This week, the RIXC Centre for New Media Culture in cooperation with curator Jens Hauser is organizing a new exhibition and symposium “Green – Unmasked” in Munich, continuing the theme of “green” as one of the most paradoxical and controversial topics of our time, which was launched in previous RIXC festivals. Jens Hauser is a media art researcher and art curator based in Paris and Copenhagen, whose work emphasizes the interconnection between art and technology, interdisciplinarity and hybrid aesthetics.
The RIXC festival exhibition “UN/Green” in 2019 at the LNMA featured 20 artworks where artists unpacked the contradictory symbolism of the colour “green” – “green” is commonly associated with all things natural and is therefore often used to overcompensate for what humanity has lost. Despite the generally positive connotations of green, more and more green is being uncritically fetishised and technologically romanticised. The exhibition critically examined the increasing technological manipulation of life systems, ecology and the biosphere as a whole, and offered artistic visions for more positive and sustainable future scenarios. More than 20.000 visitors visited the exhibition in the summer before the pandemic, and their great interest showed their willingness to look beyond the conventional notions and discover “green”.
The exhibition “UN/Green” is curated by Jens Hauser (France / Germany), Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits (RIXC), continuing the collaboration in the research of “green”, together with the New Media Culture Centre RIXC and Creative Europe project partners OsloMet / Oslo Metropolitan University (Norway), Antrepeaux (France), MPLab / Art Research Laboratory, Liepaja University (Latvia), Biofilia (Biomarts Laboratory), Aalto University (Finland), Baltan (Netherlands), Projekt Zavod Atol (Slovenia) realized an ambitious international project “Green Revisited”, which resulted in the publication this autumn of the book “Green Revisited. Encountering Emerging Naturecultures in Art and Research”
The newly published book will be presented at the symposium “Oikos”, collectively organized by the New Media Culture Centre RIXC and Jens Hauser, which will take place on 17 November from 17:00 – 21:00 CET as part of the gREen festival and everyone will be able to follow it live at https://www.muffatwerk.de/de/ . At the “Oikos” symposium, the artists will come together with natural scientists, economists and ecologists to discuss the role of art in the debate about appropriate common ‘housekeeping’. Going beyond the rampant ‘greenwashing’ of our time, they will explore the increasingly uncritically accepted symbolism of ‘green’.
Today, 16 November, at 19.00 CET, the exhibition “gREen:De/Growth” at the Muffathalle International Centre for Contemporary Art and Culture in Munich will open with experimental bio(techno)logical performances and “techno-ecological” media art installations. On view until 20 November, the exhibition features the immersive virtual reality (VR) installation “Atmospheric Forest” by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits which visualizes emissions data from forests to show the complex relationships in the forest ecosystem and the impact of climate change.
The gREen festival, taking place from 16 to 20 November at Muffathalle Munich International Centre, questions which aspects remain underexposed in the talk of “green growth”. In the field of tension between art, nature and science, the artistic positions at gREen get to the bottom of the increasingly uncritically accepted symbolism of “green” beyond the rampant “greenwashing”.
Alongside the VR installation Atmospheric Forest at the Muffathalle, Slovenian artist Špela Petrič “Scotopoiesis” is a three-day performance in in which artist and germinating cress face each other, illuminated by strong artificial light, describes the process in which the continuous shadow of the body signals the plants to respond by changing their shape and color.
The provocative ecosystem installation “Life Support System” by the French collective Disnovation.org (Nicolas Maigret, Maria Roszkowska & Baruch Gottlieb) experimentally grows a square meter of wheat, but carefully calculates all material and energy flows that are still simply assumed as ‘natural’ in our ecomic conventions, despite man-made climate change. This artistic provocation estimates the magnitudes of critical ecosystem services that are fundamental to all life processes on the planet, contrary to today’s prevailing economic conventions that are unable to recognize the intrinsic value of ecosystems.
In addition to the exhibitions and the gREen festival in Munich, several other green-themed exhibitions are also taking place in Asia, where the “Atmospheric Forest” is exhibited:
The inaugural Beijing Art and Technology Biennale (BATB) will be held at “798CUBE” from September 22, 2022 to January 31, 2023. “Atmospheric Forest” by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits was exhibited for the first time in Asia at “Synthetic Ecology”. The “Synthetic Ecology” exhibition at the Beijing Art and Technology Biennale (BATB) aims to explore the symbiotic mixing of life. As a metaphor, “synthetic” explores the possibilities of reconfiguring nature, exploring the post-human ecological imagination, creating a new ontological approach to equality. Alongside the Smiti artwork, the “798 CUBE” Art Museum has exhibited internationally renowned artists such as Terike Haapoja, Rimini Protokoll, Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr, Špela Petrič, Ursula Biemann and others.
The Asian tour of “Atmospheric Forest” continues as part of the travelling exhibition “Critical Zones. In search of a common ground”, organised by ZKM | Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe in collaboration with Goethe Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan in Mumbai.
“Critical Zones” exhibition tour began with the opening of the first exhibition in Mumbai on 28 October and will continue with an exhibition in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 10 November, in Pune, India from 18 November, from 12 December, “Atmospheric Forest” will be on view in Kochi, India, as part of the “Critical Zones. In search of a common ground” touring exhibition. In 2023, Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits work will be exhibited in Indian cities such as Kolkata, New Delhi and Bengaluru.
Rasa and Wright Schmidt’s Atmospheric Forest was awarded the Art and Science category at Falling Walls in 2021 and has been nominated for the Purvitis Prize.