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Reflections on Who is nature? & Climate as Artifact
The human desire to understand abstractions leads to new inventions, critical research and a poetic contemplation of our environment.
Image: Artist Sachi Miyachi counted 307.212 bricks during Climate as Artifact. Photo: Johan Nieuwenhuize, 2018.
One of the most challenging aspects of the arts is the ability to pose different questions. In January 2006 artists collective Satellietgroep kicked off with the question ‘To whom belongs the sea?’. To celebrate over 12 years of pioneering and prepare for an unforeseen and challenging future, in January 2018 we started to rethink our perceptions of culture and nature with the question ‘Who is nature?’.
Satellietgroep invited seventeen artists and designers to jointly create a public program based on shared fascinations. This developed into an exceptional project, namely the exhibition program called 'Climate as Artifact – Klimaat als mensenwerk'. For the first time, climate is emphatically positioned in the cultural domain. Without judgement, without a preconceived position, we are curious to see the opportunities that climate (change) can offer us.
In the run-up to the autumn exhibition, monthly informal meetings took place with the participating artists and special guests from different domains. In addition, a supporting program evolved, where artists in smaller group presentations tested their artistic research with the public and entered into dialogue with scientists, philosophers and each other. Following the practice of Satellietgroep as alternative academy and appreciating the sea and shores as vital learning environment of time and space, our visitors had the opportunity to engage with the artists who worked on site, contribute to the ongoing process of artistic research, share their insights, and discover through the arts a multitude of fields of knowledge. Experts in the fields of nature, climate, geology, archeology, oceanography, philosophy, zoology, botany and spatial planning - as well as a canoe builder from the Marshall Islands - actively contributed to the making of new art works and public dialogues.
This method also leads to an exhibition program that differs from the more traditional exhibitions. It is closer to a knowledge lab; a space for experiment, discussion and wonder; a workshop, learning center and meeting place, where all your senses are claimed.
With special thanks to the participating artists and designers Berndnaut Smilde, Sachi Miyachi, Nishiko, Esther Kokmeijer, Maurice Bogaert, Aliki van der Kruijs, Jos Klarenbeek, Maurice Meewisse, Lotte Geeven, Theun Karelse, Thijs Ebbe Fokkens, Giuseppe Licari, Onkruidenier (Jonmar van Vlijmen, Ronald Boer icw Rosanne van Wijk), Josje Hattink, Masha Ru and all engaged experts, visitors and partners.
The program is supported by Mondriaan Fonds, BankGiro Loterij Fonds, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Gemeente Den Haag, Feest aan Zee.
Who is nature?
Climate as Artifact
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Image: Three arts students from Taiwan created `Polluted Water Popsicles'.
Pilot water & education, curriculum, connecting art-science-society.
About Beyond Technologies:
The pilot project targets at facilitating innovative learning experiences to change our socio-cultural landscape, allowing for the emergence of new ways of knowing and being in the world.
Under the understanding that water is as much a cultural/social phenomena as an engineering/technical one, we propose to facilitate the development of learning experiences, that through integrating the arts and engineering in a process of field exploration and discovery, induce students to learn about the materiality of solutions to water problems in the context in which they happen and as an inseparable part of a socio-cultural-historical landscape. This multi-disciplinary approach will allow students to develop new insights, enabling the emergence of new perceptual narratives and ways of doing things, that students can use to propose innovative solutions to water challenges.
In June 2019, the first outcomes are presented at 4UT Resilience Conference at University Twente and Art in the Anthropocene Conferency at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
In November 2019, reflections on Beyond Technology are shared at the seminar Can co-creation of (students of) the arts and sciences enhance public climate-consciousness? at BC3, Basque Centre for Climate Change, Bilbao, Spain.
People and partners involved:
University of Twente, Urban Water Management, Master of Science Water Engineering and Management, Faculty of Engineering Technology; Dr. Marcela Brugnach & students.
Artists collective Satellietgroep; artist/curator Jacqueline Heerema.
Artez, Graphic Design at the University of the Arts, Zwolle; Marijke Meester, Fabian Hijlkema & students.
