by Sukanya GargMay 24, 2019
The Screen City Biennial (SCB) 2019, in Stavanger, is the first Nordic Biennial dedicated to the expanded moving image in public space, presenting artworks that explore the relation between the moving image, sound, technology and public space. The architecture of the Norwegian port city Stavanger facilitates an exhibition of the expanded moving image in three-dimensional, multi-sensual and tactile experiences, together with screening programmes and gallery installations. The biennial presents a new platform that works to explore the uses of the moving image in contemporary artistic practice. SCB is founded and directed by Daniela Arriado.
The SCB sets out to present, facilitate, and examine art and artistic inquiry that raises questions of how human action affects the ecologies with which it is implicated. Anthropocentric theories have highlighted how the human being is the central agent to environmental transformation. World views guided by dualisms between concepts such as ‘nature–culture’, and a sense of distance between humans and our environments, have informed our paths of evolution and innovation, and brought our ecosystems into a state of imbalance. In the Nordic context, a growing attention to environmental thinking, and dark ecology in artistic discourse, mirrors a global acknowledgement and urgency of the need to rethink the human place in the biosphere and how we are connected to the world.
Therefore, with the theme, Ecologies – Lost, Found and Continued, the biennial engages a post-anthropocentric worldview: it searches for ecologies that may be ‘lost’ to the dominant imaginary of the modern, rationalised Western society and found in what by some is considered to be the periphery of this. However, perhaps these are not peripheries but rather deep-rooted centres of knowledge, which could guide us towards more sustainable, conscious and spiritually anchored futures, if continued. Bringing these ecologies forth through the art, the biennial asks: how can non-anthropocentric positions and holistic knowledge systems be continued as foundations on which we can move onwards – be brought into new context, inspire processes of innovation, as well as ways of presenting and engaging art?
The 2019 Biennial continues a research trajectory initiated with the Screen City Biennial 2017 edition that examined how art and stories of people migrate into new forms, realities and modes of existence. The 2019 edition focuses on how migration of ecologies of culture, knowledge systems, and ways of living could redirect cultures, environments and cities today. It explores what kinds of ecological migration could be possible, could favourably be continued, to avoid ecological crisis.
The biennial examines ‘ecologies’ as both a premise of locating and generating knowledge on how we co-exist with the world, and as an approach to thinking-through-practice. Through 2019, the Biennial Talk Program and SCB Journal will deepen the perspectives on the SCB framework of activities, departing from the theme Ecologies - lost, found and continued.
The SCB will take place from October 17-30, 2019.