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Rána po ránech

By samotar, 23 May 2021

Na dohled od bronzového jezdce

By samotar, 4 March 2021

Zarchivu: Hůlna-kejdže

By samotar, 7 September 2020

Center for Land Use Interpretation

By samotar, 18 June 2020

Dawn Chorus Day - zvuky za svítání

By samotar, 30 April 2020

Z archivu: Krzysztof Wodiczko v DOXU

By samotar, 26 March 2020

Pavel Ctibor: Sahat zakázáno

By samotar, 22 September 2019

Emmanuel Lévinas: HEIDEGGER, GAGARIN A MY

By samotar, 19 September 2019

Jack Burnham - Systémová estetika

By samotar, 5 March 2019

Tajemství spolupráce: Miloš Šejn

By samotar, 27 June 2018

Skolt Sámi Path to Climate Change Resilience

By samotar, 10 December 2017

Ohlédnutí/Revisited Soundworm Gathering

By samotař, 9 October 2017

Kleté krajiny

By samotar, 7 October 2017

Kinterova Jednotka a postnatura

By samotař, 15 September 2017

Upsych316a Universal Psychiatric Church

By Samotar, 6 July 2017

Za teorií poznání (radostný nekrolog), Bohuslav Blažek

By miloš vojtěchovský, 9 April 2017

On the Transmutation of Species

By miloš vojtěchovský, 27 March 2017

CYBERPOSITIVE, Sadie Plant a Nick Land

By samotař, 2 March 2017

Ivan Illich: Ticho jako obecní statek

By samotař, 18 February 2017

Thomas Berry:Ekozoická éra

By samotař, 8 December 2016

Best a Basta době uhelné

By samotař, 31 October 2016

Hledání hlasu řeky Bíliny

By samotař, 23 September 2016

Bratrstvo

By samotař, 1 September 2016

Anima Mundi Revisited

By miloš vojtěchovský, 28 June 2016

Simon A. Levin: The Evolution of Ecology

By samotař, 21 June 2016

Jan Hloušek: Uranové město

By samotař, 31 May 2016

Manifest The Dark Mountain Project

By Samotar, 3 May 2016

Pokus o popis jednoho zápasu

By samotar, 29 April 2016

Nothing worse or better can happen

By Ewa Jacobsson, 5 April 2016

Jared Diamond - Easter's End

By , 21 February 2016

W. H. Auden: Journey to Iceland

By , 9 February 2016

Jussi Parikka: The Earth

By Slawomír Uher, 8 February 2016

Co číhá za humny? neboli revoluce přítomnosti

By Miloš Vojtěchovský, 31 January 2016

Red Sky: The Eschatology of Trans

By Miloš Vojtěchovský, 19 January 2016

Towards an Anti-atlas of Borders

By , 20 December 2015

Pavel Mrkus - KINESIS, instalace Nejsvětější Salvátor

By Miloš Vojtěchovský, 6 December 2015

Tváře/Faces bez hranic/Sans Frontiers

By Miloš Vojtěchovský, 29 November 2015

Na Zemi vzhůru nohama

By Alena Kotzmannová, 17 October 2015

Upside-down on Earth

By Alena Kotzmannová, 17 October 2015

Images from Finnmark (Living Through the Landscape)

