EKO 8, International Triennial of Art and Environment / A Letter to the Future





Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory is key partner of EKO 8.

Artists: Allora & Calzadilla, Lucien Anderson, Manca Bajec, Maxime Berthou & Mark Požlep, James Bridle & Navine G. Khan-Dossos, Kara Chin, Jasmina Cibic, Marcus Coates, William Cobbing, Vadim Fiškin, Laura Harrington, Mikhail Karikis, Janja Kosi, Harley Kuyck-Cohen, Polonca Lovšin, Andri Snær Magnason, Antonis Pittas, Marjetica Potrč, Mako Sajko, Nina Slejko Blom & Conny Blom, ScanLAB Projects, Ian Soroka, Danae Stratou, Emilija Škarnulytė, Marko Tadić, Chris Watson, Jimmy Turrell and others.

Artistic Director: Alessandro Vincentelli
Project Lead: Simona Vidmar

Relaunch of the Triennial in 2021
In 2021, the Maribor Art Gallery is relaunching the International Triennial of Art and Environment in its eighth edition. The EKO Triennial, founded in 1980 and dedicated to contemporary visual arts and the environment, will explore the intersections between the current socio-economic challenges, environmental policies, and post-colonial globalisation. In line with the growing awareness that the state of our environment depends on a range of interconnected systems, including environmental policies, technological development, social practices, the economy, etc., the Triennial relates natural and social ecosystems and blurs the boundaries between the contradicting notions: nature|culture, individual|common, national|international, global|local. The renewed Triennial will thus reflect and comment on the many changes at the global and local levels that affect the environments we live in and depend on.

Maps EKO 8, 16 September 2020, MTT. Photo: Sara Rezar

EKO 8 Exhibition, Programme, Protagonists
The EKO 8 exhibition will present on the premises of the former MTT factory collected visions and proposals of more than 30 international and Slovenian artists that are dedicated to the central theme of A Letter to the Future. In the face of the uncertainties created by the global pandemic, and in light of the new and enhanced need to recognise signs and lessons from history, EKO 8 will be designed as a barometer of change. It will feature ecologically conscious films from the 1960s as well as new works of art, spatial installations and sound installations that raise awareness of species extinction, the fragility of the human ecosystem, and the need for coexistence.

Conference on 22 May
A Letter to the Future: Towards radical and creative ecologies
The conference programme has been designed in cooperation with the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory. Emerging from the EKO 8 concept, the conference addresses environmental and climate urgencies as well as the potential of art to critically and creatively address and engage with them at the local and global level. In the search for radical and creative ecologies, the focus is on contemporary artistic and curatorial strategies, looking at recent examples, and exploring the intersection of art, political ecology, environmental advocacy and activism, social and environmental justice, politics and theory of care, de-growth, and postcolonial globalization. For more information please visit Igor Zabel association for culture and theory.

The conference venue:  Premises of the former MTT textile factory, Maribor and online
Speakers: T. J. Demos, Maja and Reuben Fowkes, Elke Krasny, Andri Snær Magnason, Luka Omladič, Lucia Pietroiusti, and Marjetica Potrč

Venue EKO 8, 16 – 26 September 2020, MTT. Photo: Sara Rezar

EKO 8 Artistic Director Alessandro Vincentelli
The artistic director of EKO 8 Alessandro Vincentelli, an independent curator based in the UK known as a polemical and engaged researcher of the contemporary art world, who for many years co-created the exhibition and research program of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle, named the eighth, renewed edition of the Triennial A Letter to the Future. For more information please visit UGM, Maribor art gallery.

Cover picture: Premises of the former MTT factory, 10 September 2020. Photo: UGM archive.

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Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.