MA research in Contemporary Studies of Arts (UFF-Artes 2020-22, Rio de Janeiro) of Sabina Simon, in collaboration with the Institut Ciències del Mar (ICM, Barcelona) and Chroniques du Plancton (CNRS).
The invisible microscopic world has revealed the breath of a planet out of balance. As artists, how to deal with the planetary uncertainty that affects our interconnections and those from all species?
Manifesto-Phytoplankton researches this question travelling to the ancestral life inside a drop of water, the base of life. Apparently empty, its body is a forest inhabited by fascinating microorganism that transform water into life: the phytoplankton, photosynthetic beings that live adrift in all aquatic environment and have morphed the planet's mantle into green and blue for billions of years.
Playing with macro-micro scales and human-non-human perspectives, the research draws a conceptual archipelago that connects arts with the way as phytoplankton are traversed by their liquid world, how they belong to natural circle and their importance for the huge biodiversity of Gaia.
Structurally, the archipelago is composed by 3 islands-concepts:
Fluidity - Circularity - Diversity
Fluidity is the base of every life on Earth. The etymological link between the word planet (planaomai = 'to wander') and plankton (planktós = ' to drift') is connected in the research with Buddhist philosophy, Amerindian perspectives and the metamorphosis of nature. Circularity brings reflections on the use of materiality in artistic processes, proposing an autotrophic and autopoietic art where nothing is residual but regenerates and generates vital material for others. Diversity island shows that the multispecies resonance is also inside a drop of water, where can be found more than 2.000 of different species cohabiting together.
Being inspired by the phytoplankton can help to (dis)orient the encounters between art, life and matter in the contemporary anthropo-scene, as well as give us some of the keys to review the ways of thinking, doing and feeling our home.