The project is curated by Nikola Bojić and produced by Drugo more, within Dopolavoro, one of the flagship projects of Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture.
Terra Effluviens is a project evolved from and around the rare archival material – the 1971 study “Systematization of the Human Environment”. Published in Yugoslavia, in the midst of the Cold War tensions, rising environmental concerns and competing techno–futurological predictions, this study presents a unique case. It was a complex elaboration of the planetary future articulated as a stack of ecosystemic models, visualized in a series of spectacular diagrams that provide a deep dive into entanglements of human, technological and natural systems. The study is a visual tour de force, a sophisticated “discursive device” that transgresses the logic of cybernetic feedback loops, challenges the linearity of time, flexibility of spatial scales and the agency of a subject in the era of irreversible environmental crisis. Nevertheless, to this day this “device” has never been used. Contrary to its influential contemporaries such as “The Limits to Growth” or “Gaia Hypothesis”, due to the turbulent historical circumstances only a few printed copies of the study remained forgotten in archives.
Almost fifty years later, the project Terra Effluviens brings back the diagrams to life and to the specific site – the city of Rijeka. This is not a coincidence. Due to the sea/river ecologies, meshed with the thick stratigraphy of industrial/ logistical infrastructures, the study analysed Rijeka as an ecosystem to rethink the possible environmental future. In Croatian, word “rijeka” translates to “river”, but it could be also understood as a stream of interdependent human and natural systems that give life to the city. In other words, Rijeka is a form of terra effluviens, a city in permanent liquid state, where different streams filter through the soil, land and territory, recomposing the notion biological, economical and political into a condensed sample of our current planetary condition.
By interlinking the diagrams from the archival materials with the site-specific theoretical, artistic and design research, the workshop aims to examine spatiality, materiality and true political capacities of our engagement with the Anthropocene. It seeks to find a way to embrace radical uncertainty and negotiate new alliances between organic and inorganic matter, geological, technological and social realms, our and other species. The project will involve a number of international researchers, both students and experts in the series of site excavations, design speculations, discursive and prototyping events, performed in the workshop (November 2019) and presented in the exhibition (March 2020) within Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture.
During the three days, seminar/workshop will be organised around three interrelated thematic lines:
Day 1) Systems – digs into contemporary, but also yet unseen archival materials from sixties and seventies, dealing with future predictions, cybernetics, system theories and ecosystems thinking. The program line tends to diagram the fluid theoretical terrain for affective engagement with the current planetary condition.
Day 2) Flows – resonates with Rijeka (the river) as an immersive setting for a discussion on the series of cases where rivers carry stream of emerging social, techno-industrial, and hyper-engineered environments, characteristic for the post-human idea of nature.
Day 3) Species – shifts from the broader territorial realm of rivers and shores, to the wet material realm of human / non-human/ more-than-human exchanges. The program line aims to pose questions, but also propose scenarios where future forms of environmental justice can emerge only from sympoietic interplay between different species.
Lectures and discussions will be in English and open to public.
Program in Art, Culture and Technology, MIT, Cambridge
Gediminas Urbonas is artist, educator, and co-founder of the Urbonas Studio (together with Nomeda Urbonas), an interdisciplinary research practice that facilitates exchange amongst diverse nodes of knowledge production and artistic practice in pursuit of projects that transform civic spaces and collective imaginaries. The Urbonas’s work has been exhibited at the São Paulo, Berlin, Moscow, Lyon, and Gwangju, Busan Biennales and Folkestone Triennial; at the Manifesta and Documenta exhibitions; and in solo shows at the Venice Biennale and the MACBA in Barcelona among others. Urbonas co-edited Public Space? Lost and Found (MIT Press, 2017) an examination of the complex interrelations between the creation and uses of public space and the roles that art plays therein. Urbonas 5 year-long research project on Zooetics exploring the potential to connect with the noetics and poetics of non-human life in the context of the planetary ecological imbalance, concluded in 2018 with the symposium at MIT and opened a new research program focusing on sympoiesis. Urbonases curated the “Swamp Pavilion” – future learning environment at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. Gediminas Urbonas is Associate Professor at the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (MIT).
Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Sheffield
Armina Pilav is feminist, architect, researcher and lecturer at the Department of Landscape Architecture, The University of Sheffield. She received the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship for her Un-war Space research (2016-2018) developed at the Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment – TU Delft. Armina research, practice and teaching intersects and focuses on politics of re-presentation and re-production of physical, mediated space, bodily experiences in extreme conditions of the war destruction or other disaster condition. Armina uses cross-media tools, psychospatiality and radical observations to explore ecologies of transformations of rivers, land and related natural forms, architectures and society during and after the wartime. Her work explores and creates in the same time different processes and spaces as are archiving practices, transitional architectures, impermanent organization of humans/non-humans within the post-traumatic landscape systems. She publishes in magazines and academic journals, exhibits regularly, and her recent research on destruction of Sarajevo, Mostar and inhabitant’s transformation of violence has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2018), as part of the Architecture of Shame project in Matera in July 2019. Armina is a member of the Association for Culture and Art Crvena in Sarajevo.
