Earthbound — In Dialogue with Nature

Donatien Aubert

«Les jardins cybernétiques», 2020 & «Chrysalide n°3», 2020

The digital animation video Les jardins cybernétiques exposes the origins and questions the consequences of a vision of nature that is functional and reduced to computational models. The origins of this approach go back to cybernetics, a study of the interrelation between natural and technological systems. According to Donatien Aubert, the reduction of the world and natural phenomena to measurable, quantifiable model elements, constructed according to artificially reproducible units, has led to the development of architectural and urban planning projects and thus the human exploitation of natural resources at the expense of the ecosystem. Chrysalide n°3, an installation accompanying the video, exemplifies the reduction of nature to its utilitarian value by simulating the cultivation of plants in isolated, automated cells. Aubert's work is an invitation to consider a less utilitarian approach to both plant and animal life, calling on humans to inhabit the planet with more care.

Donatien Aubert (FR) is an artist, researcher, and author. His theoretical and artistic work examines contemporary transformations caused by mankind. He is particularly interested in the legacy of cybernetic theories and their resilience in movements such as ecology and transhumanism. His mixed-media works, spanning video and installation, are based on scientific research that has led him to collaborate with several laboratories. Aubert graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts, Paris, and holds a PhD in comparative literature from Sorbonne University. Aubert was awarded the CNAP photographic commission Image 3.0 in 2020. His work has been exhibited internationally as well as at several biennials. Donatien Aubert lives and works in Paris.