söndag 27 oktober 2019

Homo Colossus at Färgfabriken (exhibition)

Me pitching Homo Colossus at Färgfabriken. Photo by Per Hasselberg.

Less than a month ago I wrote a blog post about our just-approved research grant application, "From Homo Sapiens to Homo Colossus: Visualising our energy footprint". I have however talked about these ideas for year, including when I was physically located at the Center for Sustainable Communications (CESC), a research center that ended its planned 10-year run two years ago.

It thus came naturally to mention that the applications had been approved when I met ex-CESC director Mattias Höjer who immediately went about to put me in touch with Andreas Bergmark at Färgfabriken ["The Colour Factory"] by mail. Färgfabriken is an exhibition space which "since its inception in 1995 [has] served as a platform for contemporary cultural expressions with an emphasis on art, architecture and urban planning":

"It is important to create conditions for free and creative thinking. In this context, art is central. It acts as a catalyst for innovation in the meeting with the rest of society, as well as with individuals. Färgfabriken’s projects and exhibitions have a wide audience, including active decision makers, creators, artists and scientists – those who can make a difference today. Everyone is welcome to Färgfabriken.

Our approach creates space for exhibitions and projects that might not find its natural place elsewhere. Färgfabriken wants to make the invisible visible."

Me and Anders got in touch and I was quickly invited to give a talk at an event that Färgfabriken organised this past week, an "inspirational meeting" with short talks and workshops in preparation for an exhibition, "Symbiosis", that Färgfabriken will put together next year:

"We will discuss and develop ideas and examples of symbiotic thinking that have the potential to break habitual thinking patterns and which in the long run can create the conditions for a better future."

The Symbiosis exhibition will have four themes; "hinterlands", "de-signing ecology", "becoming human" and "planetary enterprise". I was a bit unclear about the exact purpose of the inspirational meeting, about who would be there and about my role in the event, but I got together with Anders to discuss these and other issues a week in advance. It turns out that Homo Colossus had made a quick career; the purpose of our presentation was not any longer to pitch our project to Färgfabriken, but instead to be part of Färgfabriken's pitch to their corporate partners/sponsors!

I was accompanied to the meeting by Homo Colossus project colleague Per Hasselberg (Konstfrämjandet) and I also met up with Mattias Höjer there (he has some kind of "advisory" role in relation to Färgfabriken). The presentation went very well so it does indeed seem that Homo Colossus will be part of the upcoming exhibition Symbiosis exhibition (more to follow on this topic next year).

I also met Jonna Holmstedt at the event. She's an artist who also has a ph.d. in visual arts and she is currently associated with the KTH Posthumanities Hub. It turned out that she too is an aficionado of brilliant Swedish social psychologist Johan Asplund and we will surely meet again at KTH in the not too distant future!

Comment: This blog post was written at a later point in time and has been back-dated. 

Addendum: The Symbiosis exhibitions has been postponed; it was supposed to open in the spring of 2020 but will instead open in the autumn. This is actually better for us and our project starts in January and it would have been hard to get something together already by April.

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