There will come soft rains

Pinar Yoldas

1. What does the idea of a non-human world mean to you? Do you see it as an inspiring artistic proposition or as a real possibility for the near future?

I do not get a kick out of the possibility of a non-human world. Since humans emerged as a species who dominated the planet, a world without humans would mean that our models for civilization failed us. I do not find inspiration in the mass failure of human cultures, to live harmoniously with other organisms inhabiting Earth. My inspiration comes from the intrinsic and undeniable beauty of the natural world in its all complexity to the point that we understand it with our science or by other means we have been endowed with. Yet it is very humbling to accept that human beings may or may not be around let’s say in the next 500 years. It is the same kind of humbling thought that one could get when one understands their own death.

2. The exhibition is based on a narrative that defines a specific context for the artists and visitors as well as for the additional education program. What implications do you think could come up by exhibiting your work in this setting? Do you think it could generate new readings of your work?

Of course, each person has their own unique way of reading the work. This is what Umberto Eco talks about in the Open Work. His views have been a beacon for my artistic practice therefore I always work for layered pieces that can find alternate readings. The goal of Ecosystem of Excess is to illustrate an ocean in which plastic eating organisms flourished. An ocean that is alien in a way. An ocean as the fusion of nature and culture. An ocean full of plastics brimming with plastisphere life.

3. What role does social, ecological and economical sustainability play in your artistic practice?

My entire practice orbits around ecological justice. I have to say that after I departed from architecture and computer science I had a period of confusion where I did not know how to merge my aesthetic tendencies with my ideological self. I felt very strongly about the failure of consumerism yet the media arts scene I was engaged in seemed very apolitical. It was as if raising questions around what we now call the anthropocene did not matter that much. As if projects around how we failed at planetary health was more like a choice of taste. An Ecosystem of Excess which you are exhibiting is one of the first works I found funding support for that was at its core very activist (thanks to the vision of Kristoffer Gansing and Heike Mertens and HKW.)
So yes I believe in the urgency of the matter. I do not believe that we have the luxury of making art that does not touch upon social, ecological and economical justice.

4. On which level do you think could art contribute to social and ecological changes?

More than one could imagine.

5. During the last decade the liaison between art and science has been a topic frequently discussed. In this context art was often considered to be a successful tool for the production of alternative forms of knowledge. How do you evaluate this idea?

Are you asking me to make a comparison? Or to explain art in regards to science? There are a myriad ways art and science happens. I like to think that both good art and good science stem from a specific kind of curiosity about the world inside and outside. Art devises tools for manipulating thought via playing with emotion. Art creates sensations (Deleuze&Guattari.) But does not stop there. Science devises tools to manipulate the world. Science creates facts. The two is not that separate after all, but art is closer to our biology and science can transcend that.

6. What is one of your favourite youtube videos that deals with a certain aspect of the exhibition (e.g. the non-human scenario, environmental factors or sustainability)?

I chose videos in a gradient of violence towards non-human world


When the fur is finally peeled off over the animals' heads, their naked, bloody bodies are thrown onto a pile of those who have gone before them. Some are still alive, breathing in ragged gasps and blinking slowly. Some of the animals' hearts are still beating five to 10 minutes after they are skinned. One investigator recorded a skinned raccoon dog on the heap of carcasses who had enough strength to lift his bloodied head and stare into the camera.

From 30 seconds on very graphic.

Blackfish, documentary on killer whales in captivity. Story of Tilikum who died in captivity at the age of 36 last year (almost my age). The part where a mother killer whale is screaming his calf’s name, after they have been separated by the SeaWorld people. The calf is transported to a new facility.

Watch MIDWAY on plastics in the ocean :

Watch Carl Safina talk about animals, sentience, emotions :

List goes on ….

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Alle Artist Interviews

Soft Rains – 

Filippa Pettersson & Tamara Antonijevic interview on 7AM

The performance is set in an office environment under water, where the audience can witness three creatures doing their routines. I wouldn’t call it a futuristic scenario, it’s rather an impression of these imagined beings that look and act a lot like humans. However, as the performance unfolds, it becomes clear that there is something off about them and that they are maybe not human at all.

