Finnish artist Jenna Sutela seeks to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, often in relation to technology. Her work Holobiont (2018) considers the idea of embodied cognition on a planetary scale, featuring a zoom from outer space to inside the gut. It documents Planetary Protection rituals at the European Space Agency and explores extremophilic bacteria in fermented foods as possible distributors of life between the stars. Bacillus subtilis, the nattō bacterium, plays a leading role. The term “holobiont” stands for an entity made of many species, all inseparably linked in their ecology and evolution.
The theme for this year’s Sonica festival Paradise Haunted Garden comes from the writings of Derek Jarman, his delineation between an abundant and a regulated garden, and the garden as a total artwork that is at the same time a place, a process and a state of mind, the festival is organised in the a form of a garden as well. In times of unpredictability, we look for perseverance and and abundance; in times of draught, we offered residency spaces and looked for forms that might persevere despite potential lockdowns or self-isolation regulations.
The exhibition was opened by an interview with the author by Tjaša Pogačar.