At the crossroads of contemporary art, biomedical research and attention to the other in a post COVID-19 society, this 2022 edition of the OPEN SOURCE BODY Festival, conceived in partnership with the Cité internationale des arts, brought together 30 artists and 4 European partners: Bioart Society (Finland), Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology (Denmark), Waag Futurelab (Netherlands), Kersnikova Institute (Slovenia).
More Than Living: Editorial
In Theodore Sturgeon’s science fiction novel The More Than Human (1953), a group of humans with unusual disabilities and powers enter into a symbiotic relationship to create a self-sustaining living organism, composed of several individuals.
This concept of “More-Than-Human” is taken up today in environmental philosophy to counter the nature-culture dualism and the hegemonic exceptionalism of the human.
If the exhibition “More Than Living” marks the need to feel more alive than ever in a post COVID-19 society, it also invites us to take a renewed look, “More Than Human”, at our existences in the terrestrial environment.
Based on multiple atmospheric, evolutionary, affective and bodily studies, the artists lead us to rethink our sensitive relationship to our environment, as well as the gestures and narratives of our evolutionary becoming. Inspired by this renewal of cultural geography in the time of global warming and mass extinctions, More Than Living makes perceptible the vulnerabilities shared between species.
Today we observe a strengthening of technological aids to medical practice, removing more and more the direct contact between the doctor and his patient. Nearly 40 years ago, philosopher and primatologist Donna Haraway introduced a feminist critique of the “cyborg body. Her vision continues to accompany artists when addressing the robotization and technologization of reproduction, prosthetics or body augmentation, and the relationship between a certain militaristic vision of the body developed in science fiction and the medical science in the making.
Finally, the exhibition examines how certain social groups or individuals can be coerced, stigmatised or disenfranchised in a normative society.
Chardronnet & Nataša Petresin-Bachelez
Green Open Food Evolution
Maya Minder, Installation and performance – 2022
Cyanobacteria obtain energy using photosynthesis and, in so doing, release oxygen into the atmosphere. As a result, they are responsible for what is called the Great Oxygenation Event, which took place some 2.4 billion years ago and caused the first mass extinction on Earth. As we observe the acceleration of the Holocene extinction that is the direct result of human activity, we have to ask ourselves how life on Earth will continue to evolve.
humans live in symbiosis with our gut bacteria. With the help of
these non-human allies, we communicate with our environment through
food and ingestion. In Japan for example, horizontal gene transfer
has occurred in the microbiome due to the ancient tradition of eating
seaweed. What would we become if we only ate seaweed and tried to
coevolve with these foreign species from the kingdom of Protista?
Bearing in mind this deep time perspective and the more-than-human multitudes that could take part in a speculative story as yet unwritten, would it be possible to become entirely autotrophic and evolve into Homo Photosyntheticus? Green Open Food Evolution embarks on this journey and incorporates design, performance, biohacking and cooking into an installation and a film that aim to be both open and procedural.
In its role as a “mediakitchen lab”, Green Open Food Evolution questions how biohacking can take into consideration the approach to evolutionary biology propounded by Lynn Margulis, molecular transformation during the cooking process and a cross-disciplinary approach using new media, performance and life itself to activate an architectural structure. “Cooking transforms us” is the starting point for Minder’s practice and her holistic approach for transformation and progression, informed by the many interconnections between food and the act of eating, an approach that mutually fosters care and creates new forms of symbolism, alchemy and storytelling.
ARTIST: Maya MINDER
Maya Minder works in the field of Eatart. Culinary delights are at her table of undigested narration, projecting relational topographies between cultural hybridisation and human coevolution. As a specialist in the lacto-frementation, she works with bacteria, fungi and algae while applying this knowledge into her kitchen, film making, craft and design. Re-imaginating ancestral futures brought alive by embodied knowledge by welcoming co-habitation with non-human agency and entanglement of cross-cultural histories. She uses wild fermentation as a metaphore for human agitation processing raw nature into cooked culture. Following feminist histories, she uses art science and queer theories to combine them with her practice as biohacker.
Maya Minder was in residency at the Cité internationale des arts through the 2021 edition of the “Art Explora x Cité internationale des arts” program.
OF THE WORK: Ewen CHARDRONNET / Maya MINDER / Gabriel VIOLLEAU –
Bientôt Architectes Urbanistes / Victor YVIN & Pacôme GERARD
Designers Artisans CONSTRUCTION: Victor YVIN & Pacôme GERARD
Designers Artisans ACTIVATION: Ewen CHARDRONNET / Maya MINDER
PRODUCTION: Ewen CHARDRONNET & Maya MINDER with ANTRE PEAUX &
ART2M supported by PRO HELVETIA / REGION CENTRE-VAL-DE-LOIRE /