Hilde Methi: Lecture on the Dark Ecology Project and Art in the Barents Region

Written by
Ivar Smedstad
25 September 2015

Dark Ecology is a three year art and research project initiated by Sonic Acts and Hilde Methi.

The project is informed by the idea that ecology is ‘dark’ (as the American theorist Timothy Morton has argued), because it invites – or demands – that we think about our intimate interconnections with, for instance, iron ore, snowflakes, plankton, or radiation. Ecology does not privilege the human, it is not something beautiful, and it has no real use for the old concept of Nature. What we now know about the impact of human beings on the planet has led to the need to rethink the concepts of nature and ecology, and exactly how humans are connected to the world. This rethinking occurs in philosophy as well as in the arts.

Hilde Methi (NO) is an independent curator based in Kirkenes. Her work investigates the relationship of her own locale to a larger geopolitical setting. Based on her interest in local history, politics and economics, she builds up ongoing collaborative projects and art collectives infusing artistic ideas into local contexts. She is currently curating the Dark Ecology project (2014-17), in collaboration with Sonic Acts. She conceived the Sámi Art Festival (2008–11); co-curated – Taking Inventory, Uqbar (2011); Extreme Crafts, Freies Museum, Berlin (2012); and Nørrekærbiennalen (2014). She is also involved in the art-collectives Mobile Kultur Byrå (2006–), which looks at the trading climate in particular contexts; LUJA (2005–) which connects contemporary art, design and indigenous crafts; and the Rural Reading Room (2013–), which highlights the materiality of the landscape using a tabletop as its format.