Links: Kartierung der Tsunamiwellen infolge des Vulkanausbruchs auf Krakatoa, 1883 Rechts: Martha. Die letzte Wandertaube vor ihrem Tod im Zoo von Cincinnati 1914. Abb. E. Meyer
»Licht Luft Scheiße . Perspectives on Ecology and Modernity« proposes a diverse series of twentieth-century concepts and practices that resonate with our current ideas of sustainability. They are both historical references and points of departure for novel or updated reflections on alternative ways of living in the globalised world. In light of the on-going destruction of Planet Earth we must fundamentally rethink our relationship to the biosphere and all non-human beings.
The ecological question is nothing new. In response to industrial growth and sprawling urbanisation under capitalism, numerous ›reform movements‹ were launched over a hundred years ago: from cooperative housing associations to anarcho-syndicalist settlements, from self-sufficient urban gardening to ecological agriculture, to concepts for recycling waste. These innovations were based in part on pre-modern knowledge and their significance came more clearly to the fore during the economic and social crises that followed on the First World War. They mirror not only a systematic appreciation of the interplay of human beings and the environment, of nature and technology, but also people’s growing awareness at the time, of the fact that the modern age carries within it the seeds of its own destruction. Too, the Bauhaus, although its architectural programme was far removed from ecological concerns, remained intently preoccupied with the relation of bio-philosophy to functionalism, pursuing a design practice informed by natural structures and processes.
The project’s two-year research phase culminates now in two exhibitions combining contemporary art production and archive material, and a parallel independent programme of education and outreach. These three aspects of the project, along with a number of complementary events and publications, address the past and present of the ecology movement, socio-ecological urban development, garden culture and plant and soil research.