Closing Session 10: GREEN REVISITED – Encountering Emerging Naturecultures

Jens HAUSER. UN/GREEN & (OU \ / ERT) – Inverting and Opening in Curatorial Strategy

How can curatorial practice in art spaces convey, cognitively, sensorially and emotionally, the importance to debunk the misunderstandings inherent in ‘greenness’ tropes pervasive in contemporary culture? Are white cubes and black boxes followed by greenhouses when we put anthropocentric assertions to the test in the age of ubiquitous greenwashing?

This talk presents examples of how ‘green’ has being conceptually inverted and opened up in the 2019 exhibitions UN/GREEN at the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga and OU\ /ERT: Phytophilia – Chlorophobia – Situated Knowledges at the Emmetrop/Transpalette art centre in Bourges. These strategies not only encompass new ways of dealing with audiences’ perception but also include resolutely material and performative practices such as gardening, live pigment production or the staging of multi-sensory alternatives to vision or trans-species encounters, going against the grain of dominant colour symbolism.

Both exhibitions critique the tendency to ‘green everything’ as hyper-compensation, based on a misinterpretation of vegetation green as a symbolic analogy of the ‘natural’, whereas its perception reveals above all an anthropocentrism: while the electromagnetic spectrum corresponding to ‘green’ is useless for plants’ photosynthesis and is therefore reflected, humans perceive it with the greatest acuity, mistaking this spectral surplus for the very essence of the plant.

Jens Hauser is a Paris and Copenhagen based media studies scholar, writer and art curator focusing on the interactions between art and technology, trans-genre and hybrid aesthetics. He’s currently a researcher at the University of Copenhagen’s Medical Museion, following a dual post-doctoral research position at the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. He coordinates the (OU)VERT network for Greenness Studies and has been the chair of the European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts’ ‘GREEN’ 2018 conference in Copenhagen. He is also a distinguished affiliated faculty at Michigan State University where he co-directs the BRIDGE artist-in-residency program. Hauser has curated about thirty international exhibitions and festivals.


Kristin Bergaust. Oslofjord Ecologies- What Can Art Do? About Artistic Research On Environmental And Social Sustainability

The Oslofjord is the fjord that is overlooked when visitors prepare to enjoy the scenic Norwegian fjords from cruise liners in West Norway.. The Oslofjord Ecologies project started in 2016 as part of Renewable Futures Network. Artworks and texts presented in the book are developed before March 2020.
Looking back to not living in pandemia, the Oslofjord Ecologies acquires new actuality. The Oslofjord Ecologies project and book looks at our situation where we live and work and initially asks the unanswerable: What can art do? When we ask what will be next and how we can proceed, art is also mindset, performative methods of actions and reflections.
In 2020 cruisers are not present and international traffic is sparse. We are left with a melancholic fjordscape, freed from the most intense traffic of ferries, cruise ships and immense container freighters bound for everywhere in the world. Still, the fjord is inhabited by smaller vessels, be it ferries for local passenger transport, tugboats, fishing boats, barges carrying machines or materials, sleek sailing boats, roaring speed boats, the odd classic yacht becoming visible among all kinds of leisure: kayaks, canoes, waterboards. We are still here. Under the surface, various marine life forms strive to coexist with residues of human activities. The Oslofjord is nature, economy, infrastructure, biology, materiality, culture and history as well as future plans and challenges.

Kristin Bergaust is educated at the University of Oslo and at National Academy of Fine Art in Oslo. She works as an artist, researcher and educator. She has been a professor at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design in OsloMet, Oslo since 2008. She was formerly professor and head of Intermedia at Trondheim Academy of Fine Arts, NTNU (2001-2008) and artistic director of Atelier Nord media lab for artists (1997 to 2001). Kristin is one of the pioneers of the self-organized early media art scene in Norway from the early 1990-ies. Her feminist and relational perspectives on contemporary conditions are investigated through performative and technological strategies, sometimes also fed by cultural history or other narratives. Experiments with the communicative and the sensory are inherent both in research and art. Currently, she leads FeLT- Futures of Living Technologies, a three year interdisciplinary artistic research project based at OsloMet.