Digital Ecologies 2018-2019, Plovdiv, Bulgaria: an international exhibition project in two folds

Fold II, 2019. Digital Dramatizations: Ecologies from the Future (04 May - 30 June 2019; symposium 05/06 May 2019)

Fold I, 2018. Operaismo Naturale: Ecology of the Event (27 July - 05 September 2018)

Curated by Dimitrina Sevova

Digital Ecologies is part of the program of Plovdiv 2019, European Capital of Culture.

See the photo documentation of Fold I, 2018. Operaismo Naturale: Ecology of the Event.

Ursula Biemann, Acoustic Ocean

Flyer for the project. Image credit: Ursula Biemann, Acoustic Ocean, 2018. Video still

Digital Dramatizations: Ecologies from the Future

Fold II of Digital Ecologies: an international exhibition project in two folds

across two exhibition venues, the Center for Contemporary Art ‘Ancient Bath’ (6th September Str. 179) and the former tobacco warehouse SKLAD (Ekzarh Yosif Str. 16) in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

With works on display and interventions by Donatella Bernardi, Ursula Biemann, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Johanna Bruckner, Sarah Burger, Delphine Chapuis Schmitz, Valko Chobanov, Voin de Voin & Marie Civikov, Jonas Etter, Anne-Laure Franchette, Monica Ursina Jäger, Stefanie Knobel, Marlene Maier, Boyan Manchev with Ani Vaseva and Leonid Yovchev (Metheor), Emil Mirazchiev, Uriel Orlow, Ursula Palla, Lourenço Penaguião Soares, Elodie Pong, Oliver Ressler, Tabita Rezaire, Dorothea Rust, Elza Sile, Kerstin Schroedinger, Pascal Schwaighofer, Venelin Shurelov, Sandro Steudler, Kamen Stoyanov, Milva Stutz, Katharina Swoboda, Una Szeemann / Bohdan Stehlik, Riikka Tauriainen, Lena Maria Thüring, Alexander Tuchaček, Borjana Ventzislavova, and Martina-Sofie Wildberger

with interventions and talks by the philosophers Boyan Manchev, Stanimir Panayotov, and Gerald Raunig

Curated by Dimitrina Sevova

Austrian participation co-curated by Katharina Swoboda

with organizational support from Emil Mirazchiev

04 May to 30 June 2019

Opening of the project Digital Ecologies:
Saturday 04 May 2019
(Ancient Bath, then SKLAD)

16:00h Doors open at the two venues

Ancient Bath

16:00h Dorothea Rust, performative intervention L’animoteur 9 — selfie or I am donkey and cacti

17:00h Welcome and introduction by Dimitrina Sevova, curator of the project, and Emil Mirazchiev, director of Art Today, organizer of the project, at Center for Contemporary Art ‘Ancient Bath’

SKLAD: the opening evening program continues

19:00h Boyan Manchev, public lecture The New Athanor, or Philosophy for the Future Nature, accompanied by a performance by Metheor (Ani Vaseva, Boyan Manchev and Leonid Yovchev), Theater of the Elements. A Diptych by Metheor
20:00 Short break
20:15 Gerald Raunig, talk One More Ecology, Futureless, but a Present Out of Joint
21:15 Discussion between Boyan Manchev, Gerald Raunig and the audience
21:45 Short break
22:00h Voin de Voin & Marie Civikov, performance Extinction Rebellion, 20′

The symposium, curated by Dimitrina Sevova, takes place in conjunction with the exhibition project Digital Ecologies and gives further insight and context on the works on display. It is a non-academical collection of events, performances, interventions, talks and discussions aimed at sharing knowledge and non-knowledge of eco-logic and aesthetic experience in togetherness with the audience.

