Perfect Nature: Amstelpark Test Park

In and around het Glazen Huis, 17 April – 12 June, 2022
With Neal White, Tina O’Connell, Dianne Bauer, Jol Thoms, Uriel Orlow
Film programme by May Adadol Ingawanij en Julian Ross

A collaboration with Deep Field Project from CREAM lab Westminster University, Londen.

This project is part of Shadow Floriade a program of Zone2Source and partners to make a connection to the 2022 Floriade in Almere, to celebrate 50 years Amstelpark, and to launch it as a park for art & ecologie

Perfect Nature researches how local and indigenous knowledge compares to scientific methodology, which has obscured our understanding of the way we are entangled with our environment. The project consists of an ongoing researchproject led by CREAM director Neal White in collaboration with Tina O’Connell (during a two-month residency at Nieuw en Meer organized by Zone2Source) and a group exhibition in which this theme is explored through the work of different artists affiliated with the Deep Field programme.

During their residency, Neal White and Tina O’Connell are working on a mobile modular observatory that will be installed in various places inside and outside the Amstelpark. The Night Signals Obscura  is a mobile experimental field lab that uses traditional observation techniques and advanced instruments, such as night photography and remote  sensors  (data/AI analysis), to explore a contemporary view of nature in crisis. The Obscura contains what Neal calls  ‘sensory assemblages’ or ‘sentinels’ that pick up signals (infrared, temperature, sound, chemical signals, etc.) in the environment and collect them in the night park. The mobile observatory will also be placed at FloraHolland to establish a link with the experiences of invisible and low-paid night workers at the intensive international Amsterdam flower auctions. A new narrative combines the social and environmental role of The Night Signals Obscura, which weaves together recordings and interpretations of data from both sources into an immersive installation in the last two weeks of the residency. The field station is an active part of the exhibition and can be visited both at the research sites in the park and by means of a growing installation in the exhibition.

Perfect Nature is a group exhibition of new and older work by Neal White and other artists, which explores the historical impact that scientific and visual classification systems of the natural world have had on our relationship to plants, flora and fauna. The works contrast representations of knowledge production in the field of international trade in plants, plant medicines and soil with representations of indigenous knowledge, in which other relationships to the natural world appear. In addition to an installation that shows the results of the ongoing live research project by Neal White and Tina O’Connell, there will also be work presented by Uriel Orlow, who investigates the colonization of nature in classification systems in all his work and here specifically in the form of a photo and film series about the epistemological violence around indigenous knowledge of plants. The Deep Field Project (Dianne Bauer, Jol Thoms and Neal White) presents a new version of An Atlas of Chronographic Things.

In the back room, a film program dedicated to a series of South-East Asian artists who connect ecology to spirituality is curated by May Adadol Ingawanij and Julian Ross.

Exhibitions, Shadow Floriade, Upcoming