Salzburger Kunstverein, Sunset Kino
July 25th - August 29th, 2018
Earthly Mutations brings together a curated selection of artists’ films and performative screenings exploring the rapidly evolving relationship between nature and technology. The program embraces this vast topic from the specific perspective of the mutual influence among science fiction imagery, artistic experimentation and breakthrough technologies in communication, cinematography, flight and space exploration.
Since the beginning of the modern age, the world has become increasingly wired, networked, hyperlinked. The immediate transmission of information and the acceleration of transports created an illusion of proximity among humans, shrunk the distances we perceive and progressively blurred the difference between the virtual and the real (Manu Luksch, “Dreams Rewired”, co-directed with Martin Reinhart and Thomas Tode). Innovation is the new paradigm in a world that is quickly mutating around us. But how much of it can we really grasp? Life evolves in and out of our digital existence, splitting our presence between the tangible and the virtual world, sometimes without us noticing the transitions (Michael Snow’s “Corpus Callosum”).
The force of gravity, once the source of our system of reference and representation, will probably not be a stable reference in the future. With spaceflight technology being currently developed by private companies, the experience of outer space and microgravity becomes a closer reality. We are gradually abandoning the surface of the Earth and the physical constraints imposed by gravity to experience weightlessness and possibly settle on other planets (Bjørn Melhus, “Gravity Matters”). In 1968, for the first time, we took enough distance from the Earth to fit the entire planet into one image (the Earthrise). This event transformed us into a planetary culture, in which national boundaries still exist but become increasingly blurred in our representation and imagery, in our critical ability to understand the space we inhabit. With the Earthrise, a new collective awareness on the fragility of our planet emerged, and with it the worry for the future of our species and for all living beings on the planet, threatened by both the development of weapons of mass destruction and the increasing pollution, consumption, overpopulation. Will we be the authors of our own extinction? Will we develop our technology quickly enough to become an interplanetary species before this happens? Will more intelligent living beings find our maps and artifacts and reconstruct our history in a future archaeology (Bady Minck, “MappaMundi”, “In the Beginning was the Eye”)?
Grounded to Earth for the time being, we need to develop strategies to inhabit the planet in a more sustainable way and to live together with its creatures by establishing relationships based on interspecies support rather than coercion, on mutual understanding rather than oppression (Fabrizio Terranova, “Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival”).
Through five screening programs introduced by the artists, Earthly Mutations departs from a human, gravity-driven perspective of vision in search for other ways of seeing and representing with moving images. It exhorts us to reflect critically on how technological advance rapidly modifies our ways of seeing, behaving, connecting with others in our present, also allowing for the introduction of speculative narratives about the future of our life on this planet - and beyond.
JULY 25th, 2018 - Manu Luksch
DREAMS REWIRED, co-directed with Martin Reinhart and Thomas Tode
introduced by Vanina Saracino
AUGUST 1st, 2018 - Bjørn Melhus
GRAVITY MATTERS (performative screening)
AUGUST 15th, 2018 - Michael Snow
AUGUST 22nd, 2018 - Bady Minck
IM ANFANG WAR DER BLICK and MAPPAMUNDI (introduced by the artist)
AUGUST 29th, 2018 - Fabrizio Terranova
DONNA HARAWAY: STORY TELLING FOR EARTHLY SURVIVAL