art and earth – Think Twice workshop and provocation

Think Twice performed on the 12th of February 2019 a dedicated workshop on the topic of the relationship between the cultural and natural spheres. the workshop was performed during one of the instances of the Leiden University Master of Arts class “art and earth” inspired by Bruno Latour’s Facing Gaia.

the Think Twice team began by introducing the research of Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and Déborah Danowski, “Is there Any World to Come?” we asked the class to discuss the reading. the answers hinted at an interest on the concept of civilisation itself, in an attempt to observe the ecological standing of the “amerindian” perspective of what is nature and what is culture. however the class also pointed out how critically and inherently “western” the contribution of one of the authors was, because of his evident poststructuralist formation. however it was also mentioned how the relationship between nature and culture, in the reading, was implied to be of identification: we have several natures and we share the same culture.

an artist who anticipated this movement by erasing the line between culture and nature is Lygia Clark. within the framing of the workshop, we enacted an experience/situation/performance inspired by her Proposição “Canibalismo.” once the experience was concluded, the class tried to unpack it in a group via the use of single words to describe their experience. some of the words leaned towards the sensorial sphere and the experience of gradual acclimation to intimacy. others leaned towards the relationality between humans of mutual support and trust. some described the relationship between humans and nature and its exploitative undertone.

the group concluded by discussing whether the blurring of the lines between culture and nature, could actually help humans in taking better care of the environment by quit treating nature as an object but bringing it about as a peer. whereas it is impossible to give a straight answer to this issue, we hope that the workshop will stir up the debate and provoke the participants in researching more in-depth on the topic.

references

Latour, Bruno. 2017. Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime. second edition. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Excerpt of Danowski, Déborah, and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro. “Hà mundo por vir? Ensaio sobre os medos e os fins.” 2014. Cultura e Barbarié. English translation forthcoming. 2016. Polity Press.

Butler, Cornelia H., Lygia Clark, Luis Pérez-Oramas, and Antonio Sergio Bessa. 2014. Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948-1988. New York: MoMA.