How do woodlands think?

In the heart of matter there grows an obscure vegetation;
in the night of matter black flowers blossom.
They already have their velvet and the formula of their scent.

(Bachelard, 1947)

Eduardo Kohn, in his book How Forests Think, presents a tesis that, starting from the study of semiotics, concludes that all forms of life, including those beyond humans, participate in processes of meaning. Proyectos (Projects) embraces this idea and presents itself to the public as a platform where the concept of subject has transcended the human realm and exists in all species. This challenge to classical principles of anthropology represents a radical questioning of anthropocentrism. A new perspective under which all social sciences learning, pivoting on the idea of human uniqueness, crumbles when applied to the relationship with other kinds of beings. Faced with this collapse brought about by Kohn's thesis, the Proyectos exhibition invites us to adopt a participatory and curious attitude, accepting this premise as a conceptual framework and approaching the proposal with an eye on the opportunities that arise if we accept that communication is multipolar and the capacity for meaning and even thinking can reside in a tree, in a forest. 

We are in a world that is the result of a dense web of balances among the beings that coexist. Lichens, plants, bacteria, animals, and humans, among other species, continuously work to transform the place in which they live. They coexist on the surface and in the depths, in a constant process of adaptation to their needs. All forms of life we share the Earth with, and of which we are a part, tirelessly dedicate themselves to creating the best conditions for their own existence. We could assert that the agency of these beings acts on the environment through creative, even thought-generating activity. 

Bruno Latour asserts that the Earth is artificial from start to finish because all living beings have constructed it. From the tiniest microorganism, everything is in motion, and everything generates the world. Not just the tangible things but also the symbolic forces that those perceivable entities may produce. Everything is in constant movement and transformation. What would be the political, performative, and symbolic image of the continuous making of the Earth? A vibration, an energy, a tempo, a striving, and a rhythm of different forms of life to create the world. 

What is that tremor that compels us to heighten all our senses for listening? The one that makes us realize that we are nothing more than a part of this same artificial and natural imagination we project. 

The artists in Proyectos are collectors of fragments produced by the activity of nature and its imaginaries, focusing on the speculative creative potential that all objects in the world hold. They are far from seeking to provide a single, true image; instead, they are practices born of attentive listening to the forms and narratives inherent in a world marked by constant change. They are more interested in what may seem distant from the human, such as the symbolic and spiritual value of objects or the murmur of plants. 

How Forests Think explores a more sensory, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and even a world more in touch with the senses from which the projects emerge. Not only do they refer to them sensorially, but the idea they invoke presents a different way of seeing with our hands. 

Curator: Claudia Segura
Claudia Segura - Curadora


Claudia Segura serves as the Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the MACBA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Humanities from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona (2007) and a Master's in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths University in London (2008). She previously worked as the Director and Chief Curator at NC Arte in Bogotá, Colombia, where she curated various site-specific projects for different artists, including Amalia Pica, Luis Camnitzer, Xavier Le Roy, Nicolás Paris, Nicolás Consuegra, Los Carpinteros, Alia Farid, and more. Segura also served as the Coordinator of Cultural Projects at the «la Caixa» Foundation in Barcelona, an external curator for the Mardin Biennial in Turkey, a tutor for the Sala de Arte Joven in Barcelona, and the Cano Laboratory at the Museum of the National University of Bogotá. She was also a guest professor at the University of los Andes in Bogotá. 
She has curated and co-curated projects such as Hay que saberse infinito, a retrospective of Maria José Arjona at the MAMBO in Bogotá (2018), The border is you at Proyectos LA in Los Angeles (2017), Límites Nómadas at the Biennial of the Borders in Mexico (2015), Fifty (Pipilotti Rist) from Han Nefkens H+F Collection at collectorspace in Istanbul (2014), Copy / Paste – Recodifying the gesture at the Cervantes Institute in London, and Like Tears in Rain at the Palacio das Artes in Porto. She also worked on Producing Urban Order at Goldsmiths University in London. 
Claudia Segura was responsible for the editorial coordination of the 2015 Florae magazine for Flora ars+natura in Bogotá. She is part of the research teams for «De Vuelta y Vuelta» and «Para abrir Boca».


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