As it would not be possible to study the whole Critical Zone,?scientists gather sets of instruments at specific observatories,?such as the Taroko Gorge in the center of Taiwan. It was chosen?because the geographic dynamics such as earthquake, landslide,?erosion, and weathering are particularly active there. Once these?processes are measured, the collected data are analyzed in labs?off site such as the GFZ in Potsdam. The artist was given the?opportunity to conduct a residency in Taroko and in Germany. Coastal land subsidence results from over-pumping groundwater, a worldwide extractivist phenomenon from Jakarta?to New Orleans, but especially in fish and shrimp ponds across Thailand and the Philippines. In such places, the surface of?the Earth becomes a malleable skin mirroring the imbalance?of the fluid extracted from the planetary body. Since the 1990s,?the southwest coastal regions of Taiwan have been sinking?almost 10 cm per year. In the face of intensive aquaculture that?makes entire regions subside, one wonders what a transition?from pumping-dependent territories could look like. The collective of designers FabLab Dynamic is interested in?the creation of lamps using alternative sources of energy.?In this case, the acid produced by the plants via photosynthesis?drives these devices to generate the electricity required to power?the LED lights. In order to create this self-powered system,?this project is illuminated by 60 sets of high-voltage electrodes?to light up the lamps, which need regular maintenance. These?LED lights go on at a preset power, so as to offer constant light?wavelengths that stimulate the plants’ growth.? A large part of life activity happens under your feet. For example,?intertwined with the roots of the trees are fungi composed of?a fascinating network of mycelium. Under the Cold River Bed, 2020.
The Nahr el Bared refugee camp is approximately 100 km away?from Beirut lying on the north Lebanese coastal road leading to?Syria. Coming from a Paiwan tribe in southern Taiwan, Aruwai?Kaumakan creates sculptures with wool, cotton, copper, silk,?and glass beads, weaving organic or vegetal forms. She uses?“Lemikalik”—a Paiwan technique that consists in weaving in?concentric circles—intertwining life memories of tribal nobility?to form a place for constant conversation and connection. Lithium is broadly distributed in the oceans and those parts of the earth’s surface that contain metals. It is the lightest?metal and the lightest solid element. It is highly reactive and?flammable. Today, battery storage technology is widely used?across a broad spectrum of fields. As the core component?of power supplies, lithium ions are in increasingly high demand,?refined from deposits in such places as the Salar de Uyuni in?the Andes Mountains and Lake Zabuye on the Tibetan Plateau. In his video installation, Uriel Orlow deals with Artemisia afra,?an indigenous medicinal plant that effectively treats and? prevents?malaria and can be taken as an infusion. Nevertheless, it is not?recommended as a treatment by the World Health Organisation, which favors the pharmaceutical industry and its global reach. Scientists observing the Critical Zone place some tools?outdoors in the Taroko Gorge site. They have notably installed?near-real-time monitoring networks to investigate how?landslides are driven by the weather, and also how landslides?affect the climate. Cameras, seismometers, and weather stations?replace the body of the observer to see beyond the scale of the?human perception system. With video installation work Frame?of Reference artist Su Yu-Hsin addresses the question of formatting?scalar relations between the field, laboratory and database.?What role do images play in the field work of the Critical Zone? Observation is a key process in becoming sensitive to the Critical Zone. In Cemelesai’s drawings, the plants, fungi, and other forms of vegetation, depicted with a great deal of precision and detail with their geometric and repetitive patterns, are the result of such observation. And yet the artist could not look at them directly but had to recall his memories of what their shape was. Why? Because some of the species of plants that he used to see and observe as a child seem to have disappeared today. He therefore creates an inventory, which oscillates between the precision of his observation and the fantasy of what his memories allow him to recall. The ocean is a sensorium: it records in its complex dynamics the transformations of the Earth, and it inscribes back in the?dynamics of life its own cycles. The ocean is the most dynamic?and sensitive component of our living planet. Today, the ocean?is rapidly changing: it is registering in its circulations, habitats,?and ecologies the impact of complex energy-intensive human?activities. How can we become sensitive to these transformations??How can we think from and with the ocean?? In the context of the fraught history of rice cultivation and?distribution in Bengal, the work juxtaposes cyanotypes of rice?grains and plants with archive documents and photographs?from one of the largest community grain banks in the country.?In Bengal rice production was curtailed by indigo and jute?cultivation imposed for the world market by the British colonial?system. Armitage gathers his images from a wide range of sources?including news and social media, his own personal memories?and drawings from life. He paints in oil on Lubugo bark cloth?made from the Mutuba tree, which has been harvested from?trees in Uganda and is more commonly used in making sacred?or ceremonial fabrics. He stretches the cloth across a frame,?incorporating the resultant tears and sutures into the overall texture and composition of the image. This installation explores the myriad ways in which cinema has?imagined, represented, and incarnated encounters between?beings that are commonly seen as belonging to different realms.?Assembling excerpts from films where protagonists of our one?plural world, or pluriverse, namely humans, animals, plants,?minerals, water, fog, ghosts, and spirits come into contact,?mediate, affect, fuse, or transform one another, visitors will be?invited to wander and wonder, in a scenography of screens?convening around poetic and sensate motifs. In the garden besides the south entrance of the museum,?a beehive grows on the head of the sculpture of a woman.?Pierre Huyghe seeks less to build objects with well-defined edges, frozen in marble like a modernist sculpture, than to?create systems in which the inanimate and the living, mineral,?animal, plant, the symbolic and the real are undifferentiated,?in works that are ultimately “self-organizing” and “co-evolving.” The School of Mutants engages in an ongoing investigation?into representations of futurity on the African continent,?with a focus on post-independence architecture in Africa and?political utopias in Senegal. The construction of the University?of African Future, a 1990s transnational cooperation project?funded in part by Taiwan in the framework of its diplomatic?efforts in West Africa, was never completed.  (a mathematical sign for incomplete infinity) proposes an?interplay between fullness and void, continuity and interruption, which appeals to transit states. Virus Series, 2020

Three years ago, in the South of Taiwan, a group of young?people from Cemelesai’s tribe contracted a mysterious?disease after doing field research in their traditional territories.? Inside of the wall is nested an ecosystem where natural forms organically merge with digital life forms. Swamp Intelligence is based on a NoPlace Neural Network (NNN), a variant of a conditional AI (artificial intelligence), used to unveil neural network abilities to generate novel visual imagery. Becoming terrestrial implies rethinking all means of production, including cultural networks. This project develops a series of actions, studies, and workshops that deal with the political significance of the atmospheric reality of exhibition-making.


Where to go if you know that the modernizing project of planet GLOBALIZATION is going nowhere? Literally, if it takes the resources of six Earths to live the Modern way of life, what do you do if you want to live within the limits of one single planet?

It might be time to land on earth for good and see where we might have to reside together. A different earth, for sure.

Landing on the planet Terrestrial requires learning to look at Earth in a different way: locked within the critical zone and bound to planetary limits. Because it is still difficult to understand what it could look like, we propose a set of ways to approach it.