The play on words in the exhibition title does not describe the cynical view of human action but refers to human evolution in order to contrast it directly with technical development. The artistic projects presented in the exhibition refer to the countless advances in the development of humanity itself, which in our self-perception have made us the dominant and sole force on this planet. The exhibition directly juxtaposes this development and its implications in order to deal with the shadow of our fame rather than with our achievements per se. On display are artistic positions that examine human actions and, first and foremost, its resulting dramatic consequences. Consequences that are unsurpassed in their dimension and drama, yet directly and indirectly related to human activity and design. We are talking about effects whose repercussions have profoundly changed our planet; about a “new world” that no longer permits a departure for new shores, whose resources no longer seem infinite but are increasingly depleted. Art-driven collaboration has the power to create real awareness that only the radical transformation of ourselves and our actions can lead to the preservation of our planet.
Welcome to Planet B describes the need for a Plan B – to recognize but rather to respond to the changes that are increasing within our environment. How can we respond properly, adapt and coexist in the best possible way? The addition “But How?” is not meant as a cynical question in an overall hopeless situation, but as a concrete invitation to responsible action.
It is the crucial question about the foundations on which we want to base our future activities, about the economic and ecological values we want to pursue in the process and means of ensuring that they constitute an integral part of our cultural self-image, our cultural identity.
STUDIO(dys)TOPIA explores how humankind can transform sustainable practices into action and serves as a metaphor for our present, in which the concepts of dystopias and utopias find themselves in a changed reality. The exhibition aims to investigate possible outcomes when, through a collaborative process of recalibration between art and science, we approach the essence of the challenges we face by recognizing our own nature, existence, and actions in an effort to render them manageable. The selected works focus on the reality of change and the inherent contradictions, highlighting the convergence of two disciplines – art and science – the character of which is to be contradictory as a means of arriving at possible answers and solutions. STUDIO(dys)TOPIA offers a space where antithetical states can be experienced, tested and recognized as a virtue and an opportunity, asking what role art should assume in this crucial endeavor.
This exhibition is part of the STUDIOTOPIA project and co-funded by the Creative Europe Culture programme of the European Union.
A Letter from Yene
Manthia Diawara (Mali, USA)
Manthia Diawara’s latest film, A Letter from Yene, emerges from conversations with fishermen, pebble collectors and himself in the seaside town of Yene. Diawara explores how their intersecting lives collectively and unknowingly contribute to the undermining of their shared environment.
Archive of Spatial Knowledge
Irakli Sabekia (GE/NL)
Archive of Spatial Knowledge is an experimental digital platform. It gathers spatial and social memory of individuals who were forcefully displaced, or are denied spatial rights in the locations of their current residence. Archive‘s digital tool allows its contributors to attach their memories to physical locations in a virtual layer. While at the same time viewers can use the platform to access the erased knowledge on location, juxtaposing invisible stories and the reality of physical spaces.
Biobot: AI ARThropods
Zoran Srdić Janežič (SI)
Biobot uses biotech and software developments to create an artistic narrative about the bio-technological body and its representation. The project is focused on tissue engineering and the harvesting of an electric signal from neurons which influences the movement and shape of a biobot.
!brute_force – Soft Resilience
Maja Smrekar (SI), Jonas Jørgensen (DK)
Living beings leak out of their skin into biomorphic technology, forming an emergent posthuman landscape of bodies without organs beyond deterministic restrictions of the Cartesian grid.
Kuang-Yi Ku (TW/NL)
Calico Human examines the plausibility and desirability of manipulating skin color through the use of new biomedical technologies. It aims to explore the complex relationships between race, migration, health, fashion and the future of biomedical services.
Kat Austen (UK/DE)
Entanglement with carbon is an essential component of the extreme influence of humans on the planet. This trilogy interrogates carbon and the impact of humans on its distribution around the planet and through time. These positions reflect not only on the climate crisis but also quality of life for humans and for the plants, animals and ecosystems with which humans share the planet.
Center for Plant Immigrant Integration
Kuang-Yi Ku (TW/NL)
Center for Plant Immigrant Integration explores the relationship between, plants and bacteria as a metaphor for human migration to Europe.
