Biotoopia – Art, Science and Biosphere Hybrid Conference on 26-28 August in Viinistu
Biotoopia is an international hybrid conference that connects art, science and biosphere, which takes place for the first time on 26-28 August 2021 in Viinistu Art Museum (www.viinistu.ee) in Estonia and online on the event platform Worksup. Biotoopia as a concept was born in 1995, when Sirje Helme, Eha Komissarov and Ando Keskküla curated an exhibition of the same name in Tallinn. In addition to borrowing the name, Biotoopia conference is continuing to expand on the topics explored by the exhibition: life, environment, art, technology, posthumanist ethics and various fields of natural sciences.
The conference welcomes all biologists, artists, teachers, module leaders, philosophers, thinkers, cultural analysts and everyone else who is interested in the necessary shifts in paradigms of thought and new directions in art, natural sciences and philosophy.
Planet Earth is tired and febrile – amidst the transpiring climate change and collapsing ecosystems we can see clearly that our old ways do not work any longer. Here, in the beginning of the 21st century, we are trying to decelerate bad scenarios and define new types of relationships between humans and nature that would regard all life forms on the same level. To kick-start these changes, Biotoopia is searching for fresh modes of cooperation between the arts, sciences and biosphere, to prepare the ground for the germination of new thought patterns.
The first Biotoopia will focus on ecosystems and biodiversity – the interactions, communications and appearances of intellect within ecological communities, technology’s part in nature studies and questions of posthumanist ethics. Besides the talks and discussion panels, an important role is played by the art and music programme, whose form and content reflect the main themes of the conference. On the final day there will be an inspiring nature hike, where we will seek and find different artistic shapes in the natural landscape.
For words to have power and art to reveal messages, we have invited world class influencers to speak at the conference. The not finalized list includes the multitalented artist Timur Si-Qin, biologist and writer Andreas Weber and philosopher Ewa Domanska. International speakers will dialogue with various Estonian thinkers, artists and scientists: biologist Sirgi Saar (University of Tartu), philosopher Margus Ott (Tallinn University), art theorist Andres Laansalu (Estonian Academy of Arts), cultural theorist Rein Raud (Tallinn University) and literary theorist Hasso Krull. The art programme will be brought to life by international artists Timur Si-Qin (US), Tuomas A. Laitinen (Finland), and Estonian artists Kristiina Õllek, Norman Orro, Kärt Ojavee, Uku Sepisvart, Jaan Tootsen, Taavi “Miisu” Varm, Kadri Liis Rääk and Peeter Laurits.
The first Biotoopia conference will not discuss artificial intelligence, economy or legal sphere; however, in the coming years these topics will be explored from different angles.
The conference committee comprises artist and curator of the conference Peeter Laurits, director of the Art Museum of Estonia Sirje Helme, biosemiotician and natural scientist Kalevi Kull (University of Tartu), Deputy Secretary General of Ministry of the Environment Kristi Klaas, cultural historian Marek Tamm (Tallinn University) and senior expert on environmental policies Harri Moora. The conference is hosted by Jaan Manitski, entrepreneur and Viinistu village community activist.
Biotoopia was given wings by its main sponsor Click & Grow. The conference is sponsored by Ecosh Life, producer of health products and ePPC, digital marketing agency and Wizon, process analytics company. The art program is supported by the Republic of Estonia Ministry of Culture. Guests are kindly welcomed by Viinistu Art Harbour in Viinistu, Kuusalu parish.
Our organising team is following the guidelines for public events set by the government of the Republic of Estonia to ensure every guest’s safety and wellbeing.
Biotoopia is organised by the NPO Estonian Anthropocene Centre, which was established by Estonian artists, cultural figures and scientists. The project has been created with a 5-year perspective. In addition to the annual conferences, it is aiming to develop a platform for a network of international scientists and artists, to launch continuous projects and together with educational organisations produce study materials encompassing art, ethics, and biology for high school students.
More information at: www.biotoopia.ee