COAL partner of the “Seeds and Soils” program at CCS

Image credits: Imbizo Ka Mafavuke, 2017 – Uriel Orlow

COAL partner of the “Seeds and Soils” program at CCS

On March 7, 8 and 9, a series of workshops, performances and conferences will be organized at the Swiss Cultural Center around the theme “Seeds and Soils”. 


The definition of culture was established with the work of the land and marks an important milestone in the history of human relationships with nature. Faced with the degradation of biodiversity, the privatization of grain, pollution and climate change, diversifying forms of agriculture, finding other ways of using resources, rediscovering forgotten knowledge or using the possibilities of digitization in other ways are urgent requirements for society, technology and politics. Many artists, researchers, architects or designers are looking into these issues, using various methods, subversive and visionary.

Program :

Thursday 07.03, 20h

The adobe architecture:

Building with clay has been practiced in various ways over the last millennia: clay is available almost everywhere in the world and can be processed without the use of tools or machines. With the global changes of the last century, however, industrially manufactured materials have increasingly replaced clay. Today, the issue of sustainability is once again bringing building materials to the forefront. In his research as in his practice, Roger Boltshauser explores the potential of the earth and thus contributes to the generalization of the adobe construction process.

Friday 08.03

Open Soil Research:

1pm: Humus Sapiens: Soil analysis workshop with Julian Chollet, molecular biologist, member of the Hackteria network, founder of and researcher at the Bauhaus University Weimar.

5pm: Lecture and round table: Julian Chollet (Humus Sapiens), Yvonne Volkart (Institute of Aesthetic Practice and Theory IAeP, FHNW, Basel), Pedro Wirz (artist), Uriel Orlow (artist) – moderation Antonia von Schöning (University of Basel).

Artists, researchers and scientists discuss the knowledge around soils according to various approaches, from the most empirical to the most technological.

8 p.m.: Screening of Wild Plants (108′) by Nicolas Humbert
Wild Plants shows plants seeding wastelands, taking over vacant lots and transforming them into new living spaces. Wild Plants shows urban gardeners in the ghost town of Detroit, the ceremonial uses of plants on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the Jardins de Cocagne cooperative in Geneva, and the wild plantings of a Zurich “Guerilla Gardener. Screening followed by a discussion with Nicolas Humbert.

Saturday, 09.03

10 am: Reto Pulfer, Ipomoea baignoirensis, (trans)plantation performance.
11am-1pm: Jens Hauser (researcher and curator) and Emanuele Coccia (EHESS)
14h-16h : Performances and presentations by Aline Veillat and the Coyote Collective, debate with Loïc Fel, co-founder of COAL

4pm: Screening of Theatrum Botanicum (60′) by Uriel Orlow
Uriel Orlow presents films from his project Theatrum Botanicum, in which he considers the botanical world as a stage for politics in general. Adopting the double point of view of Africa and Europe, the film presents plants as witnesses and actors in history, as dynamic agents linking nature and humans, rural and cosmopolitan medicine, tradition and modernity, through different geographies and knowledge systems.

“Seeds and Soils”
March 7 – March 9, 2019
Swiss Cultural Center, 38 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75003 Paris
For more information:

Photo credit: Wild Plants © Nicolas Humbert

Take a look at

MOOC Art and Ecology
Meeting between Andrea Olga Mantovani and Baptiste Morizot

  • About us
    About us

    COAL mobilizes artists and cultural actors on societal and environmental issues and accompanies the emergence of a new culture of ecology through its actions such as the COAL Prize, curating exhibitions, advising institutions and communities, European cooperation, and the animation of conferences, workshops and the first dedicated website


    COAL has been awarding the COAL Prize Art and Environment every year since 2010 and the COAL Student Prize - Culture & Diversity since 2020.

  • Projects

    Major projects linked to the major events in political ecology, in connection with natural or urban environments.

  • Artistic direction
    Artistic direction

    About fifty exhibitions throughout France, cultural actions, works in the public space, and project support to contribute to the emergence of a new culture of ecology.


    Cooperation programs on a European and international scale, support for institutions in their ecological transition through tailor-made accompaniment and training, promotion of arts and ecology issues through publications and numerous conferences and workshops.