testing ground for art & ecology
22nd of November 2020

Welcome to the Parliament of Things

3 walking expeditions, Sunday 22 November, 10.30 AM – 5.30 PM
starting point of each event het Glazen Huis

The three expeditions with KCCM, de Onkruidenier and Chikako Watanabe are free, but based on reservation through Eventbrite (see below). The walking conversations take place outside with headphones so that sufficient distance can be kept. Please note: the number of places is limited.

This program is part of a national manifestation Welcome to the Parliament of Things, an initiative of the Embassy of the North Sea and the Stichting Internationale Spinozaprijs in cooperation with partners, on the occassion of the presentation of the Spinozalens to Bruno Latour on November 24 and of Mind Your Step. We use this momentum to launch two public art works which have been developed as a result of a year long research into the park by de Onkruidenier and KCCM. While walking Jesse Havinga, philosopher and teacher in Groningen, who inspired by the work of Bruno Latour has specialized in political ecology, more-than-human worlds and gaia science, will talk with the artists, whose works resonate in many ways with Latours conceptual framework. We close the day with a walk with Chikako Watanabe, including musical performances, to leave us with an altogether different experience of the park.


10.30 welcome by Alice Smits (director Zone2Source), followed by a short introduction to the philosophy of Bruno Latour by Jesse Havinga
11 AM- 1 PM opening of Floriade Whisperings of KCCM
We are launching four audio plays installed on four locations in which the history of the Amstelpark is told from the perspective of plants. The sound work wil be available in the Amstelpark until 2022. The artist duo KCCM (Krijn Christiaansen and Cathelijne Montens) developed Floriade Whisperings as a result of a year of research into the Amstelpark that consisted of meetings with ecologists, gardeners, policymakers and visitors as well as archival research into this Floriade park. While walking between the different locations where  we will listen to the audio plays  – the testimony of the Boxwood, the memoirs of Lily Gracia and the Japanese Knotweed, the elegy of the weeping beech and the monologue of the Venom Tree –
the artists join forces with text writer Pim Muda and some of the voice actors in a conversation with philospher Jesse Havinga around the agency of non human entities. At the different locations– together. Register through Eventbrite: tinyurl.com/floriadewhisperings
1.45 – 3.30 PM opening of Plantsoen sociologie by the Onkruidenier
Ronald Boer and Jonmar van Vlijmen, together the Onkruidenier, have spent the past year researching landscape typologies in the Heemtuin (native garden) of the Amstelpark. In search of relationships between plants, people and organisms, they discovered a hayfield where, as a result of the mowing machine, numerous small stubby trees stand between the grass. They dug out some 40 trees and developed ceramic dishes on which the trees in a parade will be placed back in their original location in the Heemtuin (the installation can be viewed there until its natural decay). During the walk they will talk to Jesse Havinga. Can we come up with new concepts for this accidentally created nature-culture landscape, for which no vocabulary exist, and how does this inspire us to tell other stories about the relationship between humans and plants? Register through Eventbrite: tinyurl.com/plantsoensociologie
4 – 5.30 PM Journey to Meet Star-Gazers, Amsterdam, 2020
An expedition with Chikako Watanabe
As a part of Mind Your Step, a group exhibition about the art of walking, Chikako Watanabe takes you on a walk through the park in which stories and traditions of Japan and Amsterdam are interwoven with music performances on location by Ayumi Matsuda (recorder) and Heiko Dijker (tabla).
Starting with her installation for the Glass House, Chikako tells a story about Mt.Nose Myoken, a sacred mountain in her home country of Japan, about which she created a work of art in 2019. Chikako connects customs that seem remote from each other, such as Mt. Nose Myoken and its history of beliefs and those of fishermen and nomads, who both take the Pole star as their guide. Chikako takes us on a path marked by nets, made in a technique she learned from Dutch fishermen, in which stories and drawings of nature are interwoven. The polar star and the water are the connecting factor in which non-human stories and atmospheres also play a role in musical performances on locations along the way by Ayumi Matsuda, a composer and recorder player, with which she plays various genres, from Baroque, antique Japanese music to contemporary. The walk ends again in the Glass House with a performance by Heiko Dijker, composer and tabla player, accompanied by projections of Chikako.
Bring sturdy walking shoes and rain clothes. English-spoken, but only a small part of the expedition is spoken word. Register through Eventbrite: tinyurl.com/journeytomeet

Concept & design: Corine Datema — foto’s: Lodewijk van Walraven/NIOZ, Rik van Santen

Concept & design: Corine Datema — foto’s: Lodewijk van Walraven/NIOZ, Rik van Santen

The Glass House