Out of the Sky, into the Earth, 2022

Out of the Sky, into the Earth

Out of the Sky, into the Earth — was a public art project in three acts, that took place in Visby and its surroundings. It presented a living sculpture, an AR experience and an exhibition, triggering thoughts about life, care and co-existence on a damaged planet. Making use of pedagogy, playfulness and imagination, the artists addressed our broken relationship to the earth and to all the non-human-people that we share it with. Focusing on the visible, invisible, the real and imaginary life forms populating our world, the project presented two newly commissioned art- works: The Swamp Observatory by Urbonas Studio, and Brakfesten/La Grande Bouffe, by Anne Duk Hee Jordan and Pauline Doutreluingne.

School classes were invited to the What We Don’t See workshop programme, led by artist and educator Jessica Lundeberg, to engage with the artworks and create art and animations themselves.

The Swamp Observatory is the continuation of a proposal developed by Urbonas Studio as part of New Perspectives Visborg, an urban development project carried out in collaboration between PAAS, BAC and Region Gotland. Based on the plans for the development of storm-water ponds in northern Visborg, it draws attention to the importance of the lost wetlands of Gotland in a time of global climate change. The Swamp Observatory is an Augmented Reality experience available on mobile devices and online. The future reality of the Visborg Plain is enriched with imaginary, yet unknown species – or monsters as the artists call them – created together with students from Athene School. Through QR codes, visitors can activate the experience and follow the monsters as they interact with each other and guide visitors around the secrets of the swamp. The exhibition at Gotland’s art museum shows the development process of the artwork. The Swamp Observatory is a playful and educational tool for engaging with urban development processes and for imagining new and sustainable “social biotopes”.

Brakfesten/La Grande Bouffe by Anne Duk Hee Jordan and Pauline Doutreluingne is an artwork in two parts: a film and a living sculpture in the Södra Hällarnas nature reserve, where the elms are threatened with extinction. The sculpture, which mimics the pattern left by bark beetles on trees, has been in place since May and has been well visited over the summer. It is made from debarked elm wood that has been returned to its place of origin to slowly decay and provide a festive banquet for insects, beetles, birds and other organisms. It has become a kind of play and meeting place for young and old, humans and non-human life forms. It is these small and invisible inhabitants of the area that we meet and follow in their adventures as the main characters in the film premiering in the exhibition at Gotland Art Museum.

Urbonas Studio

was founded by artists and educators Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Vilnius, Lithuania. Urbonas Studio is an interdisciplinary research practice that facilitates exchange amongst diverse nodes of knowledge production and artistic practice in pursuit of projects that transform civic spaces and collective imaginaries. Urbonas are researching and teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

Anne Duk Hee Jordan

is a Korean-German artist born in 1978. Her work includes drawings, hand-built robots, edible landscapes, sculpture, film and sound. It is mainly the other life forms, insects and plants that live alongside humans on Earth that she lovingly observes, invites and casts as lead characters in her art works.

Pauline Doutrelouingne

is a freelance curator and educator born in 1982 in Belgium. Through her work she seeks to stimulate a cultural dialogue with a focus on ecology and de-colonial thinking. Her curatorial projects are dialogues and exercises into progressive imaginaries.