“Post-nature methodologies of (bio)art and their healing purposes – lectures and workshop” in Novi Sad

The City><Hospital project is based on the understanding of the whole city as a health resort, starting from the fact that illness is an integral part of everyday life. Therefore, treatment, care and healing should be also part of daily habits, social practices and collective commitment. What is the role of art in that process? Recognizing environmental practices as a form of healing and a way to heal urban structures and the entire planet, the Centre for the Promotion of Transdisciplinarity Co-ART within the project City><Hospital led by F.ACT from Graz, carried out interdisciplinary workshop Post-nature methodologies of (bio)art and their healing purposes – lectures and workshop, which was open to all interested citizens. Acting from our own living space, each of us can contribute to the healing of people, cities, the planet, creating an ecological material from tea that can become a complete substitute for plastic, and learning about that through art. The healing properties of tea are thus much wider, as well as the activity that we can carry out in our living space.

The workshop was led by artists and theorists who have dedicated part of their practice to the application, development and/or study of ecological materials of herbal origin. The programme is divided into two parts – theoretical and practical – and focuses on the healing and artistic properties of plants, as well as the microbiological and symbiotic cultures that grow from certain plants. In the first part, art theorist and independent curator Sonja Jankov gave an overview of artistic practices based on the use of plants and discussed these practices in the context of bioart and art in open public spaces.

Visual artist Nikola Radosavljević presented his works that contain herbs, ecological plant derivatives and microorganisms, focusing on the idea of ​​healing in his art practice and pointing out how these bio-materials can be used to detect “diseases” of buildings. Lecturers discussed with the participants whether all artistic practices in which plants are used are always bioart, in what ways plants in art contribute to the well-being of cities, what messages and feelings can be expressed by using plants, whether and in what ways everything created by such practices is healthful for people, society, cities, the planet.

The second part of the programme begun with a lecture by artist Adrienn Ujhazi on how she uses kombucha and scoby in her artistic practice. This was the beginning of the practical part of the workshop on making these cultures at home. Kombucha and scoby are highly valued for their healing and environmental-friendly properties because they are used as dietary supplement and are being researched and developed as a substitute for nylon and plastic. They can be also used for other purposes and the aim of this workshop is to teach the participants how to make them from tools that everyone has at home.