INLAND – Campo Adentro. Documenta fifteen

Over the last ten years, INLAND has emerged as a collaborative platform for cultural and land workers on questions of forms of art, territories, and social change. Focusing on different axes as Economy, Knowledge, Inhabitation, and Training, educational projects such as the Shepherds School, the New Curriculum and, more recently, the INLAND Academy, have been developed.

The Academy’s purpose is to expand outward from existing arts education into rural local dynamization by borrowing from the fields of Agroecology, Ecological Economy, Peasant Studies, and Critical Sociology, among others, and carries different sessions during documenta fifteen.

Together with a Cave and the Cheese Pavillion, INLAND proposes a form of Folk Un-Museum and learning space or expanded syllabus bringing together materials, ongoing projects, and collaborations. The installation at Ottoneum presents a cabinet of curiosities comprising knowledge from farmland and forest ecology to a sonic anthropology of rural decline and reinvigoration.

 

The cave:

 

The INLAND cave contains Animal Spirits, an installation by Hito Steyerl. Animal Spirits was partly made in collaboration with Inland starting back in 2017, when a real existing TV company staged a Reality TV show in the area, appropriating the name of INLAND’s Shepherds School.

But “Animal Spirits” is also a term John Maynard Keynes coined in 1936 to describe the influence of human emotions on markets. Fear and greed interact to create a sphere of irrationality. The pseudo-naturalist idea of the “survival of the fittest” controls human ideas of society and exchange.

Animal Spirits portrays Nel, member of INLAND, shepherd, YouTuber and cheesemaker. As virtual wolves start invading his pastures and threatening his flock, he stages a partly fictional fight against ecofascists, Disney ecologists, and NFT bros who try to exploit and instrumentalize “Animal Spirits”.

Instead, the shepherds’ powers converge in a cheese cave, where different species interact and animal paintings on the walls become animated. A live simulation, partly controlled by “smart cheese”, molds, and plants, shows dancing AI imagined paleolithic animals.

Cheescoin:

“Useless is useful.”

—Zhuang Zhou

 

The cheesecoin is a narrative device to address exchange systems connected to lactic fermentation. Cheesecoin is not a cryptocurrency and does not require any wallet or blockchain, given the environmental cost, sheer superfluity and scam nature of many crypto-based economies. It circulates like stories and images do: from mouth to mouth, like a kiss, from screen to heart or oblivion.

Cheesecoin models a gift economy that mimics neighborhood and p2p exchange systems in which things are given away to create a complex web of relations. It is neither a product nor a currency but results from digital abundance. In contrast to digital artworks whose value is increased by creating artificial scarcity, cheesecoin highlights the plenitude and multiplicity of digital proliferation.

Instead of being a means of payment, cheesecoin maps an “internet of stink” that arises when fungi, molds, and bacteria communicate with one another via smell. The result is partly cheese. In the Inland Cave, cheesecoin is “mined” by cheese ripening. Real-time sensors monitor its environmental conditions and control the display of AI-generated paleolithic animal paintings on the cave walls. If conditions are favorable, cheesecoins are generated. But other data are also relevant for this system: fires in grazing areas due to climate change, the amount of wolf attacks on the flock this year, the number of mice caught by the village cat, the decisions of the central Cheesecoin committee, etc.

Technology is thus controlled by natural and social processes—not the other way around.

The creation of cheesecoin is monitored on a gift stick that inverts the function of a traditional tally stick recording debt. Around 500 cheesecoins are around. If you happen to find one, congratulations! Go to www.inland.org/cheesecoin to figure out what to do with it!

Hito Steyerl

Public program:

Thursday, 23rd:

11.30 – 12.30 am

Conversation with Farid Rakun, member of ruangrupa

1.30 – 7.30 pm

Forces of art. Exploring new models of care taking for the funding ecosystem, organised by: documenta Institut, Prince Claus Fund and Hivos at UK14

 

Friday, 24th:

11.30 am – 1 pm

Animal Spirits – Cave art, mountain digital guerilla and introduction to the Cheesecoin by Hito Steyerl, Other internet and INLAND ^

3 – 4.30 pm

Post-fordism and cultural production – beyond Contemporary Art, by Jaakko Pallasvuo, Adam Sutherland, Pascal Gielen and Marlies De Munck *

5 – 6.30 pm

Digitalisation of the countryside, by Philip Seufert and Sofía Monsalve*

 

Saturday, 25th:

10 am – 1pm

Confederacy of Villages Assembly, with Grizedale Arts, Casa delle Agriculture, Another Art and INLAND ^

3 – 4.30 pm

Rurality today and global peasants and pastoralists struggles, by Ian Scoones, Sofía Monsalve, Paula Gioia – Vía campesina *

5.30 – 7 pm

The dismantled museum I: De-centering the anthropologist, by Sabina Aguilera, Sofía Mariscal, Giuliana Borea, Pamela Cevallos and Cuauhtémoc Medina*

 

Sunday, 26th:

10 am – 1pm

Confederacy of Villages Assembly, with Grizedale Arts, Casa delle Agriculture, Another Art and INLAND ^

