Art, Data and Activism

The Dro Lab took place in the biggest European landslide 250.84 ha “Marocche” in Italian. It is a natural park, but everything here is unnatural. The black pine (Pinus nigra) which seems characteristic of the alpine flora is actually a typical example of late-nineteenth-century biological pollution.

The nice stream that flows through here has actually been humanly adapted (both its path and flow rate) to accommodate the water flow to the production of electricity. Bears have been recently re-introduced by import from Slovenia. Such a historical animal does belong to this latitude. However, it was wiped out. Even the climate is actually anything but alpine. Some specimens of palms rest peacefully in front of Centrale Fies, and you can also find olive trees and other species that are typical of the Mediterranean climate, not the sub-alpine zone. Behind almost all these unnatural things, there are clear economic and anthropic choices.

Anthropocene was our general framework in this lab where we quesitoned our ability to re-narrate/ re-build the relationship with the landscape, relationship with landscape that is also our alterity and can be also very personal, where ‘one’ and ‘many’ intertwine with all the other non-human elements. We have raised questions of how images and video can portray the non-human, and how places, areas and territories can be presented through a relational approach, as well as how art can “think with” a landscape.

One of the major issue from which we started was: what kind of impact can an individual action have on the landscape? And then, how can its obvious limitations (performative, but also factual or legal) be turned into its propelling elements?

From this question of the challenges of individual’s action - or better, challenges of artistic action - we went on and got to ask ourselves how to build, performatively and visually, not only artistic but also political and social territories. Therefore we have raised the bar and started to think how to explore together the conceptual and aesthetic tools that artists devise to cope with our epochal challenges.

Dro-Lab_Art-Data-and-activism.pdf (0.4 MB)




July 27-31, 2016

Organised by

Drodesera in collaboration with SAAL Biennaal