Have we met? Humans and non-humans on common ground – Announcements
The 23rd Milan Triennale International Exhibition is now open to the public, with the Dutch pavilion Have we met? promote new ways of understanding our planet as a shared space for plants, microbes, humans and other animals. The view that the earth exists only for human exploitation needs to be radically rethought to deal with today’s environmental crises. Have we met? therefore examines what attitudes, tools and technologies are needed to recalibrate the relationship between humans and non-humans.
An urban area in Rotterdam, a regenerative farm in the rural east of the Netherlands and an abandoned oil rig in the North Sea: these three ecologically diverse sites help explore the possibilities of interspecific relationships. While nature studies have traditionally relied on quantitative data, human experience is typically assessed through qualitative means; could they be combined to better understand how humans and non-humans can learn to cooperate?
Have we met? explores a range of possible collaborative tools developed by practitioners in art, design, agriculture, data and marine science. The works include Mobile Chicken, designed by Harald den Breejen and Sjoerd van Leeuwen for the regenerative farm Bodemzicht. The mobile offers a simple solution for regenerating compacted and degraded soils by recalibrating the natural rhythms between grass and grazing animals. Also on display Borgþór, a documentary by Brynjar Sigurðarson and Sebastian Ziegler about a hermit who spends the winter in search of a bullfish in the remote Icelandic countryside. The hermit patiently studies what the fish might be interested in trying to find common ground.
With contributions from Harald den Breejen and Sjoerd van Leeuwen (in collaboration with the regenerative farm Bodemzicht); Dear hunter; North Sea Embassy in collaboration with Darko Lagunas; Joost Emmerik; Christine Hvidt, Philipp Groubnov, Andrzej Konieczny, Alexander Köppel, Leon Lapa Pereira and Vivien Vuong (ArtScience Interfaculty students at The Hague University of the Arts in collaboration with Rodrigo Delso and Eric Kluitenberg); Keer Hu, Yuzhi Liu and Jiafeng Zhu; Ian Ingram and Theun Karelse, Gisto; Takuma Kikuchi, Lucy Li, Florian Sapp and Alan Schiegl; Fiona Middleton; Ania Molenda; Studio Brynjar and Veronika; Togar; Sander Turnhout; Leena Valkeapää and Oula A Valkeapää.
Studio Ossidiana designed the exhibition as a collective body that doubles as an observatory, mixing human, animal, botanical and mineral components. Visitors are welcomed into the belly of this living being that temporarily inhabits the Triennale site.
Have we met? is based on the Zoop model developed in collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut. A zoop (cooperation with all Zoe, Greek for “life”) is committed to integrating the interests of nonhumans into its organizational decision-making, with a Speaker for the Living representing the voices and interests of nonhuman life. The president acts as an observer, adviser and teacher in the organization, transforming it into a regenerative operation. On International Earth Day 2022, Het Nieuwe Instituut became the first Zoop.
23rd Milan Triennial
Unknown unknowns: an introduction to the mysteries is the title of the 23rd International Exhibition, open from July 15 to December 11, 2022. It examines “what we don’t know, we don’t know” through exhibitions, installations and special projects. In light of this theme, the Dutch pavilion won this edition’s Golden Bee Award. The Triennale awards its Bee Awards to honor three international participants based on the accuracy of their interpretation of the theme and the quality and relevance of the ideas they put forward.
Het New Institute
The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has invited Het Nieuwe Instituut to organize the official Dutch contribution to the 23rd Milan Triennale International Exhibition.
Het Nieuwe Instituut is the Netherlands national museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture, based in Rotterdam. Through its high-profile national and international exhibitions, research, and public programs, the institute invites thinkers, designers, creators, and diverse audiences to critically reflect on pressing issues facing the past, present, and the future.
Curator: Aric Chen (General and Artistic Director, Het Nieuwe Instituut)
Project manager: Francien van Westrenen (head of agency, Het Nieuwe Instituut)
Curators: Klaas Kuitenbrouwer (Senior Researcher, Het Nieuwe Instituut) and Ellen Zoete (Program Manager, Het Nieuwe Instituut)
Producers: Nikita Hurkmans and Wietske Nutma
Spatial design: Studio Ossidiana (Giovanni Bellotti, Alessandra Covini)
Graphic design: Mislav Žugaj and Gailė Pranckūnaitė
A three-part podcast expands on the themes of the exhibition with the help of podcast producer Wineke van Muiswinkel.
Listen to the podcast here.
Exhibition supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Program supported by the Embassy and Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Italy.