News The Earth is Thinking All Along…

The Earth is Thinking All Along…

The liquid grounds, the frozen mountaintops, the concrete jungles and the deepest ocean troggs, the earth consists of infinite series of local and translocal systems that somehow ‘act as one’, not just by being material assemblages but also in how these systems search to persevere in being, in how they understand, learn and respond to what they encounter. In modern times, the dominant narrative told us that only humans were able to “think properly” and that the more-than-human world was there to serve those humans. Also, these humans were white, European, obviously male, and “well educated”. The current era challenges these notions profoundly. The wounds of ongoing forms of (racial) settler capitalism, are more and more speaking up, through fellow human beings, flora and fauna, but also through the environmental crises that more and more prove its short-sightedness, and failure.

Whether we asked for it or not, art has always been addressing the patterns of perception, by means of which we tend to inform ourselves. It does not so much ‘give a voice to the unheard’, as activists like to claim, but rather reveals this other earth, that many of us couldn’t or wouldn’t see. Playing the sensuous differently, the arts have been immensely important, especially in our time, in questioning and changing our ideas of the earth, the ‘lives’ it gives rise to, and its options for survival.

As all of us are facing these crises of the ecological contemporary, feel the potential force of the upcoming changes, and the existential threat that it is, we all need art, and art of the highest kind, as Deleuze and Guattari said, to become our toolkit for survival.  And thus, as a modest opening bid, to start exploring the earth and the infinity of ideas, it can generate, this exhibition couples groundbreaking artists to groundbreaking philosophers from all over the globe, all of them intrigued by our contemporary more-than-human complexities, to jointly imagine this world otherwise.

Joining forces, the philosopher and the artist experiment, map, and speculate on the earth, situating themselves in the land and the water, finding out in what way art and philosophy are able to take up responsibility for the earth together. We visit the delta cities threatened by the rising sea levels, the swamps and their long histories of life and death, the islands of the pacific and their wholly other forms of life and the sheer endless tundra far away from the salty waters. Not aiming at creating an overview, The Earth is Thinking All Along… offers a bundle of entry points for rethinking the earth, for launching a new “philosophy of land”. An affirmative joint action of artists and philosophers who joyfully propose to change our lives together.




10.00 Welcome and Introduction


10.30            A. Position Papers Session 1
(10-minute presentation, 10-minute discussion)

  1. 10.30: Mutating bodies – Christian Alonso
  2. 11.50: Taiga And Her Forests – Kristiina Koskentola
  3. 11.10: The One Darkness, That Flows – Rick Dolphijn
  4. 11.30: The Liquid Landscape Of Our Situation – Tihomir Topuzovski


11.50- 12.10 Coffee Break


12.10            B. Position Papers Session 2
(10-minute presentation, 10-minute discussion)

  1. 12.10: The Earth As The Non-Objective World – Alex Taek-Gwang Lee
  2. 12.30: Re-Sensing Swamp Life (From Slavic Perspective)- Irena Chawrilska
  3. 12.50: Archipelagic Thinking On Floating Watersheds And Sunk Lands – Toshiya Ueno


13.10            C. Student presentation: Sonic Reflections on the Anthropocene
(Utrecht University in collaboration with several institutes from Skopje)


13.30-14.30 Lunch


14.30            D. Transversal Concepts
(5-minute presentation, plus short discussion):


14.30 Transversal Concepts (5 minute introduction, 10 minute discussion)

14.30 Mutation – Christian Alonso

14.45 Embodied/Enfleshed – Kristiina Koskentola

15.00 Transcoding – Rick Dolphijn

15.15 Landscape – Tihomir Topuzovski

15.30 Weak Technology – Alex Taek-Gwang Lee

15.45 Sense of Care – Irena Chawrilska

16.00 ‘Solidaritude’ (solidarity and solitude) – Toshiya Ueno


16.00- 16.20 Coffee Break


16.20-18.00 E. Towards an Exhibition


19.00 Dinner in town




  1. Mutating bodies

Christian Alonso

This presentation analyzes the work of artists Ferran Lega, Sissel Marie Tonn, Guiu Gimeno Bardis and Marco Noris through the guattarian concept of mutation. The projects explore the sociobiotechnical inscriptions of thyme, the pothuman transversality of plastic, the political potential of queer subjectivities in the rural environment, and the density of stories, memories and experiences that rivers encapsulate. The chosen projects were part of group exhibitions about multispecies communities, the affective power of sound, queer ecologies, and hydrofeminism, produced by the La Panera Art Center (Lleida, Catalonia, Spain). By resorting to critical perspectives, situated methodologies, rigorous research and collaborations with local actors, the works not only manage to map transformations (of landscapes, bodies, materialities, signs) but also instigate a myriad of transformations.

