Category Archives: Arts

New exhibition in Singapore from The Migrant Ecologies Project

Curated by Kenneth Tay and Jason Wee, the exhibition is the latest incarnation of over 6 years of art history-informed explorations of relationships between wood, trees and people from this region.  The exhibition features new wood-print and installation works by Lucy Davis alongside photographic works by Shannon Castleman and a new photo book collaboration with Kee Ya Ting about patriarchy and a place that remembers the boom years for timber in Singapore.

FOODshed: Art and Agriculture in Action

An exhibition of upstate/downstate NY artists who work with food and agriculture - Curated by Amy Lipton (ecoartspace)
Smack Mellon - 92 Plymouth Street at Washington - Brooklyn, NY 11201
June 7 to July 27, 2014
Opening reception: Saturday, June 7, 5pm-8pm
FOODshed: Agriculture and Art in Action focuses on sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship, and artists’ use of food as subject matter or medium. The exhibition and programming include 14 exhibiting artists in the gallery at Smack Mellon, 3 public projects in the nearby DUMBO community, as well as public workshops in collaboration with the artists in the exhibition. The gallery exhibition features artworks and inventive projects around agriculture and food that address farming as both activism and art form. Many of the artists in this exhibition are known for bringing community-specific issues into their work and are exploring the real-world implications of small-scale farming and raising community awareness about our food systems. Their varied practices include growing food, cooking food, raising animals for food, and engaging communities around local food production as well as instigating new artist-based economies.

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Brandon Ballengée – Events in Germany

DFA 186: Had?s. 2012. Unique digital-C print on watercolor paper. Cleared and stained Pacific tree frog collected in Aptos, California in scientific collaboration with Stanley K. Sessions. 46 x 34 in. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY.
DFA 186: Hades. 2012. Unique digital-C print on watercolor paper. Cleared and stained Pacific tree frog collected in Aptos, California in scientific collaboration with Stanley K. Sessions. 46 x 34 in. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY.

Brandon Ballengée will be exhibiting and talking in Germany from late May 2014 onwards.  He will be in Berlin and in Lüneburg:

In Berlin

Exhibition at  Art Laboratory Berlin: [macro]biologies II: organisms  (Suzanne Anker, Brandon Ballengée, Maja Smrekar) // 31 May- 20 July, 2014
Vernissage: 30 May, 2014, 20:00
Artist and curators talk: 1 June 2014, 15:00
More information here

In Lüneburg

Praeter Naturam: Beyond Nature  (Lecture)
Tuesday 3 June 2014, 12:15-13:45
Leuphana University (Scharnhorststr. 1, building 3) Room C 3.121
The lecture will be followed by an open discussion with Brandon Ballengée, moderated by Dr. Sacha Kagan (Leuphana University, ISKO / Cultura21).

Biologist and artist, Brandon Ballengée creates transdisciplinary artworks inspired by his ecological field and laboratory research into amphibians, birds, fish and insect species found in today’s ‘preternatural’ environments. Ballengée uses art in order to realize scientific research, and science in order to realize art. He is a systemic practitioner and an “ecosystem activist” who stresses public involvement through participatory biology, field investigations and laboratory programs. Since 1996, Ballengée’s primary scientific research and much of his art has focused on the occurrence of developmental deformities and population declines among amphibians. Continue reading


