Luchezar Boyadjiev, The Greatest Love of My Life was a Non-Human, 2018. Detail

Operaismo Naturale: Ecology of the Event

Fold I of Digital Ecologies: a project in two folds

at 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, Ursula Biemann & Mo Diener, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Delphine Chapuis Schmitz, Voin de Voin & Simone Gilges, Jonas Etter, David Jacques, Monica Ursina Jäger, knowbotiq, Dominique Koch, Marlene Maier, Boyan Manchev, Angela Melitopoulos, Uriel Orlow, Ursula Palla, Elena Peytchinska, Elodie Pong, Isabel Reiß, Oliver Ressler, Dorothea Rust, Kerstin Schroedinger, Pascal Schwaighofer, Sandro Steudler, Axelle Stiefel, Kamen Stoyanov, Milva Stutz, Katharina Swoboda, Una Szeemann / Bohdan Stehlik, Lena Maria Thüring, and Alexander Tuchaček

Curated by Dimitrina Sevova

Co-curated by Katharina Swoboda and Emil Mirazchiev

27 July to 5 September 2018

See the photo documentation.

Opening: Friday 27 July 2018

18:00h Doors open at the two venues

19:00h Welcome and curatorial introduction at Center for Contemporary Art ‘Ancient Bath’

followed by performances by Alexander Tuchaček and Axelle Stiefel

Events: Saturday 28 July 2018

14:00h Curatorial guided tour across the two venues in the presence and with contributions by participating artists, starting at the Center for Contemporary Art ‘Ancient Bath’

16:00h Performative walk and public intervention starting at the Center for Contemporary Art ‘Ancient Bath’, across the two exhibition venues, by Dorothea Rust

17:00h Curatorial guided tour continues at the former tobacco warehouse SKLAD

Evening program at the former tobacco warehouse SKLAD

19:00h Talk by Boyan Manchev, Meteoropolitics

20:15h Performance-lecture by Luchezar Boyadjiev, The Greatest Love of My Life was a Non-Human

21:00h Performance by Voin de Voin & Simone Gilges, Portal 1. From the digital to the physical and vice versa (what is in between)

Events: Sunday 29 July 2018 at the former tobacco warehouse SKLAD

13:30h Artist talks by Kamen Stoyanov, Elena Peytchinska and Marlene Maier

14:00h Performance by Una Szeemann & Bohdan Stehlik, Differences on a shared pillow

14:45h Sandro Steudler, Der Bau: Approaches to a Theory of Data Sculpture (Der Bau: Ansätze zu einer Theorie der Datenplastik)

15:30h David Jacques, An anti-travel travelogue

16:15h Katharina Swoboda, Vampire Graves

17:00h Isabel Reiß, Combs, Waves and Fields

Evening program

20:30h Public interview with Alexander Tuchaček by Dimitrina Sevova

21:15h Axelle Stiefel, Codex Operator

Events: Saturday 01 September 2018 at the Center for Contemporary Art ‘Ancient Bath’

19:00h Performance by Delphine Chapuis Schmitz, @ongoing_pieces. Performative reading of her tweets written throughout the project.

Operaismo Naturale revolves around what kind of aesthetic practices can urge ecological thought through the multitude of artist practices and art works on display in a multivalent project. If there is some wonder what concept of ecology to embrace, the project embraces particularly the resonances among so many concepts, some of them contradictory, but welcome as ‘Ecologies of Nothingness’ and its voiding love in troubled times, ‘Ecology without nature’ or ‘Dark ecology.’ The project encourages the viewers to explore the potentiality of this “dark precursor” that opens up a new passage of ecological thinking. How do these eco-logical sensibilia of what are doubles of thought relate to the issue of brain creativity that can be grasped as leaving room for more creative tracings? What kind of ecology can happen in the dark room, and how does ecological awareness actually start with the little glimmering in the dark depths of vast nature? This is the ecology of a black box and its lighting system of immediate and infinite reversible movements of lightning flashes. A Furling Machine that creates new ways of seeing and hearing, new ways of feeling, a logological cabinet (by extension curious) that ‘exhibits’ a will to form and affect plasticity.