By Nicholas Norton, 12 October 2015

Czech Radio on Frontiers of Solitude

By Samotar, 10 October 2015

Langewiese and Newt or walking to Dlouhá louka

By Michal Kindernay, 7 October 2015

Notice in the Norwegian newspaper „Altaposten“

By Nicholas Norton, 5 October 2015

Interview with Ivar Smedstad

By Nicholas Norton, 5 October 2015

Iceland Expedition, Part 2

By Julia Martin, 4 October 2015

Closing at the Osek Monastery

By Michal Kindernay, 3 October 2015

Iceland Expedition, Part 1

By Julia Martin, 3 October 2015

Finnmarka a kopce / The Hills of Finnmark

By Vladimír Merta, 2 October 2015

Workshop with Radek Mikuláš/Dílna s Radkem Mikulášem

By Samotářka Dagmar, 26 September 2015

Já, Doly, Dolly a zemský ráj

By Samotar, 23 September 2015

Up to the Ore Mountains

By Michal, Dagmar a Helena Samotáři , 22 September 2015

Václav Cílek and the Sacred Landscape

By Samotář Michal, 22 September 2015

Picnic at the Ledvice waste pond

By Samotar, 19 September 2015

Above Jezeří Castle

By Samotar, 19 September 2015

Cancerous Land, part 3

By Tamás Sajó, 18 September 2015

Ledvice coal preparation plant

By Dominik Žižka, 18 September 2015

pod hladinou

By Dominik Žižka, 18 September 2015

Cancerous Land, part 2

By Tamás Sajó, 17 September 2015

Cancerous Land, part 1

By Tamás Sajó, 16 September 2015

Offroad trip

By Dominik Žižka, 16 September 2015

Ekologické limity a nutnost jejich prolomení

By Miloš Vojtěchovský, 16 September 2015

Lignite Clouds Sound Workshop: Days I and II

By Samotar, 15 September 2015

Walk from Mariánské Radčice

By Michal Kindernay, 12 September 2015

Mariánské Radčice and Libkovice

By Samotar, 11 September 2015

Most - Lake, Fish, algae bloom

By Samotar, 8 September 2015

Monday: Bílina open pit excursion

By Samotar, 7 September 2015

Duchcov II. - past and tomorrow

By Samotar, 6 September 2015

Duchcov II.

By Samotar, 6 September 2015

Arrival at Duchcov I.

By Samotar, 6 September 2015

Czech Republic

T.J. Demos: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Gynocene: The Many Names of Resistance

Ursula Biemann, Forest Law, 2014 (video still). Courtesy the artist. © Ursula Biemann

In my past postings, I’ve pointed out how the Anthropocene thesis can be roundly criticized for its assorted failings. Nonetheless, the term remains significant for one reason: it registers the geological impact of human activities, and as such offers an important wedge—one that unites climate science and environmental studies with the environmental arts and humanities—against climate change denialism, funded generously by the destructive fossil-fuel industry. And now, with the momentum of its growing adoption across diverse fields of academic, science, cultural and artistic practice, the term Anthropocene is likely here to stay—despite, or even because of, its use-value in generalizing and thereby disavowing responsibility for Earth-systems disruption, validating further geoengineering experiments, and diffusing political traction in the struggle against climate change.

There are other contenders for geopolitical descriptors, and among these the leader, in my view, is the Capitalocene—the age of capital—which has the advantage of naming the culprit, locating climate change not merely in fossil fuels, but within the complex and interrelated processes of global-scale economic-political organization stretched over histories of enclosures, colonialisms, industrializations, and globalizations, which have both evolved within nature’s web of life as well as brought ecological transformations to it. In other words, the crisis of climate change, according to this perspective, owes not simply to a substance like oil or coal, but to complex socio-economic, political and material operations, involving classes and commodities, imperialism and empire, biotechnology and militarism, that distributes causality for environmental change beyond the problematic generalization of human species-being.1 That said, perhaps we need many names to account for the sheer complexity and multiple dimensions of this geo-politico-economic ecology.

Another candidate is the Chthulucene, a term of Donna Haraway’s, which draws on the resources of science fiction as much as science fact, speculative feminism as much as speculative fabulation, in naming the post-anthropocentric age of multi-species assemblages.2 Contrary to the reductive and essentializing figure of Anthropos, this conceptualization reveals the distributed agencies involved in climate chaos, as well as highlights the resilient generative practices of inter-species collaborations and the “sym-poiesis” of co-becoming that determine the very conditions of life. While the term shifts the focus from corporate neoliberalism, neo-colonialism, and extractivism, emphasized by the Capitalocene thesis, it does outline the necessary ethics of what Haraway terms “response-ability,” the skilled capacities for survival on a damaged planet that include the practice of justice and sustainable belonging.