– a research platform for art and synthetic biology
“I wonder how much of this Making Life project (what’s in a name) will consist of critical reflection on “the making of novel life-forms from ‘scratch’”, and how much – through its association with art – will in fact be providing social and moral legitimacy (and a touch of appealing avant-gardism) to what are, in my view, basically very dubious undertakings…”
Jan van Boeckel –
Synthetic biology
is a new area of biological research that combines science and engineering. Synthetic biology encompasses a variety of different approaches, methodologies and disciplines, with the aim to design and construct new biological functions and systems not found in nature. Most approaches of synthetic biology are based on genetic engineering but goes much further. In genetic engineering the goal is to manipulate an organism’s genes, usually by transferring one gene from a donor to a host organism. Synthetic biology, on the other hand, aims at creating whole new biological functions, systems and eventually organisms (Schmidt 2012). Other SB approaches are dealing with making novel life-forms from “scratch” (for example protocells). Synthetic Biology is still in its beginnings but if it reaches its potential promises it will become a highly transformative technology in terms of economy, ecology and ethics.
is a series of three consecutive work periods over the course of 12 months. The first period will take place between 22nd – 27th of May 2014 in Helsinki, the second is planned for November 2014 in Vienna, and the third, in May 2015, will take place again in Helsinki. The goal of Making_Life is, according to the organizers, to enable practitioners to critically and in an informed manner, engage with the socio-cultural, political and ethical ramifications of synthetic biology through art.  Continue reading


2-5 July 2014

“A Nation that destroys its soils destroys itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Using the arts to revitalise our relationship with a resource we take for granted.


Over four days at Falmouth University’s Woodlane campus in July this year, the RANE research group in collaboration with The Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) invite you to join the Soil Culture Forum.

Soil is a material on which – even in the age of the internet – the whole of civilization depends. Along with clean air and fresh water, it is one of the fundamental components that support life on this planet. Without a healthy layer of soil, life and human society as we know it would not be able to function. Along with most of Earth’s natural resources soil can be considered finite; it is non-renewable on a human time scale. Continue reading

Art for the Anthropocene Era

by Eleanor Heartney

Reposted from


It can be hard to shake a sense of imminent eco-doom. Or is there room for “dark optimism,” as the eco-themed initiative Expo 1: New York at MoMA PS1, in Queens, last summer styled it? The UN report contains recommendations for international emissions caps and other cooperative measures, but in a world riven by economic, religious, cultural and military strife, that prescription seems unrealistic. What, if anything, can be done?

Against this backdrop of an increasingly endangered planet, eco art gains new relevance, as artists dare to tread where scientists, politicians, environmentalists and other specialists do not. These artists’ work centers on the recognition that we have entered into the “Anthropocene”—a new geologic era marked by the impact of human activity on the earth. Working in a variety of modes, ranging from critique to practical demonstrations and shading into other current tendencies like social practice, relational aesthetics, environmental activism and systems theory, eco artists express the hope that art can point the way to a more ecologically sustainable future.


What seems clear is that projects like these harness the power of art, including its tendency toward metaphor and verbal/visual play, its resistance to received ideas and its willingness to colonize new areas of knowledge, to persuade us to think differently about our relationship to the environment. They suggest that with a more proactive approach to environmental concerns, the posthuman era need not signal the end of human life as we know it. Instead, the Anthropocene might provide a new beginning for all the partners in the health of the planet.

Read more…


April 29, 2014, 6pm:
Exhibition opening
Free River Zones: An artistic inquiry
with Ravi Agarwal, Bob Braine, David Brooks, Till Krause, Marie Lorenz, and Hilmar Schäfer
Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building
5 East 3rd Street
New York, NY 10003

Parallel exhibition opening, April 29, 7pm:
Unity of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas

including Mark Dion’s cabinet installation “Humboldt”
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue
New York, NY
Further information:

April 30 – May 31, 2014:
Free River Zones: An artistic inquiry

Ravi Agarwal, Bob Braine, David Brooks,
Till Krause, Marie Lorenz, and Hilmar Schäfer
April 30 – May 31, 2014
Wednesday–Sunday 2:00–7:00pm, free entry
Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building
5 East 3rd Street
New York, NY 10003

More Info

Recital in the Woods with Nightingales

David Rothenberg & Friends
Venue: Treptower Park
Meeting point: Fr. 09 Mai | 23 Uhr
S-Bhf Treptower Park (Exit: Treptower Park / Puschkinallee)
Ticket: 18,- € / 12,- € (Discount)
Ticket Reservation: (030) 55875829 / ticket [at] wiekultur [dot] de

