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, which brought scientists and artists together in the exhibition hall for the first time in Estonia. We continue developing this method and 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 whose capabilities would exceed our own many times. There is no candidate other than the biosphere itself. Nothing regulates the atmosphere better than forests and ocean flora. We need to achieve cooperation and good neighbourly relations with other participants of the biosphere, learn their sign systems and cooperate with them, respectfully.
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 new 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.
Our annual event at Viinistu Art Harbour is rather an interdisciplinary forum than a conference. Different artistic and scholarly mindsets mingle during three days in the privacy of a small fishing village, spontaneous discussions, nature walks and concerts enhance intimate synergic processes. The hybrid online section of Biotoopia provides global outreach and feedback.
Between the annual events, we organise a number of different activities like Biotoopia Talks, Biotoopia Walks, and interactions with our student section. Biotoopia Art Programme is spread between different galleries, theatres and concert venues. The Library section of our homepage hosts a selection of articles, videos, visuals, audio content and reading lists of our authors and links to our partner organisations.
The Estonian Anthropocene Center is a politically independent non-profit organisation, open to collaboration with all citizens and organisations that aim to preserve biodiversity and restore habitats. Estonian Anthropocene Center follows the principles of ethical operation of nonprofit organisation adopted by the General Assembly of the Roundtable of Estonian Nonprofit Organisations.
Estonian Anthropocene Center
Estonian Anthropocene Center NPO is founded by citizens Kelli Turmann and Karin Kiigemägi in 2020. The NPO is managed by one board member, Kelli Turmann. Together with experts of the fields and partner organisations we 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. If you would like to become a member, please find our statute and more info about how to become a member here.
In addition to the annual conferences, Biotoopia is also aiming to develop a digital network of international scientists and artists and library section to share knowledge and accelerate new practical cooperation projects, and support environmental education. Together with experts of the fields we engage young creatives in implementing Biotoopia’s Talks and Walks series and with the help of children’s voice we create cross subject art, ethics and biosphere study materials for raising awareness systematically in lifelong learning scale.