food, sustainability and art projects in Europe

The Project

Today, food is a priority subject with regards to sustainable development from a technical point of view. It is at the same time an eminently cultural issue. From the fields to fine gastronomy, hybrid initiatives proposed by artists in the fields of agriculture and food are multiplying on across Europe.

Launched by The Sustainable Culture Laboratory (LAB), The Table and Territory is a transdisciplinary European project to develop, link and enable a community of cultural actors engaged in the ecological transition and sustainable food; to meet, share their expertise, assemble skills, evaluate (with scientists), share (with the public) and argue (with policies), the emergence on a European and eventually global scale, the importance of culture-based solutions.

Following an initial 30 month program, The Table and the Territory aims to integrate other European actors and initiatives in order to build a sustainable network to develop a new culture of ecology and territorial renewal as well as to incarnate alternative artistic, scientific and political narratives of the Earth’s transformation.

From new initiatives around Sustainable Food in France, Spain, the Czech Republic, Greece and Italy, artists, scientists and citizens will lead research-creations in innovative fields. They will share the results of their experiences through participatory artistic productions, public reunions and educational workshop sessions.

Two multi-site festivals, in Autumn 2020 and in Summer 2021, will be the occasion to showcase these artistic productions and research-creations. All the project’s archives and out-takes will be centralized on this online platform.

Throughout the project, the LADYSS-CNRS will be in charge of the study, the analysis and the evaluation of the cross disciplinary approach to art, food and society, organise a European seminar and publish a book based on these findings in 2022.

The Sustainable Culture Laboratory and its program The Table and the Territory, is supported by the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, within the framework of the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan, the Ministry of Culture, the Creative Europe program of the European Union and the Carasso Foundation. It also involves many cultural partners and research institutes: LADYSS-CNRS, ENS Paris, ENS Lyon and INRA.

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Five partners for a dialogue between the arts, territories and citizens

For the implementation of the Table and the territory in Europe, COAL has partnered with 5 major players in the field of art, ecology and territories: Three atypical cultural sites transformed into farms – Zone Sensible (France), Campo Adentro (Spain) et Art Mill (Czech Republic) ; a citizen art space – Locus Athènes (Greece) ; an arts center – le PAV – Parco Arte Vivente (Italy), a pioneer in the production of cultural events related to art and ecology; all coordinated by COAL (France), with the scientific supervision of LADYSS-CNRS.

These partners have long worked for an alliance of art and sustainable development, and are driven by the ambition to have a lasting influence on cultural policies at European level. All are recognized facilitators of this dialogue between the arts, territories and citizens for culture-based solutions in the field of food culture.

with the support of:
COAL and the Laboratory of Sustainable Culture (France)

COAL, the Coalition for Art and Sustainable Development, was founded in 2008 by a group of French professionals working in the fields of contemporary art, sustainable development and research in order to promote the emergence of a culture of ecology.

In a multidisciplinary and innovative way, COAL mobilises artists and cultural actors on societal and environmental problematics, in collaboration with institutions, NGOs, scientists and enterprises and supports the important role of creation and culture in raising awareness and in the implementation of concrete solutions.

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Parti Poétique and Zone Sensible (France)

The artistic collective Parti Poétique, founded by Olivier Darné, has been developing since 2003 art and environment projects in France and Europe, by putting their bees and their questions into the public space. In view of the creation of an “Academy of Life” in Saint-Denis, the collective has since 2017 been running Zone Sensible – the Art and Food Production Center project, which articulates cultural, artistic and participative programming around the three themes of Nature, Culture and Food.

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Campo Adentro and Inland (Spain)

INLAND is an arts collective, dedicated to agricultural, social and cultural production, and a collaborative agency. It was started in 2009 by Fernando Garcia Dory as a project about an organization that engages territories, culture, and social change. During its first stage (2010-2013) and taking Spain as initial case study, INLAND comprised an international conference, artistic production with 22 artists in residence in the same number of villages across the country, and nationwide exhibitions and presentations.

