A discussion about
#solarpunk and #cottagecore
with Vlad Basalici and Dana Andrei
Saturday, 10 June 2023, 12 to 6 p.m.
The Experimental Station for Research on Art and Life, Siliștea Snagovului
In this present in which the future is almost cancelled, #solarpunk imagines a way to be together based on other options than denial or despair. In this speculative imaginary, manifested as sci-fi literary and artistic forms, and rapidly expanding in multiple forms of popular culture, the solar, understood as renewable energy, meets punk as form of self-organisation, thus representing a trend in discontinuity with genres like cyberpunk, dieselpunk or steampunk.
#cottagecore amplified during the physical isolation and is an esthetic/subculture based on the romantization of nature, characterized by a quiet life far from the madding urban clusters, natural materials and remedies, self-sufficiency and harmony. The fantasy of going back to or retreating towards nature is a safety cocoon which cushions and offers refuge from the aggresive environments we are inhabiting. If we transfer to the local context this way of relating to the rural life and to what is considered to be nature, we notice how it becomes a vehicle for nationalism and religious doctrine, which imperceptibly resurfaces traditional directions of worldbuilding. Wired to the technological present and guided by entrepreneurial principles, in the undercurrents of this esthetic and in the way it is consumed there is a system of conservative relationships taking shape as the ”alternative right”.
Vlad Basalici lives and works in Bucharest and London. In his projects, he investigates how we perceive temporality. He began to date his every work to 2012. That was the year when he founded The Last Archive, which contains newspapers from all over the world published on December 21st, 2012, the last day before the Apocalypse presumably announced by the Maya culture.
Dana Andrei occupies various positions on the cultural work spectrum, most often working within collectives and collaborative configurations towards conceiving exhibitions and publications; in parallel, since 2013 she has been working as a duo together with Sorin Popescu. They research subjects such as the surveillance economy, the institutionalization of art, pop culture, ecological thought and public discourse. Since 2018, she is one of the editors of the journal IDEA arts + society.
The title comes from a poem by Emily Dickinson.