Artists: the storytellers of the 21st century, the last lecture within the series Food for Thought that Farm of the World is organising this year, zooms in on visual art at the intersection with ecology. As a society we are starting to realize that some of our major environmental challenges are catalyzed by our fossil-fuel reliant lifestyles and consumer behaviors. The manifestation might be loss of biodiversity, the collapse of ecosystems, acidification of oceans, extinction of species and climate change but at the heart of the problem lays human greed, the illusion of separation, apathy and selfishness. We are in need of a re-newed relationship to our natural environment; a cultural and spiritual transformation. This is what art can do: it can speak to people in a heartfelt, complex, activist, human, non-commercial, engaging, critical, and/or fun way. More and more artists recognise this power and responsibility and see the agency they have as storytellers of the 21st century. After all, facts and figures have no power against a story, when we hear a compelling story- we listen.

Farm of the World has invited two speakers who have worked internationally at this intersection of art and ecology, showcasing a wealth of examples in which art has played a transformative role; curator Yasmine Ostendorf, Head of Jac. P. Thijsse Lab for Nature Research at Van Eyck and founder of the Green Art Lab Alliance and Rain Wu, visual artist and currently resident at the Van Eyck. The Lectures are in English.

For the last 7 years, curator Yasmine Ostendorf has been doing research across Asia and Europe on artists proposing alternative ways of living and working – ways that ultimately shape more balanced, sustainable and resilient societies. This research lay the foundation for the Green Art Lab Alliance, a knowledge alliance of 35 cultural organisations and art initiatives that explore, question, and address our social and environmental responsibility through their artistic practice. In her talk at Farm of the World, she will highlight transformative art-practices from Korea to Georgia, demonstrating the importance of storytelling as a political tool and its capacity to re-connect people to the land and the many resources it holds.

Yasmine invited Rain Wu to join her, a Taiwanese artist currently in residence at the Van Eyck academie in Maastricht and the inaugural artist to kick-off the Van Eyck Food Lab, a residency that enables artists to research in depth their relation to food in order  to actively explore what food means in our day and age, and to consider the relation of food to ecological and social issues. Rain will speak about her approach as an artist and working with natural materials including mycelium, plants and bread-tiles.

Order your tickets here through the official ticketing website of LF2018. The costs are € 20,- per person. The lectures are in English


1. Exhibition The Big Invisible, performance by Pei-Ying Lin curated by Yasmine Ostendorf and Jade Niklai at Kunst Haus Wien.
2. Yasmine Ostendorf at Salzburg Global Forum, where she is a a Fellow. Photo: Red Bull Amaphiko/Philipp Benedikt
3. Food Art Film Festival, curated by Yasmine Ostendorf at the Van Eyck. Photo: Rob Oostwegel
4. Rain Wu at Villa Medici. Photo: Ralf Plugfelder
5. Installation for Taipei Biennial 2016 by Rain Wu and Eric Chen.