Entering The Green Lab of the Amazonas
By Stahl Stenslie
We have all heard about the Amazonas, this strange and magical place on Earth, home to myths and legends as vast and mysterious as the jungle itself.
We all know the Amazonas as something amazing, something green, fertile, home of the largest and most biodiverse tropical rainforest on our planet. Yet few of us have been there. As global concern for global warming is rising, so the Amazonas become both dead-on and the blind spot of contemporary ecological concerns. Its jungle appears to be under constant threat, constant exploitation and deforestation.
So what place does art have in this jungle? How can art even make a difference in such a place? Those are inspiring questions to an experimental art community and the reason why emerging art programs take shape and place in the strangest places. Previously PNEK has been active in establishing the Dark-Ecology art-tour of the North (www.darkecology.net).
In 2016 PNEK -Production Network Electronic Art Norway- took part in the Lab Verde –The Green Lab- two week long art immersion program into the heart of the jungle in Amazonas. The immersion program collected and connected international artists from all over the world for an art-scientific head-on journey into this greenest lunge on earth. One in ten known species in the world lives in the Amazon rainforest and more than 20% of all fresh water in the world originates and flows through here. Throughout the art immersion program the artists were working in close contact and in collaboration with scientists from INPA, the Brazilian National Institute of Amazonian Research. The resulting ideas and works will be further elaborated and exhibited late 2016.
Since then PNEK has formally entered into a collaboration with Lab Verde’s mother organization Manifesta Arte Cultura, with the intention of developing the next Art Immersion Program, taking place in the Amazon Region July 2017. LABVERDE was created to expand our notions of art through a broad array of experiences, knowledge sets and cultural perspectives involving art, science and nature. The program main goal is to promote artistic creation through a constructive debate about environmental issues generated by both theory and life experiences in the Amazon rainforest. Lab Verde’s spotlight on environment and landscape issues, expanding the Amazon Forest context to a more wide and international community.
Their program ethos and research strongly connects to PNEK and we intend this to become a next art-scientific undertaking of global significance.