CLEPTOCRAZIA

Valeria D’Ambrosio
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22.03.2022

CLEPTOCRAZIA is an art and science festival curated by Valeria D’Ambrosio at Villa Romana in Florence. The project aims to deepen and disseminate knowledge on the roots of the current environmental crisis caused by a form of capitalist, patriarchal and colonialist management of the planet. Through a cycle of lectures, screenings and performances, international artists and Italian scientists have explored six macro-topics related to the Anthropocene, the current geological era characterised by a constant increase in the impact of anthropogenic activities on the terrestrial environment with consequent alterations of natural balances.


The twelve experts have also contributed to the production of a series of open-source bibliographies on their respective topics: Armin Linke and Antonello Pasini on Climate Change; Beate Geissler & Oliver Sann and Riccardo Mastini on Degrowth; Angela Melitopoulos and Andrea Bonisoli Alquati on Radioactivity; Oliver Ressler and Chiara Boschi on Extractivism; Michelle-Marie Letelier and Ferdinando Boero on Ocean Exploitation; Jasmijn Visser and Ilaria Dorigatti on Pandemics.

This contribution is published in the framework of the Whole Life Academy.

Connected Material

Epistolary narrative, dialogism, intertextuality, speculative narrative — we imagine this text to be letters between the two of us across different temporalities, making use of a speculative and fragmented narrative in line with the themes we explore in our work: archiving the unarchivable, emotions, memories, and other human conditions within the horizon of extinction.

Chto Delat’s installation Canary Archives employs the imagery of the canary in the coal mine, once used to alarm miners when carbon monoxide levels rose. Where is the canary today, that tells us wether the danger is real? It seems to have gone silent, the sharpest signal it can send. In an emergency newspaper issue under the impression of the Russian war on Ukraine, Chto Delat assembles anti-war views of artists and critics and expresses their solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

A conversation about KANG Sang-woo’s film KIM-GUN and how it treats historical evidence and testimonies as a ‘horizon of contingent truths’ with the potential to be pieced together in alternating ways, touching upon the complex dynamics of archives and life stories, collective memory and amnesia, the mechanisms of image-making and history-writing.

Three videos are used in real time composition to explore the combination of the moving images – the edited sequence creates a non-existing-place.

These images were taken in the frame of The Whole Life Academy. Laura Fiorio accompanied the project as a photographer from the beginning in 2019 and developed her own approach of documenting archival sites and methods.

Interrogating the archive of “green” extractivism is not just about uncovering access to knowledge, legal knowledge, for example, that can help expose (ecological and economic) crime and that can thus be a starting point for empowering true alternatives and thus alternative ways of living and organizing economic processes. It is also about creating a resonant space for shared thinking and reflection.

Scanning the Horizon works with and towards the seemingly unattainable, yet powerfully generative utopian demands of queer life set out on the horizon.

The Perverted Archival Image workshop centered on and tentacled off from Studio Baalbeck. The workshop participants created an audio montage of recordings to accompany some of the visual archive material.

This collective chain uses multiple entry points to reflect on the encounter of archival practices, objects and material with non-linear timelines.

This workshop addressed archives as related to overlapping sites of nature/culture, climate change, deep time, and the built environment. The following texts and visual materials offer insight into individual participants’ research on