Operaismo Naturale: Ecology of the Event takes inspiration from the desire by Deleuze & Guattari to write a philosophy of nature in which any distinction between nature and artifice becomes blurred. The ultimate volume of Philosophy of Nature remains an unwritten project in the body of their collective work, in the channels of their non-linear micro-logic of philosophical ideas. It leaves an unoccupied space for us to speculate, to fabulate, to experiment what and how such a philosophy could be that is inevitably a matter of aesthetics and ethics. The unwritten Philosophy of Nature is a project of naturalist materialism in science-fiction that remains an open work, a threshold for ‘heretic’ ideas in the blurred zone between nature and artifice, or what Michel Foucault called points of heresies, which correspond to Deleuze and Guattari’s “Event-centered singularities” and resonances between them that make up the diagrammatic feature of the plane. Their physical magnitude can unexpectedly take us off in a new direction, where there is no longer a need for speculative unity between nature and spirit or between nature and technology, but rather ecologic modulations of micro brains’ plasticity. The plastic forces operate between the organic and inorganic, between human and non-human. Their plastic method is not so much a transformation of one into the other than the passing of one into the other to anticipate the future of social and politico-aesthetic change.

The project interrogates how the relation between the concepts of plasticity in nature, art and the social can be de-instituted, and thought as abstract machine and concrete plastic forces, plasticity as an aesthetic and social force that can be conceived as plastic forces and organic folds in the multi-layered plateaus of matter.

Zooming in close up into these new cerebral maps (not of the objectified brain of biology), Operaismo Naturale considers the concrete performance of these cartographies as the ecology of the event. The event is a separated aleatory incorporeal point at which the brain individuates itself without subject and becomes an atmospheric event, the inorganic (re)double of the biological brain outside of consciousness, what Deleuze and Guattari defined as plastic availability, drawing on the “plastic specter” of Antonin Artaud that haunts the work of art and the new mentalities that have to be invented between the three ecological registers. The event is the consistency or reality of the virtual, the running vectors of micro-brains at the crossroads of multiple paths. Their collection is the brain-event outside of the organic (of the organ and its flexibilization), the event as an embryonic emergence of new material and social realities and of a natural equilibrium.

Etymologically, Operaismo derives from Opera, which means a work, both as labor and composition, i.e., mostly an affective bodied work, an extended dramatic collective work – a music play performed that includes numerous heterogenous arts. It emerged as an intermedio between the acts, a “play within a play,” which literally means being in-between. It was Dafne and her metamorphosis. In this in-betweenness, the metamorphosis can take place, these sudden changes by a transformative, plastic and performative force – a ritornello which applies this togetherness and autonomy of nomadic thought that connects transversally between heterogenous fragments. It is a polyphonic dramatic composition of collective work in process and its commonalities with non-work, a dramatization that sets up an event yet to come on the plane of composition. It is the combinations or the play of variables. It is work on oneself, which paradoxically constructs and re-constructs this collectivity, a composition of both existential territories and art work.

Text: Dimitrina Sevova

A project of Art Тoday Аssociation, Plovdiv in collaboration with Corner College, Zurich.

Art Today Association    

The project is part of the program of Plovdiv 2019 - European Capital of Culture.

It is supported by the Municipal Foundation Plovdiv 2019, Pro Helvetia, Goethe Institut Sofia, the Federal Chancellery of Austria (Bundeskanzleramt), the Austrian Embassy in Sofia, and organized by the Art Today Association.

