S+T+ARTS in the City | Challenge nº1 | Going Wild in the City
+ Consortium Partner
+ Problem Statement
While our modern cities have been progressively distancing us from nature, the latter has always remained an integral part of the urban landscape. How can we create more awareness that values the interconnectedness and interdependence of all living beings in the city?
Agency, Symbiocene, Urban, Biodiversity, Hybrid, Plant Intelligence, Interspecies, Wild
This residency will explore how our relationship with nature in the urban (and not limited to the peri-urban) area may be reimagined and reconfigured within what we call ‘symbiotic’ thinking: a term coined by Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht to describe a hypothetical future era in which humans live in harmony with the natural world and recognize the interconncetedness and interdependence of all life forms.
While our modern cities may appear to distance us from nature, it has always remained an integral part of the urban landscape. Through this residency, we aim to raise citizens’ awareness about the significance, variety, and resilience of natural life thriving or surviving in the Brussels region. By leveraging various digital technologies, artists can uncover and defend the wild side of the city and shed light on the vital role it plays in our lives. Ranging from urban forests, to accommodating wildlife to stopping the use of pesticides to letting plants in parks grow uncontrolled and strips of land along railway lines such as Wiels Marais in Brussels are just a few examples of rewilding types within the urban sprawl. These areas harbour flourishing animal and plant populations, offering a glimpse into the remarkable biodiversity that persists amidst concrete and steel. As we confront the challenges posed by climate change, it becomes crucial to investigate the multifaceted values — be they political, cultural, economical, or recreational — associated with nature in the city. In this residency we invite artists to envision future scenarios that explore the concept of ownership in public spaces, not just limited to humans but encompassing inter-species perspectives.
+ Residency Characteristics
During the residency the artist will be supported by a Local expert Group composed of local and international practitioners from the fields of urban studies, policy, digital technology and the Arts. The residency partners are 1) The National Lottery 2) Innoviris, a public organisation that funds and supports research and innovation in the Brussels-Capital Region and 3) Regional S+T+ARTS Center GLUON.
We search for proposals that address the design and adoption of digital technologies, to be balanced with the need to ensure sustainable development, considering the environmental, social, and economic impacts of digitalization. Specific expertise required by the artist for the implementation of the project will be evaluated upon request through the local support network.
The artist is expected to travel to the Brussels-Capital Region to attend workshops, events, meetings or to conduct field research at least 6 times during the residency period. The artist is expected to create a presentable outcome that can be included in the exhibition at Sónar Barcelona, Ars Electronica Festival and/or the I Love Science Festival in Brussels in 2024.
+ Jury Day
Jury Day will be digital on September 21st or 22nd, 2023.
+ Useful Links
- Urban Jungle – Ben Wilson
- The Botany of Desire – Michael Pollan
- The Symbiotic City – Marjan Stuiver
- The Nation of Plants – Stefano Mancuso
- Kate Raworth – Exploring doughnut economics
- Donna Haraway – When species meet
- James Bridle – Ways of Being
- Urban Rewilding: the value and co-benefits of nature in urban spaces
- Cities’ Answer to Sprawl? Go Wild
- From asphalt jungle to digital preserve
- Rewilding cities for resilience
- Protecting nature (only available in Dutch & French)
- Brussels biotopes: the different forms of nature in the city (only available in Dutch & French)