For the 4th season of “Créateurs Urgence Climat” (October 2023 – May 2024), the Foundation is inviting curator and art historian Chus Martínez and scientist Alex Jordan to discuss animal behaviour and non-human aesthetics in the face of the ecological challenge.
Created in 2020 by the Fondation Thalie, this series of conversations between artists, designers and scientists committed to a post-carbon society aims to pass on new thinking and knowledge to inspire a whole new generation of creators, to invent imaginaries of transition, and to design and implement new ways of producing in the light of depleting natural resources. The great ecological challenge of our time.
Guests: Chus Martínez, curator and art historian and Alex Jordan, scientist.
Co-moderated by Chiara Vecchiarelli, curator of the program and Flora Bouteille, teacher at the École des Arts Décoratifs de Paris.
How can we rethink our aesthetic categories in the light of non-human aesthetic and architectural criteria? What can animals and plants teach us about the way we see, learn and produce?
How can we take into account, and translate, the need of the ecosystems of which we are a part, so as to envision the future as a co-creation that takes place in the encounter between the human and the non-human? Our guests discuss how aesthetic criteria of the non-human world (plants, animals) can help us think about a changing world in the age of ecological challenges.
Chus Martínez, who has a background in philosophy and art history, is head of the Institute Art Gender Nature FHNW Academy of Arts and Design in Basel and curator at der TANK. She was the expedition leader of The Current, a project initiated by TBA21–Academy (2018–2020) and between 2020-2022 she has been the artistic director of the Ocean Space, Venice, a space initiated by TBA21–Academy. The Current is also the inspiration behind Art is Ocean, a series of seminars and conferences held at the Institute Art Gender Nature which examines the role of artists in the conception of a new experience of nature. She previously worked as chief curator at El Museo Del Barrio, New York. For dOCUMENTA(13) (2012) she was head of department, and a member of the Core Agent Group. Other past positions include chief curator at MACBA, Barcelona (2008–2011), director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein (2005–2008) and artistic director of Sala Rekalde, Bilbao (2002–2005). She curated the National Pavilion of Cataloniaat the 56th Biennale di Venezia (2015) as well as the National Pavilion of Cyprus in 2005. She recently co-edited together with Sabine Himmelsbach the publication Coding Care—Towards a Technology for Nature, she edited and wrote Like This! Natural Intelligence As Seen by Art (2021).
Alex Jordan is a permanent Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute, specialising in animal behaviour and heading the Comparative Behavioural Evolution research group. He works on oceans, lakes and forests, where animals live and have evolved. He has held editorial positions at The American Naturalist and Movement Ecology and his practice lies at the interface between science, art, and community engagement, collaborating with artists such as Tabita Rezaire, SUPERFLEX, TBA-21 and Tomás Saraceno. As a scientist, Jordan takes computational approaches developed for model laboratory systems such as Drosophila and zebrafish, and uses them in environments where animal and plant behaviour has evolved – Lake Tanganyika, the Mediterranean Sea, coral reefs and tropical rainforests. Using techniques such as automated behavioural tracking and 3D reconstruction of natural environments, and working on our perception of the animal world, Alex Jordan challenges our preconceptions and gives us a real insight into the non-human experience.
Based on a curatorial proposal by Fondation Thalie, this fourth season hosted at the École des Arts Décoratifs is organised by Chiara Vecchiarelli, coordinator of the programme Creators facing the climate emergency, in co-construction with Patrick Laffont-DeLojo, teacher in stage design at the École des Arts Décoratifs.
In partnership with the École des Arts Décoratifs de Paris.