Public Symposium in conjunction with the project Digital Ecologies:
Sunday 05 May 2019
at the former tobacco warehouse SKLAD (evening program at Ancient Bath)

SKLAD: Morning Session
10:30 Doors open, coffee
11:00 Introduction by Dimitrina Sevova, curator of the project
11:15 Artistic interventions by Milva Stutz, My Dear Lover, Elodie Pong, Paradise Paradox, and Borjana Ventzislavova, Magic Resistance
12:45 Short break
13:00 Discussion between the artists and the audience
13:30 Lunch break

SKLAD: Afternoon Session
15:30 Pascal Schwaighofer, performance-lecture &Absence&Abstinence
16:00 Venelin Shurelov, Presentation on Body Hacking
17:00 Luchezar Boyadjiev, talk The Anthropocene as a Prolonged-Release Anthropogenesis
17:45 Discussion between the artists and the audience
18:15 Short break
18:30 Kerstin Schroedinger, performance Matters of Practices/Actions/Doings, 25′, followed by screening of 16mm film by the artist, Fugue, 2015, 8′
19:15 Short Break
19:30 Uriel Orlow, lecture-performance Grey, Green, Gold, 25′, followed by discussion with the artist
20:15 Dinner break

Ancient Bath: Evening Program
21:30 Stefanie Knobel, performance A manifestation for the quasi-public

Public Symposium in conjunction with the project Digital Ecologies:
Monday 06 May 2019
at the former tobacco warehouse SKLAD

10:30 Doors open, coffee
11:00 Artistic interventions by Lourenço Soares, Jonas Etter, Elza Sile
12:30 Discussion between the artists and the audience
13:00 Donatella Bernardi, performance A suit made out of galactic towel followed by discussion with the audience
14:00 Lunch break
15:30 Oliver Ressler, talk Gathering around the Wreckage
16:30 Short break
16:45 Stanimir Panayotov, talk Disembodiment: The Future of Nature
17:30 Discussion with Oliver Ressler, Stanimir Panayotov and the audience
18:00 Short break
18:15 Alexander Tuchaček, performance-lecture paradise now – Echos from the Future, 30′
19:00 Dorothea Rust, performative urban intervention L’animoteur 8 — selfie or I am donkey, continued, starting at SKLAD, and the artist will lose herself in the public space of Plovdiv

Uriel Orlow, Imbizo Ka Mafavuke (Mafavuke's Tribunal)

Uriel Orlow, Imbizo Ka Mafavuke (Mafavuke’s Tribunal), 2017. Video still

Overview over the two folds

Digital Ecologies 2018-2019, Plovdiv, Bulgaria: an international exhibition project in two folds

Digital Ecologies is composed of two folds of an international group exhibition project and takes place across two venues, the Center for Contemporary Art ‘Ancient Bath’ and the former tobacco warehouse SKLAD in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The first fold, an exhibition project under the title, Operaismo Naturale: Ecology of the Event, takes place from 27 July to 5 September 2018, with talks, interventions and performances on 28 and 29 July and on 5 September; and the second, Digital Dramatizations: Ecologies from the Future, an expanded exhibition project building on the first exhibition and its context, from 4 May to 30 June 2019, with an accompanying symposium on 5/6 May 2019.

The exhibition project spans two folds, one critical, the other speculative, back and forth, leaving a continuity of time between them to become a discontinuity of our collective living multiplicities in-between the two, to cast a bridge, an elastic spinal column between them with its own sensible temporality. The time between the two folds of Digital Ecologies matters. It is the time to negotiate between the two and consider the work that has to be done in everyday life. As the title of the first fold, Operaismo Naturale, suggests, it is time for urgent actions, i.e., the work and no work of inventions that are independent from productivity. Operaismo Naturale forges a body of collective and personal artistic research to activate compositional changes between human labor and natural habitats and their biodiversity.

[excerpt from the curatorial input; read the complete text here]

Text: Dimitrina Sevova

Johanna Bruckner, Holofuel / Terra X

Johanna Bruckner, Holofuel / Terra X, 2018. Video still

Curatorial Input

Fold II; Digital Ecologies. Digital Dramatizations: Ecologies from the Future

Hamm: Nature has forgotten us.
Clov: There’s no more nature.
Hamm: No more nature! You exaggerate.
Clov: In the vicinity.

