Dark Ecology is a three-year art, research and commissioning project, initiated by the Dutch Sonic Acts and Kirkenes-based curator Hilde Methi, and in collaboration with Norwegian and Russian partners. Dark Ecology unfolds through research, the creation of new artworks, and a public programme that will be presented in the zone on both sides of the border in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The programme for 2014 includes lectures, presentations of newly commissioned artworks, guided walks, a discursive programme, concert evenings, and a workshop.
A Dark Ecology Special: Lectures, Interviews and Recordings
To get you in the mood for the upcoming Dark Ecology Journey, Sonic Acts Research Series #19 includes recorded lectures, excerpts of live performances, sound recordings and interviews made during the 2015 festival The Geologic Imagination. With contributors such as Timothy Morton, Jana Winderen, Espen Sommer Eide, BJ Nilsen and Karl Lemieux, Raviv Ganchrow, Ele Carpenter and Graham Harman.
Dark Matters: an interview with Susan Schuppli
by Lucas van der Velden & Rosa Menkman Dark Ecology Keynote speaker Susan Schuppli spoke with Lucas van der Velden and Rosa Menkman about what it means to be an artist and theorist working in the field of practice-based research and her concept of the Material Witness.
Nikel and Nikel Materiality
Nikel is a small Russian mining city near the border with Norway. It was founded in the 1930s after enormous quantities of nickel were found nearby. At the time the area was Finnish. An infrastructure for mining the nickel was built in the 1930s with help from Canadian companies. Mining operations began in 1940. In 1944 Nikel became part of the Soviet Union after the Red Army defeated Finland.
Dark Ecology Critical Writing Academy
On 9 and 10 October 2015, Dark Ecology and Fridaymilk will organise a two-day Critical Writing Academy, in Murmansk, Russia. This workshop is aimed at emerging and mid-career writers, critics, bloggers, theorists and journalists in arts and culture from the Barents Region.
Nikel and Nikel Materiality
Nikel is a small Russian mining city near the border with Norway. It was founded in the 1930s after enormous quantities of nickel were found nearby. At the time the area was Finnish. An infrastructure for mining the nickel was built in the 1930s with help from Canadian companies. Mining operations began in 1940.
Dark Ecology Vimeo Album: A möbius research trip for thinking on objects beyond human perception
To sustain and develop ongoing ideas and conversations about some of the subjects within the three-year research project Dark Ecology, we invite key figures back to speak, reflect or create work in different settings. Philosopher and theorist Timothy Morton, from whom we borrowed the title 'Dark Ecology’, is one of the people who has been an integral part of this unfolding journey.
Thursday 9 June 2016
On Thursday the journey starts with a lecture by Heather Davis on plastic geologies, followed by a programme of curated walks which explore different aspects of the Pasvik Valley: the pollution, the river, the brown bears, the archaeology, and the insect life. In the evening ::vtol:: presents his new installation Лесофон / Lesophon.
Cecilia Jonsson - Prospecting: A Geological Survey of Greys
Prospecting: a Geological Survey of Greys is an interdisciplinary, site-specific art project that appropriates the scientific geological methods of extracting, analysing and categorising mineral specimens. In doing so, the project addresses the distinctions between objective scientific methods and subjective influences.
Justin Bennett & HC Gilje - Mikro
Mikro is a series of improvised collaborative performances between HC Gilje (video) and Justin Bennett (sound) that draws its raw material from the immediate surroundings. On the last day of the Dark Ecology Journey, Bennett and Gilje will perform the latest version of Mikro using material gathered over the course of the Journey.
The third edition of the art and research project Dark Ecology will take place from 8 to 12 June 2016. The journey begins in Svanvik in the Pasvik River Valley and travels from there to Nikel and Zapolyarny. Highlights in the programme include the curated walks that explore various aspects of the Pasvik Valley, lectures by Heather Davis and Timothy Morton, a visit to the Kola Superdeep Borehole – the setting for a new soundwalk by Justin Bennett – and new works by Cecilia Jonsson, Nickel van Duijvenboden, ::vtol::, Jana Winderen, Signe Lidén & Espen Sommer Eide, and HC Gilje & Justin Bennett.
Nickel van Duijvenboden - Echolocation (Session)
Echolocation (Session) is a new work by Nickel van Duijvenboden. Following his micro residency in Kirkenes, Nickel van Duijvenboden will give a performative reading inside a disused communal space belonging to the Kirkenes mine. Van Duijvenboden blends speech with sound recordings and live instruments in a loosely arranged setting, creating a parallel narrative based on a prior visualization of the location and a psycho-geographical exploration of the surroundings.
Friday 10 June 2016
Friday 10 June begins with a lecture by Timothy Morton, who will explain ‘dark ecology’. After this we cross the border to Russia and travel to Nikel. In the evening we will experience Signe Lidén & Espen Sommer Eide’s new soundwalk Altitude & History, set in the hills above Nikel. Jana Winderen’s Pasvikdalen is on show until Sunday.
Sunday 12 June 2016
On Sunday 12 June we travel back to Kirkenes and to the site of Cecilia Jonsson’s new work Prospecting: A Geological Survey of Greys, the journey is accompanied by a new composition by Peter Meanwell. In the evening there is the performative lecture Echolocation (Session) by Nickel van Duijvenboden, and the improvised performance Mikro by HC Gilje and Justin Bennett.
Cecilia Jonsson - Prospecting: a Geological Survey of Greys
Sunday 12 June
15:00 - 16:30
Prospecting: A Geological Survey of Greys appropriates geological methods of extracting, analysing and ordering mineral specimens. It attempts to examine drilled rock core samples beyond their commercial viability to identify the bedrock’s gray tones.
Dark Ecology Publication Party
Wednesday 8 June
21:00 - 00:00
Our welcome is a ‘Publication Party’ at the firepit at the NIBIO Svanhovd centre. We will celebrate the publication of Living Earth, the Dark Ecology 2014–2016 book, with contributions about (almost) all of the commissioned artworks and several essays and interviews.
Justin Bennett – Vilgiskoddeoayvir: Wolf Lake on the Mountains
At 12 kilometres deep, the Kola Superdeep Borehole is one of the deepest man-made holes on Earth. The Borehole was a Soviet geology research project that started during the Cold War. Justin Bennett created a soundwalk for this abandoned site.
1 – 3 February, Murmansk
The audiovisual festival, Inversia, organised for the second time by the Dark Ecology partner Fridaymilk, is the first of its kind in the European Arctic. It represents a platform for researching the phenomenon of darkness, coldness and isolation, and it aims to bridge the gap between traditional culture and new media and DIY culture. Here, Living Earth will showcase works by BJ Nilsen, Justin Bennett, and the Vertical Cinema, with screenings of seven experimental films made for the vertical screen format. Living Earth will also offer two workshops; a Critical Writing Academy, and a Field Recording Lab.