Radical empathy as artistic research practice / Grounding artistic research in sites and communities.
The Unit will be led by Andrea Curtoni and Giulia Mazzorin (BUrb) as learning environment rooted in Venice and its Lagoon and grounded in artistic research, emerging socio-spatial and environmental issues. We will investigate Venice as complex technosphere characterised by the otherness-uniqueness of a transitional ecosystem articulated in a micro topography of intertidal terrain, an historic trading power and economic center as well as the capital of a colonial domain, a port for the chemical industry, a venue for international cultural events such as the Venice Biennale and a major site of global tourism. The material narratives of Venice and its lagoon will be considered as both site of actions and knowledge; we will discover while producing (art&space), we will understand by the creative doing, we will experiment how to encounter ourself trough the others…The Unit will focuses on the specific practices of collective inhabiting transitional spaces as a way to experiment life in common and exploring Venice with its lagoon as a method to enable a transformative experience of mutual learning and sharing in between the temporary community of researchers (us) and the surrounding contexts (human/non human), where research is conceived as an action and concepts emerging from lived experiences are grounded in communities and sites.
The experience will be developed through: The re-use of Venice and its immense abandoned patrimony and forgotten institution of Care, Hospitality and Exchange to re-inhabit the city. The group will be hosted in a former warehouse in the center of Venice, a space in transformation under a process of reuse, conceived by BUrb as international hub in-between arts and architecture, humanities and urban studies to gather artists and researchers with local actors, to investigate, enable and shape new forms of pedagogies, artistic productions and collaborative co-existence. The practice of exploring the Venice´ Lagoon, as one of the most vulnerable context in the world when considering the impact of current climate change and projections for the coming years. A fragile environment in which, for centuries, humans and non-humans have developed daily practices of coexistence and adaptation, which in recent decades has been the subject of major conservation and protection works (the environmental effects of which we do not yet know), increasing exploitation by the global tourism industry and a process of depopulation. The development of space and design strategies to explores the limits and the existing distances in-between La Biennale, Venice (the City) and its territory to promote new productive synergies in between the local territories and the international cultural scene.The broader research is intended to explore the potential of radical empathy as pedagogical experimental approach to open up the possibility to re-think artistic production and design strategies, in order to achieve the capability to relate to the different contexts and the otherness with renewed attitude of care, understanding and collective imagination.