Those who have grown up with H. C. Andersen will remember the nightingale in the Chinese Emperor’s garden. “The heavenly little bird [...] the greatest wonder of all [...] sang the best in the green wood”.[1] “When you listen to it, you are reminded of the tranquil charm of a secluded ravine, a rushing stream murmurs to you, clouds of cherry blossoms float up before your eyes. Blossoms and mist alike are within that song, and we forget that we are still in the dusty city. This is where art rivals nature. And here too is the secret of music.”[2]

At midnight of one such Spring evening in Berlin, we will head out into one of the green woods to perform a concert live with nightingales, featuring David Rothenberg on clarinet and iPad, with other musicians, human and otherwise.

David Rothenberg is a philosopher and musician from U.S.A. He is the author of “Why Birds Sing” (2005) and “The Survival of the Beautiful” (2011).

[1] Quote from “The Nightingale” by Hans Christian Andersen.
[2] Quote from a short story on Shunkin (1829-1886) and nightingale by Junichiro Tanizaki.

More on the musician:
Organizer: WiE KULTUR GmbH


Nov. 14-22, 2014
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Call for Applications
Deadline: May 7, 2014 
For doctoral students, post-docs, and actors from the arts, culture, politics, and society with a research orientation
With the ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT, HKW seeks to strengthen transdisciplinary debates and studies on the multifarious implications of the Anthropocene hypothesis for cultures of knowledge. If humankind has actually become the dominant biogeophysical force effecting changes on planetary scale, how can the arts, sciences and humanities contribute to a critical awareness, understanding and responsible co-shaping of these transformations?
The collaboratively produced ANTHROPOCENE CURRICULUM takes up these challenges posed by the Anthropocene Age: since fall 2013, 27 international university teachers from the sciences, environmental studies, the humanities, and social sciences, art, and architecture have discussed new teaching content, approaches, and methods.
Together with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin and other renowned partners, Haus der Kulturen der Welt has developed an ANTHROPOCENE CURRICULUM that seeks to explore paths for a crossdisciplinary culture of knowledge and education in an experimental and exemplary way. How can we compile a body of “earthbound knowledge,” what forms of transmission are appropriate?
An exemplary model course will for the first time be implemented and put into teaching practice at the temporary ANTHROPOCENE CAMPUS from November 14-22, 2014.
100 international doctoral students and post-docs along with actors working in the fields of arts, culture, politics, and society can contribute their perspectives and expertise. The ANTHROPOCENE CAMPUS offers a transdisciplinary platform for participants from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, academic and professional contexts. One important result of the intense encounters and events at the campus will be a coursebook. The online platform will offer all project participants and initiators a long-term context for discussion.
Until May 7, 2014 doctoral students and post-docs from the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, engineering, design, and art and research-oriented actors from the arts, culture, politics, and societyes (think-tanks, NGOs, etc.) can apply to participate in the campus. – Food Edition. III

 Open Studio Day: Thursday, 17th April, 2014

Time: 6:30 PM onwards

At Khoj Studios, S-17 Khirki Extension, New Delhi – 17



Khoj is currently curating a third edition of its – Food Edition III residency. Artists-in-residence Leone Contini, Mona Gandhi, Ravi Agarwal and Srishti Lakhera have researched issues around body’s relationship with food, food sustainability, food cycles (including growing, farming, harvesting, producing, circulating and distributing) and agriculture in both urban and peri-urban settings in and around Delhi. Simultaneously, resident artists Hurmat Ul Ain, Rabbya Naseer, Simran Chopra and Suvani Suri have developed additional conversations around other food-related issues, such as the politics of food and food as an artistic medium.

Join them on the open day to participate in cooking and un-cooking session, performance, interactive installations and food-based games.

The exhibition will be on view till Saturday, April 19, 2014.