“This is our darkest hour. We are in urgent need of a radical system change: it is our sacred duty to rebel.” ~ Extinction Rebellion.
I understand artistic practice to be a vehicle that can transform life, our relationship with ourselves, society, and the natural world, by experimenting with our subjectivities, expanding consciousness and thereby creating new existential scenarios. As an artist and activist fully engaged in Extinction Rebellion – a global environmental movement with the stated aim of using nonviolent civil disobedience to compel governments to act to avoid triggering tipping points in the climate system, biodiversity loss, and the risk of social and ecological collapse – my latest performances internalize our existential crisis in the midst of the current planetary emergency.
Arctic temperatures are rising fast, at least 3 times as fast as the global average. First frozen for millennia, permafrost soils are abruptly, intensely, thawing. In some places it’s thawing so abruptly that landscapes are collapsing in on themselves. Northern soils will release huge amounts of carbon in a warmer world, and carbon released into the atmosphere from permafrost soils very likely will irreversibly accelerate climate change. This residency was the epilogue of the Walk and during that period we were privileged enough to coincide with a team of researchers doing field work at the station who showed us their process and thanks to them we could physically encounter the permafrost, where in some way we concluded this climate pilgrimage (before going to preventive prison for my participation at the non-violent civil disobedience actions with Scientist Rebellion in Germany). That encounter with the permafrost was one of the most striking moments of this project, quasi religious, I would say. Having finally arrived in the most northern part of Finland, it was a moment of immense emotion, gratitude and surrender that helped to reconnect with our higher purpose.
2020: The Walk is an art and activist project in which we traveled, mostly on foot, all the way from Granada to Helsinki – and from there up North to the permafrost, with some trains and ferries – raising awareness about the no-fly movement and helping to spread the word of Extinction Rebellion by giving talks and nonviolent direct action training. During the 4000 kilometres, we connected with fellow XR rebels and other climate change activists from related movements amongst the waves of rebellion, and they joined us on some journeys as regenerative time, reflecting together about civil resistance in Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. The 2020: The Walk film will be premiered on April 13th 2023 at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and in September a book about this project will be published during the exhibition and round-table event that will take place at the Centro José Guerrero in Granada.
Conceptualized in early 2019 by Extinction Rebellion Spain rebel Marta Moreno Muñoz as part of her PhD research Art as an Experience of Dissolution of the Self. Towards an Art Practice in Times of Ecological Collapse, 2020: The Walk was presented in the conference organized by Oliver Ressler Barricading the Ice Sheets held at Camera Austria with artists-activists in the climate justice movement in February 2020. Postponed for two years due to the pandemic, 2020: The Walk finally started in April 2022 together with artist Oscar Martín who joined Marta to support and document her 6-month journey. The project ended at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station, where Marta and Oscar spent two weeks exploring the sub-arctic environment, researching, writing and filming the last scenes of the 2020: The Walk. The two weeks were both part of the Ars Bioarctica residency program, as well as part of the Creative Europe collaboration project Rewilding Cultures by multiple European art associations, including the Bioart Society. Rewilding Cultures receives funding from the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Prior to traveling from Helsinki to Kilpisjärvi, Moreno Muñoz and Martín held an open discussion on 17th September 2022 about civil resistance in the face of the climate, ecological and civilisation crisis with Extinction Rebellion Finland / Extinction Rebellion Spain and Scientist Rebellion activists at Myymälä2.
Marta Moreno Muñoz (Spain, b. 1978) is a performance & video artist and Extinction Rebellion / Scientist Rebellion activist. She is at present in a transitional stage, shifting towards the conceptualization of larger-scale projects exploring the complex interchange between performance art and the cinematic language. Marta Moreno has lived, produced and engaged in artistic works in Spain, UK, Turkey, India, The Netherlands, Indonesia, Singapore, The Philippines and exhibited internationally. Currently based in a little cabin in Granada, she is researching for her PhD thesis, planning new non-violent civil disobedience actions and working in the post-production of The Walk.
Oscar Martín a.k.a Noish (Winthertur, b. 1977) is an independent artist, programmer and researcher. In his practice and installations, art and science converge in an experimental and heterodox approach, and he addresses emergence and self-organisation in complex and chaotic systems with non-human agents. From the sound aspect, his pieces propose to encourage active listening and expand perception through the physical-acoustic experience of the phenomenon of the emergence of structures and patterns in the limits of the chaotic and the ordered. His works have been shown at Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, Piksel Festival, SONAR, ISEA2022 Barcelona, Ars Electrónica Garden , NK-project Berlin, amongst others.
Currently he is based in Barcelona preparing an exhibition of BSM v3 [bionic sound machine], an installation that proposes an alliance between a colony of physarum polycephalum [slime mold] and a system of sound genetic/evolutive algorithms. Also reactivating collective projects such as EEMEEMEE a collective learning group that crosses mycology, art, ecology and critical thinking.
2020: The Walk: www.2020thewalk.org
Extinction Rebellion: https://rebellion.global
Scientist Rebellion: http://www.scientistrebellion.com/