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Reflections on Who is nature?
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 artist 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.