Additionally, there’s the Gynocene thesis, implying a gender-equalized, even feminist-led, interventionist environmentalism, which locates anthropogenic geological violence as coextensive with patriarchal domination, linking ecocide and gynocide. Contesting the ravages of Anthropos it calls for new models of eco-feminist stewardship, resonating as much with Indigenous reverence for Mother Earth and the multifaceted rights-of-nature mobilizations in South America, as with the post-heteronormative, eco-sexualist care for Earth-as-Lover, as appearing in the carnivalesque Earth-marriage ceremonies of performance artists Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle, who deploy matrimony as a radical act against environmental destruction, including mountain-top removal mining in North America.3 As well, there is the Plantationocene, which, as a sub-category of the Capitalocene, highlights the plantation system—and particularly its nexus of corporate colonialism, slave labor, and commodification of nature—as a structural cause of geological transformation.4 The latter points finally toward the Homogenocene, the epoch of monocultures and mass extinctions, identifying the de-biodiversifying effects of globalization’s reduction of nature to the commodity-form via corporate-extractivist-strip-mining-oil-drilling-monocrop-planting-dam-building neoliberalism.5

All of which provide useful conceptual tools to test, rethink, and even conceptually challenge the Anthropocene thesis. One additional problem with the latter is what sociologist Jason Moore refers to as its “consequentialist” bias, meaning its tendency to focus on the effects of climate change (global warming, CO2 pollution, sea level rise, drought, etc.), while ignoring the structural causes (capitalism-in-nature and nature-in-capitalism).6 This is why the industrial revolution looms so large in Anthropocene discourse and in Green thinking more broadly, rather than the historical formation of capitalism’s co-becoming with nature, including its colonization of nonhuman and human nature beginning in the late fifteenth century, which the Capitalocene references. As Moore argues, the diagnosis of a problem determines its solution, which is why, in Anthropocene discourse, locating the problem is fossil-fuels and finding the solution in renewable energies is ultimately superficial and inadequate—as if we can simply carry on exploiting and colonizing the world, only in newly green ways.

The Capitolocene proposition, conversely, locates the origin of the crisis in capitalism’s exploitative relations to labor, food, energy, and raw materials—so many “cheap natures,” according to Moore, that after centuries of exploitation are now no longer easily available, as there are no more new frontiers and peoples to conquer, only ever more extreme forms of extractivism, including Arctic fossil-fuel exploration, fracking for dirty oil, and deep-sea drilling. Which leaves us with a choice: either a future of geoengineering in an age of climate change catastrophe, ruled by centralist, increasingly authoritative governments and their repressive, militarized police forces alongside ever-heightening forms of socio-economic and political inequality—this future is foretold in countless eco-dystopian films, and glimpsed in the extreme weather events happening already across the world. Or, alternately, the formation of localist, sustainable cultures based on renewable energy systems, degrowth and redistributive economics, climate justice, regional sovereignty, rights of nature, and new forms of human, even inter-species political inclusion.7 While the latter scenario may seem even challening, it’s the belief that we can carry on according to the status quo without radical changes to our social, political, economic, and environmental systems, that is truly utopian.

If we were to develop a critical-creative methodology against the Anthropocene what kind of solutions would its diagnosis make possible? If the Capitalocene sanctions a more comprehensive address of, and intervention into, the processes and causes of capitalist ecological violence—rather than merely the effects—then numerous artistic-activist practices are already providing proposals that insist on embedding experimental visual culture within social engagements and collaborative social movements. They’re doing so in order to foster creative forms of life, joining survival to cultural resilience, Indigenous sovereignty to multi-species composition, democratic practice to economic justice and ecological sustainability. Let me identify only a few examples.

One model is Ursula Biemann and Paulo Tavares’ Forest Law, 2014, a video and mixed-media installation that investigates the damaged surface- and sub-soils in the Ecuadoran Amazon that have suffered decades of oil extraction (by Texaco/Chevron, among others). The project, which also includes researched material presented as a small catalogue, details the struggle of Indigenous peoples such as the Shuar and Serayaku for justice through newly-enshrined laws that protect the rights of nature, according to a revolutionary juridico-political movement prioritizing eco-centric legality in places like Ecuador and Bolivia, as well as part of a growing international formation in Earth jurisprudence. Forest Law also exemplifies the politico-ecological commitments of growing numbers of artists-activists exploring the structural conditions of capitalism’s colonization of nature—such as the collective platform World of Matter, of which Biemann and Tavares are both members—and it parallels the transnational alliances, facilitated by new media ecologies, between Indigenous movements, including the international Idle No More network, seeking to establish native sovereign and environmental rights from Argentina to the Arctic.8