Transversal concept: Mutation


  1. Taiga And Her Forests

Kristiina Koskentola

I will be working with taiga and her forests, mountains, lakes, rivers and ice from Lake Saimaa in Karelia (Finnish side) to Amur River in Manchuria (Northeast China). Whilst the project brings us to two opposite ends of the Russian federation, alongside with other colonized territories, to emphasize the limits (and failure) of human-centred knowledge and agency the inherent human geopolitics are approached via animistic positions and more-than-human knowledge. I collaborate with Manchu shamanic composer and musician Han Xiaohan. The project will manifest in collaborative, polyvocal 3 channel spatial video installation (each with a separate sound), possibly an entangled installation of objects, written essay/ material for the publication, and a performative concert by Han Xiaohan, the last as a part of the possible public program during the exhibition.


Transversal Concept: Embodied/Enfleshed


  1. The One Darkness, That Flows

Rick Dolphijn

In ancient Egypt, the people did not live ‘in a country’. Everybody lived the Black Earth (Kemet), the new rich wetland that, after the flood, could feed them, their companions, their environments. The Nile River (Ar or Aur, which also means ‘black’) included the rains that fell from the sky, whereas the earth also included the sediments that flowed in the river, and that troubled it. So, rather than isolating elements of the ecosphere, the blackness they referred to, should better be seen as ‘the one darkness, that flows’, through land, water and air.

‘The one darkness, that flows’, never just concerned the Nile River and its delta.  Its dark and connective forces create all the deltas in which we live, makes them fertile, and gives rise to its cycles of life. Can we map how different forms of life are occupying these flows creatively, artistically, and play with it? And what are these artists teaching us on how we need to understand the flow anew?

Transversal Concept: transcoding


  1. The Liquid Landscape Of Our Situation

Tihomir Topuzovski

The paper has two primary goals, the first is to understand the anthropocentric liquid landscapes and its overlapping with geopolitical and other ideological surroundings, and the second is what shape this art does and ought to take today in order to address these landscapes, to create a sort of new ethical horizon of engagements, and open up a space for reimaging the human relations at play within a broader nexus of inter and extra human relations.

The paper provides some empirical background by examining various liquid landscapes in Macedonia such as tailings piles, rivers and lakes.


Transversal concept: Landscape


  1. The Earth As The Non-Objective World

Alex Taek-Gwang Lee (Kyung Hee University, South Korea)

In this presentation, I will reframe the concept of the Earth by revisiting the Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich’s notion of The Non-Objective World. Through his Suprematist art, Malevich’s non-objective world sought to transcend the representation of physical objects and the material realm. Instead, it focused on pure abstraction, employing geometric shapes and a limited color palette to evoke a sense of universal, spiritual experience. Malevich’s aim was to strip away the distractions of the physical world to reveal a more profound, essential reality. I will relate this discussion to Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s conception of creating a new Earth, as developed in their influential work A Thousand Plateaus. As Deleuze and Guattari elucidate, the Earth is not merely another force among many, nor is it a substance endowed with form, nor a coded milieu with bounded domains and apportioned shares. Rather, the Earth has become the intimate embrace of all forces, those intrinsic to the Earth itself as well as those of other substances. By juxtaposing Malevich’s non-objective world with Deleuze and Guattari’s conceptualization of the Earth, I will explore the notion of transcending the physical and material realms to access a deeper, more essential reality – a reality that emerges from the coalescence of all forces.

Transversal Concept: Weak Technology


  1. Re-Sensing Swamp Life (From Slavic Perspective)

Irena Chawrilska

As we are thrown into shifting assemblages that constantly remake us and the land we are connected to, we remain in flux. Assembling unpredictable encounters and mixed beings, we are not stable in the world – metaphorically, we are on the swamp – as we are today in the looming climate crisis. Not only are glaciers melting and certain birds and species are disappearing in Amazonia, the world beneath our feet is changing everywhere. Wetlands: marshes, bogs, swamps, fens, mangroves and meadows are vessels for our imagination. We associate them with living things, with inexorable movement, with the phenomenon on the border between life and death, a hybrid of water and land that frightens us. How do we retell the stories of the swamp, connecting past and future with art, technology, folk tales and local culture? Re-seeing, re-hearing, re-feeling, re-understanding swamps, re-asking epistemological questions, can be the way to re-entangle with the swampland.

Transversal concept: Sense Of Care


  1. Archipelagic Thinking On Floating Watersheds And Sunk Lands 

Toshiya Ueno

This paper has traced back a genealogy of conceptions and imaginations on floating sites and sunk lands in the Japanese post-war novels, films, and subcultures on the on hand, while it presents and articulates their counter-partial or contemporary initiatives in photography, arts, films, projects in visual cultures on the other. It would clarify how our ongoing crises of climate change and potential nuclear disaster can speculatively be analyzed through archipelagic ontology.       

Archipelago is not simply about islands. In this presentation, continents or lands, along with biological cells, astronomical entities, cityscapes, would be envisioned in archipelagic formation of the world.     

Transversal concept: ‘solidaritude’ (solidarity and solitude)