Plovdiv 2019     Pro Helvetia     Goethe Institut
Bundeskanzleramt Österreich     Austrian Embassy Sofia

Media partners

BNT     Katra FM
Media Cafe     Pod Tepeto


Donatella Bernardi

Donatella Bernardi, From Abdizuel to Zymeloz, 2018. Installation view at Corner College, Zurich, April 2018. Photo: code flow

From Abdizuel to Zymeloz

2017. Installation. 410 angel names digitally embroidered onto 410 different pieces of fabric

Ursula Biemann

Ursula Biemann, Subatlantic, 2015. Video still


2015. Video essay, 11′

Ursula Biemann & Mo Diener

Ursula Biemann & Mo Diener, Twenty-One Percent, 2016. Video still

Twenty-One Percent

2016. Video by Ursula Biemann and Mo Diener, 18′

Luchezar Boyadjiev

Luchezar Boyadjiev, The Greatest Love of My Life was a Non-Human, 2008-2015-2018. Detail

The Greatest Love of My Life was a Non-Human

2008-2015-2018. Installation; Site- and human-specific project; community involvement, performative lectures; hot-spot panel boards; objects, fabric, embroidery, text, video, sound

Delphine Chapuis Schmitz

Delphine Chapuis Schmitz, @ongoing_pieces, 2017. Installation view at Dienstgebäude, June 2017


2017. Installation, neon

Voin de Voin & Simone Gilges

Voin de Voin, Portal 1: Transgression of the visible, 2018

Portal 1. Transgression of the visible

2018. Installation

Simone Gilges with Voin de Voin and others, A Character’s Quest, 2017. Video still: Ritual for the selection of a successor in Bandjoun, Cameroon, 2017

Portal 1. From the digital to the physical and vice versa (what is in between)

2017. Performance with video screening. Screen, video projector, media player, microphone, micro stand, speakers

Jonas Etter

Jonas Etter, Untitled (Fountain II), 2018. Installation view, Corner College, March-April 2016

Untitled (Fountain II)

2016. 3D printer reduced to 1D

Jonas Etter, Untitled, 2018. Fragment


2018. Continuous clay 3D print

David Jacques

David Jacques, Oil is the devil’s excrement, 2017. Video still

Oil is the Devil's excrement

2017. HD video, 4′ 18″

David Jacques, North Canada - English Electric, 2017. One of 100 stereoviews

North Canada - English Electric

2017. Installation of 100 stereoviews, stereoscopic viewer, audio MP3 (11′ 02″) & Headphones

David Jacques, The Dionysians of West Lancs, 2013. Video still

The Dionysians of West Lancs

2013. HD video, 16′ 31″


Monica Ursina Jäger

Monica Ursina Jäger, Shifting Topographies, 2018

Shifting Topographies

2018. Table with printed text sheets, glass plates, original drawings and collage, two chlorophyllin drawings. Two prints 63.5 × 104 cm


knowbotiq, Psychotropic Gold Refining: Swiss refinery Pamp, 2017. Wallpaper

Psychotropic Gold Refining

2017-2018. Installation, video (HD, 21′ 13″), wallpaper, prints on transparent foil

Dominique Koch

Dominique Koch, Holobiont Society, 2017. Video still

Holobiont Society

2017. Video installation, 34′ 21″

Marlene Maier

Marlene Maier, Food only exists on pictures, 2017. Exhibition view of the diploma exhibition, Atelierhaus, 2017. Photo: Sebastian Hoch

Food only exists on pictures

2017. 3 channel video installation

Boyan Manchev

Boyan Manchev. Photo: Boryana Pandora


2018. Lecture

Angela Melitopoulos

Angela Melitopoulos, The Life of Particles, 2013. Video still

The Life of Particles

2013. HD video, directed by Angela Melitopoulos & Maurizio Lazzarato, 82′

Uriel Orlow

Uriel Orlow, The Crown against Mafavuke, 2016. Video still

The Crown against Mafavuke

2016. HD video, colour, stereo, 16:9, 18′ 45″

Uriel Orlow, Muthi, 2016-2017. Video still


2016-2017. HD video, colour, stereo, 16:9, 17′

Ursula Palla

Ursula Palla, Great White, 2018. Video still

Great White

2017/2018. HD Video, 16:9, stereo sound, 5′34″, loop

Ursula Palla, Herb and Weeds III, 2018. Video still

Herb and Weeds III

2018. Video object


Elena Peytchinska

Elena Peytchinska, Ptyx, 2018. Installation view


2018. Object: lightweight board, bookbinding gauze, bookbinding twine, dimensions variable, foldable (approx. 350 × 180 × 150 cm)