Another example that reinvents the conditions of visuality in relation to Capitalocene violence is the recent work of Finnish artist Terika Haapoja in collaboration with the writer Laura Gustafsson, which attempts to invent the cultural terms of a post-Anthropocene form of life. With History of Others, 2013-ongoing, the pair have developed a complex series of proposals for an inter-species cosmopolitics—an alternative post-anthropocentric world-making assemblage of human-nonhuman relations—mediated by images, performances, imaginary institutions, and diverse social agents.9 As part of this project, they created a court of law capable of hearing testimony from nonhuman agents such as wolves and prosecute people for cross-species crimes (The Trial, 2014); produced a Museum of the History of Cattle (2013), assembling artifacts, historical information, and photographic documents presented from the vantage of said animals; and initiated the Party of Others (2011), an inter-species political party to compete in Helsinki’s 2011 parliamentary elections with an expanded animal constituency, approximating the terms of what Rosi Braidotti calls zoe-centered egalitarianism.10

Or consider the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, a collective (including John Jordan and Isa Frémeaux) based in France working over the last decade at the intersection of climate justice activism, permaculture gardening, radical theater pedagogy, and experiments in anti-capitalist collective living. Currently they are preparing Climate Games to intervene in and contest the anti-democratic power of multinational corporations in determining the agenda of the upcoming UN climate change conference, COP21, meeting in Paris this December.11 The Games represent a large-scale experiment in horizontalist and rebellious movement building, where visual elements, including satellite-generated maps, computerized graphics, cell-phone images, and tactical information, are shared through media networks, all elements supporting and embedded in the movements of insurgent bodies comprising an activist civil sphere. Working in solidarity with global Blockadia movements, the artwork-as-mass-mobilization invites semi-autonomous participating activists to coordinate creative political interventions, competing for “points” by registering and documenting their activities on a networked online site. Resonating with alter-globalization, Occupy, and Spanish Indignado tactics, this form of neo-Brechtian theater intends to intensify the joy of disobedience “to stop this suicidal machine that has literally set the climate on fire and that has lead to the extinction of two hundred species per day.”12 Their main story is: “We are nature defending itself.”

These are diverse engagements for sure—and there are certainly many more; what they generally share is taking a stake in anti-Anthropocene activism, founded upon the refusal to generalize and depoliticize climate-change agency, the rejection of current corporate-dominated environmental governance, and the invention of creative approaches to alternative forms of life beyond the Anthropocene’s techno-fixes and geoengineering ambitions that rest content in addressing merely the consequences, rather than the systemic and determinative processes, of centuries of capitalism’s world-historical colonizing form of co-becoming with nature. Just as it’s crucial to explore a visuality of causes, in addition to one of effects, it also remains imperative to resist detaching cultures of visuality—whether photographic or remote-sensing, networked information systems or cybernetic interventions—from their embedded locations in the expansive field of social-movement aesthetics. These transversal connections between politicized collectives and their rebellious poetics disperse, for sure, into countless names—the emergent lexicons of current geologies and potential future epochs now in the making.

1.See Jason Moore, “The Capitalocene, Part I: On the Nature & Origins of Our Ecological Crisis” (2014), at: http://www.jasonwmoore.com/Essays.html.

2.Donna Haraway, “Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin,” Environmental Humanities vol. 6 (2015), with nods to Bruno Latour’s “progressive composition of a common world,” in Bruno Latour, Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy, trans. Catherine Porter (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004), 8.

3.The first usage appearing online is from the website Le forum TRANS - Rencontres transgenres - Transsexualité (s), 2010, http://www.i-trans.net/forum-trans/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11604&start=50&view=print.

4.The “Plantationocene,” according to Haraway, was proposed during a discussion at Aarhus University in October 2014 related to the journal Ethnos, forthcoming as “Anthropologists are Talking About the Anthropocene.” Haraway, “Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chhulucene: Making Kin,” note 4, p. 162.

5.The Homogenocene was suggested by Kieran Suckling, Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity, on May 25, 2015, in his response to an earlier posting on this blog. See: http://blog.fotomuseum.ch/2015/05/iii-against-the-anthropocene/#respond

6.n other words, capitalism never stood apart from nature but was always internal to it, just as nature provided the milieu necessary for capitalist development. See Moore, “The Capitalocene,” 5-15.

