The Van Eyck Lab for Nature Research in Maastricht (NL) starts from the observation that our “… current worldviews have emerged from a history that included colonial and patriarchal forms of power.” Those worldviews legitimise the processes and systems that have produced a geological era characterised by an unprecedented and irreversible human impact on Earth: e.g. global warming, extinction of species and plants, ocean acidification. The lab, represented in this lecture by Giulia Bellinetti & Marente van der Valk, acts as a research workshop for artists and scientists who seek to revise, re-think and re-imagine alternatives to our destructive worldviews – and their associated processes and systems. The lab thus offers us a testimony to the creative potential of multidisciplinarity and imagination for a (re)new(ed) relationship between humans and nature.
Giulia Bellinetti is the coördinator of the Nature Research department and runner of the Future Materials Lab at the Jan van Eyck Academy. Previously, she was Coordinator of the Production Department at the M HKA, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Antwerp. In recent years, Giulia has become increasingly interested in the ecological discourse in relation to contemporary art, institutional work and interdisciplinary forms of collaborations. She is currently conducting a PhD research project on the epistemic function of art institutions in the age of ecological crisis at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (University of Amsterdam).
Marente van der Valk is a UK/NL based culinary artist and chef. She graduated in 2012 from a MA Design and Environment at Goldsmiths University of London and has since then been focusing on projects and events with an emphasis on environmental awareness, community mindedness and the social importance of food as well as the ephemeral and poetic qualities of food and the act of cooking and eating together. Her work is often a multi-sensory experience where a love for bringing people together results in a wealth of flavours and colours and a feel-good atmosphere. Currently, Marente coordinates the Food Lab at the Jan van Eyck Academy. The Food Lab has been created to offer a multidisciplinary platform to chefs and artists with an interest in food.
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