"Compost"

Iceland 2019

Recent scientific studies have comprehensively assessed the world's biomass for the first time, determining the weight of every class of living creature on Earth: plants represent 82%, bacteria 13%, and all other beings, from insects to fungi, fish and animals - 5%, of which the human species only 0.01%. People seem insignificant compared to all other species ... there are more plants on the terra firma than the neurons in the human brain or the stars in the Milky Way. However, since the dawn of civilization, mankind has caused the disappearance of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants, increasingly affecting the biodiversity of the planet concurrently with the demographic explosion of the last centuries. It is estimated that the current consumption rate will require three planets by 2050 to secure the specie's life resources. The future of the Earth is more uncertain than ever for all living systems; a feeling of rot floats in the air.

 

There is, however, hope. The hope that we are just composting, fermenting waste to reach a new fertility, a new space for coexistence and growth. In order to activate the energy and nutrients from this compost we need to think and test. We need to start talking with other sentient entities in the world - plants, bees, termites, bacteria - to learn from the way biological systems work rather than forcing on them the ideas of nineteenth-century industrialization. To fertilize our knowledge with forms of architecture, art, and agriculture from their "civilizations", cross the sensibilities and abilities of the non-human universe with those in the microcosm of our body and the harmony of the spheres in a symphonic, trans-species dimension. Let us imagine new practices of metamorphosis and simbiogenesis, of resistance to Capitalocene's cynicism and the certainties of Progress, of nutritious alliance and interaction between different forms of life, art and knowledge.

 

Taking into account recent research and literature about the ecological deadlock, manifest also in the massive floods that impacted Slănic area this summer, In Context Residency proposes, through the regenerative metaphor of compost, an experiment meant to reconsider knowledge and creativity from a wider perspective than the human oneandaimingto transform the mountain resort of Slănic intoa fertile ground for investigatingand testingwhat could mean to be withor think with, in a time when the idea of ​​"simpoiesis" becomes essential for survival in non-colonizingarts, sciences, and politics. Compost acts here both as a commentary on the ecological crisis and as a metaphor for art's metabolism, artists cannibalizing their own experiences as well as others'. Through transdisciplinary approaches, dialogues and alliances between artists and specialists in various fields, the Compost edition of the residency ultimately seeks to embrace the condition of the possible in the process of redefining and expanding the idea of "us" for a living earth.

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