Announcing the Dark Ecology project

Starting this September, project Dark Ecology will highlight the border zone between Northern Norway and Russia around the Arctic Circle – the so-called Barents Region – with a three-year art, research and commissioning programme. We are very excited to announce that the first Dark Ecology journey into the region will take place from 9–12 October 2014. The four-day journey will bring together international artists, researchers and curators and is open to anyone with an interest in the topic. It will showcase new commissioned works, including a major site-specific installation by Raviv Ganchrow, and presentations by researchers and philosophers such as Timothy Morton. If you are interested in joining the journey or have other questions, please contact us: darkecology [at] sonicacts [dot] com. Follow the project on Facebook and be among the first to hear about the full programme, the sites that will be visited and where to book your tickets and accommodation. The border zone of Northern Norway and Russia is a region where you can feel, see and smell how human civilization is inextricable from industrial pollution in the heart of sub-arctic nature. Our knowledge of the impact human beings have on the Earth has resulted in a necessary re-evaluation of the concepts of nature and ecology from philosophical and artistic perspectives. The issue of redefining nature, ecology and the connections between humans and other things in the world is relevant everywhere, but it is especially appropriate in the Barents Region with its pristine nature, industrial pollution and open-pit mining. The anticipated impact of global warming fuels local economic growth as the prospects for both the exploitation of the oil and gas reserves beneath the Barents Sea and the trade through the Northern Sea route are increasing with the melting of the ice sheets. The diverging interests and approaches from both sides of the border have to negotiate. This mix forms the background and input for Dark Ecology. We borrowed the term Dark Ecology from American theorist Timothy Morton. He has argued that ecology is not something beautiful, has no real use for the old concept of Nature, and does not favour the human. In that sense ecology is dark. It invites – or demands – us to think how we are intimately interconnected to iron ore, snowflakes, plankton, or radiation. In this project Sonic Acts uses the dark ecology theme as the starting point for research and new artworks that will be presented in the border zone in a public programme – in 2014, 2015 and 2016 – that includes lectures, presentations and concerts, as well as workshops and masterclasses. Dark Ecology will be documented online and offer reflection through interviews, travel reports, videos, photos and audio recordings. Dark Ecology is curated and produced by Sonic Acts and Norwegian curator Hilde Methi. It is generously funded by BarentsKult, Public Art Norway (KORO), Creative Industries Fund NL, PNEK (Production Network for Electronic Art, Norway) and Finnmark County Municipality.

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