7.As Naomi Klein argues, climate change offers “a catalyzing force for positive change,” in fact the best argument we have “to demand the rebuilding and reviving of local economies; to reclaim our democracies from corrosive corporate influence; to block harmful new free trade deals and rewrite old ones; to invest in starving public infrastructure like mass transit and affordable housing; to take back ownership of essential services like energy and water; to remake our sick agricultural system into something much healthier; to open borders to migrants whose displacement is linked to climate impacts; to finally respect Indigenous land rights—all of which would help to end grotesque levels of inequality within our nations and between them.” Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (New York: Allen Lane, 2014), 7.

8.See www.worldofmatter.net/, and my forthcoming book, Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2015); and the June 2015 Idle No More report, “Thousands Rally in DC to Demand Justice for Ecuador,” http://www.idlenomore.ca/thousands_rally_in_dc?utm_campaign=inmroots8&utm_medium=email&utm_source=idlenomore.

9.See Isabelle Stengers, “The Cosmopolitical Proposal,” in Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy, ed., Bruno Latour, Peter Weibel (Karlsruhe and Cambridge: ZKM and MIT Press, 2005).

10.Rosi Braidotti, The Posthuman (Cambridge: Polity, 2013), 60. For extensive analysis of Haapoja’s work, see my forthcoming essay “Animal Cosmopolitics: Terika Haapoja’s History of Others.”

11:Quoted in Ewen Chardronnet’s interview with Isabelle Frémeaux and John Jordan, “Climate Games: ‘We are nature defending itself’” (11 May 2015), http://www.makery.info/en/2015/05/11/climate-games-nous-sommes-la-nature-qui-se-defend/.

11:See https://www.climategames.net/.

Published: 12.06.2015 in the series Anthropocene

T.J. Demos writes widely on modern and contemporary art and his essays have appeared in magazines, journals, and catalogues worldwide. His published work centers broadly on the conjunction of art and politics, examining the ability of artistic practice to invent innovative and experimental strategies that challenge dominant social, political, and economic conventions. He has served on the Art Journal editorial board (2004-08), and currently is on the editorial board of Third Text, and on the advisory board of Grey Room. Demos is Director of the forthcoming Center for Creative Ecologies at UC Santa Cruz. Check out his personal website, for more info and links to many essays.

Demos’ current research focuses on contemporary art and visual culture, investigating in particular the diverse ways that artists and activists have negotiated crises associated with globalization, including the emerging conjunction of post-9/11 political sovereignty and statelessness, the hauntings of the colonial past, and the growing biopolitical conflicts around ecology and climate change. His most recent books include Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Sternberg Press, 2016), which looks at international artistic and acvitist visual positions in response to growing climate change crises, paying particular attention to environmental justice struggles in the global South and diverse creative proposals for sustainable living; The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary during Global Crisis (Duke University Press, 2013, winner of the 2014 College Art Association Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism), which explores the relation of contemporary art—including practices from North America, Europe, and the Middle East—to the experience of social dislocation, political crisis, and economic inequality, where art figures in ways both critically analytical and creatively emancipating; and Return to the Postcolony: Spectres of Colonialism in Contemporary Art (Sternberg Press, 2013), which addresses the recent returns of artists (including Sven Augustijnen, Zarina Bhimji, Pieter Hugo, Renzo Martens, and Vincent Meessen) to former colonial states in Sub-Saharan Africa and the resulting art—predominantly photography and film—that investigates the traumas of past and present colonial relations and injustices.

Related

Epiphany – Frontiers of Solitude

Dům umění Ústí nad Labem
September – October 2016

http://duul.ujep.cz/

An exhibition and symposium created within the framework of the international transdisciplinary project Frontiers of Solitude.

.. there are many, many other worlds, yes, but they are all hidden within this one. And so to neglect this humble, imperfect, and infinitely mysterious world is to recklessly endanger all the others.
Earth in Eclipse-an Essay on the Philosophy of Science and Ethics
David Abram

Aside from its biblical, gnostic, or metaphysical meaning, the term epiphany also raises issues concerning the relationship between humans and nature and the boundaries of thought, belief and epistemology. Where does the sacred lead and where does the profane begin? Where does the revealed come from, and what does it consist of? The idea of revelation and its embodiment affects our relationship with the sacred, as well as our neighbors, and also our sense of belonging to a physical world, which we are increasingly remaking in our image. What kind of image is it? We will need to reevaluate our technological approach to the environment, which we understand reflexively as an inexhaustible deposit, a source of energy, as a free reservoir for exclusively human use.