This was followed by a period of reflection and evaluation, launching study groups on art & ecology, and series of publications. Today INLAND functions as a collective and works as a para-institution to open space for land-based collaborations, economies and communities-of-practice as a substrate for post-Contemporary Art cultural forms. Appearing in different forms in different countries, whilst dissolving individual agency in the collective, INLAND publishes books, produces shows, and makes cheese. It also advises as a consultant for the European Union Commission on the use of art for rural development policies while facilitating a shepherd and nomadic peoples movements, runs a space in Madrid city named Centre for the Approach of the Rural and is recovering an abandoned village in an undisclosed location for collective artistic and agricultural production.

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ArtDialogue and ArtMill (Czech Republic)

We are a non-profit organization working in sustainable education via the arts and sciences, with international outreach that ultimately has the potential to affect policy. We produce exhibitions, catalogues, educational programs, workshops and other visual manifestations to promote our goals of stewardship of the planet and social change. This takes place at our home site, ArtMill in Czech Republic, as well as project locations globally.

Our vision is to expand the de­finition of Art into the larger cultural context. ArtDialogue does this by fostering creativity and it’s innate connection to the natural world; a place where nature and culture meet that is holistic, experiential, and sustainable. We foster a praxis-based, educational environment that grows from the natural sciences, philosophy and civil society, the arts, and the systems that organize them

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Locus Athens and TAVROS (Greece)

After years of curating a constellation of projects in and around Athens, locus athens is exploring a new format: founding a home in the area of TAVROS. Our medium sized non-profit space, opening in October 2019, will be the springboard for our need to respond to the social and political circumstances around us, by exploring notions of democracy, equality and ecology whilst looking to address these issues head on through dialogue, listening and learning.

Inspired by our locality, which takes its name from a mountainous region in Turkey (Toros Dağları) from which a wave of migrants arrived and settled in the 1920’s, our program will reflect our belief in the transformative potential of shifting perspectives and moving minds and bodies through our relationship with art.

Parco Arte Vivente (Italy)

The PAV is an experimental center of contemporary art, conceived by the artist Piero Gilardi and directed by Enrico Bonanate. It includes an outdoor exhibition site and an interactive museum intended as a meeting place and laboratory experience aimed at the dialogue between art and nature, biotechnology and ecology, between the public and artists.

The park is a green area in continuous evolution and occupies an ex-industrial area of about 23,000 square meters where, in addition to Trèfle, environmental installation by the artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (2006) and Jardin Mandala, a garden designed by the landscape architect Gilles Clément ( 2010), other interventions of a relational and participatory nature are in progress (Focolare, winner of the PAV Prize 2012 and Urbees, urban beekeeping project, 2011, within La Folie du PAV by Emmanuel Louisgrand, 2009)

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The Ladyss-CNRS (France)

The Laboratory of Social dynamics and spatial reconstruction (LADYSS) is a multidisciplinary UMR (Mixed Research Unit) located in 4 university sites (Paris 1, Paris 7, Paris 8, and Paris 10) ( The LADYSS is set to analyse territorialisation processes of both individual and collective actions broken down into a study of a world-system and day-to-day existence composed of local issues, via research objects that are especially representative of the transformation of contemporary societies, such as those of the environment.This idea was given renewed impetus by the IT revolution and the increasing importance of virtual worlds : reaffirmation of the importance of materiality and “naturalness” of territories and objects in forging social ties.

This reaffirmation was grounded in a solid methodological basis : interdisciplinarity figures among LADYSS researchers’ key preoccupations and is one of its members’ identifying markers. Consequently, those conducting research into the importance of territorialisation in processes of change have much to say to stakeholders on the ground about how they fit into the wider scheme of things. LADYSS’ project has four main research axes. The first concerns globalisation : “Socio-spatial recomposition in globalization”. The second is bound up with “Everyday territories : representations, practices and projects”. The third is entitled “Environment and development : towards a new paradigm ?” and the fourth : “Health issues and territories”.

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