Curator Journey in STUDIO(dys)TOPIA
Martin Honzik (AT), Christl Baur (DE/AT)
What new economic and ecological values should we embrace and how do we make them an integral part of our cultural identity?
Echinoidea Future — Adriatic Sensing
Robertina Šebjanič (SI)
The project addresses the current biogeological and morphological conditions in the sea urchin environment, which is aqua-formed by anthropogenic liquid waste, resulting in low oxygen levels in the water. Exploring the stressors of the local/global human footprint, the project demonstrates the resilience of the aquatic species. The project acts as an activation of (sy)(e)mpathia. The main research was carried out in the coastal region of the Adriatic Sea at the UR Institute, Dubrovnik (STARTS4water).
Klaus Spiess (AT), Ulla Rauter (AT), Emanuel Gollob (AT), Rotraud Kern (AT)
By 2100, one third of biological species and nine tenths of languages will have disappeared. Under the impact of this simultaneous decline in diversity, we design ECOLALIA, a poetry of extinction and disappearance as a deep learning process emanating from the real-time chemo-vibrational conditioning of oral microbes. Audiences visually and aurally attune their speech sounds to the life and death of their fragile oral flora, becoming bilingual co-authors of the post-anthropocene.
Meet the Artist – FASHION FRONTIER PROGRAM
Yuima Nakazato (JP), Ryua Honda (JP), Takahito Iguchi (JP), Yukari Wada (JP)
This program was established in 2021, under the belief that to search, praise, and educate future fashion designers who have the courage and ambition to take a new step in fashion will lead us to a better society.
Feral Automated System: ULTB-1
Posthuman Studies Lab (RU)
The project outlines the interconnections between vegetal and computing systems in a vein of current ecological crises and diverse narrations about alternative futures. Excavating Soviet narratives of building a common world that embraces not only humans, but animals, plants and machines, we created a network composed of both vegetal and digital parts that include chips and internet protocols, along with phytomining technology and plant-based computing architectures.
Ralf Baecker (DE)
Floating Codes is a light and sound installation that performs the inner workings and hidden aesthetics of artificial neural networks. The exhibition space itself becomes an open neural network. Signals of information travel as light and sound pulses through the exhibition space. Signals are looping, mutating, feedbacking, and canceling themselves, resulting in a complex and continuous altering of visual and acoustic movements.
Charles Amirkhanian (US), Carol Law (US)
New videos of early experiments in performance media by two artists using invented tools, ambient sound recordings, text, electronic music and photography. The resulting montages for the eye and ear evoke both humorous and psychological spaces in the mind! Dare to Watch.
Siobhán McDonald (IE)
Siobhán McDonald examines the particles floating in the air and matter buried underground from past worlds. In an exploration of Arctic permafrost and plants preserved in this depository, the project traces histories of generations of underground systems.
Uwe Rieger (DE/NZ), Yinan Liu (NZ), Tharindu Kaluarachchi (LK), Amit Barde (IN)
LightSense combines kinetic construction with 3D holographic animations. An integrated neural network allows the structure to engage in an oral conversation with the visitor while immersing the audience in Pavilions of Love, Anger, Curiosity and Joy.
Mauricio Lacrampette (CL), Santiago Valdivieso (CL), Diego Gajardo (CL), Lucas Margotta (CL)
Liquid Sky is a ritual in which the interaction between the live image of the Atacama sky, the Ars Electronica attendees in Linz and a series of machines, mechanical gestures and data flows are assembled in a rhizome of trans-local feedback. Distinction between observer and observed is blurred, giving rise to the possibility of a collective tele-contemplation, using the fluctuating image of the sky as a means of global encounter.
Living Dead — On the Trail of a Female
Laura Deborah Cinti (IT/ZA)
Living Dead — On the Trail of a Female (2022) is a biodiversity-focused project involving the search for a female mate for one of the rarest plants on Earth, the extinct-in-the-wild male cycad — the Encephalartos woodii.
