Terra Xenobiotica or How to Belong
Art Laboratory Berlin is glad to announce a currently evolving new artistic research project: During the months of October and November 2022 bio media artist Saša Spačal undertakes artistic research for her new project Terra Xenobiotica or How to Belong at the lab of the Rillig Group | Ecology of Plants, Institute of Biology, Freie Universtität Berlin and at Art Laboratory Berlin.
“Terra Xenobiotica is an exploration into a dark alterity of soil ecology, an umwelt of its own, where mineral and organic agents entangle as strangers, but decompose into oneness of the ground that carries biological life in the Zone.
During the residency temporal aspects of xenobiotic substances and metabolisms will be sampled, researched and observed in the vicinity of airports. On the nodes of planetary aviation networks, traces of human grounding and ungrounding will be materially examined to reveal how foreign substances perform gradual belonging.” (Saša Spačal)
Art Laboratory Berlin has collaborated many times with Saša Spačal: The artist was present with several works at the exhibitions The Other Selves. On the Phenomenon of the Microbiome (2016), Nonhuman Networks (2017), presented her artistic research at the international conference Nohuman Agents (2017) and had an artist residency in 2019 (also connected with the Rillig Group | Ecology of Plants).
In her essay “Saša Spačal. Symbioses and Planetary Interconnections” Regine Rapp reflects on the artist’s approaches: Spačal’s projects employ “fascinating biotechnological strategies that enable the physical experience of immersion and the philosophical experience of interconnectedness and networking. Without ever losing the artistic value of aesthetic experience, Spačal uses current scientific knowledge and laboratory practices of biology – especially microbiology and mycology, the science of fungi. In doing so, she creates particular encounters mediated through non-linguistic forms of perception and exchange – acoustic, electronic and metabolic. The artistic results offer a new repertoire for accessing the world anew in its symbiotic complexity.” (Rapp, R. (2022) ‘Saša Spačal. Symbiosen und planetarische Verflechtungen’, Kunstforum International, 281, p. 116)
During her current residency Spačal shares the findings from her new artistic research project also with the public. Art Laboratory Berlin hosts several public events. Together with scientists from the Rillig Group the artist reflected on the phenomenon of symbiosis in her art work (Walk & Talk, 3 Octobre 2022). In the Colloquium she will talk about her ongoing work process as a work-in-progress (Colloquium, 8 November 2022), and at the end of her residence in a solo artist talk Spačal will share her results with the public (Artist Talk, 25 November 2022).
For two weeks in November Saša Spačal will be joined by artist Pim Boreel to further develop a new work coming from her ongoing research.
Saša Spačal (www.agapea.si) is an artist working at the intersection of living systems research, contemporary and sound art. Her artistic research focuses on the development of technological interfaces and relations with organic and mineral soil agents while trying to address the posthuman situation, that involves mechanical, digital and organic logic within contemporary biopolitics and necropolitics.
Her work was internationally exhibited and performed: Ars Electronica Festival (AT), Prix Cube Exhibition (FR), Transmediale Festival (DE), Athens Digital Arts Festival (GR), Perm Museum of Contemporary Art (RUS), Onassis Cultural Center Athens (GR), Chronos Art Center (CHN), Cynetart Festival (DE), National Art Museum of China (CHN), DaVinci Festival (KR), Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (SI), Kapelica Gallery (SI), Device_art Festival (CRO), Extravagant Bodies Festival (CRO), Art Laboratory Berlin (DE), Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina (SRB), Lisboa Soa Festival (PT), Sonica Festival (SI). She was awarded the Prix Ars Electronica Honorary Mention, nominated for the Prix Cube and the New Technological Art Award.
A cooperation between Art Laboratory Berlin and the Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin
Rillig Group | Ecology of Plants, Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin