Image: Not Vital at Wellbeing Culture Forum at La Biennale di Venezia 2021
Not Vital, photo by Benny Steiner
Talks Program

Not Vital at Wellbeing Culture Forum at La Biennale di Venezia 2021 Panel discussions addressing the role of creativity and experimentation in urban design.

21—22 May 2021

 On occasion of the opening of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition How will we live together?, May 21-22, 2021, Therme Art will host a series of panel discussions featuring leading voices in art, architecture, and science about the future of architecture and cohabitation. Realised in collaboration with the British Council, Serpentine, Pnat, V-A-C Foundation and the Italian Pavilion, the Wellbeing Culture Forum will respond to the international exhibition's invitation to 'create a new spatial contract' in the face of ongoing global crises, through discussions that will address the politics of Gaia, the fluidity of molecular life, and the role of creativity and experimentation in urban design. 

 Participating panellists from the partner institutions include Serpentine Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist and British Pavilion Co-curators Madeleine Kessler and Manijeh Verghese; Biennale participants Sissel TolaasStefano MancusoRefik AnadolAnab Jain and Not Vital; and indigenous rights activist Nina Gualinga.

The series is curated by Therme Art Co-Founder and Curator Mikolaj Sekutowicz, who is co-hosting each panel discussion together with various partners and partner institutions from the private and public sector.  

The talks programme will take place across several venues in a mixed reality format, featuring both in-person and video-streamed participation of the panelists. This series is published in partnership with Therme Art's Wellbeing Culture Forum media partner, Dezeen.

Schedule

 Friday, 21 May 

  • 10:00 - 11:30 CEST | MUTUAL AID: The Politics of Gaia. Presented within the exhibition Resilient Communities in the Italian Pavilion, Mutual Aid is an innovative installation created by Pnat, the Florence-based think-tank of scientists, architects and designers led by Stefano Mancuso. Highlighting the cooperation intrinsic to plant and animal life, the work stresses the urgent need for a more symbiotic relation to the natural world. Inspired by the multidisciplinary work of Pnat, as well as the writings of anarchist thinker Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: The Politics of Gaia invites scientists, designers and architects to consider the social and political lessons of plants and animals, as well as putting forward practical solutions to foster greater reciprocity with natural life. Co-moderators: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director Serpentine, Mikolaj Sekutowicz, CEO and Curator Therme Art. Panelists include: Refik Anadol, Media Artist & Designer, Nina Gualinga, Indigenous Rights Activist, Maja Hoffmann, Founder & President, Luma Arles, Jeanne de Kroon, Social Entrepreneur, Stefano Mancuso, Author & Professor of Botany at University of Florence, Salome Rodeck, Cultural Historian, Not Vital, Artist, Anab Jain, Superflux, Design Studio, Hala Wardé, Founding Architect of HW Architecture

    Learn more

    RSVP to attend[email protected]

 

  • 11:30 - 13:00 CEST | RESURRECTING THE SUBLIME: The Smell of Gaia's Molecules. Collectively authored by Dr. Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Dr. Christina Agapakis and Sissel Tolaas, Resurrecting the Sublime is an immersive installation that fuses pioneering science and creative thinking to revive the smells of flowers lost due to human activity. Exhibited in the Giardini, the work is a compelling addition to this year's biennale, prompting audiences to think about life, extinction and the scale of human impact within the Anthropocene. Responding to the artwork, Resurrecting the Sublime: The Smell of Gaia's Molecules sets out to examine these themes in greater detail and to sketch the outline of a new multidisciplinary culture founded on human and environmental wellbeing. Co-moderators: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director Serpentine, Mikolaj Sekutowicz, CEO and Curator Therme Art. Panelists: Sissel Tolaas, Artist, Joseph Grima, Curator and Founder of Space Caviar, Maja Hoffmann, Founder & President, Luma Arles, Marianne Krogh, Curator the Danish Pavilion, Refik Anadol, Media Artist & Designer, Not Vital, Artist

    Learn more

    RSVP to attend: [email protected]

 

  • 18:00 - 19:30 CEST | EXPERIMENTS IN NEW SPATIAL CONTRACTS: The Garden of Privatised Delights. In the British Pavilion, the exhibition The Garden of Privatised Delights considers privatisation, access and ownership, inviting architects, designers and researchers to propose new models for public space. Responding to the themes arising from the exhibition, as well as La Biennale more broadly, Experiments in New Spatial Contracts: The Garden of Privatised Delights will explore the importance of creativity and collaboration in place-making, while also considering the role of technology in creating new publics in the wake of Covid-19. Co-moderators: Sevra Davis, Director of Architecture, Design and Fashion, the British Council, Monilola Ilupeju, Artist and Curator, Mikolaj Sekutowicz, CEO and Curator Therme Art. Panelists: Sarah Wilson, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History, Courtauld Institute of Art, Madeleine Kessler, Unscene Architecture and Co-curator the British Pavilion, Manijeh Verghese, Unscene Architecture and Co-curator the British Pavilion; Head of Public Programmes at the Architectural Association, David Ogunmuyiwa, Architect & Principle of Architecture Doing Place, Jayden Ali, Founding Director of Interdisciplinary Practice JA Projects

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Installation view of Not Vital: SCARCH at Baslica di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 22 May - 21 November 2021

Installation view of Not Vital: SCARCH at Baslica di San Giorgio Maggiore,
Venice, 22 May - 21 November 2021 

Installation view of Not Vital: SCARCH at Baslica di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 22 May - 21 November 2021

Installation view of Not Vital: SCARCH at Baslica di San Giorgio Maggiore,
Venice, 22 May - 21 November 2021 

Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel in Venice, venue of the Wellbeing Culture Forum on May 21, 2021

Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel in Venice, venue of the Wellbeing Culture Forum on May 21, 2021

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