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Planetary Narratives #6 – The Infra-world that supports our own. Keynote Conference & Artists Talk I July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024
18:00 - 20:00
Location: Löwenbräukunst, Schwarzescafé
Limmatstrasse 270
8005 Zürich

Please RSVP by clicking the image at the bottom of the page or at this link:

Algae, Oxygen and Bones
Keynote conference by Mariluz Bagnoud (Agroscope)
18:00 - 18:30 Talk
18:30 - 18:45 Q&A
18:45 - 19:45 CRASH POLI
The Infra-world that supports our own
A conversation between Magali Daniaux & Cédric Pigot, Clémence Seurat, Jeremy Lecomte, Ewen Chardronnet and the audience.

With a PhD in Geosciences and Environment obtained at the University of Lausanne in 2010, Mariluz Bagnoud is a Biogeochemist. She started in the fields of environmental geochemistry and carbonates, the origin of life and fossil fuels and continued her activities in the field of biogas production from microalgae biomass and coupling of biotechnology and thermochemical systems.

2.7 billion years ago, Earth's atmosphere was devoid of free oxygen, and anaerobic unicellular organisms were the dominant life forms. However, a pivotal mutation occurred around 520 million years ago among some microorganisms on the water's surface: they started to use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose, with oxygen as a byproduct. The process, known as photosynthesis, deeply transformed the Earth because oxygen was toxic to anaerobes and even to the photosynthetic microorganisms themselves but the ability to produce glucose provided a significant evolutionary advantage. These organisms were then able to generate their own food and they became as well a vital energy source for other non-photosynthetic organisms. Photosynthesis led to a rise in atmospheric oxygen to the 21% we have today, which favored the development of aerobic life forms like humans.

These early photosynthetic organisms were the precursors to modern microalgae. Free oxygen, the ozone layer, mineral diversification, skeleton fabrication, clean water and air, healthy soils, biodiversity, and biogeochemical cycles are all influenced by these photosynthetic microorganisms. Today, microalgae remain essential, producing more than 50% of the planet's daily oxygen and forming the base of food webs in aquatic ecosystems.

Humans have flourished in the environment created by these photosynthetic microorganisms, leading to reproductive success and global dominance. However, human activities are now depleting resources faster than they can be replenished and reversing millions of years of carbon sequestration. To maintain Earth's habitability, a shift from linear economic models to nature's regenerative model is required. Microalgae will be crucial in this transformation, acting as a regenerative economic platform that promotes mutual benefit between humans and nature. They are key to addressing climate change and ensuring food security.

How can life survive in the hell of the Anthropocene? The works of French artists Magali Daniaux and Cédric Pigot cultivate the imagination and propose narratives of continuity, both serious and delirious, as a way of coping with extinction. They have presented plants, fossils, stones and objects in the More-than-planet exhibition space – they collect this material as they cross worlds. Metabolised then petrified, combined with ceramic and concrete creations, they form a landscape that crosses the ages and defies the order of geological strata.

To close the exhibition, the artists talk to researchers Clémence Seurat, Jeremy Lecomte and Ewen Chardronnet (co-curator) about their work and discuss geology and current political debates, mutant natures, regeneration and science fiction.


Magali Daniaux & Cédric Pigot are based in Villecomtal-sur-Arros, in southwest France. They are as interested in the impacts of climate change— with its cultural, socio-economic and strategic backgrounds— as they are in ancestral practices close to nature, or the latest avatars of technology. At the crossroads of the organic and the digital, their composite practice includes sculptures, installations, drawings, collages, performances or poetic and literary texts, even science fiction tales.
Their works have been shown in numerous exhibitions in France and abroad: Laboral in Spain, 2022; Abbaye de Maubuisson, 2021; Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, 2020/21; Transpalette in Bourges, 2019; Biennale Némo in Paris, 2019; Terminal B, Kirkenes in Norway, 2017; Festival acce)s( in Pau, 2016; Parvis in Tarbes, 2016; Anchorage Museum, Alaska in 2015; Musée du Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2014; Venice Biennale of Architecture, 2014; Ultima Festival at the Oslo Opera House, 2011; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2011; 100 Tonson Gallery, Bangkok, 2005; Dashanzi Art Festival, Beijing, 2004.
In 2017 they found UV Éditions, a publishing house focused on Information Theory, Media Critic, Philosophy of the Technics, Anthropology of the Medias, Feminism, Ethics, Animalism, Cinema, Radio-art, Offshore Finance, Space Ecology and Love and intimacy in the digital age.

Clémence Seurat is a publisher and associate researcher at the médialab, Sciences Po. Exploring the fields of political ecology and techno-criticism, she teaches and lectures in art and design schools, and regularly gives conferences in various contexts. From 2011 to 2019 she was part of La Gaîté Lyrique’s artistic team, first as publisher and then as artistic programmer. In 2015, she graduated from Speap, the art and politics experimental programme directed by Bruno Latour at Sciences Po. In 2017, she founded 369 éditions with Jérôme Delormas and Fanette Mellier. She is a member of COYOTE and Post Growth art collectives. She co-edited Controverses mode d'emploi (Presses de Sciences Po, 2021) and has just published Le champ des possibles. Une enquête collective à Sevran (369 éditions, 2023) with Robin de Mourat and Thomas Tari.

Jeremy Lecomte (1985, France) is a researcher and theoretician working between political philosophy, art, architecture and urban studies. He holds a PhD in architecture from t he University of Manchester with a thesis exploring the history of urban modernisation in Lagos, Nigeria, from the colonial period until today. He previously graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London (Mphil in Cultural Studies, 2013), and from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris (MA in Political Philosophy, 2009). He lectures and conducts studios at l’École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles, where he is associate lecturer since 2014.

Photo: Magali Daniaux & Cédric Pigot, Hongos Encre sur papier, 2022, 75x110cm

Magali Daniaux & Cédric Pigot, Radio piranhas, 2022

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