Anthropocentric theories have highlighted how the human being is the central agent to environmental transformation. Worldviews guided by dualisms between concepts such as “nature – culture” and a sense of distance between humans and our environments have formed our paths of evolution and innovation – and brought our ecosystems into a state of imbalance.
In the Nordic context, a growing attention to environmental thinking and dark ecology in artistic discourse mirrors a global acknowledgement and urgency of the need to rethink the human place in the biosphere and how we are connected to the world. The Screen City Biennial 2019 sets out to present, facilitate and examine art and artistic, that raise questions of how human action affects the ecologies with which it is implicated.
With the theme Ecologies – lost, found and continued, the biennial engages a post-anthropocentric worldview: it searches for ecologies that may be “lost” to the dominant imaginary of the modern, rationalized Western society and found in what by some is considered to be the peripheries of this.
However, perhaps these are not peripheries but rather deep-rooted centres of knowledge which could guide us towards more sustainable, conscious and spiritually anchored futures, if continued. Bringing these ecologies forth through the art, the biennial asks: how can non-anthropocentric positions and holistic knowledge systems be continued as foundations on which we can move onwards – be brought into new context, inspire processes of innovation, as well as ways of presenting and engaging art?
The Screen City Biennial 2019 is curated by Daniela Arriado and Vanina Saracino and continues a research trajectory initiated with the 2017 edition that examined how art and stories of people migrate into new forms, realities and modes of existence. The 2019 edition focuses on how migration of ecologies of culture, knowledge systems and ways of living could redirect cultures, environments and cities today.
It explores what kinds of ecological migration could be possible, could favourably be continued, to avoid ecological crisis. The biennial presents and engages art that interferes with ecologies through which the hybrid urban context – as nature-culture environment – changes through time (Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, 2016).
The biennial examines the intersection of ecologies in three dimensions: spiritual (e.g. ecologies of knowledge from indigenous cultures and art philosophies that explore human connections with nature); material (e.g. ecologies of physical landscapes that are disappearing or re-materializing in relation to climate issues, of the urban fabric or the becoming of new geographies as physical consequences of technological innovation); and virtual (e.g. ecologies of the technological layers in our everyday lives, online connectivity and hybrid natures that not only surround us visually but that we also live through).
In the intersection between these ecologies, the biennial explores sustainable thinking and modes of symbiotic coexistence with nature and urban environments. These environments create new conceptions of space/time/nature relations in artistic philosophies and indigenous ecologies – as alternatives to modern modes of thinking and rationalizing.
The 2017 biennial edition migrated the concept of the “screen” from a fixed-circuit representational frame to a sensible-material, three-dimensional interface supported by digital technology. With the theme of Ecology, the 2019 edition takes point of departure in the “screen” as a concept of complex ecologies through its display of content and technology; as dynamic and potentially networked in its content display and/or “documentation”; and as generating contact, connectivity and culture (Andrew Murphy, The World as Clock: The Network Society and Experimental Ecologies, 2004).
In engaging the screen as an ecological field for art – not necessarily rectangular but potentially mobile, as environment or through mapping – the Screen City Biennial 2019 anticipates an active, processual mode of art in the ecologies of the urban context of Stavanger and as connected with the world. The biennial examines ecologies as both a premise of locating and generating knowledge on how we coexist with the world, and as an approach to thinking-through-practice.
Through 2019, the Biennial’s talk program and SCB Journal will explore questions like: What philosophical and spiritual ecologies of thinking does the art practice and engage? How does the art engage with material and technological ecologies of space? How does the art engage and affect ecologies of hybrid environments?
SCB 2019 will use Stavanger harbor’s architectonic positioning in the Nordic landscape to present a broad range of international artists working in the fields of moving image and expanded video and cinema, augmented and virtual reality, audiovisual, performance and installations. A crucial part of this year’s SCB are the new works by Emilija Škarnulytė (LT), Saara Ekström (FI), Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen (FI), Michelle-Marie Letelier (CL), Enrique Ramírez (CL) and Band of Weeds (FI) that engage with a post-anthropocentric worldview.
Screen City Biennial in Stavanger, the first Nordic Biennial dedicated to the expanded moving image in public space, presents artworks that explore the relation between the moving image, sound, technology and public space. The architectures of the Norwegian port city Stavanger, facilitates an exhibition of the expanded moving image in threedimensional, multi-sensual and tactile experiences, together with screening programs and gallery installations.
The Biennial presents a new platform that works to explore uses of the moving image in contemporary artistic practice.
Partecipating artists are: Richard Alexandersson (SE), Jonathas de Andrade (BR), Band of Weeds (FI), Andrés Bedoya (BO), Ursula Biemann (CH), Paulo Tavares (BR), Sissel M. Bergh (NO), Vincent Carelli (FR/BR), Marjolijn Dijkman (NL), Toril Johannessen (NO), Saara Ekström (FI), Flatform (IT), Ximena Garrido-Lecca (PE), Mai Hofstad Gunnes (NO), Laura Huertas Millán (CO), Mikhail Karikis (GR/UK), Tove Kommedal (NO), Jakob Kudsk Steensen (DK), Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen (FI), Michelle-Marie Letelier (CL), Kalma (SP), Kristina Õllek (EE), Enrique Ramírez (CL), Oliver Ressler (AT), Luis Roque (BR), Momoko Seto (JP), Emilija Škarnulytė (LT), Andrew Norman Wilson (US).