With special thanks to Vitens Vechterweerd, Vitens Waterschap Vechtstromen, Lara Wöhler (UT, MEDUWA), Alfons Uijtewaal (Huize Aarde, MEDUWA), Francesco Bregoli (IHE Delft), artists Onkruidenier (Jonmar van Vlijmen, Ronald Boer) and Marjolijn Dijkman.
Funding: Andrea von Braun Stiftung (D).
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The arts offer a dialogical space. A portal to rethink perceptions of culture and nature. Faced with serious environmental challenges, we need to develop an other understanding of the world and of the self. The current (visual) idiom is incited to develop a deeper understanding, that includes non-human narratives. We may have to acknowledge that people are nature and nature has become culture.
Artists collective Satellietgroep explores the reciprocal relations of humanity and nature, with a focus on the sea, (coastal) landscape transitions, climate and the impact of humanity on the environment in the Netherlands and abroad.
2020: Beyond Technology Magazine reflects on the process of the 4 steps program of Explore, Collect, Share and Learn, February 2020.
2019: Beyond Technology
Beyond Technology is an education pilot for co-creation of engineering students of watermanagement of University Twente and students of art & design academy ArtEZ Zwolle. A cross-culture, cross-discipline knowledge & co-creation adventure to learn how to address the complex and societal challenges of invisible pharmaceutical pollution in water. During the year-long process, perceptions of knowledge shifted from content gathering (data of pharmaceuticals in water) to communication and raising societal awareness. Beyond Technology is a collaboration of University of Twente, Satellietgroep and ArtEZ, funded by Von Braun Stiftung.
2018: Article 'Who is nature?' publication forthcoming 2020.
How visual narratives in art and design can overturn prevailing understandings of environment. Talk and essay by artists' collective Satellietgroep, Lotte Bosman & Jacqueline Heerema; Viscous Space North Sea Conference, TU Deflt 2018.
2019: Article 'Zandmotor a cultural phenomenon' is published in TU Delft publication.
(APA): Luijendijk, A., & van Oudenhoven, A. (Eds.) (2019). The Sand Motor: A Nature-Based Response to Climate Change: Findings and Reflections of the Interdisciplinary Research Program NatureCoast. Delft: Delft University Publishers - TU Delft Library.
Beyond Technology Magazine (2020)
Publication Badgast (2013)
Publication Now Wakes The Sea (2013)
2006 - now: overview artist-in-residency (AiR for artistic field research) & public programs (arts, sciences, public expeditions, exhibitions, talks):
Beyond Technology (2019)
Climate as Artifact (2018)
Who is nature? (2018)
AiR Zandgast, Zandmotor (2014-now)
AiR Zandmotor, Mondriaan Fonds Binnenland Gastatelier (2017)
Prospectors, Intersections Art Rotterdam (2017)
AiR DCR Gueststudios, The Hague (2013-2018)
Polders, Wadden Sea, Afsluitdijk & more (2013 - now)
AiR Now Wakes The Sea, international exchange programs (2012-now)
AiR Badgast, Scheveningen (2009-2015)
Satellieteiland (nomadic, 2006-2009)
To whom belongs the sea? (2006-now)
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Image: Film still 'Destination Highway Afsluitdam', Satellietgroep, Afsluitdijk 2017.
2019-2020: Art-science research project Amstelpark, Amsterdam (NL) - Parco Regionale dell’Appia Antica in Rome (IT), invited by Zone2Source, VU, Clue+, Reinwardt Academy and more; see invited artists and experts for Expoded View:
Synopsis Satellietgroep, Jacqueline Heerema for Exploded View:
Refugium - A climate landscape as a living archive (working title)
Or: The Truman Show?
How can we experience time? Or better said: how can we experience the time-depth of a landscape?
Can we not only explore the landscape horizontally, but also vertically? Is the experience of the current 'Anthropocene' or the Age of Humanity based on doom scenarios or do we, people, also create future opportunities? What does a cultural or natural landscape mean and to what extent does humanity stand above or next to or in the middle of nature if the landscape is a park? Who feels emotional ownership of this park? Does a park have a future besides a past?
These and other questions shape our park research, while being led by curiosity about the opportunities that climate variations can offer us in the context of the phenomenon of a park.
