An Edge Effect
The edge effect is this idea that the more edge you create, the more biodiversity you create, where a meadow meets a forest or a piece of water meets a meadow. Two different ecologies meet. Two different kinds of landscapes meet … that is where you find the most biodiversity at that edge.
- Nils Norman
An Edge Effect: Art & Ecology in the Nordic Landscape is a collection of interviews, case studies, and two original essays by curators, Sue Spaid (United States) and Anne Sophie Witzke (Denmark). Three case studies of an exhibition – Skovene – i din lomme [Forests – in your pocket]; a gathering to address nuclear power from a culture perspective – Case Pyhäjoki; and an artist gardening project – Den Fælles Køkkenhave [The Common Kitchen Garden] are also included, shaping the book’s overall structure as a handbook of contemporary environmental art practices in the Nordic region.
These artists are above all responding to the rapid changes that are occurring in our anthropogenic era. To build a resilient planet, one that is biodiverse and can withstand trauma, requires a broad mix of approaches and expanded relationships. The artists and groups here are connected to a multitude of publics beyond the art world—climate scientists, seed-bank engineers, farmers, urban planners, architects, economists, professional foragers—and they approach their subjects with differing perspectives from the practical urban planning solution to the poetic, such as field recordings of weather patterns to hear an unpredictable future. Prior artistic generations approached the landscape as a source of inspiration and awe, or as an opportunity to create the facsimile of a cultural or picturesque ideal. Whether the artist is working with urban gardens and edible plants, or with anti-nuclear activism, or the sounds of collapsing cities left behind by the coal industry, this book is a collection of approaches and possibilities for what life in the Anthropocene might be like and what could be done to shift us to other futures.