Berlin Exhibition “SEED SYSTEMS: Speculative Ecologies in XR Art Today”

Berlin, Germany, 8th September 2022 – Grappling with climate change and collective cooperation, a collaboration emerges as the XR art exhibition: Seed Systems. Six international artists who specialize in virtual world-building and plant knowledge, explore speculative approaches to future human-nature relationships, using new digital media art to cultivate an immersive garden of growth and foliage.

Surpassing borders and moving between realities, Seed Systems brings perspectives from other places to Berlin as an exchange between the exhibition visitors and artists responding to our current climate crisis and envisioning potential futures together.

Artists showcased in this exclusive immersive exhibition are Alison Bennett (AUS),
Nicholas Delap (UK), Matthew D. Gantt (US), Mohsen Hazrati (IRN/DE), Nadine
Kolodziey (DE), and Lauren Moffatt (AUS/DE).

In the age of extractivist anthropocene, nature is dominated by human impact. We built capitalistic structures by extracting and selling natural resources for our own benefit. The dramatic increase in CO2 emissions since the Industrial Revolution and the devastating effects of human activities on the global environment have profoundly changed the Earth system. Escalating climate disasters like wildfires,floodings or freezings claim a change in overall behavior. The resulting environmental precarity underlines the need for new, innovative visions of the future.

Grappling with these topics, a collaborative cultivation emerges as the XR art exhibition Seed Systems: Speculative Ecologies in XR Art Today. Six international artists use augmented and virtual realities to explore speculative approaches to future human-nature relationships, shaping a spatial and sonic occurrence of growth and foliage. They unite their expertise in virtual world building and plant knowledge, shaping alternative ecologies and biologies. The artworks create networks and systems of seeds as future concepts for environments.
Activated in XR through computer generated images (CGI), animation, point clouds and interactions, the digital biosphere – nourished by visions – grows as a space for meeting and for reflection. In this speculative approach, new possibilities for action, care-taking, and reciprocity flourish, visualizing a needed change in perspective.

Following the concept of neo-ecologies, virtual technologies are used to provoke new states of being, illustrating visions of our futures. Interactive Extended Realities(XR) immerse us into speculative ecosystems and divergent futures emerging as a digital garden, where growth is as inevitable as decay. Within the exploration of possibilities, the tensions and futility of human impact are deeply rooted. In this discourse, humans’ inevitable depletion of resources is the critical object of consideration.

Alison Bennett considers Australian native flowers as celestial encounters by exploring vegetal thinking, digital gardening and post-human neuroqueer phenomenology through today’s possibilities of expanded photography. Nicholas Delap examines histories of folklore and the Nettle plant; a mysterious and overlooked plant whose medicinal qualities make it one of the most potent healing tools widely available. Matthew D. Gantt interconnects responsive sound elements with the visual, engaging with Brian Eno’s notion of generative electronic music as bottom-up gardening – emergent structures flourish with no predicated finale. Mohsen Hazrati creates a virtual bioluminescence with a metaphorical approach to understanding wine as an alternative source of energy, which he reflects within the context of Iranian culture. Nadine Kolodziey explores how to plant something digital and intangible in a physical space, while playfully questioning future interactions within our technologized environment. Lauren Moffatt establishes cycles of flourish and decay in nature, examining the way in which different virtual and physical ecosystems become linked by human movement and behavior.

Inspired by gardens that carefully construct spaces of experience and discourse, the exhibition considers how new media can be used to reimagine ecological systems and facilitate mindful, inclusive futures. Planting seeds of reflection and growth raises questions of what we can do at a small scale to initiate patterns for the greater system. Should this practice be considered rebellious, productive, or promising? Can this artistic activism really contribute to the positive development of the ecology of our planet? How can the influence of humankind be changed positively?

Exhibition Information and Schedule
Initiated by STYLY
Curated by Miriam Arbus (Sky Fine Foods) and Peggy Schoenegge (peer to space)
In cooperation with SOMA Berlin and Radiance
At: SOMA 300 Berlin, Eylauer Strasse 9, 10965 Berlin (DE) and online via STYLY
Duration: September 10 – 30, 2022
Opening: September 9, 2022, 6 – 10 pm
Closing event: September 30, 2022, 12-6 pm
Accompanying Event Schedule TBA on Instagram >>> Follow
@stylyglobal
@peertospace
@skyfinefoods
@radiance_vr