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WASTELAND is a 12-day transdisciplinary festival on waste ecologies. The festival takes place at the Grey Space in the Middle and is composed of an exhibition with the work of 13 artists, a symposium with 12 speakers, and 7 workshops which allow you to experience, learn and make collectively.

The festival puts the spot on trash, highlights the objects and products we throw away daily, and aims to create a space of potential to rethink our current relationship to waste. By creating a vibrant hub for interdisciplinary learning, the public can overcome their disgust and encounter the beauty of trash.

WASTELAND invited thirteen artists rooted in different practices and fields to come together for the group exhibition “Fungus socialis” to reimagine waste materials collectively and offer an outlook into a world in which we see waste through a different lens. Each artist provides an individual approach to working with thrown-away materials in the physical, digital, and metaphysical space.

With works by:

Tommy Smits, Daniel Dmyszewicz, Phillip Groubnov, Nuno Orlando, Manon Malan, Bas Kaufmann, Refunc, Karin Kytökangas, Nika Schmitt & Flora van Dullemen, Valentino Russo, Carolien Adriaansche, Galerie de Jaloezie, Wessel Verrijt.


Flora van Dullemen and Nika Schmitt imagine how the future might “smell”.

Within the framework of the exhibition ‘Wasteland’ and for the collaborative project ‘future on the rocks’ both decided to compose a synthetic fragrance. The chosen components for the scent are inspired by specific plants found in 2019 on the bottom of a 1,38 kilometers deep ice core that initially was drilled out by scientists in the 60’s of the north-west part of Greenland. Fossil plants such as lichen and moss but also twigs and leaves indicate that, instead of the thick layers of ice there must have been surfaces of vegetation less than one million years ago during interglacial years in parts of Greenland.

Nika’s and Flora’s interest behind creating such a scent has risen from the speculative thought that the effects of climate change will inevitably affect the “smell-scape” all over the world. The increasing temperatures will release different types of molecules and the melting ice will allow gases, plants and substances to affect the conditions of the waters, vegetation and air.

An interesting temporal phenomenon takes place: something from the past, quite literally shapes the conditions of the future. This aspect is also incorporated in the presentation of the created scent. An ice cube machine is freezing the diluted scent into ice cubes. The visitor is invited to carry a single ice cube in a glass around the exhibition. Slowly the ice melts which allows the smell to fully develop over time. The smell intensifies and changes during the melting process and at the end, only a sip, a memory of the future remains in the glass.

The created scent “future on the rocks” is an invitation to think of the future. A future shaped by ac-tions of the past.