I have 5 questions Mr. Orlow

1. What does the idea of a non-human world mean to you? Do you see it as an inspiring artistic proposition or as a real possibility for the near future? The world is non-human, we are the last to arrive to the party - and we are definitely spoiling the fun.

5 Questions with Mario Pfeifer

1. What does the idea of a non-human world mean to you? Do you see it as an inspiring artistic proposition or as a real possibility for the near future? I would say it's a rather scary proposition. Therefore it can be an inspiring idea for an artist. In my case, I find it more inspiring to think about how to avoid such a scenario and wonder what would the conditions for a non-human world be: war, disaster—or an outlook on a better habitat than we currently live in. How realistic is it? Well, it's more realistic with world leaders who use language like, “We are going to bomb the shit out of you,” or, “Climate change is a hoax,” than with more progressive thinkers who want to make sure we live a sustainable life on earth. Another aspect is that innovators preparing for civilian space travel might conquer another habitat and make it unattractive to stay on Earth for a certain group of civilians, namely the rich, the smart, and the biologically most advanced human beings. It's inspiring to think critically about these conditions, but I am more in favour of making life on Earth more equal and sustainable.
Soft Rains – 

Interview with Jeronimo Voss

1. The exhibition is based on the narrative of a non-human world. This theme defines the context for the artists and visitors as well as for the additional education program. For your project you decided to stage holograms of bookshelves photographed in living rooms. What is your main interest in this topic? I got the idea when I read about the ancient mythology of Cassandra. Cassandra is the seer that herself isn’t seen. According to Greek mythology her prophecies are ignored by her fellow Trojan citizens because she is cursed by a god whom she refuses to have sex with. As a priest, as a seer, she states that this society will not sustain itself much longer. So she knows about the social crisis that surrounds her – a knowledge that is probably not supernatural given that Troy is besieged by Greek enemy soldiers. As a result, she is not only ignored but even considered a traitor. I think this story speaks a lot about those who still deal with the truth of the current and future social reality and it’s unfolding crisis, how powerless it can feel to analyse and speak about this crisis without being able to directly having an impact on it – just think of the hatred people can face in today’s “post-factual” media world. Allan Sekula once stated: “the old myth that photographs tell the truth has been replaced by the new myth that they lie.” So I decided to stage photographs of bookshelves in a Cassandrian setting. In my view Cassandra’s caves today are living rooms filled with knowledge about the ongoing crisis of the last 3000 years of class society. If humanity will really end in self-extinction one probably would find an answer for how and why this happened in these caves.

Will There Come Soft Rains?
with Carolina Caycedo

1. What does the idea of a non-human world mean to you? Do you see it as an inspiring artistic proposition or as a real possibility for the near future? It's a world where we understand that processes of representation and of production of knowledge are not exclusively human. A non/human world is a pluriverse where many worlds are possible, instead of a Universe where everything is determined by the white male colonizer human experience.  In many places of Latin America the post human evidences itself today, the fact that the earth is a subject with rights as determined in the constitutions or Bolivia or Ecuador, or that in Colombia the Atrato River has also gained legal rights, are more institutional manifestations. But if you look at the everyday of indigenous and rural communities in the Andean regions, and the Amazon Basin, amongst others, you will find post human worlds, where water, rocks, stones, emeralds, fish, corn and other non/human spirits are considered social active agents in the everyday socio-politics of the community. The Colombian sociologist Arturo Escobar calls this 'Pensamiento de la Tierra' (Thought of the Earth), it manifests through a vast array of popular movements across the continent that are based on their unique and constitutive relation to localized nature and to their territories. For these communities, the rivers, the mountains, even the forest are like family, and they take on active roles in the collective efforts of territorial resistance against extractivist industries.  For example, a river can overflow to halt the construction of a dam, or the ground can tremble to complicate a mine operation.  So actually I think that there are non-human worlds happening today, they have been happening for millennia, but colonial and extractivist structures have made a great deal to erase them.