will appeal to humanity and other species remains a big question.


NADO Curatorial Agency: Olga Vad, curator Lidia Gumenyuk, curator Yulia Loginova, producer Sevkabel Port: Alexey Onatsko