Mirko Nikolić, Counting live stocks, FRONTIERS IN RETREAT
Ecology can be seen as a reflection of where the boundaries between humans and other creatures are, i.e. how to define what "nature" is, or, in other words, what lies beyond the "society". The idea of two worlds is less viable every day because human action is present in almost every part of what is called "nature", while this that is considered "non-human" circulates through all pores of society and the body. My recent projects deal with the problem of economy, which in many cases makes a clear cut between "social" and "natural" processes, thus marginalizing and subordinating the others. If we take that human and non-human factors do not act independently of each other, there may exist some other forms of "cooperation" between them.
“Frontiers in retreat” is a fascinating form of researching places that are considered "remote", "rural" or "natural". In the era of planetary spacious economy, these frontiers are actually areas where human activity is closely intertwined with the non-human factors. I don’t think they are necessary the places of "idyllic" coexistence of humans and non-humans; on the contrary - they can be fields of domination and exploitation of man over the others. On the other hand, due to the intensity of intimacy and encounters with others, the central questions of today's "society" happen on the sidelines and new forms of community life are created there. In this sense, these "remote" places actually talk about our closest problems.
In “Counting live stocks”, numbers are understood as instruments that people use to treat the environment. The language of numbers turns environment into quantities and prepares it for modeling and transformation according to our needs. This work is trying to figure out whether it is possible to use numbers in the "ecological" way for the sake of creating socio-economic processes of different speed and proximity.
Mirko Nikolić is currently studying arts and media at the University of Westminster in London with the project "Straight ecology: environmental performance practices of the 'more-than-human'." His practice is based on a combination of media; lately, he has put emphasis on performance, public space and the Internet. Last solo exhibition is “All that is air melts into city” (Arebute Gallery, London)