Computer-Aided Architectural Design, ETH, Zurich
Miro Roman is an architect and a scholar. His main focus is on the overlap of information technologies and architectural articulations. Miro explores, designs, codes, and writes about architecture while playing with a lot; with all the buildings, books, movies, and images; with clouds, avatars, streams, lists, indexes, and pixels. What is an abundance of information about, how to handle it, and how does it shape the way we think about the world? To navigate and surf this vast flows, Miro codes and articulates synthetic alphabets.
Miro is currently a lecturer and a postdoctoral researcher at the chair for Computer-Aided Architectural Design at ETH Zurich. From 2004 to 2017 he collaborated with Luka Vlahović on the project romanvlahovic. From 2013 to 2015 he was a part of the Future Cities Laboratory, the interdisciplinary research programme of the Singapore ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability (SEC), where he coedited A Quantum City book.
Department of Architecture, Hong Kong University
Merve Bedir studied architecture in Middle East Technical University (Ankara), and Delft University of Technology. Her work relates to the human and nonhuman agencies of labour, migration, commons, and their spatial aspects. She is the co-founder of Rotterdam and Hong Kong based research and design office Land and Civilization Compositions, and Aformal Academy, an experimental design school in Hong Kong. Merve Bedir is a founding member of women collective “Kitchen” in Gaziantep, and Center for Spatial Justice, in Istanbul. She is adjunct assistant professor in Hong Kong University, Department of Architecture. Merve curated Uncommon River (Maritsa River, Plovdiv, 2014), Vocabulary of Hospitality (Istanbul, 2015), Automated Landscapes (Shenzhen, 2018). Her work took part in Venice (2012), Istanbul Design (2016, 2018), Shenzhen (2013, 2015) Biennales, and Oslo Triennale (2016). She wrote in Harvard Design Magazine, Thresholds, AD Magazine, Funambulist, among others. Her work was reviewed in The Guardian and Avery Review.
Arts Academy,Visual Communications Design, University of Split
Ivica Mitrović is the assistant professor at the department of Visual Communications Design at the Arts Academy, where he teaches Interaction Design. Since 2001 he has been working on promoting and introducing the Interaction Design (later Critical and Speculative Design). In 2012 his book Designing New Media, Design and the New Media – Croatian Context (1995 – 2010) was published. He was Principle Investigator and WP leader in the FP7 FET project Urban IxD – Designing Human Interactions in the Networked City(2013-2014). As a part of the project he hosted highly successful UrbanIxD Summer School followed by the City | Data | Future – Interactions in Hybrid Urban Space exhibition (and catalogue) (Split, Venice, Aarhus, Pula, Rijeka, Zagreb, Ljubljana). Together with Oleg Šuran, he was selected as curator for the presentation of the Republic of Croatia at The XXI International Exhibition of the Triennale di Milano (2016). He was also co-editor of the accompanied booklet Speculative – Post-Design Practice or New Utopia?. He was vice president of the Croatian Designer Association and member of steering committee (2013 –2016). He is coordinator of the newly-launched Erasmus+ (KA2, Strategic partnerships) two-year international project SpeculativeEdu–Speculative Design – Educational Resource Toolkit.
Donato Ricci is a designer and researcher. He specialises in the use of Design Methods in Human and Social Sciences. He followed the design aspects of Bruno Latour’s AIME project with whom he co-curated the Reset Modernity!exhibition at ZKM Karlsruhe and at the Shanghai Himalayas Museum. From 2005 to 2012 he has been involved in the development of the DensityDesign Lab’s research programs. Here he started and deepened his interest in exploring the role of visual languages and digital data to increase public engagement in complex social issues. He is Assistant Professor of “Representação e Conhecimento” (Knowledge and Representation) at the Universidade de Aveiro. In his courses he exposes the representational mechanisms of diagrams and maps, repurposing them for Design practices. He is part of the SPEAP Programme in Political Arts within SciencesPo School of Public Affairs, where he fosters the use of political design as trigger for social change.His work has been featured in several conferences and exhibitions (Medialab Prado – Visualizar; SIGGRAPH Conference; MIT Humanities + Digital Conference, The Art of Network), publications and showcases (Data Flow; Information Graphics; Visual Complexity; Visual storytelling). He received a silver and a bronze at the Malofiej-Awards, and selected, 2018, for the ADI Design Index.
Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University
Louise Carver’s research considers the political ecology and political economies of value and valuation in shifting relations between nature cultures. Specifically, she is interested in the ways in which ‘Anthropocene’ debates are extrapolated and mobilised by existing knowledge communities through instruments and narratives of financialisations, markets and policy. Dr Carver’s doctoral research (2013-2017) was part of the Leverhulme Centre for the Study of Value at Birkbeck, University of London, and examined how valuation technologies are designed and used in conservation and biodiversity offsetting strategies. Drawing on Science and Technology Studies, human geography and theories of value, Carver’s research critically elaborates moments of translation between scientific knowledge and policy, economics and ecology in ‘green’ capitalism and biological conservation, attending to the socio-technical assemblages that comprise these domains. Her current research practices are preoccupied with tracing these performative relations while finding ways to intervene and disrupt them with affirmative world-making practices arising through artistic engagements.
Instituteof Experimental Design and Media Cultures FHNW, Basel
Jamie Allen investigates what technologies teach us about who we are as people, cultures and societies. He has been an electronics engineer, a polymer chemist, and an exhibition designer. Allen works at the intersection of art, design, ecology, science, and technology and is occupied with the creation of prefigurative institutions that aregenerous and collaborative, acknowledging that friendship, passion, and love are central to knowledge practices like art and research. He likes to make things with his head and hands — experiments into the material systems of media, electricity, and information as artworks, events, and writing. Among other projects, Jamie co-developed Shift Register, an transdisciplinary investigation into how human technological and infrastructural activities have marked the earth. He has done research, lectured and exhibited worldwide, including Transmediale Berlin, ZKM Karlsruhe, NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, the Pratt Institute of Art and Design, Hanyang University in Seoul, and lectured at Parsons and the Royal College of Art in London. Jamie is currently Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure, Media & Communications and Senior Researcher at the Critical Media Lab Basel, Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures FHNW.
Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb
Idis Turato is an architect and a professor at the Faculty of Architecture on University of Zagreb and a guest professor on Faculties of architecture in Belgrade, Split and Ljubljana. In 1992, together with Saša Randić, he co-founded architecture office Randić Turato and in 2009 he started his own office – Arhitektonski biro Turato. He received numerous architecture awards; in 2005 he won Piranesi award for Elementary school Fran Krsto Frankopan. Nine times his projects were nominated for Mies Van der Rohe Award, and he won all of the most important Croatian architecture awards; Viktor Kovačić, Drago Galić and Vladimir Nazor. He presented Croatia at the 10th Architecture Biennale in Venice with the project “In Between” and at the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale, with group of Croatian architects, with the project “Pavilion”. He was part of the team behind the concept of winning program “Port of Diversity” getting Rijeka to be European Capital of Culture in 2020, and is the leader of one of the flagships inside the project “Sweet & Salt”. For the past 5 years he has been running his on-line blog in intensive weekly rhythm, publishing texts, articles and comments within architecture, art, fashion and connected topics.
Ida Križaj Leko
Delta Lab, Rijeka
Ida Križaj Leko studied at the Faculty of Architecture (University of Zagreb) where she got the degree Master of Architecture. In 2005 she participated in Master Class ”Flood Resistant Housing” led by Greg Lynn as a part of International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam. While studying and after receiving her degree she worked in various architectural offices as a project designer. In 2012 started working as a freelance architect in Rijeka and later formalized her practice through her own architectural office. In 2014 she received the national award ”Viktor Kovačić” as a part of a team who designed Sport’s Hall and Public Square in Krk. In 2018 she received another national award, ”Bernardo Bernardi” in co-authorship with Ana Boljar for interior design of RiHub – coworking space as part of the project Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture. Her interests from 2005 onwards shift between real practice and speculation imaginary.
Gary Zhexi Zhang
Artist and Writer
Gary Zhexi Zhang is an artist andwriter interested in socio-technical objects. His work explores decentralised organisations such as mycelia and markets within the context of aesthetics, cryptography and work. Recent exhibitions include Cross-feed at Glasgow International (2018),(online), ALL CHANNELS OPEN at Wysing Arts Centre, Bourn. He is currently a UK associate artist at Delfina Foundation, London and a visiting fellow at Sakiya: Art, Science and Agriculture, Ramallah. He is a co-founder of Foreign Objects LLC (NEW INC. 2019-20), a research consultancy that works with the internet. Recent publications include essays in Resisting Reduction (MIT) and Steve Bishop: Deliquescence (Sternberg).
Program in Art, Culture and Technology, MIT, Cambridge
Nikola Bojić is a designer and art historian. He was a visiting lecturer at the Art, Culture, and Technology program at MIT (SA+P), where co-taught an advanced studio on the production of space which dealt with the problem of models and modelling. Bojić published an artist book The Excavations and was a guest editor of the 96th issue of The Life of Art magazine focused on the relations between cartographic and territorial realms. Currently, he is a research affiliate at ACT/MIT and a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Art History in Zagreb. His public art projects have been realized in Algeria, Croatia, and China and his design research has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, La Triennale di Milano and Venice Biennale of Architecture. Nikola holds a master degree in Art history and Information sciences from the University of Zagreb and a postgraduate master degree in Design Studies from Harvard Graduate School of Design.