A criticism of “disenchantment,” of the alienation of humankind toward the biological world, is found in different areas of contemporary science, humanities, religion, philosophy, economics and art. It is becoming evident that this is a dangerous and complex cluster of values, interests and assumptions, providing the elites with access to unimaginable wealth, and sacrificing the rest of the biosphere, edging us nearer to the environmental extreme of physical survival.

The project Frontiers of Solitude develops this discourse. The exhibition and the accompanying program serve as an attempt to outline the relationships among the cultural, economic, and ethical issues of the environmental challenges we currently face. In 2015, Frontiers of Solitude launched three separate expeditions to ecologically threatened areas of Europe. In addition, the project has offered a series of exhibitions, meetings, workshops and symposia. The expedition “Into the Abyss of Lignite Clouds” took place in the Most lignite coal basin in the Czech Republic. The participants researched the morphology and the history of this region -- a landscape that has been heavily transformed to a depth of several hundred meters by industrial exploitation. The toxic Black Triangle, which is defined roughly as a carbon-rich area between Sokolov, Litvínov, Bad Brambach and Katowice, has softened its boundaries somewhat since 1989, and, on the whole, has grown.

The exhibition presents several works that were produced by artists participating in the project - Elvar Már Kjartansson, Pavel Mrkus, Robert Vlasak, Martin Zet, Vladimír Turner, Julia Martin).

In this extended form, the project focus shifts to both local and global contexts through a selection of works by several Czech and foreign artists, whose approach resonates with issues that the project raises: Steina Vasulka [IS], Layla Curtis [UK],, Michal Kindernay and Paul Chaney [UK]). These works are enriched by a few contextual interventions and artifacts, such as a selection of apocalyptic documentary photography from the series of Ore Mountains landscapes by Josef Koudelka (Black Triangle-1990-1994), as well as a stage-design-like intervention by JSD - Peerless Brotherhood of the Holy Nurture from The Universal Psychiatric Church 316a (UPSYCH) in Kuřivody.

The exhibition outlines the cross-connections among various social, psychological, mythical, economic and cultural landscapes. The works reflect the process of a larger-scale globalization and touch not just upon the perspectives of geology, meteorology, energy and ethics, but also try to penetrate into the lower depths of the demonology of the landscape of the 21st century.

An accompanying program and an interdisciplinary symposium will be dedicated to the problems of Art and the Anthropocene, and is scheduled for October 19, 2016.

The schedule and program of the symposium The Landscape in Focus will be announced as soon as possible.

preliminary program see Krajina v pozoru/The Landscape in Focus

Pavel Mrkus, The Fall, foto Aleš Loziak

Pavel Mrkus, The Fall, foto Aleš Loziak

vernisáž Epifanie, foto Aleš Loziak

vernisáž Epifanie, foto Aleš Loziak

Duchcov, 2016, foto MV

Duchcov, 2016, foto MV

Orka,Steina, installation view, foto: Jachym Myslivec

Orka,Steina, installation view, foto: Jachym Myslivec

Place
POINT (14.013142 50.666611)
Related content
Martin Zet
Julia Martin
Robert Vlasák
Pavel Mrkus
Elvar Már Kjartansson
JSD - Nourishing Brotherhood of the Holy Nurture
Paul Chaney
Vladimír Turner
Josef Koudelka
Steina
Michal Kindernay
Layla Curtis
The Landscape in Focus (Krajina v pozoru)
Dagmar Šubrtová
Miloš Vojtěchovský
Partner
Czech Republic
When
7 September 2016 to 22 October 2016
Category
Program
Exhibition

The Landscape in Focus (Krajina v pozoru)

International interdisciplinary conference

Venue: Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic

The Faculty of Art and Design at JEPU is organizing an interdisciplinary conference named Landscape in Focus, which is a part of the exhibition Epiphany – Frontiers of Solitude, organized by the House of Arts (Dům umění).

