Tallinn Botanic Garden


Biotoopia’22 invites everybody to consider the importance of beauty in the process of evolution

Biotoopia’22 invites everybody to consider the importance of beauty in the process of evolution

Biotoopia, the hybrid conference that spreads bio-harmony is happening again in Estonia. Estonia is known around the world as an IT country, but nature and empathy towards all life forms are being increasingly valued here, too, and the Biotoopia community is happy to encourage this to spark a bio-harmonious renaissance in the world.

Our second conference will concentrate on eco-aesthetics and reconciliation ecology. Almost 20 remarkable scientists and artists from around the globe will participate in the 3-day international forum which connects arts and sciences. The event will take place at the Viinistu Art Harbour complex – a venue that’s become very dear to our communal heart. As a hybrid conference, it will also be broadcast over the internet. The sweet early bird tickets are only available till the end of March!

Biotoopia seeks out keen thinkers, researchers and artists, whose relationship with our living environment is inspiring and who are willing to share their vision of a more harmonious world with the public. ‘Unfortunately, we are not currently living in the best of all possible worlds, but it is in all our hands to nudge it towards a better one’, notes Peeter Laurits, head curator of the conference. Biotoopia welcomes everyone who’s interested in preparing the ground within themselves for shifts in thinking and behavioural patterns and for securing a biotopian, or wholesome, life for the next generations.

The first theme of Biotoopia’22 will be fine-tuned by German biologist Andreas Weber, who’s already known and loved by the Biotoopia audience, and founder of ecosemiotics, the legendary Kalevi Kull from the University of Tartu, who’s celebrating a respectable 70th birthday this year. Contrast, in the form of a substantial presentation as well as a musical performance, will be provided by philosopher and interspecies musician David Rothenberg from USA. To introduce his performance, Rothenberg muses, ‘The beauty of nature is not arbitrary, even if random mutation has played a role in evolution. What can we learn from the amazing range of animal aesthetic behaviour about animals, and about ourselves?’. Speaking on similar topics will be philosopher Eik Hermann from the Estonian Academy of Arts, anthropologist Paul Firnhaber from USA, artist Tuomas A. Laitinen and art historian Ki Nurmenniemi from Finland. Promoter of art education Jan van Boeckel from Holland will take the guests on a surprise trip to Mohni island on the last day of the conference.

Through the ages, art has influenced aspects of natural sciences and opened innovative opportunities for scientists to find new perspectives on evolution. Kalevi Kull, who is highly regarded the world over, ponders the essence of beauty since the birth of nature, ‘The beautiful natural world existed before humans. Thus, the key to understanding what begets beauty is in understanding life. To know where creation and harmony come from, we must turn to plants, animals, and mushrooms. Because what art aims for, they have already found in their own way, they have mastered it’. In addition, Kull hints at optimistic prospects for the future, ‘Therefore, we believe that together with the fellow members of our ecosystem we can find the key, the art to guide our future towards peace’.

The international forum is not limited to Viinistu and the online platform. Herkko Labi, co-curator of Biotoopia, has created an ever-growing and evolving virtual library, which you can find on library.biotoopia.ee. The library includes speeches from the first Biotoopia conference, art projects, recordings of Biotoopia Talks and much more.

The programme of Biotoopia’22 is still expanding! Soon we’ll announce the speakers on the second main theme, and the performers of the adjacent art programme.

Biotoopia is an international hybrid conference which takes place on 17-19 August 2022 at Viinistu Art Harbour, involving insightful presentations, art and music programme, workshops, and nature hikes. The first two days are also accessible via the online event platform Worksup. Biotoopia tickets are available on the website www.biotoopia.ee. A limited number of early bird concession tickets is available until 31 March 2022.

Biotoopia forum takes place in English. On-site at the Art Harbour we will observe pandemic-related guidelines set by the Estonian government. Guests are welcome to enjoy the delectable delicacies of Viinistu Restaurant, and the invigorating coastal nature.

The main sponsor of Biotoopia is Click and Grow; our kind partners are: producer of health products Ecosh Life, data analytics developers Wizon, and digital marketing agency ePPC. The volunteers at the forum are dressed by Muulin. Biotoopia is supported by Tallinn Culture Department, Estonian Enterprise Foundation through the European Foundation of Regional Development, and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. Guests are hosted by our good partners Viinistu Art Harbour and Von Krahl Theatre. Biotoopia is organised by the NPO Estonian Anthropocene Center.

Photos: MorroW Shoots