At the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, I was triggered by a huge wooden table, set for fourteen guests. It was the installation ‘Refuge for Resurgence’ by Superflux. The chairs around the table, the plates, the cutlery, the entire setting announced the identity of the invited guests: a fox, rat, wasp, pigeon, cow, human adults and child, wild boar, snake, beaver, wolf, raven, and mushroom.
At the end of the table, a projection provided a window view of a cityscape in the aftermath of a catastrophe, with flooded streets and ruined buildings. But it wasn’t a complete disaster. Green plants and trees could be seen creeping in, and wild animals roaming. All conveying a positive message: nature is building a new world from the wreckage of the old one, and the assignment for the creatures around the table is to work together and find their respective places in it. It is time for a more-than-human life.
‘Refuge for Resurgence’ is not only highly topical but also deeply poetic. It’s an excellent example of the Superflux approach, which resonates within all their recent stories and installations: an invitation to remain open to a multitude of possibilities. Their stories, films, objects and immersive installations craft new, hopeful, and enduring relationships with our planet, with other species, technology, landscapes, and with each other.
Their motto ‘Translating future uncertainty into present day choices’ clearly communicates what they are aiming for. So does their recently published manifesto ‘More-than-Human’, in which they express the desire to move from fixing to caring, from planning to gardening, from systems to assemblage, from innovation to resurgence, from independence to interdependence and from extinction to precarity.
We are all confronted with uncertainty every day. Superflux, however, looks beyond the anxieties of our current times and helps us to reimagine our future.