Over the next five years, Swiss Institute (SI) will change its structure to respond to this moment of shared social and ecological urgency. It has conducted a full evaluation of its operations, energy usage, travel, cycles of waste, and production with the overarching goal of integrating climate action into all facets of the institution. SI invites artists to rethink and feel anew what the (infra)structures of an arts organization might be: from the materials used, to the shipment of artworks, to incorporating ecological awareness with the practitioners and suppliers with whom SI works.
Mimi Park, These Seasons: Murmuring in Blue Kaleidoscope, 2023. Digital image. Courtesy the artist.
Conceived as a process of collaborative learning and unlearning, SI will not only reduce its footprint but also create connections between its artistic programming and local communities and publish findings for transparency and knowledge-sharing. Spora proposes to test a new curatorial methodology of environmental institutional critique which highlights the architecture of the building as much as the energies traversing the institution (both material and spiritual) and manifests in physical artworks and conceptual interventions. Participating artists include Mary Manning, Helen Mirra, Jenna Sutela, Vivian Suter, and Tʼuyʼtʼtanat-Cease Wyss, with more artists to be announced in late 2023.
Spora will be accompanied by public gatherings entitled These Seasons, which approaches the titular concept (as a marker of mood, aesthetics, politics, weather) as a lens to explore theories of nature, land, ecology, human and non-human life forms, and climate action across disciplines monthly. SI will feature These Seasons and Spora in a climate-friendly culminating publication to ensure its reach beyond its gallery walls, with the hope that these resources will help other institutions shape paths toward climate action.
Susan Schuppli, These Seasons: Cold Cases, 2023. Image. Courtesy of the artist.
Ravi Agarwal, These Seasons: The Sea of New Sands, 2023. Digital image. Courtesy the artist.