Troubled Gardens

Curated Research Program
a.pass, Brussels, 2018


Research is an ecosystem writing ecosystems.

The earth faces trouble of a kind humanity has never before experienced: climate change induced by humankind is dramatically destructive and now potentially unavoidable. The catastrophe mirrors the impossibility of hierarchical and divided understandings between nature and culture while forcing us to see all vital cycles – whether social, ecological, technological, cultural, mental, emotional, economic, etc. – as independent ecosystems.

Knowing the sensitivity and complexity of these ecosystems, this research program asked: how does artistic practice and research act within destroyed ecosystems? How can research be understood as a transformative part of their predicament – knowing that we are troubling ecosystems ourselves?

This collective research program challenges individual research as living creatures and companions within ecosystems. Hyper-related, affecting, and never singular, the research is, however, in harmony with it’s surrounding. We cannot ignore the influence of these aspects, but we are also unaware of the performance of these influences on our practice.

Therefore, this research program IN-vited the participants OUT. To investigate and experience behavior as an ecosystem better than in the OUTSIDE – an outside that immediately takes us in and makes us a part of it! All activities have taken place where weather and biosphere meet industrial performance, migrant activities, walls, traffic, sun, etc. Our companions were guest artists and lecturers, plants, ants, and anyone and anything crossing our minds. With a similar perspective, we invited each other’s research practices and questions into our own, woven as a dense texture of entangled discourse. The method of adopting aspects of each other’s research regarding this “adoptee-aspect” as an integral part of our own practice provided a practical workflow for the making of this texture.