Christian Kosmas Mayer (AT/DE)
Using CT scans of a 2000-year-old Egyptian mummy, the artist created an exact replica of the mummy’s vocal tract, which he then fitted with a movable silicone tongue. Mayer played this artificial vocal organ as though it were an instrument and produced a range of vocal sounds from which he then composed this multi-channel sound piece. Falling somewhere between science and poetic speculation, the resulting sounds take us into the depths of time and combine the archaic with the hypermodern.
Marine Caves and Benthic Terrazzo
Hypercomf (GR), Markos Digenis (GR)
What links can be presently found between marine caves and the human home? How much more intimate will these links become in a future world, where rising sea levels have swallowed the coastal mega cities and turned our terrestrial homes into marine caves? Will they be filled with the unique biodiversity that marine caves can host and littered with the scattered memories of our past presence? Artists Hypercomf with Markos Digenis and fellow marine biologists from HCMR investigate these questions.
Christian Skjødt Hasselstrøm (DK)
Die Installation µ fungiert als kosmische Live-Lauschstation, die dazu einlädt, ein Gitter aus 49 Teilchendetektoren zu betreten und die (ständige) Anwesenheit von Myonen, die Teil der kosmischen Strahlung sind, die weit unter die Erdoberfläche reicht, akustisch zu erleben.
Kat Austen (UK/DE) and Fara Peluso (IT/DE)
Ouroborous proposes a bioplastic LP record based on a circular relationship with new materiality in a post-extractive age. Combining new bioplastics and audio aesthetics, the installation entangles extraction, material longevity and the climate to question the position of the human in global and local ecosystems. Ouroboros is the exhibition outcome of the Circular Records project by Kat Austen and Fara Peluso.
Postdigital Natures of Planet B
Postdigital Natures of Planet B explores the roles of natural and virtual environments in the context of architecture. In doing so it incorporates a series of novel, organic, and alternative building materials to create an alternative inhabitable ecosphere for human and non-human agents.
Yi-Wen Lin (TW), Lien-Cheng Wang (TW), Aluan Wang (TW), Jinyao Lin (TW), Che-Yu Wu (TW), Newyellow (TW)
Project Percentage is a nonprofit social innovation experiment based in Taiwan, combining digital art and social action. With the total number of 10,000 generative art NFTs, Project Percentage takes the number of the creations as a symbol of the landscapes “the top 100 peaks” in Taiwan. Collectors are invited to form a DAO, and all donations will be pooled with cryptocurrency public funds. There will be an exhibition of generative art of Project Percentage and an audiovisual performance.
Tega Brain (AU), Sam Lavigne (US)
Synthetic Messenger is a botnet that artificially inflates the value of climate news.
Dorotea Dolinšek (SI)
TerraPort is a machine derived from the human desire for interplanetary travel and for initiating life on other planets. It is a prototype of the terraforming process of the Martian regolith, in which the artist’s intimate body is invested along with generations of soybeans as a model organism. In a cyclical process, the infertile substrate composed in line with the data collected from Mars orbiters is enriched, generation by generation, by the organic matter sourced from the artist’s female body.
The Data Nutrition Project
Kasia Chmielinski (US), Sarah Newman (US), Matthew Taylor (US) & Team
Like a nutrition label for food, the Dataset Nutrition Label conveys information about a dataset and can help mitigate harm caused by problematic data used by AI systems.
The Fallen Clouds
Josefina Buschmann (CL), Daniela Camino (CL), Nicole L’Huillier, Francisca Saéz(CL), Poli Mujica (CL)
The Fallen Clouds is a speculative research-based installation that delves into the socio-environmental resonances of digital infrastructures in Chile by following a “digital cloud” searching for its body and origin extended from the Pacific Ocean to the Atacama Desert.
Superflux‘s film The Intersection journeys from a violent present to a cooperative future. Set within a possible hopeful future, several years after growing inequality and the splintering of reality reached a critical mass. The story features diverse protagonists recounting personal past experiences and their place in the emergence of the future they now live in — both the chaos and the hope that surfaced afterwards.
The NeuroRight Arcades
Roel Heremans and his team are designing a series of five interactive installations to make each NeuroRight tangible for participants. They want participants to explore unasked questions about the future of our NeuroRights in a world where BCIs are ubiquitous.