Both the conference and the exhibition loosely follow the topics of the international project Frontiers of Solitude, organized by Školská 28 Gallery in Prague, which mapped the problems of the connectedness of post-industrial societies and the natural environment of Iceland, Norway, and the Czech Republic from an artistic point of view. The focal point of this conference is the North-West Bohemia region with its specific latent problems from the exploitation of its landscape and natural resources, which is reflected not only in the state of the environment, but also in the socio-cultural development of the communities that live there. The persistent after-effects of the political-economic orientation regarding the exploitation of the landscape and the cultural potential of the region, combined with the historical context of the loss of its original inhabitants, are still apparent in all spheres of social life today.

The topics of the conference thus reflect the links between economic, biopolitical, cultural, and ethical problems and their influence on the tendencies of regional development in confrontation with issues of international scope. We welcome entries from various scientific fields studying environmental topics, as well as entries of contemporary art, artistic reflection and curatorial approaches.

PROGRAM (TBC)

First block: The Transformations of Landscape at the turn of the 21st century and their Impact on Society

Relations between the landscape and society as reflected in natural and social sciences

9:30 opening speech doc. Mgr. A. Pavel Mrkus Ph.D. Dean of Faculty of Arts and Design, UJEP

10:00 – 10:30 prof. Ing. Iva Rittschelová, CSc.

– Reclamation = Art

10:35 – 11:05 Ing. Rut Bízková – New societal challenges as a consequence (or the cause of?) new technological possibilities

11:10 – 11:40 Ing. Vladimír Buřt -

What does it feel like to live on the edge of a brown coal mine?

11:45 – 12:15 Josef Märc - On the border (the options for education through cultural-historical heritage)

12:20 – 12:50 doc. PhDr. Tomáš Pavlíček, Ph.D.

Transition of Landscape, Urbanism and Architecture in Towns of North Bohemia from 19th Century till Today

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break and visit to the exhibition in House of Arts, Ústí nad Labem

Afternoon block: The Transformations in Art and the Landscape in the Anthropocene Epoch

Traces of the Anthropogenic impact on the landscape, including global terrestrial systems, can be found almost everywhere around us. They are affecting the fields of ecology, economics, geopolitics, ethics, philosophy and art, but they also influence our daily lives. For centuries, the Christian tradition has linked the land with the realm of externalities and has perceived land as a vast territory, ready for (aggressive) human colonisation, appropriation, exploitation and subjugation; and as a space to be operated, managed, civilized, maintained, and finally “improved” by humankind, with continually expanding “limits of growth”. With the western technology-power-paradigm acting in global hegemony, we are brought to the limits of sustainability. These lectures will raise questions about the relationship of the sacred and the profane, the sacrificed, enchantment and disenchantment, local and global, rational, irrational, and empathetic. A series of lectures and presentations by theorists and artists that present the wider context of the exhibition and the project Frontiers of Solitude. Such binary constructs as natural and cultural, space and place, value, environment, labor and goods, landscape and wilderness, management of the land, farming and industrial exploitation for (fossil) resources are quickly losing their validity. The Anthropocene confronts art and artists with evidence of the processes. These occur not only on the surface, but also deep in our beliefs, imaginations, feelings.

2:30 – 3:00 pm Sacrifice, Defacement, Art Miloš Vojtěchovský

co-curator of Frontiers of Solitude project, [CR]

Images of a threatened world in contemporary art have different forms and intensity: the poetics of landscape of ruins, of spectacular wastelands, the beauty of destruction can be interpreted as a moral appeal for change, or as a subconscious attempt to return to the archaic rituals of sacrifice, rebirth, redemption. The “Sacramental” of the modern age was based on the goal of defeating religion and superstition, in accord with technology, science, geo-engineering, the promise of continuous increase of welfare, and redemption through the accumulation of capital. Today we are facing a triumphal conclusion of this process of desecration - the “Age of Man” - “Anthropocene”. If we see attempts to return to the “sacred”, we often encounter regression, aggression, a return to tribal thinking, as well as how to escape to “harmonious” virtual worlds. Is there a third way left for artists (and for us)?

