Biotoopia is a series of conferences and art events in Estonia that seeks to build networks between the arts, sciences and biotic communities. We borrowed the name from the 1995 exhibition BIOTOOPIA, curated by Sirje Helme, Eha Komissarov and Ando Keskküla, and we will continue developing its themes. We are living in a time of great changes. The pressure our civilisation exerts on living environments has exceeded a reasonable limit, and the disbalanced natural processes are presenting us with increasingly unpleasant surprises. We are becoming aware of our responsibility for the life of the planet, for the continuation of biodiversity. We cannot solve the accumulated ecological problems with technology alone – we need an ally that has as much at stake as we do, but whose capabilities would exceed our own many times. There is no candidate other than the biosphere itself, with all its inhabitants, from migratory birds to microbiomes. It’s time to take a break from searching for extraterrestrial civilisations and instead learn to communicate with the consortia on our own planet. Nothing regulates the atmosphere better than forests and ocean flora. We need to achieve cooperation and good neighbourly relations with them, learn their sign systems and negotiate with them as alien elders, paying respect. The arts are efficient means of bringing nonhuman perspectives closer to the human mind. The wild aesthetics of native biomes orchestrates diverse forms of otherness and teaches us about sources of pleasures. It is in the symbiosis of the arts and sciences with biosphere, in the exciting frontier areas, that a deeper understanding can emerge that will help us open perspectives for life itself.
Art Museum of Estonia
University of Tartu
Stockholm Environment Institute
Republic of Estonia Ministry of the Environment
Viinistu Art Harbour
The Estonian Anthropocene Center is a politically independent non-profit organisation, open to collaboration with all organisations that aim to preserve biodiversity and restore habitats.
Estonian Anthropocene Center
Estonian Anthropocene Center together with partner organisations and experts of the fields have started the Biotoopia project with a 5-year perspective to connect creative people and natural scientists in order to find new understandings and patterns for saving and restoring the world’s biosphere. In addition to the annual conferences, Biotoopia is also aiming to develop a digital network of international scientists and artists to accelerate new practical cooperation projects, and together with educational unions create cross subject art, ethics and biology course for high school students for raising awareness systematically in Estonia.