Elodie Pong

Elodie Pong, Power Plants (Peyote), 2016. Video still

Power Plants (Aloe Vera, Ghost Succulent, Peyote)

2016. HD video loops 30′, dimensions variable

Isabel Reiß

Isabel Reiß, Combs, Waves and Fields, 2018. Collage

Combs, Waves and Fields

2018. Performance

Oliver Ressler

Oliver Ressler, Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart, 2015-2018. Video still

Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart

2015-2018. HD video, 36′ 33″

Oliver Ressler, New Model Army, 2018. Video still

New Model Army

2018. Stand-in activists

Dorothea Rust

Dorothea Rust, L’animoteur 1, 2015. Pictorial/image work, photo on Hahnemühle Baryta, mounted on a styropor panel, 130 × 190 cm, hanging with a screw through a hole in the center of the image plate, can rotate fully around its central axis. Photo: Dorothea Rust & Arnold Häni

L’animoteur 5 – selfie or I am donkey

2018. Performative intervention

Kerstin Schroedinger

Kerstin Schroedinger, Bläue (Blueness), 2017. Video still

Bläue (Blueness)

2017. Video, UK/Italy/Switzerland/Germany, 48′

Pascal Schwaighofer

Pascal Schwaighofer, Untitled (Pollen People), 2018. Installation, potato print on wall

Untitled (Pollen People)

2018. Potato print on wall, potatoes, dimensions variable

Sandro Steudler

Sandro Steudler, Inversbaum I / Inverted Tree I, 2016. Video stills

Inversbaum I / Inverted Tree I

2016. Video, 2′

Inversbaum II - Zwischenalphabet / Inverted Tree II – Zwischenalphabet

2016. Video, 11′

Sandro Steudler, Der Bau, 2013-2015 (state 2012). Data sculpture (Datenplastik), hand finished, 3D printed steel, 95 × 45 × 30 cm

Der Bau: Approaches to a Theory of Data Sculpture (Der Bau: Ansätze zu einer Theorie der Datenplastik)

2018. Lecture-performance

Axelle Stiefel

Axelle Stiefel, The Operator, 2016. Performance

Codex Operator

2018. Performance

Kamen Stoyanov

Kamen Stoyanov, Formation of Shadows, 2017-2018. Video still

Formation of Shadows

2017-2018. Short film

Milva Stutz

Milva Stutz, Bay of Plenty, 2018. Video still

Bay of Plenty

2018. Animation film, colour, sound, 12 ′

Katharina Swoboda

Katharina Swoboda, Vampiric Infection, 2018. One of three flags

Vampiric Infection

2018. Installation, skull (fiberglass), fake “bones”, 3 prints on rayon (“flags”), each 150 × 290 cm, video

Una Szeemann / Bohdan Stehlik

Una Szeemann, Secrets of Things, 2018. Detail

Una Szeemann, Secrets of Things

2018. Wild boar skin, stones, size variable

Bohdan Stehlik, Cloud Chamber, 2018

Bohdan Stehlik, Cloud Chamber

2018. Glass, felt, isopropyl alcohol, dry ice, light source

Una Szeemann & Bohdan Stehlik, Differences on a shared pillow

2018. Performance-lecture


Lena Maria Thüring

Lena Maria Thüring, Guardien de la paix (GPX), 2011. Video still

Guardien de la paix (GPX)

2011. HD Video, single channel, 16:9, colour, sound, French, English subtitles, 18′ 47″

Alexander Tuchaček

Alexander Tuchaček, {reclaim the twelfth camel} < code of practice, 2016. Performance and installation at Corner College, Zurich, March 2016

become contagious symbiobot : reclaim the 12th camel

2016-2018. Performative installation

Alexander Tuchaček, {reclaim the twelfth camel} < code of practice, 2016. Performance at Corner College, Zurich, 17 March 2016

{reclaim the twelfth camel} < code of practice

2016-2018. Live performance

Website: code flow / Alan Roth