Inhaltspezifische Aktionen


This year’s ‘Planetary Spaces’ fellow in the Planetary Scholars & Artists in Residence Program , Juan Pablo Pacheco Bejarano , took us on a journey to understand our relationship to the ocean floor, and what it can teach us about our chances for survival in the face of conditions such as microplastic pollution and ocean acidification. To address this from the coastless city of Giessen, Pacheco Bejarano’s three-day wet workshop created an open (in)disciplinary space to relate to the multiple bodies of water within and around us.  Following the workshop, a complementary audio-visual installation was showcased at Neuer Kunstverein Giessen on November 10, 2023.

The workshop kick started with a guided tour of Lahnfenster Hessen , the observation station at a fish pass in Giessen. Here, the participants were educated on the migratory patterns of the fish such as the eel that travels across the Atlantic, the aquatic birds such as the kingfisher that nests by the river bank as well as the changing water- and riverscape of the Lahn through the years where we learned about the infrastructures that allow river species to live alongside a dam. The tour offered a glimpse to the underwater world of River Lahn through the large windows installed to observe the fish in their natural environment. Pacheco Bejarano then conducted a somatic reading session from his wet reader that dealt with the issues of hydrocommons and colonialism. The day came to an end with the group taking a relaxing walk by the Lahn whilst deep listening to the river using a hydrophone.

The second day of the workshop took the group to the aquarium Ocean2100 at the Systematics & Biodiversity Lab of the JLU. Prof. Dr. Thomas Wilke gave an introduction to the aquarium; a global change simulator that exposes stony corals and other organisms living in coral reefs to global change scenarios. He emphasized on the importance of artists creating a transdisciplinary discourse to carry the important scientific messages of conservation of corals to the wider public. Dr. Patrick Schubert then gave the group a guided tour of the aquarium. The group engaged in a somatic reading session at the aquarium before going to the Bergwerkswald ponds, bodies of water that emerged out of bomb craters from World War II. Here, the participants got an opportunity to write a toxic love letter to their favorite body of water. The day wrapped up with a lecture by Prof. Dr. Klement Tockner (Senckenberg Society on Nature Research) on ‘Water as an Engineered Planetary Space’ at Kunsthalle Giessen .

On the final day of the workshop, Pacheco Bejarano conducted floating and underwater communication exercises at the indoor swimming pool at Giessener Bäder . The workshop came to a conclusion with the somatic dance exercise led by Colombian choreographer Catalina Insignares through which participants connected to their bodies as liquid tissues and to the watery origins of life. The sensorial experience was complemented with Pacheco Bejarano’s performance of the waterphone (Ocean Harp) that emanated a vibrant, ethereal sound.

Our sincere gratitude goes to Juan Pablo Pacheco Bejarano, our group of participants, staff at Lahnfenster Hessen, Prof. Wilke, Dr. Schubert, the research team of aquarium Ocean2100, Catalina Insignares, and to MAGIE Makerspace for the support given to make the workshop a massive success!