Paolo Patelli is one of three researchers awarded a Research Fellowship at Het Nieuwe Instituut in 2019. He will develop the project Is it Biology or Geology? Life and Death as Multispecies Formations during his residency from September 2019 to February 2020.
Paolo Patelli is a spatial practitioner and researcher based in Amsterdam. Moving across spatial design, artistic and academic research, and education, he engages critically and by design with the materialities, scenes and atmospheres at the intersections of space and technology, nature and society. Through often collaborative enquiries, he addresses architecture as a critical spatial practice. He is associate lector “Places and Traces” at Design Academy Eindhoven. He holds a PhD from Politecnico di Milano.
Is it Biology or Geology? Life and Death as Multispecies Formations
“The project weaves together a suite of differential, multiple, visual ethnographies, and three sites in the Netherlands in which life and death intertwine with multispecies formations, soil and landscape forms. Material transformations, novel colonisations and changing migration patterns are engaged as signals that fold in pasts and futures into a present of haunted landscapes. In the Dutch peatlands – landscapes consisting of partly decomposed matter deposited on swampy ground, earthly archives extending downward and through time – global warming is playing a major role in accelerated subsidence. In Flevoland, rodent hunters armed with carrots, traps, bow and arrows provide a vital – if controversial – service in an elaborate Dutch defensive system that includes flood-control techniques developed in the Middle Ages and futuristic remotely-controlled structures. Across the Netherlands, duck decoys – tightly orchestrated spaces consisting of a large pond ending in several funnel traps, surrounded by reed screens and trees, and catching mechanisms deployed from the fifteenth century onwards to trap wild ducks through a multi-species process – have become naturalised ruins, as mallard ducks seem to have moved to urban areas.”