Lab for Nature Research
The Lab is a research centre that invites artists and associated researchers to consider 'Nature' in relation to social, political and ecological developments, both on a local and on an international level. The Lab for Nature Research facilitates artists that are keen to re-think and re-build our relationship to the natural world, acknowledging and recognising (climatic) changes and (geological) impacts, also known as the epoch of the Anthropocene. The revealing of this interconnectedness between humankind and our natural environment confronts us with a responsibility towards both human and non-human species and the need to repair the threads that connect us to nature. We are facing a wide range of severe environmental challenges; from mass extinction of species, loss of biodiversity and acidification of our oceans, to name but a few. The Lab approaches these crises as an opportunity to demand and help build new systems that serve people and planet in a more equal and balanced way than capitalism does, recognising the legacies that have informed our current world, including (colonial, patriarchal and geopolitical) histories of power.
The Lab for Nature Research operates as an ecosystem; it grows, builds networks and spreads her tentacles within the academy and beyond, with collaboration partners and exchange programmes stretching from Maastricht, to Chile to Taiwan. It allows for traversing to other disciplines to collaborate and exchange knowledge with other professions, such as (landscape) architects, farmers, microbiologists, anthropologists, (climate) scientists, philosophers and many more. It enables artists to explore in depth, through their practice, their relation to nature. It gives them an opportunity to do active research (literally, to get their hands dirty) in the garden and the greenhouse at the Van Eyck. The Lab initiates projects, exhibitions and Reading Groups in order to stimulate innovation, reflection, transition, ultimately aiming to contribute to an international discourse on art and nature and a re-visitation of our outdated assumptions, systems and worldviews. As a collaborative effort we activate the imagination to favour (re)new(ed) ideas about how we want to live in relation to our natural environment.
*Because 'nature' is an all-encompassing subject and has a certain ambiguity as a term, we do identify different concrete priority themes. Our current focus areas are 'Food Futures' (the van Eyck Food Lab being the physical base for this research) and 'The Materiality of Nature', researching sustainable materials for artists, including biodegradable, waste and new materials.
You can follow the Lab for Nature Research on Instagram: instagram.com/jacpthijsselab
Picture by Rob Oostwegel