On 24-26 March 2021, we hosted the first SOTAN workshop at NOBA. The Soil workshop was run by NOBA’s guest curator and artist Hege Tapio and artist and biohacker Roland van Dierendonck:

“In Norse mythology, in the manuscripts of Gylfaginning, Jörd is one of the giants from the Norse stories of beginning – equal to Nótt (night) and Dagr (day). Our relation to, and ancient narratives of, the soil as the life-giver, is present in many mythologies. A long time has passed since we primarily served the soil for our existence, somehow along the way we seem to have lost our strong connection with, and deeper understanding of cultivating the ground we walk on. Or we might even say losing connection with ourselves, as soil and the human gut contain approximately the same number of active microorganisms.

The number of microorganisms in our guts has slowly been diminishing, as we have gotten accustomed to urban living with an increasing diet of increasingly processed food. As we know, microorganisms are also affecting our moods and the gut is also part of controlling our brain – this is becoming an interlinked chain. Slowly we are realizing that we must cultivate our soil, relearn how to create the best conditions for growing life, cultivate our guts and revitalize our soul and brain. So let’s get dirty and in contact with the soul of the soil!”

The workshop explored living matter and dove deep into the knowledge of soil. It connected the soil-inclined Nordic network of artists and researchers, inviting the participants to literally plant their feet and to feed their guts and minds. The workshop took place at NOBA’s venue in Ås outside of Oslo, Norway, but most of the participants worked remotely with a special workshop kit delivered to them in advance, sharing experiences and knowledge from a safe distance.


About SOTAN: State of the Art Network  

State of the Art Network (SOTAN) is a Nordic-Baltic transdisciplinary network of artists, practitioners, researchers, and organizations who have come together to discuss the role, responsibility, and potential of art and culture in the Anthropocene.

By developing creative practices, transdisciplinary collaborations, and public engagement, the network aims to create resilience and concrete actions for living the change in culture, economy, and environment and to find concrete hands-on methods to deal with the Anthropocene and environmental crisis.

Read more about SOTAN here.