Paris Work Week, Maria Prieto and Bárbara Saavedra

Maria Prieto presentation

Kadist Art Foundation, Paris

Work-week: day one, June 2, 2014

What are the politics and power-relations inherent in decision-making?

How may empathy and intuition be included in scientific research?

What place could art have in conservation science?

Does emotion play a role in a research process regarding invasive species?

Yesterday marked the beginning of the one-week work session taking place within the framework of Beyond the End at Kadist Paris.

Ecologist Dr. Barbara Saveedra opened the session by shedding light on the field of conservation science and the loss of biodiversity as the most relevant social problem faced by humanity today. Barbara shared detailed insights into the ecological situation in Tierra Del Fuego- its valuable forests, peatlands and unique wildlife, which are currently endangered by a number of threats. Outlining the work that Karukinka and the Wildlife Conservation Society have been doing for several years, Barbara discussed the importance of remembering the inextricable link between humans and nature in the pursuit of global well-being, as well as her discovery of entirely new forms of research through the integration of art into conservation biology.

In the second presentation of the day, urban and biodynamic farmer Maria Prieto introduced the workgroup to the fascinating world of Biodynamics. Focusing on the castor canadensis beaver, an invasive species posing a major threat to ecosystems in Tierra Del Fuego, Maria took participants through a 4-step process based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s theories on observation, described as a ‘delicate empiricism’. Taking participants on a journey from ‘exact sense perception’ all the way to ‘beholding’, the exercise helped foster a deeper understanding of the species, in an attempt to integrate the beaver into the decision making process regarding its own future on the island. This exercise presented itself as a method or a tool that could allow and legitimate intuition and empathy as a part of the process of meeting in Science, as an option in the way of trying to find solutions and to build connections with it.

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