On a different soil

On a different soil. Growth in art, society and culture

An international conference, organized within the framework of the project TIK – Time Inventors’ Kabinet, and as an accompanying program of Science and Technology Week 2011

November 10 – 11 Nová scéna (Národní 4, Prague)



Thursday November 10

Utopia of the garden. Urban and rural gardens and today’s green utopias

Could one say that art degenerates as it approaches gardening? (Robert Smithson – A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects, 1968)

The aim of the conference is to look at the changing approaches to the soil, and the subjects of growth and growing in society, culture and art, in urban and rural contexts. At the same time, we try to challenge the simplyfiying concepts of nature and natural, as presented in the arts. It is often in the arts though, where the various influential phantasies concerning nature emerge.

We want to confront artistic approaches with views by ecologists, biologists, eco-activists, economists, non profit organizations and foundations, about subjects like: (city) gardening and agriculture, transformation of city flora and fauna, relationship between urban and rural, philosophies of the garden, sustainability of cities and villages, long-term growth in economics (participatory economics, economical de-growth, natural capitalism etc.).

Artists often comment on the dissolving of the natural, cultural, and technological. Artistic approaches are often used as a political tool in the praxis of transforming the environment. Can aesthetics play a key role in the process. How and for what purposes are the newly emerging green spaces used by artists? To what extend are visions of the cities-as-gardens and its inhabitants in the roles of gardeners, just another utopian phantasy? How do the actual city forms of gardening look like: green spaces with open access (open greens), guerilla gardening, rooftop or vertical gardens, (so called) beautifying alliances. How are the permacultural processes reflected in the city planning? What are the most inspiring models of ecological towns and villages?

Friday November 11

In the wind. Art of the ecological time

Discussions about ecological time, slow food, growth and de-growth. Presentation of art projects – artists as gardeners, beekeepers, fruiters, farmers, growers, mushroom pickers, cooks, herbalists, barometers and indicators of pollution…

We are starting at 11:11:11 with the participatory brunch by Filip Kavka Smiggles.

7: 30 PM wind clock concert In the wind (Re:wind time)

Where the wind blows (exhibition)

November 10 – 13, Nová scéna (Národní 4, Prague)

The exhibition is focused on the artworks, using the natural processes. It will present the installations, using the wind energy, The Hanging Garden, using DIY hydrophonic system, open greens database, laundry clocks and other projects.

The event is organized together with Okno, within the EU-supported project Time Inventors’ Kabinet (TIK).

Additional program:


November 8 – 9 workshop of making The Hanging Garden, a DIY hydrophonic system from recycled material, with Kyd Campbell. More info here: Window Farms. The installation will be a part of the exhibition, there will be the possibility to adopt the plants after the exhibition is over.

Saturday, Nov. 12 Night archaeology class with geobotanic Jan Albert Šturma.


The event will have a free rural continuation in Spring / Summer 2012 in Vysočina, in the form of village festival and conference:

Rural paradises?

Presentation of art, ecological, cultural projects in Vysočina

The aim of the international meeting of rural organizations is to offer a new view of the countryside as a resource for artists, and present various artistic, ecological and cultural initiatives of the region. Discussion about today’s relations between urban and rural spaces, e.g. concerning the mutating relationship to the soil and space. What has happened with the old agricultural estates, former industrial zones, cinemas, cultural centres, barracks, farads/parishes, secularized churches? What sense and meaning did the rural art colonies have in the past, and how are they defining their roles today?

With the support of:

Cooperation: Nová scéne Národního divadla

Media partner: Artmap.cz