Samuel Beckett, Endgame (1955) [1]

In Beckett’s play Endgame, Clov periodically announces the extinction of various things listed by Hamm: there are no more bicycle wheels, pap, nature, sugarplums, tide, navigators, rugs, painkillers, coffins… At least, none remain in the vicinity. It is a haunted play and endgame, haunted by shades and echoes from the future and from the past, by the objects of which he wishes to create hallucination. Digital Dramatizations – Ecologies from the Future revolves around a mystery of objects to withdraw and the distinct obscurity of Beckett’s ecological thought. We wait for something that never arrives. It may have arrived in the no-where, but not in the now-here. And yet as we are waiting, there is an openness to the wonder in our wait that may lead to another encounter – an encounter with the Other, with something strange. We wait for things to become magically different without actually trusting the use of magic, and without realizing that we are ourselves responsible for any change we desire to happen. It is a strange stranger [2] yet to come, an aesthetic (dis)orientation of perceptions towards the future that Digital Dramatizations pursues. It awaits and speculates about the unknowable, a yearning for change and yet in our despair, the obscure object of anxiety and depression. The future is the time of the fall, when the dark becomes deeper and deeper and “the sorrow of the stranger might give us a different angle on happiness not because it teaches us what it is like or must be like to be a stranger, but because it might estrange us from the very happiness of the familiar.” [3]

Digital Dramatizations – Ecologies from the Future approaches ecology through an interspecies performance in a collaboration with non-human agents at the intersections of theater, theatricality, (un)acting and contemporary art. It concerns how ecological thought and its method of dramatization(s) can open up the potentialities of ecologies from the future, of life after life, of nature after nature, of the future after the future. It dis-plays new speculative realities caused by artistic experiment and sensibilization, which is a dramatization of data in the gap between what things are and how they are represented as data. Digital Dramatizations strives to find objects, not the raw sense of data, and dis-play them because the world of things calls for art. Ecological awareness is futurality and aesthetics from the future. And the object of art is the unknowable yet to come: “Art is (from) the future.” [4]

Ecology is neither a paradise nor an alternative to current reality. It is neither utopia nor dystopia, an anagrammatic movement like Erewhon, an anagram of utopia or inverted utopia, [5] like Sci-Fi projects are a refraction of uniform time and the present upon many futures. Ecological sensibility relates to symbioses, to things that co-exist in uneasy ways, says Morton. It calls up, in the potentialities opened up by these futures by rendering life strange, dis-embodied and incorporeal companions whose physicality takes place in humor.

 

[excerpt from the curatorial input; read the complete text here]

Text: Dimitrina Sevova

Notes

[1] Cf. archived page at <https://web.archive.org/web/20180224132141/http://www.samuel-beckett.net:80/endgame.html> (accessed 2019-03-10).

[2] Timothy Morton, “Thinking Ecology: The Mesh, The Strange Stranger, and the Beautiful Soul,” Collapse, Issue 6 (2010), pp. 265-293.

[3] Sara Ahmed, The Promise of Happiness, (New York: Duke University Press, 2016), p. 17.

[4] Timothy Morton, “Tim Answers an Email,” Ecology Without Nature (blog), 13 September 2017 <http://ecologywithoutnature.blogspot.com/2017/09/tim-answers-email.html> (accessed 2019-03-10).

[5] Samuel Butler, Erewhon: or, Over the Range (London: A. C. Fifield, 1910/1872) <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1906/1906-h/1906-h.htm> (accessed 2016-02-27).

Oliver Ressler, The economy is wounded - let it die!

Oliver Ressler, The economy is wounded – let it die!, 2016. One of a series of photographs

A project of Art Today Association, Plovdiv in collaboration with Corner College, Zurich.

Art Today Association    

This project is part of the program of Plovdiv 2019, European Capital of Culture.

Donatella Bernardi, A suit made out of galactic towel

Support by the Municipal Foundation Plovdiv 2019, Pro Helvetia, National Cultural Fund Bulgaria, the Federal Chancellery of Austria (Bundeskanzleramt).

Plovdiv 2019     Pro Helvetia    National Cultural Fund Bulgaria
Bundeskanzleramt Österreich

Media partners

BNT     Katra FM
Media Cafe     Pod Tepeto

Vypreki     Kapana.bg

Website: code flow / Alan Roth