Alone or in Mound?

Seul ou en monticule ? - Rencontre spéciale Roots & Seeds XXI

Jeudi 21 avril 2022
Cité Internationale des Arts
18, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville 75004 Paris
Horaire : 19h00 – 21h30
Entrée gratuite sur inscription
La rencontre se tient en anglais

Sommaire :


Laura Cinti, Debbie Jewitt - The Living Dead - On the trail of a female (2022)

The Living Dead - On the trail of a female (2022)

Drone Mission Search for Encephalartos Woodii, Matrice 210 in flight over Ngoye Forest, South Africa. Photo taken on 1 February 2022 by Dr Debbie Jewitt, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

The Living Dead – On the trail of a female (2022) is a biodiversity-focused art-science project searching for a female mate for one of the rarest plants on Earth, the extinct-in-the-wild cycad – the Encephalartos woodii.

Only one male specimen was found in the Ngoye Forest in 1895 and all specimens, in botanical gardens, are clones derived from offsets from the only known male plant which was removed from the wild. Despite excursions in the Ngoye Forest area, no other specimens of E.woodii have been found in the wild.

E. woodii and the missing female is a dramatic illustration of how easy it is to lose a species and our biodiversity. The presentation will discuss the project’s latest mission utilising remote sensing technologies – drones – to search for the E.woodii in the Ngoya Forest in South Africa.

Laura Cinti

Laura Cinti is an internationally recognised research-based artist working with biology and artist and co-director of C-LAB – together with Howard Boland.

C-LAB is an award-winning bio art collective that engages with interdisciplinary use of cutting edge science, technology and art to bring life concepts on the fridges of innovation.

Their works use unconventional material and emerging technologies to create unique art experiences. C-LAB’s practice has been focused on the modification of biological matter to create living works.

Living material offers exciting ways of experiencing art and the life world. Their approach incorporates scientific methods and tools in order to manipulate living material as a way of experiencing deeper and often inaccessible spaces.

C-LAB’s works have been exhibited and presented worldwide.


Debbie Jewitt

Debbie Jewitt is a conservation scientist and works for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the provincial conservation authority for KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Her research focuses on the global threats to landscapes and finding solutions to these threats.

She holds a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is an internationally published author, previously an associate editor for the African Journal of Range and Forage Science, the former President of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa and a visiting researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand.

She is a qualified drone pilot, the Responsible Person: Flight Operations for drone operations and is leading the drone programme for the organization where drones will be used to aid threatened species monitoring, anti-poaching efforts, protected area management, law enforcement, asset management and search and rescue functions.

Marit Mihklepp, Meredith Root-Bernstein – Mound network theory of life

Mound network theory of life

Grass cuttings mound in Paris, image Meredith Root-Bernstein

mound /maʊnd/
1. a large pile or heap of earth, stones, leaves, etc. like a small hill
2. the most primordial technique

We will be sharing our impressions of our two-week collaboration while thinking and being with the mounds, heaps and holes of Paris. Mounds, heaps, and piles, and their complements, pits, holes and depressions, are the most primordial form of technique or technology. Accumulations make possible new materialities, affordances, and interactions. The making of concentrations in space is a condition for the evolution of life, and all of ecology can be described as moving and reshuffling piles of things.

The mound, heap, or pile, is also an epistemological object: it is an archive. We will be approaching ‘large piles of something’ both with field work practices from both ecological and artistic perspectives. We start with finding and mapping specific mounds, writing field notes, perhaps making our own mound. In the process we will be asking questions from the mounds: what kind of knowledge are you an archive of? What kind of movements are you holding? How did you get here? How would you make me part of you?

Marit Mihklepp

Marit Mihklepp, © ENE / Jean-Sébastien Veilleux photographer

Marit Mihklepp is an Estonian artist, currently based in The Netherlands. She holds a MA degree of ArtScience (Royal Academy of Art, The Hague) and a BA degree of Textile Design (Estonian Academy of Arts).

She focuses on the existing and speculative languages between humans and other-than-humans, and develops works in collaboration with stones, trees, bacteria and ordinary objects.

In 2022, she continues moving with geologic bodies in the writing and moving residency ‘Stone Network’ (Netherlands), collaborative research platform OTHERWISE (Switzerland), and research residency Black Earth at Valley of the Possible (Chile). She is the recipient of the Roots and Seeds XXI Maison Malina Residency.

Meredith Root-Bernstein

Meredith Root-Bernstein, with tarantula

Ethnobiologist, ecologist, conservation scientist, CNRS researcher at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris.

Meredith works on ecosystem succession (transformation), degradation, restoration and rewilding. She works mainly in Chile, where she did her PhD, and where she co-founded the NGO Kintu for rewilding the guanaco (wild llama) (Lama guanaco) in central Chile.

She has also participated in field collaborations in Italy (the Po Delta), Lesotho, and soon in Sudan. She also researches animal behavior from time to time and teaches « Human-animal interaction » for the masters in GEODesign at Eindhoven Design Academy.

In addition, Meredith has had a long-standing interest in environmental art. Most notably, she collaborated with artist Cecilia Vicuña, and participated in the Fondazione Zegna/ Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto/ Unidee art residency « Expanded body #2_ Inhabiting Time » in 2018, after which she continued to collaborate with several of the other invited artists. In 2019-2020 she did a diploma in Art Research and Experimentation.



LASER avril 2022 PART 1 Laura CInti Debbie Jewitt

LASER avril 2022 PART 2 Marit Mihklepp Meredith Root Bernstein



Programme créé par Leonardo/ISAST, LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendez-vous) est un partage d’expériences autour de projets art-science dans des rencontres semi-formelles, hors du cadre institutionnel.

Rencontre LASER Paris co-organisée par Leonardo/Olats et La Diagonale Paris-Saclay, avec le soutien de la Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso et du programme Creative Europe de l’Union Européenne dans le cadre du projet “Roots and Seeds XXI”, en partenariat avec la Cité internationale des arts et le Laboratoire TEAMeD de l’Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis et l’Ecole Universitaire de Recherche ArTeC.