In the domain of science, mutation is the alternation of genetic material. The cells of organisms and viruses undergo changes due to mutation, after which their being – and the interactions with their environment – can radically transform.
One of the most well-bespoken cases of mutation are, of course, the current COVID-19 variants and our constant mitigation with these shapeshifting viruses. But also the DNA of our planet is transforming. After an extensive period of stability, our world is now changing at an accelerated pace in terms of extreme natural disasters with the risk of becoming completely uninhabitable due to the collapse of ecosystems.
Mutation can be seen as an unwanted development, but might also present opportunities to change habits and minds. In the face of global emergencies, like the current pandemic and the climate disaster, the Western societies will need to leave behind their illogical separation from ‘nature’ and fluidity.
The once-established social binaries to categorise the world must give way to new fusions. Mutation could provide us with both speculative and actionable manners of moving towards a new existence. We do not start from a trans-human approach but we look at ways to open up to more-than-human futures, rooted in an ecological reality.
Within the FIBER 2021 programme we will be working with the concept of ‘mutation’ in a broader and more artistic sense. Through art, sound, audiovisual experiences and talks we will explore the (in)ability to change or adapt to strange, unexpected and hostile environments. All explorations during FIBER 2021 lead up to a full festival edition in May 2022, for which we unfold the theme ‘Mutation’ even further.