3–5 pm

The dismantled museum II: Ethnography, decolonisation, and community museology, by Sandra Rozental, Ana Sol Gonzalez Rueda, Teresa Morales, Cuauhtémoc Camarena *

 

* Conference streamed live and recorded in our Youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJQbAtpfpduEqI7GsXgqmfw

^ Conference recorded

With the support of

 

[NA!] Project, Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), Fundación ”la Caixa”, Obra Social, Goethe-Institut, IASPIS, Institut Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Ammodo Foundation

Orbit Art Transport International, fundación marso, Beeskin, Niklas Sobotta Garten- & Landschaftsbau

Contributions by

Sabina Aguilera, Rubén Alonso, Juan Casillas, Vienne Chan, Alvaro Fierro, Yona Friedman, Max Gmür, Eugénie Goldstern, Oscar Hagerman, Franz de Hamilton, Peter Hodgson, R. R. Hofmann, Manolo Hugué, LASA, Carl Lumholtz, Johann Melchior Roos, You Mi, Miguel “El Pajarito”, Fernando Moro, José Ortiz Echagüe, Ugo La Pietra, Tito Rivas, Martha Sitánachi, Maria Luisa Chacarito, Hito Steyerl, Susana Velasco, Bedwyr Williams

 

Special thanks to

Thank you to the curators and museums collaborating:

American Museum of National History.Michelle Huwiler and Anita Mischler / Alpines Museum der Schweiz, Bern. Biblioteca Septentrión Matiella. Stefan Niţulescu, Iris erban, Ion Blăjan, Lila Passima / Muzeul Național al Țăranului Român, Bucharest. Sylvie Boulanger / Cneai, Paris.Montserrat Corominas / Col·lecció d’Art Banc Sabadell, Barcelona. Marianne Friedman-Polonsky / Fonds de Dotation Denise et Yona Friedman, Paris. Fondation Bourdieu. Sofía Mariscal, fundación marso, Madrid -Mexico. Frac Centre-Val de Loire, Orléans. Laboratorio de Arquitectura Básica.Michael Dibbs / BBC Archive. Museo Universidad de Navarra. The National Archives, Kew. Volkskundemuseum, Vienna. Laboratorio de Arqitectura Básica y Biblioteca Septentrión Matiella

And to the contributors to the project :
Christopher Crimes, Indira Béraud, Benjamin Brix, Guillermo Diego, Kai Füldner, Eugenia García Rodríguez, Angel Guerra, Michael Hertweck & Marie Heppner, Stina Larsson, Esther Merinero, Frida Navratil, Astrid Müller – Schmackes Kassel, Kibandu Pelo-Esso, Johannes Schilling, Karl Schöberl, Birgitta Schwansee, Marco Scotini, Christine Seefried, Jens Steuber, Ira Waldow, Klaus, Leo, Jan & Paul and all documenta team.

 

 

INLAND is a collaborative agency started in 2009 by Fernando García Dory. It provides a platform for diverse actors engaged in agricultural, social, and cultural production.

INLAND, 2019, Photo: INLAND

During its first stage (2010 – 2013) and taking Spain as an initial case study, INLAND was engaged with artistic production in twenty-two villages across the country, nationwide exhibitions and presentations, and an international conference. This was followed by a period of reflection and evaluation, launching study groups on art and ecology, and a series of publications. Today INLAND functions as a collective focused on land-based collaborations and economies, and communities-of-practice as a substrate for post-contemporary art and cultural forms.

INLAND has a radio station, an academy, produces shows, and makes cheese. It is also a consultant for the European Union Commission on the use of art for rural development policies, while promoting a European Shepherds’ Network, a social movement to question those same policies.

For documenta fifteen, INLAND and collaborators show the potential of agrarian economies. An installation presents INLAND’s current areas of interest and development: in-habitation and expanded landscapes, economy and collaboration, and composed knowledges and learning. A cave, conceived as a geobiological vault, is built to contain primeval and algorithmic forms of representation, extinct animal spirits, and storage for INLAND’s cheese production and mother lactic cultures. The ripening chamber and its microbiota of molds and fungi act as a counter server farm, minting INLAND’s currency, the cheesecoin.

Both artwork and money form, cheesecoins (in limited numbers) are placed in circulation through networks of exchange with local producers and via the dairy-pavilion at the Ottoneum’s garden. The currency is also used as part of the design and launch of INLAND’s Eco-Social & Art Impact Bond (ESAIB).

The film Animal Spirits by Hito Steyerl is shown together with an interactive simulation to display the state of the biological, economical, and chemical system of INLAND in form of AI-animated paleolithic cave paintings. How an economy can be informed by values associated with peasant cultures—such as giving away, and reproduction of the community instead of accumulation and productivism—is examined in the In-habitation Room or unmuseum.

INLAND is currently coordinating the Confederacy of Villages network and has exhibited and worked in the past with institutions such as the Istanbul Biennial (2015); Casco Art Institute, Utrecht (2015); Maebashi Museum (2016); Serpentine Gallery, London 2020); Casa do Povo, São Paulo; Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015); and SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin (2019).