Synthetic ecology – Announcements – e-flux

The inauguration Beijing Art and Technology Biennial (BATB) will be held at 798CUBE from September 22, 2022 to January 31, 2023. With its theme Synthetic ecologythis inaugural edition will be led by Song Xiewei and Hera Leeand organized by Xiaowen Chen and Naiyi Wang.

Ecological degradation, global warming, climate change, and limits to growth…these consequences tell us that the earth is not an entity that can be subjected to human whims. In the age of accelerationism, a period of continuous technological development and expanding self-awareness, humans have realized the necessity of co-existence (entanglement) with animals, plants, and matter. When British scientist James Lovelock first proposed the Gaia hypothesis in the 1970s – envisioning Earth as a superorganism – it ushered in a new way of understanding life that views Earth as a “living” entity. , able to self-regulate and maintain itself. the stability and continuity of living systems.

The earth is an ecosystem, of which we are enmeshed in overlapping ecologies of nature, society and spirit. The Enlightenment paradigm has obscured ecology to suggest that it is supposedly untouched and undeveloped; abandoned of any reference to real nature. This is what the British philosopher and ecologist Timothy Morton calls “hyperobjects” or “natureless ecology”. The loss of the natural dimension of ecology has given rise to a particular way of thinking, making it possible to rethink the opposing concepts in the dualism (culture/nature, subject/object, human/non-human), to further explore the technosciences and nature-more-than-human cultures.

This first edition of the Beijing Art and Technology Biennale (BATB), entitled Synthetic ecology, aims to explore the entanglement of life in symbionts. As a metaphor, “synthetic” probes the possibilities of reconfiguring nature by examining the post-human ecological imaginary, forming a new ontological approach to equality. This concept questions the dominant position of human beings in ecological systems, confronts the dynamism of everything on earth and re-examines these complex and intimate interconnections. Synthetic ecology is composed of three parts: radical nature, Tangled lifeand Intertwined Evolution. Expanding the horizons of our thinking from human/society to everything/universe, these concepts reflect on possibilities for future evolution both from a planetary perspective and on a planetary scale.

radical nature
The emergence of new technologies today has led to a new ecological view of “hyper-nature”. The gap between the natural and the man-made has been largely dissolved by developments in science and technology. We are creating a world that is ruled neither by natural forces nor by scientific logic, but rather by the intertwined powers of both. Neri Oxman uses biotechnology, materials science and digital fabrication to design our own natural ecology, in which “the natural” and the “artificial” are intertwined. Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg digitally resurrects an extinct species, bringing it back to life in an artificial environment. The power of science and technology gives “existence” a new normal, like a call to an alternate reality.

Tangled life
Rosi Braidotti describes the post-human condition of today’s world as a nature-nurture continuum. Patricia Piccinini’s work emphasizes the heterogeneity of life forms – this respect for hybridity reveals our symbiogenesis, our shared misfortunes and our communion with all things. Investigating the mechanism of life at a cultural level, Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr rethink the future of living phenomena by replicating Leduc’s experiment to create “protocells”. Terike Haapoja’s view of life calls for the reaffirmation of radical ideas about “being”, in the moments of life and death.

Intertwined Evolution
Since the days of stardust, evolution has never disconnected “human” and “non-human”. One must rethink the relationships of interdependence between oneself and a plant, a speck of dust, a stream of water or a cluster of stars, and thus delve into the constantly changing properties of the ecosystems themselves. To listen to Gaia and feel respect for the universe, like Liang Shaoji, who has kept silkworm companions for over 30 years, or Rimini Protokoll’s grim prophecy of a jellyfish future. Špela Petrič invites us into a linguistic world of plants, to read their “silent words”. All of these other-than-human encounters not only respond to Karen Barad’s idea of ​​entangled existence, but also cultivate a planetary consciousness that envisions the possibilities of future evolution.

The BATB takes the form of a constellation of exhibitions and initiatives, and brings together 50 renowned artists, scientists and environmentalists from around the world to respond to the salient symptoms of our “entangled age”, where calamity and vitality are contemporary phenomena. . The Biennale will feature the China debut of 25 works of art, with 15 new pieces created in 2021-2022. In addition, the Climate Clock project, which was presented at the 26th United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow in 2021 (COP26), will also participate in the Biennale. This is the first time that this urgent and thoughtful work will be shown in China.

Alongside the thematic exhibition, the Biennale is launching the special project Climate care, for being among the first initiatives in China dedicated to exploring the convergence of art, technology and climate change, while seeking to evoke action on the climate crisis in all its facets. Since its inception, the Climate Care initiative has continuously promoted innovative movements, launching Climate Clock #ActInTimeChinathe climate statement series, with Climate Negotiation upcoming program during the 27th United Nations Climate Conference (COP27) from November 6-18, 2022. The new projects commissioned from Carla Chan and Entangled Others (Sofia Crespo and Feileacan McCormick) will be launched alongside the initiative. Additionally, Climate Care seeks to combine Web3 technology and blockchain technology to build the Climate DAO, opening new avenues for climate action.

Participating artists (in alphabetical order):
Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Anna Dumitriu and Alex May, Carla Chan, Entangled Others (Sofia Crespo and Feileacan McCormick), Xiang Jing, Neri Oxman and The Mediated Matter Group, Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, Patricia Piccinini, Ralf Baecker, Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, Rimini Protokoll, Liang Shaoji, Sophie Falkeis, Špela Petrič, Susan Schuppli, Suzanne Anker, Terike Haapoja, Terra0, Ursula Biemann, Art of Bio Machine, Climate Clock

General Counsel: Gao Hong, Fan Di’an, Teng Yanbin

Academic chairs: Su Xinping, Zhang Zikang

Pedagogical advisers (in alphabetical order): Giovanni Aloi, Yuhui Jiang, Yuk Hui, ZHANG Ga

Director: Song Xiewei

Exhibition director: Hera Lee

Conservatives: Xiaowen Chen, Naiyi Wang

Administrative coordinators: Dong Huanqin, Che Jing, Wen Meng

Assistant Curators: Yuhang Sun, Rachel Be-Yun Wang

Execution of the exhibition: Qin Zheng

Media coordinator: Shi Yumeng, Liu Jinlong

Operation Coordinator: Cui Meihua, Pang Xinyan, Guo Xunbo

Technical coordinator:Wang Donghan

Visual aspect: 4aC design

Exhibition design: Ma Xin, Sun Chuyang

For more information on curatorial themes and media requests, please contact Naiyi Wang at =(c=c.charCodeAt(0)+13)?c:c-26);});return false”>mail [​at​]