Want to explore diverse and connecting threads in urban ecological arts? In the LEAF, three FRIEC Urban Arts Collective members share something from their ideas and work for 10 minutes each, followed by Q&A.

Olive Bieringa, Oslo
Matthew Jensen, New York
Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro, Paris

Olive Bieringa, Oslo: “Resisting Extinction” is a performance work that will offer embodied practices for grieving and resisting extinction amidst our spiraling ecological devastation. This performance work will offer participatory practices for building relationship and agency through weather walks, grieving practices and hauntings in urban landscape with the land meets the water.

Matthew Jensen, New York:  I will share a few recent projects that help unpack what I mean when I say I have a “walking-based practice”. I will touch on Tree Love: Street Trees and Stewardship in NYC and show a few iterations of the project. And I will quickly explain the first and only “virtual walk” I created for City as Living Laboratory during the pandemic. The piece takes a walk and spreads it out on StoryMap, an interactive map with video and text. 

Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro, Paris: I will present about an ongoing body of research on what I’ve coined “the permacircular museum”. It revolves around gestures of object maintenance, looking at expanding the field of museum care practices to ecosystems and non-human collectives. There are currently two field experiments: in Karlsruhe, with ZKM museum of art and media – we are regenerating an abandoned fruit orchard, in the framework of the exhibition Critical Zones; in Taipei, with Taipei Fine Arts Museum – an urban reforestation action in partnership with Taipei Forestry Technologist Association and Geotechnical Engineering Office. I’m keen to explore the question recently asked by curator Chus Martinez on the possibility for cultural institutions to “produce shelter”, in a time characterized by the disappearance of refuges (Haraway, Tsing).

The FRIEC (Forum for Radical Imagination on Environmental Cultures) Urban Ecological Arts Collective is a global group of almost 100 artists and creatives interested in the connection between nature and people in cities. The LEAF is a monthly webinar in which three Collective members spend 10 minutes describing an ideas or motivation central to their work, followed by discussion and Q&A with the audience. The idea to get to know the work of the Collective members, and to explore creativity and imagination in urban ecology. Interested in being part of the FRIEC Collective? Write is at friec@thenatureofcities.com.

Banner image: A photographic series by Matthew Jensen celebrating the myriad of ways city residents care for street trees and the spaces surrounding them.