3:05 – 3:35 Antipodes Layla Curtis artist, [UK]

Curtis will present Antipodes (2013) – an online photographic and motion-image work included in the Epiphany exhibition. The Antipodes website observes the planet through a series of webcams focused on the 4% of the earth’s surface in which land is antipodal to land. For exactly one year the website was constantly updated with freshly captured live webcam images. Over two million such images now make up this huge browsable archive. Forging visual and notional connections between points on the globe that are as far apart as can be, results in a juxtaposition of opposites, such as day/night and summer/winter, while revealing surprising similarities in geology, architecture and culture. Curtis will discuss the making of Antipodes, highlighting her inspiration, the rationale behind the work, and some of the interesting discoveries she made while creating it. She will also introduce the other artworks created from the continuous flow of images captured by the Antipodes website, including a series of time-lapse videos, an installation of live webcam feeds, drawings depicting antipodal geographies, and a series of photographic diptychs.

15:40 – 16:10 From Anthropocene toward Ecozoic Era: Jiří Zemánek art historian, curator, publisher, environmental activist [CR]

“Not isolated mankind, it is the Earth that is truly intelligent, …” David Abram

To be able to approach effectively current environmental and other issues threatening our planet, we need to abandon the stubborn dichotomy between mankind and the Earth; we must stop perceiving the Earth as a commodity, but rather as a meaningful entity, our real home and a community of beings, from whose enormous evolutionary agency we emerged. The Earth still nourishes and supports us, maintains the coherence to our senses and our mind, the Earth is the source of our emotions, spirituality, art - we need it not only for physical survival, but also for our psychic health and imagination. In the framework of the projects Paths of Poetry and Errant University of Nature the Pilgrim Associations is searching for how to reconnect with the Earth - to learn to listen to nature again, to perceive it as our partner and a great teacher. How can we realize that people are part of a large chain of life and this chain can lead to a new Ecozoic Era, which will be based on the mutual benefit between Earth and Humankind. I will introduce the five conditions for the emergence of the Ecozoic Era, as articulated by the cosmologist Thomas Berry. I will point to the work of one of the founders of ecological art Helen and Newton Harrisons. In their inspiring project “Peninsula Europe” can be seen how current creative approaches can, in the scale in which they take place, address major challenges posed to us by climate crisis, and how to try to think as a planet.

4:15 – 4:45 Lizard Exit Plan and Fieldclub Paul Chaney artist [UK]

Chaney will present examples from two recent projects undertaken in the UK: ‘FIELDCLUB’ – where Chaney attempted to live in a small cabin and grow his own food for seven years, and ‘Lizard Exit Plan’ – where Chaney designed a system for 9,000 people to live outside of the system of global production and commerce. Both projects explore post-capitalist and post-apocalyptic approaches to the landscape and its utility.

4:50 – 5:20pm Listening to the Sounds of Places in Transformation Peter Cusack soundartist and researcher [UK]

We are more used to discussing places and how they change through reference to what is seen rather than to what is heard. But listening to the sounds of places in transformation can be equally valuable. Sound gives an additional layer of information that is complimentary to, but different from, visual images and language. This talk will use examples from recent projects around the Aral Sea, Kazakstan, and in the lignite mining areas of the Czech Republic to make the case for listening to and making sounds as a way of exploring landscapes, both physical and social, in transition.

5:25 – 6:00pm Panel Discussion

Selected texts will be used for an authorial monograph published by the Faculty of Art and Design at JEPU in Ústí nad Labem.

Organisation: Adéla Machová

Dům umění Ústí nad Labem

Fakulta umění a designu Univerzity Jana Evangelisty Purkyně

adress: Klíšská 1101/129a, 400 96 Ústí nad Labem

e-mail: duul@ujep.cz

tel.: +420 475 285 188

Art, Culture, Creativity, Research

Frontiers of Solitude

Frontiers of Solitude

prof. Ing. Iva Rittschelová, CSc, a Michal Koleček, foto Jáchym Myslivec

prof. Ing. Iva Rittschelová, CSc, a Michal Koleček, foto Jáchym Myslivec

Pavel Mrkus, foto Jáchym Myslivec

Pavel Mrkus, foto Jáchym Myslivec

Place
POINT (14.053146 50.661116)
Related content
Epiphany – Frontiers of Solitude
Miloš Vojtěchovský
Peter Cusack
JIří Zemánek
Paul Chaney
Layla Curtis
Partner
Czech Republic
When
19 October 2016
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Program
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Symposium
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