oops, or rather, how to contextualise $60,000


“Bonetto’s work is a barometer of our times, exploring nature, fragility, sustainability and how we integrate ourselves in the natural environment. The work is particularly apt at this point of time with what is going on ecologically, economically and politically,” the committee noted.

It took a while to come up with this post.
You were awarded the Helen Lempriere Traveling Art Scholarship 10 days ago, and it was such a surprise.
So this posting will be on what you’re at with it. It will serve as a point of reference for when in years to come you will get back to this point. No more Nobody.

Few things needs to be said, pulled out of your system and laid down in a public forum:
ANAT, the Australian Network for Art and Technology runs an online discussion list, where once a month a new topic gets discussed by a number of invited guest from around the world. September topic was Sustaining Ecologies – how to ensure our ecosystems survive us. You were one of the many who just read the incoming points of views from people like AMY BALKIN, GEORG DIETZLER, LYNDAL JONES, ANDREA POLLI, JANINE RANDERSON and MARTIN WALCH.
Few interesting topics came out, like the fact that by far the biggest factor in climate change is human behavior (no surprises there)[...] and climate scientists have been starting to try to integrate social and behavioral models into climate change scenarios..
What struck you the most though, was to learn how many internationally recognized artists travel the world to various science-art collaborations in an attempt to present works with environmental concerns.
..artists jetsetting to antanrtica for example, to document the melting of the icecaps.
..do this people calculate their own environmental footprint?
or they just offset their own carbon emissions with pseudocredit originated in some obscure factory in China?

and here you are, with a big possibility to go around the world to experience first hand foraging practices, glean information, digest and take it back in your own bioregional reality in the form of ‘art’.

Non si sputa sul piatto dove mangi
You don’t bite the hand that feeds you

yet, hard questions need to be addressed there.

In the mean time congratulations rained in from all corners, thanks. While local information gets offered and needs to be compiled as important bioregional research:

I just watched a video of you cooking biscuits with fennel. My mother loved making spinach and feta pies with fennel that we would pick from the side of train tracks. For some reason, the train track fennel always tasted better than the garden grown fennel. I wonder what other weeds you can use in cooking. Are you going to write a little cook book one day?

Kind regards

The selection committee praised the quality of the whole show and described Mr Bonetto’s winning entry as, ‘a visual synopsis of a longstanding investigation of non-indigenous plants within Australia’.

About info

Diego Bonetto is a multimedia artist living and practicing in Sydney, Australia, and is a key member of artists' collectives SquatSpace and the BigFAGPress. -The SquatSpace collective has been producing ground-breaking events and projects since 2000. The group has been curated in a number of shows both in Australia and overseas. The current initiatives, the Redfern-Waterloo Tour of beauty (www.squatspace.com/redfern) tackle issues of social representation and the politics of space generated by gentrification. -The BigFagPress (BFP) is a publishing facility housed in Wooloomooloo, Sydney. The BFP is a salvaged 4-tonnes Off-set proof press. The press allows for the creation of countless artworks by keen printmakers and self-started publishers. www.bigfagpress.org Diego has also been working with WeedyConnection, an environmental art campaign. The project involves an online resource (www.weedyconnection.com), short documentary films, cooking shows, blogs, installations, prints, facebook interventions and various site-specific installations in the form of self-guided tours. WeedyConnection tackle the anthropocentric view of what environment should look like. Based on research and data provided by disciplines as far apart as biology, anthropology, paloenthology, social ecology and ethno botany it formulates ethical questions about cultural representation in times of environmental urgency.
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5 Responses to oops, or rather, how to contextualise $60,000

  1. Lucas says:

    those are good hard questions you’re asking of your fellow artists, and yourself.

    you’ve got 60 grand, you’ve got time… go overland, man! take a postie bike, take a pack mule, go on an indonesian fishing boat, go through north asia on a camel!
    Try to get to Biella without aeroplanes!

    naturally, document whatever local knowledge regarding your chosen area of research you find en-route!

  2. Sam H says:

    Congratulations !!!

    I saw Weed 1 in Surry Hills in Febeary and thought it was possible the best idea I had seen in a while.

    I really like what you have been doing this year and I hope to maybe meet you someday and talk about the wide world weeds.

    Do you have any idea of where you may like to go ?

  3. info says:

    I’d like to go to take part in the Unidee program, in Biella, Italy.
    I would also like to use the chance to connect with a whole bunch of practitioners (not necessarily artists)on the way there, in order to maximise returns for trip.
    suggestions welcome.
    i was thinking indonesia, where a collective i know (taring padi)do have several “gardening projects as social cohesion tools”; would like to visit the landscape architect and author of ‘les giardin an movement’, Gilles Clement; go and visit Plant For A future in England and so forth.
    I would also like to plant a forest to offset all of this.
    Zanny Begg told me of this woman who’s art practice revolves around ‘acquiring’ land to be set aside to never be developed, or something. know anything about this?

  4. iris-a-maz says:

    Congratulations Diego!
    I hope you dont treat us too hard, if we are coming over to Sydney one day again ;-)
    Keep on fighting for a weed world!

  5. info says:

    thanks guys, hope it goes well in your new urban environments location too.
    i might even come and visit you before you get here!

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