Snowball & Gluon
(Inter)active productive landscapes
How might digital technologies support citizens, policymakers, entrepreneurs & researchers in their ambition to create more balanced relations between nature & humans in the region of South-West Flanders?
The world is in constant flux, and so are the natural environment & open spaces we are living in. How might digital technologies support citizens, policymakers, entrepreneurs & researchers in their ambition to create more balanced relations between nature & humans in the region of South-West Flanders?
Open Space, Heterotopia, Biodiversity &/or Water management (quantity & quality), Activism & community building, Digital technologies (IoT, AI, VR / AR, blockchain)
Filip Van Dingenen is a multidisciplinary artist, educator and co-founder of the Ecole Mondiale in Brussels. He was PhD researcher at LUCA School of Arts in Ghent & Brussels between 2014 and 2019 and an affiliated researcher at the Laboratory of Education and Society at KU Leuven. In his process-based art practice, he uses a broad range of different methods and outputs merging participatory strategies with a social and ecological relevance, in between leisure, heritage and education. He has worked extensively on zoological, botanical, ethnographic issues and observed the phenomena of zoo culture from different angles. With the Argentinian choreographer & dancer Barbara Pereyra, he co-founded Fantaman Productions & Matelisto Contemporary Movements, a platform for developing projects in between performance and visual arts. He was a participant at the Jan Van Eyck Academy (2013) and associate artist in residence with Mark Dion at ACA-Florida (2008). He has written numerous articles for journals and magazines and has authored several artist books. He was guest lecturer at KASK, LUCA School of Arts, La Cambre, ERG, AKI/ARTEZ, Ecole de Beaux Arts Casablanca and others. He is currently developing the Platform for Algae Diplomacy, looking at legal and animistic perspectives of sea plants. Next to his regular practice, he collaborates with multiple institutions, elaborating the artistic and pedagogical dimension of Ecole Mondiale.
“Suskewiet Vision” explores how we can learn from non-human entities inhabiting the region of South-West Flanders. How can we, as humanity, learn to navigate in relation to more perspectives than merely the human one, and to start an inclusive dialogue or conversation with this more-than-human encounter? How can these dialogues relate to agricultural policy, biodiversity, forestation or water management? Are we able to co-create a common language with a potential for reterritorialization of the heterotopic landscape? The starting point for this project is the regional folkloristic tradition called “Suskewiet”. “Suskewiet” is a competition in which finch keepers line up along a road or grass field with a cage containing finches, a local bird species. The finches must sing the right song, it must be complete and must end in “suskewiet, also called the finch’s stroke. All correct songs are registered for one hour on a black wooden stick with chalk. The one with the most registered songs wins the competition. With this project, Filip Van Dingenen aims to raise awareness by listening and learning from birds, as to shift our dominant human voice into resonance towards potential co-creation of a future landscape. The project will take the shape of several thematic “field stations”, spread throughout the region, which is increasingly becoming a critical zone and aims to develop a new shared language.
The jury has selected Filip Van Dingenen as the winner of the Repairing the Present Residency at Regional S+T+ARTS Center Snowball. By using the Flemish folkloristic tradition of “Suskewiet” as a starting point, Filip not only creates an interesting link to local heritage but also manages to create significant potential for regional collaboration. Notably, this proposal stood out in terms of co-creation & engagement with local communities. The jury is convinced this project has a lot of reflection potential and will have a strong regional impact involving diverse local stakeholders from diverse sectors. The concept of listening to and with another perspective, a non-human perspective, is thought-provoking and incentivises as it raises some interesting questions about the language of the future. Filip Van Dingenen’s practice triggers people to engage & reach out in imagining solutions, changing our perspective of what is already there. In summary, we are curious and eager to find out how this unique proposal will develop.
Built Spaces in a Network(ed) Society
How might we revive the built spaces with the help of digital technologies, to facilitate new sustainable and inclusive economic, social and cultural activities?
The region of South West Flanders is a strongly urbanized area, marked by a rich industrial history. Its territory is characterized by a series of abandoned and vacant yet inspiring built landscapes. Old industrial buildings, religious heritage and empty stores are just a few examples. In light of the European Green Deal and the New Bauhaus, how might we revive those spaces with the help of digital technologies, to facilitate new sustainable and inclusive economic, social and cultural activities?
Circularity (of materials & spaces), Space neutrality, Sustainability & CO2 neutrality, Co-creation & citizen participation, Digital technologies (IoT, AI, VR / AR, blockchain)
Studio Above&Below is a London-based art and technology practice founded by Daria Jelonek (GE) and Perry-James Sugden (UK) after graduating from the Royal College of Art. Their work combines digital art, data and generative systems in order to draw together unseen connections between humans, machines and the environment.
Believing in research-based art, Studio Above&Below often works with scientists, technologists and communities to push the boundaries of digital media for future living. Over the last years, the duo has created groundbreaking artworks using immersive technologies such as Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality in order to make the invisible visible and to give our environment a voice to express itself.
Their work has been shown internationally at institutions and festivals including the RA, Tate Late, V&A London, Nottingham Contemporary, Photophore during the Venice Biennale, Today Art Museum, WRO Biennale, WIRED Japan, HeK Basel and Sonar+D. Previous prizes and fundings include Broadway’s NEAR NOW fellowship, Collusion commission, Lumen Prize (shortlisted), Bloomberg Bursary, the Battersea Sculpture Prize, Factory Berlin x Sonar+D Artist in Residency and the S+T+Arts x Nesta Italia City of the Future prize.
‘Entangled Landscapes’ is an XR experience on smartphones, that enriches the South-West-Flanders landscape with a virtual space in which sculptural augmented species are nourished by local bio inputs. Three site-specific physical installations collect soil, water and air data to nourish the digital species, revealing local biodiversity in a new poetic way.
By using augmented reality, visitors are invited to experience the humbleness of the virtual species, inspired by local animals including birds, fish and insects & all reacting to their changing environment. The XR artwork is to be experienced as a three-dimensional digital murmation system representing the abstracted digital species, performing as changing sculptural forms.
The maintenance of biodiversity and rare open spaces in South West-Flanders is a challenge, a delicate balance between ensuring economic productive growth and preserving ecosystems. This balance however is crucial for the present and future of healthy landscapes.
The digital experience created by Studio Above&Below will act as a catalyst to teach users about the entanglement of biodiversity and its reaction to the changing quality of soil, water and air. It also acts as a poetic measuring tool for exploring the local prestigious landscapes using digital immersion to push the boundaries of how people experience information within their environment.
Combining art, technology and bio inputs, this project is part of Above&Below’s series of augmented sculptures which give nature a voice to express itself aiming to create a more balanced relationship between nature and humans, using live data inputs, research and poetic storytelling.
The jury has selected Studio Above & Below as a winner of the Repairing the Present Residency at Regional S+T+ARTS Center Snowball. This project aims to reveal the local biodiversity in a new and exciting way while providing critical insights into the regional condition of the landscape. The project proposal “Entangled Landscapes” relates perfectly to the S+T+ARTS DNA, with an appealing scientific basis that makes use of local (air, soil, water) data and contains a perfect mix of (digital) technologies. By giving a voice to nature and translating it into a mixed reality experience, Studio Above&Below will communicate with a large audience beyond the arts community. This project will involve different local communities and will create real interaction. The poetic visualization of landscape conditions through AR technology enables tremendously complex issues to resonate with us.