Spider/webs are nonhuman pavilions, transcending national representation. Weaving in the interstices between branches and door frames after a rain shower, they are oracles of living bodies, scripts of fortune divination, always in dislocation between national pavilions. Entangling cooperative constellations, these multi-being life forms trace maps of attunement to the astral scores.
In the context of the current ecological crisis, named the Sixth Mass Extinction, invertebrates such as arachnids and insects are disappearing at an accelerated pace, with major consequences for the environment and ecosystems. While invertebrates make up more than 95% of animal species, most countries lack ethical guidelines and regulations regarding their nonhuman rights.
Intensive agro-farming and pesticides, global warming and the industrial exploitation of resources add up to the widespread arachnophobia nourished by horror movies and other negative representations of invertebrates, accelerating their biological annihilation and perpetuating an ecological disaster.
Against the mass commodification of nature and the self-destructive cultural and economic power structures of the present, Spider/Web Pavilion 7 engages with different forms of knowledge and echoes spider divination methods practiced in different parts of the world. It celebrates the ability to forecast meteorological events, or extraordinary ones such as tsunamis, through the observation of other species’ behaviour.
Spider/webs are synanthropic: by living among us, they blur the boundaries between inside and outside, between nature and culture and between what is alive and what is not. The Spider/Web Pavilions are an invitation to attune to our sympoietic futures, the radical interconnectedness of all things, both living and nonliving.
Spider/webs are the mouths through which the spider eats and the oracle speaks. The oracle is a messenger between perceptual worlds, transcending the reciprocal blindness between spider/webs and humans. Extending your senses towards new forms of embodied cognition, Spider/Web Pavilion 7 tries to attune to a non-verbal language that amplifies our response-ability to each other. Its floor shakes at very low frequencies, at the rhythm of vibrating spider/webs, inaudible and yet sensible for the voices we might need to hear.
The sun’s rays are guided by a series of mirrors, directly illuminating the spider/web, extending its reverberation into a cosmic web of connections. Over the course of the Biennale Arte 2019, spider/webs from the Giardini and the Venetian Lagoon may appear and leave new threads. As a sensitive interface constantly modified by different sociabilities, the pavilion serves as a space of care and attention, to multiply perspectives and weave a participatory storytelling against extraction and extinction.