Artists collective Satellietgroep (The Hague, 2006) has been focusing on artistic research on the sea, (coastal) landscapes, the influence of mankind on the living, once living and non-living environments and the changing relationship between culture and nature, in the Netherlands and abroad for over 12 years. Research areas in the Netherlands include coastal areas (Scheveningen, Zandmotor), polders, Wadden and the Afsluitdijk. In 2018, Satellietgroep posed the question “Who is nature?” With the exhibition program ‘Climate as Artifact – Klimaat als mensenwerk’ Satellietgroep positioned dialogue about climate and the influence of mankind as a geological force in the cultural domain.
Refugium - Un paesaggio climatico come archivio vivente (titolo provvisorio)
Oppure: The Truman Show?
Come possiamo sperimentare il tempo, o meglio, il tempo profondo di un paesaggio?
Possiamo non solo esplorare il paesaggio orizzontalmente o anche verticalmente? L'esperienza dell'attuale 'Antropocene' o dell'età dell'umanità basata su scenari di sventura o creiamo anche opportunità future? Che cosa significa un paesaggio culturale o naturale e fino a che punto l'uomo si trova al di sopra o accanto o in mezzo alla natura se il paesaggio è un parco? Chi si sente proprietario emotivo di questo parco? Un parco ha un futuro oltre a un passato?
Queste e altre domande modellano la nostra ricerca sul parco, pur essendo incuriositi dalle opportunità che le variazioni climatiche possono offrirci nel contesto del fenomeno di un parco.
Il collettivo di artisti Satellietgroep (L'Aia, 2006) si è concentrato sulla ricerca artistica sul mare, sui paesaggi (costieri), sull'influenza dell'umanità sugli ambienti viventi, una volta viventi e non viventi e sul mutevole rapporto tra cultura e natura, nel Paesi Bassi e all'estero da oltre 12 anni. Le aree di ricerca nei Paesi Bassi comprendono le aree costiere (Scheveningen, Zandmotor), i polder, Wadden e l'Afsluitdijk. Nel 2018, Satellietgroep ha posto la domanda "Chi è la natura?" Con il programma espositivo "Clima come artefatto - Klimaat als mensenwerk" Satellietgroep ha posizionato il dialogo sul clima e l'influenza dell'umanità come forza geologica nel campo culturale.
Refugium – Een klimaatlandschap als levend archief (werktitel)
Of: De Truman Show?
Hoe kunnen we tijd, of beter gezegd de tijdsdiepte van een landschap beleefbaar maken?
Kunnen we niet alleen horizontaal het landschap verkennen, maar ook verticaal? Is de beleving van het huidige ‘Antropoceen’ of het Tijdperk van de Mens gebaseerd op doemscenario’s of creëren wij, mensen, ook toekomstige kansen? Wat betekent een cultuurlijk of natuurlijk landschap en in hoeverre staat de mens boven of naast of midden in de natuur als het landschap een park is? Wie voelt zich emotioneel eigenaar van dit park? Heeft een park naast een verleden ook een toekomst?
Deze en andere vragen vormen de basis van het park onderzoek, nieuwsgierig naar de kansen die klimaatverandering ons kan bieden in de context van het fenomeen park.
Kunstenaarscollectief Satellietgroep (Den Haag, 2006) richt zich sinds 12 jaar op artistiek onderzoek naar zee, (kust)landschappen, de invloed van de mens op de leefomgeving en de veranderende relatie cultuur en natuur in binnen- en buitenland. Onderzoeksgebieden in Nederland zijn onder meer het kustgebied (Scheveningen, Zandmotor), polders, wadden en Afsluitdijk. In 2018 stelde Satellietgroep de vraag “Wie is natuur?” Met het tentoonstellingsprogramma ‘Climate as Artifact - Klimaat als mensenwerk’ heeft Satellietgroep vragen over klimaat en de invloed van de mens als geologische kracht in het culturele domein geplaatst.
On September 28, 2019 the public event called Onland takes place at Land in wording, Amstelpark Amsterdam. Following a reconstruction of the becoming of this small swamp, artist/curator Jacqueline Heerema i.c.w. AWN-The Hague, geologist Bert van der Valk and climate scientist Tanya Lippman (VU) explore the subsurface, to unravel different narratives and perceptions of time, nature and culture.