Dark Ecology 2015
Dark Ecology I: the concept
Dark Ecology is a term coined by Timothy Morton who is a professor and a member of the object oriented philosophy movement. He is an author of such books as ‘Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World’, ‘Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality’, ‘The Ecological Thought’, ‘Ecology without Nature’, as well as the upcoming book in 2016 titled ‘Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence’.
Timothy Morton in his book “Ecology without Nature” investigates our ecological assumptions and tries to advance the ecocritic in order to move towards a properly ecological thinking that our society is lacking. According to Morton our idea of nature is still deeply rooted in romantic period, excluding the effects of the technology and industry. He argues that we have to rethink the concepts of nature and ecology as such, in order to co-exist with not only humans but also non-humans, including radiation, pollution, and plastic bags in our surroundings (dark eco web). As Morton notes: “It is very hard to get used to the idea that the catastrophe, far from being imminent has already taken place.”
Dark Ecology II: the 2015 tour
Dark Ecology is a three year long research and commissioning project. It is inspired by and closely related to the philosophy of Timothy Morton and titled “Dark Ecology” after his concept . Like Timothy Morton, the Dark Ecology project investigates the interconnections between human and non-human, bringing together artists, researchers and people from various fields. From the Dark Ecology website:
“Ecology does not privilege the human, it is not something beautiful, and it has no real use for the old concept of Nature. What we now know about the impact of human beings on the planet has led to the need to rethink the concepts of nature and ecology, and exactly how humans are connected to the world.“
This was the second Dark Ecology journey. It started in Kirkenes (Norway) and went on to Murmansk (Russia) - Nikel and Zapolyarny (Russia). The journey took place between November 26th and November 30th, where 50 participants traveled this desolate arctic region, high above the polar circle. The main speakers in the second edition of the Dark Ecology journey were philosopher Graham Harman and the artist and researcher Susan Schuppli. Commissioned works this year were developed by HC Gilje (video and light installation), Hilary Jeffery (Musical performance), Joris Strijbos (autonomous, networked light and sound installation), Margrethe Pettersen (Sound Walk), and Tatjana Gorbachewskaja (architectural analysis of Nikel).
HC Gilje (NO)
The Crossing is a light-motion installation reactivating an abandoned construction site with the use of light and motion. The installation was located outside Zapolyarny (RU) during the Dark Ecology Journey 2015.
Joris Strijbos (NL)
IsoScope is a kinetic sound-and-light installation that consists of multiple robotic wind objects that interact with each other as well as the landscape. This work can fully be experienced only under specific weather conditions, that are required for the wind objects to rotate, creating a sensorial show with lights and sounds, IsoScope was a commission for the second Dark Ecology Journey in 2015. Journey (2015).
"Dark Ecology trip was a very radical new format for me. I think it evoked a lot of different conversations between people who haven’t collaborated before. There is also something about travelling together, as a metaphor. You are stuck together. It is interesting to have some more curated experiences together, where you get pushed out of your comfort zone."
Jacob Sikker Remin (DK)
Artist, curator and project leader