Defence of doctoral thesis in the field of Contemporary Art, Bart Vandeput

Photo of a leaf shredder with a man drawn over the photo as being crushed by the machine

Title of the doctoral thesis: Baroa belaobara: Berryapple

Opponent: PhD prof. Vytautas Michelkevičius, Vilnius Academy of Arts

Custos: Professor Helena Sederholm, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Art

Defence is held remotely via Zoom:

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The dissertation is publicly displayed online 10 days before the defence at:


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This monograph speaks about an art practice that addresses a plant while following sudden signals at a plantation in Latvia. Through five passages the reader is spinning into a making_thinking constellation of bacteria, breath, bone china porcelain, ether, coincidence, sap, glass, semen, installation, soil, linen, ghost, light, anthocyanin, Aronia_Baroacentrism, brain reader, pigment, musicians, electricity, pH, leaky loops, play, protocol, pipette, gift intervention, DNA and mulberry paper. The enquiry brings to the forefront various protocols and works. The stable failure of renaming the Aronia m. plant into Baroa belaobara crystalizes into a taxonomic breath-wording protocol that mixes human and plant. The experiments in changing the shape of the plant´s fruit touch upon photobiological, gene-editing and hidden plantation protocols. Solar electric procedures serve the plant to comment upon JMW Turner´s painting `Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour´s Mouth… (Exh. 1842)´, with its colorants converting light into electric energy in a unique hand-painted glass solar panel. Lastly, performative happening protocols are deployed that reveal hidden designs of a brain reader that are transformed into ceramic sculptures. in the form of a gift, they tie Baroa b. with a wheat grain and with the prime minister of a country turning into a plantation.

By emphasizing the experiential, the reader is offered a grounded notion of a transversal, transcontextual and enquiry-based art practice. The crucial role of presencing in the ways of working is suggested through the lens of improvisation music. A critical re-view of process-based practice is provided by the seemingly opposing views on the notion of becoming in the theories on reality by Tim Ingold and Federico Campagna.

Departing from signals from in between plant(ation) and human being, the art enquiry in `Baroa belaobara: berryapple´ offers the reader detailed descriptions of experimentations, interventions, imagined solutions and collaborative making-thinking processes across art, science, craft and philosophy. It is an evolving poetic constellation fused by leaky identities, boundaries, classifications and worldviews.

More information: Bart Vandeput, [email protected], +358 (0)50 307 69 00

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