Margherita Pevere, Unstable Ecologies: Roots & Seeds XXI in collaboration with the Transmedia Research Institute
julio 25, 2022



7th - 11th of September · Kepler's Gardens · JKU Campus, Linz, Austria


Curated by project leader Quo Artis, the Roots & Seeds XXI exhibition and public programmes at Ars Electronica Festival will include the artworks produced by the project's Production Awardees: Posthuman Studies Lab and Laura Cinti. It will also include photographic and sculptural pieces by artists Anaïs Tondeur and Joaquín Jara, as well as a public programme including the participation of The Center for Genomic Gastronomy, and a workshop conducted by Epicuro Lab in collaboration with local art and science curator Claudia Schnugg.


The Roots & Seeds XXI participation in Ars Electronica Festival 2022 acts as a closing event and culmination of the project's 2-year long collaboration between Quo Artis, Leonardo/OLATS, the University of Barcelona and Ars Electronica. Consisting of two exhibition spaces and a public programme, the event gathers the research materials, documentation and material and visual results of an inquiry into the crisis of plant biodiversity, and the role of art, emotion, empathy and transdisciplinary research and knowledge in the fight against the climate emergency. As such, Quo Artis has curated a display of works materialised into two exhibition spaces, including the final artworks produced by the Roots & Seeds XXI awardees Posthuman Studies Lab and Laura Cinti.


Posthuman Studies Lab's work UTLB-1 outlines the interconnections between vegetal and computing systems in a vein of current ecological crises and discourses about alternative futures. It engages with the legacy of the agrobiological experiments created in soviet laboratories and communal households, focusing on the Heracleum, a species of plant which after the USSR collapsed started accumulating toxic resources on the edge of abandoned industries. Investigating the intersection between the development of communist agricultural systems and the active use of plants as ‘green proletariats’, and the so-called “Soviet internet”, UTLB-1 is a network composed of plant-based computing architectures, rethinking the idea of communism through the more-than-human.

Laura Cinti's project The Living Dead - On the trail of a female partakes in the search for the elusive female specimen of the Wood’s Cycad, using manned aircraft surveys and drone technologies with expert guidance. Materialising into an audiovisual installation, the project draws attention to the relationship between vegetable survival and human intervention, while reflecting on how the inability for plants to survive in the wild is also intrinsically linked to their isolation from their ecosystems, and their preservation in human-made habitats.

The exhibiton also includes a display of installation, photographic and documentation works departing from visual representations and alternative ways of engaging with the Roots and Seeds XXI's Multidisciplinary Garden Cartography events, which have been taking place throughout 2021 and 2022. This will include a series of academic, transdisciplinary and experimental publications developed by the project partners, Leonardo/OLATS, the faculties of Pharmacy and of Fine Arts of the University of Barcelona and Quo Artis, with the collaboration of external experts and project collaborators Gabino Carballo and Annick Bureaud.

This exhibition will feature Living Herbarium (2022) , a series of cyanotype works by Anaïs Tondeur , who developed a photographic protocol in the context of the Roots & Seeds XXI Paris Garden Cartopgrahies, working with processes that enabled a non-intrusive and non-toxic process of recording plant anatomy, engaging with botany as an interaction between alive species and using photography to reflect on human and other-than-human relationships.

It will also include Return Movement (2022) , a sculptural installation by Joaquín Jara that stems from a series of gatherings that took place in Barcelona and Paris in 2021. Conceived as a pendulum, the piece uses notebooks that contain sensitive cartographies of the event and bear witness of our transformative relationship with the natural environment and the cycle of life in its purest form. Just as forests harvest carbon to then turn into charcoal after a fire, the installation will prompt you to come closer, browse the pages, and then generate an active move that will crystalise on the ground, in a blunt testimony of our lack of empathy for the non-human world.


With a multidisciplinary approach, Epicuro Lab works in the field of urban ecology, where nature is controlled by humans, often too controlled. The collective creates ephemeral works and expands knowledge related to biodiversity in the urban environment. Departing from the phenomenon of plant allelopathy, Epicuro Lab starts their collaborative work together with Claudia Schnugg in the workshop Community Alellopathy, in the framework of Roots & and Seeds XXI’s participation in Ars Electronica, in September 2022. More information

Sunday 11.09 · 10AM HÖRSAAL 1, JKU CAMPUS, LINZ

An international panel comprised of artists, scientists and researchers whose practice revolves around art and science will share with the audience their outcomes and emotions regarding the emergency we are currently living in. As the biodiversity crisis and the climate emergency are threatening to make life on Earth unbearable, art and science practices, approaches, and aesthetics have the potential to create a new framework to develop tools and strategies against biodiversity crisis.
With the participation of: Tatiana Kouroutchkina, Director of Quo Artis and co-founder of Epicuro Lab; Gabino Carballo, landscape architect and co-founder of Epicuro Lab; Zack Denfeld, co-founder of Center for Genomic Gastronomy; Claudia Schnugg, art and science curator; Ekaterina Nikitina, member of Posthuman Studies Lab.

The proposals presented by Quo Artis join those also presented from Catalonia by Institut Ramon Llull, New Art Foundation and Hac Te. Together they offer a direct testimony of the thriving scene of hybridisation of art, science and technology that is currently taking place in Barcelona. More information here.

More information on Welcome to Planet B.