Decay and Feedback: reckoning with the wild and the unsightly


With India Mansour and James Whitehead, as part of the DIY Hack The Panke project initiated by Art Laboratory Berlin.

A walk along river Panke intervowen with talks and participatory actions, bringing together the visible and invisble layers surrounding the river: ecology, history, trash as waste and trash as future habitat.
Photos below.

We started by trying to visualise the exact spot where we were standing, 50 million years ago. We tried to imagine the giant Glaciers passing by.
After that we had an artistic ritual: everyone sits in a circle, takes a sample of the soil and examines it through many senses: touch, smell, sound, colors etc. Then we share the samples and experience with the person next to us.

Next, we took a walk along the river during which we introduced many aspects of the river: ecosystem, interaction with waste, chemical processes, industrial past, philosophy and poetry. In between talks we listened to sound performances, interviews, did magnet fishing and many small actions.
When we reached the destination point at the river, Inda and James took a soil probe and examined it’s layers.

The day ended with another artistic ritual dedicated to the river:
We formed a ring along next to the river, with India being in the water.
India took a sample of the water, and passed it along, while we all chanted Gertrude Stiens poem in unison.
We repeated the verses of the poem until the water was returned to the river.

Berlin 50m years  agogeo map Berlin

soil samplegroup walks along Panke

Reading a poem

Heavan, poem by Rupert Brooke magnet fishing with sound performance

industrial past of river PankeReading Žižek about trash and ecology

Žižek "Other Fridges"

India showing poster about underground layers of BerlinSoil probe

Panke River Ritual Gertrude Stein - River

Photos by Janis Freimanis and me.