Reminiscence of Anthropocene – is the most recent collaborative project between Agricola de Cologne and ADAF – Athens Digital Arts Festival, the composition of 10 videos (audio-visual works) forming the basis for a viewer’s reflection, generating a particular image of something many people are identifying themselves with according to individual experiences. These experiences are independent of location or nationality, insofar, as a part of the whole, the artists’ nationality Germany, Spain, USA, Israel, Brazil Denmark, Finland stand for the diversity of individual experiences leading to the individual artistic expression.
The reminiscence of the Anthropocene is allowing a kind of pessimistic view on human nature and its influence, domination, and manipulation of the natural environment and the social context with other human individuals, wildlife, and flora, the social responsibility of the individual for the individual and the Whole. Often artists do not only describe a kind of status quo but give even creative perspectives to the post-Anthropocene era, whatever it may be. Differently than other ideological models, in the given case, the post-Anthropocene is not leading to a fusion of the human and the machine, but is rather recalling “ancient” human values like indigenous people – however, threatened with extinct by human greed – are still practicing them, based on mutual social responsibility and solidarity. That this is not a mere illusion is showing the radically changed people’s behavior during the Corona crisis, but as soon as they do not feel longer endangered, they immediately forget the values they propagated a short time before. So, Corona wasn’t the worst case yet, to make most people really rethink, and the real end of Anthropocene might come sometimes rather sooner than later by another global disaster.
Sunrise (2019) | Susanne Wiegner | DE | 05:46 min
The film shows soul landscapes – inner images that convey in their vastness a sense of loneliness and threat. Certain scenes are reminiscent of German romanticism, like the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, whose ambiguity is enhanced by cinematic means. The beauty of the sunrise marks the beginning and the end of a disaster scenario that reminds of climate change and war ruins.
Message of the Animals (2016) | Elke H. Markopoulos & Rainer Ludwigs | DE | 08:57 min
By strong, epic, and unique animated pictures the message of the animals is submitted in poetical and associative impressions and symbols. Mankind who tries to catch and own our world remains with empty hands. In the end, when all animals have gone, when darkness reigned, there’s only hope left. The viewer may find his own way to read this story, nearly as old as mankind.
Indicios / Inkling (2017) | Laura & Sira Cabrera | ES | 06:59 min
Inkling wandering about space and time, looking for a new relationship with Nature. Indirectly and poetically it proposes to recreate in her, to admire her, to look for a new role for the human being feeling within the universe. Overcoming our predatory role, stop being the subject that dominates the object, stop doing what we have been doing and stop exploding and destroy life on the planet until exhaustion, to submerge us as one more among all beings.
Perlite (2018) | Arie Sigal & Ben-David Sigal | IL | 04:17 min
Perlite, a 4-min video-art that follows the evolving relationship between two characters in an abandoned industrial factory. The characters adopt the middle ground between organic and urban, a result of the visual and industrial culture of our times while the set of the factory symbolizes a decaying aesthetic, a technological lingo that still believes in gender hierarchies and is incapable of expressing empathy to the natural environment.
Panicutopia-the Desertark (2017) | Gali Blay | IL | 04:00 min
In October 2015 the Desert Ark community was created in Israel by Yael Gotman and Safi Hosh. It is a community that disconnected itself from the government infrastructure, created an alternative way of living and a new vision of security, in the shape of a rock. Due to Their extreme measures of safety their utopic home turned into an environment where fact and fiction, panic, and utopia collide.
Aral Mermaid (2015) | Renata Padovan | BR | 04:12 min
During a visit to Uzbekistan, in Central Asia, I went to visit what is left of the Aral Sea. I was greatly affected by the desolated landscape, one of the biggest ecological disasters caused by the equivocal ideas of progress and economic development. Aral Mermaid is a short poetic documentary assembled with still images, video footage, and historical footage. It refers to the social and ecological degradation caused by the Soviet excessive implementation of cotton monoculture in the area.
User History (2016) | Coalfather Industries | US | 06:02 min
User History is an absurd ethnographic survey of the lives of contemporary humans as seen from the perspective of post-human machines. The piece questions where we are headed as a species given our current rate of apathy and consumption. It imagines what will happen to the planet if we all continue to use up all the resources. This video consists of animation and site-specific performances, filmed on location in New York (Governors Island and Rockaway beach), Route 66 in Illinois, and in central Finland.
Captured (2020) | Amelie Klitgaard | DK | 03:13 min
The coronavirus has impacted our mental state, freedom, and blurred the line between reality and imagination. These existential topics are explored in the short self-biographical video “Captured” by the Danish journalist Amalie Klitgaard who fled the crisis in China but like the rest of the world couldn’t escape.
Plastic Child (2016) | Carolin Koss | FI | 12:11 min
PLASTIC CHILD is about a journey of a child who lives in a contaminated plastic world. Being the heir of a single living plant gives him the air to breathe and eventually delivers hope for human mankind. PLASTIC CHILD is part of the trilogy EMERALD GREEN, which is about a dystopian world, where nature has been rendered extinct, breathable air has gotten scarce and the sun has vanished due to exploitation of natural resources and human error.
Melt Less CO2 (2019) | Marcha Schagen | NL | 03:48 min
With her latest project, Mineral Waste Dutch artist Marcha Schagen explores if it is possible to create CO₂-negative objects and sculptures, using the mineral olivine. While processing raw materials mostly has the image of being polluting to the environment, olivine has the potential of purifying the atmosphere. This mineral, richly to be found in the Earth’s mantle, has the unique characteristic of being able to sequester CO₂. The natural process occurs relatively slow but can be accelerated by putting olivine in contact with water.
Curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne is the creator, director and chief curator of artvideoKOELN (founded in 2005) and The New Museum of Networked Art (founded in 2001) – hosting numerous project platforms in an exchange between virtual & physical space – A Virtual Memorial Foundation, ENGAD -Engaged Arts Directory, JavaMuseum – Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art and, NewMediaFest – representing an international platform for the realisation of global networking in the field of audio-visual art – including CologneOFF – the international festival network (2005-2020), Violence Online Festival (2002-2005), The RRF Project (2003-2007), TheW:OW Project (2017-2020).