On November 21, the opening conference "Beneath The Pavement, Not The Beach" will take place and bring together artists, philosophers and soil scientists from different countries to build an alternative map of the heterogeneous soil space.

Beneath the pavement, not the beach*. But what is under the pavement: land, territory, resource or living matter? Our perception depends on our role and goals.

The cartographer sees empty land for layout, the farmer - a fertile resource, the scientist - a complex system that has developed over many years, and the explorer sees the reservoir of petroleum, lying in the depths, and potential profit. Matter of the earth has many dimensions which defines our culture much deeper than it seems at the first glance. At the same time, views on the earth are unequal, the significance of its components is constantly changing. Oil and resources are strictly regulated, while soil, as a unique system, may not be protected by any law and is reduced only to the territory for development. We want to imagine: what would the world look like if the Soil took the place of Oil in importance?

The series of lectures and discussions of the public program "Grounding" is devoted to reveal the versatility of views on the soil and offer new ways of understanding what is under the pavement.
* Khanova P. Dark Cities: Dark Ecology and Urban Studies / Logos. 2019. № 5 (132). P. 71-86
international conference
November 21 | 2020
12 pm
Nikolay Smirnov – artist, curator, geographer and researcher. Curator of the projects «Metageography» and «Eternal Frost» (Zero Arctic Biennale, Yakutsk, 2016). Member of scientific expeditions and former employee of the Laboratory for Comprehensive Geocultural Research in the Arctic. Participant in a number of art and scientific conferences, including «Navigation Beyond Vision». Participant of the main projects of the Fifth Ural Biennale (2019, curator Shaoyu Weng) and the Second Riga Biennale (2020, curator Rebecca Lamarsh-Vadel). Supervisor of the Summer School of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art - «Space and Letter: A Study of the Anthropocene».
Conference Schedule
Nikolay Smirnov
12:30 pm
Karine Bonneval – a French visual artist, her work focuses on plant otherness and the complex and specific interactions that link humans and plants. In her sculptures and installations, we are immersed in a world of organic forms with strong fictional power, where hybridizations of vocabulary and techniques go hand in hand with the marriage of art and science. With a degree from the ESAD of Strasbourg, she has exhibited in France, Germany, Latvia, Denmark, United States, Argentina and Sri Lanka. Together with the scientist Eric Badel from INRAE PIAF and the Studio Décalé, she won the 2019 Carasso Foundation grant «Composing knowledge».
Karine Bonneval
1 pm
Oron Catts – a legendary Australian artist, researcher and curator, head of the SymbioticA laboratory. Founder of the Tissue Culture & Art project. The main artistic and research interest for Catts is life, or rather, changing its perception in the light of new knowledge. Catts has developed a number of works that speak volumes about the need for a new cultural articulation of evolving concepts of life.
Oron Catts
1:30 pm
Polina Khanova – a translator, editor, assistant of the Faculty of Philosophy, Moscow State University, member of the editorial board of the Logos journal. Graduated from Moscow State University (2012), received a master's degree in Continental Philosophy from the University of Warwick (UK) (2015). She translated into Russian the works of John Law, Steve Fuller, Graham Harman and others, published in Logos, New Literary Review. Since 2017, he has been teaching at the Faculty of Philosophy of Moscow State University, lecturing on contemporary post-continental philosophy, dark ecology and pop-culture, and working on a dissertation on performative ways of self-justification of philosophical texts.
Polina Khanova
2 pm
Ben Woodard – a contemporary philosopher, specialist in the field of media, natural philosophy, cinema and literature in the genre of horror. He is engaged in post-doc research at the Institute of Philosophy and Theory of Art at the University of Lüneburg, Leifan (Germany). The author of «Slime Dynamics» translated into Russian. He is a representative of speculative realism.
Ben Woodard
2:30 pm
Andrey Tetekin, Luciano Brina, Yu Gong – the Terraforming research team. The group researches the sustainable transformation of Earth's cities, technologies and ecosystems.
The Terraforming research team
3 pm
Stefan Schwabe and Jannis Hülsen – the Farming the Uncanny Valley research team. The project studies issues of social change against the backdrop of the development of biotechnology. This study is intended to serve as a starting point for shaping open discourse and exploring new ways to engage the general public in co-creation. The developed methods and tools were applied during a series of workshops dedicated to various aspects of the surrounding world (soil, air, landscape, insects, plants).
Farming the Uncanny Valley team
3:30 pm
Yulia Timofeeva – a researcher at the Central Museum of Soil Science named after V.V. Dokuchaev in St. Petersburg.
Yulia Timofeeva
modеrator – Natalia Fedorova
Natalia Fedorova – curator, artist and researcher working in the field of science art and new media. Her work as a curator also includes media art laboratories in the Theatre of Nations (Moscow) and Big Drama Theatre (St Petersburg), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow), National Centre for Contemporary Art ( Moscow). Her artistic work was demonstrated at such festivals as Manifesta, ISEA, EVA.