The Future Assembly Symposium
On Friday 8 October 2021, from 5:30 pm to 7 pm CEST, La Biennale di Venezia will host The Future Assembly Symposium at the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale. The meeting will discuss the foundation of collaboration and importance of More-Than-Human voices in this year’s Biennale.
Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann, co-founders of Studio Other Spaces, in conversation with Caroline A. Jones, professor of art history at MIT and co-designer of Future Assembly; Kumi Naidoo, ambassador for Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity and co-designer of Future Assembly.
The meeting will also be attended by Hashim Sarkis, Curator of the Biennale Architettura 2021 and of the Meetings on Architecture – Expanded Programme.
The symposium is part of the “exhibition within the exhibition” entitled Future Assembly, created at the Central Pavilion in the Giardini by Studio Other Spaces that, in response to the question How will we live together?, has activated a collaboration between 8 co-designers and over fifty participants from around the world. The diverse group imagined a more-than-human assembly for the future of the Earth, partly inspired by the United Nations multilateral assembly.
Located on the mezzanine of the Central Pavilion at the Giardini, Future Assembly comprises a display of fifty more-than-human ‘stakeholders’ from around the world submitted by the participants of the Biennale Architettura 2021. These stakeholders – which include, among other things, fungi, estuaries, and ephemeral gases – represent those living and non-living entities whose rights are traditionally left out of human legislation. All fifty stakeholders convene on the shared ground of the Future Assembly World Map, a circular carpet, twelve metres in diameter, woven from up-cycled ocean plastic. Human attempts to recognise and secure the rights of nature during the 75-year history of the Charter of the United Nations are presented in the More-than-human Chart, which spans three walls of the exhibition.
Future Assembly is lead by eight co-designers. Represented by its founders, artist Olafur Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann, Studio Other Spaces (SOS) is collaborating especially for this occasion with Caroline A. Jones, professor of art history; Hadeel Ibrahim, activist; Kumi Naidoo, ambassador for Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity; Mariana Mazzucato, professor and founding director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London; Mary Robinson, chair of The Elders and adjunct professor of climate justice at Trinity College, Dublin; Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Studio Other Spaces
Founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann in Berlin in 2014, Studio Other Spaces (SOS) connects architecture and art through interdisciplinary and experimental building projects and artworks for public space.
Recent projects include the design of Lyst Restaurant (2019) in Vejle’s Fjordenhus; Common sky (2019-), a contribution to the reinvention of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York; a permanent work of art for the 15th and 16th floor of the Morland Mixité Capitale building in Paris (2015-); and the Meles Zenawi Memorial Park (2013-2021) in Addis Ababa, a campus comprising five buildings, several pavilions, and a park, conceived and built with Ethiopian partners and in collaboration with Vogt Landscape Architects. The studio’s first solo exhibition, titled The Design of Collaboration, was on display at Kunst Meran Merano Arte in South Tyrol, Italy, from September 2020 through January 2021.