Katja Novitskova Curated by Samuel Leuenberger
20 Jun – 21 Jul 2014

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Opening: 19 June 2014, 6–10 pm

Today, once again, a meteorite has hit the garden
And again, civilization has been put to sleep for long enough to allow it to fall into complete oblivion.

They will find traces, fragments, hints. Green arrows, aluminium boards with remnants of brightly-colored feathers, piercing blue eyes, cigarette butts, dead insects, earth-scented plasma and plastic stones….

How will they possibly imagine the exponential technological turn that took place right before the end? The omnipresence of humanoid computers, consequence of a goofed evolution, had changed the brain functions and affected major geologic and atmospheric patterns, unleashing anti-Cartesian and phantasmagoric knowledge among humans.


The beauty of a salto mortale is largely shaped by the chaos that precedes it; a turmoil of emotions, knowledge, progress, and power. A productive anarchy often triggered by a significant innovation.

The month Katja Novitskova’s Green Growth opens, three remarkable evolutionary incidents have been related in the news. My attention was caught after noticing a significant number of reposts and likes.

My selection. Their attention.

As a result of what I’m tempted to call an ‘awry technological metamorphosis’, plastic rocks have recently been found in Hawaii.

A consequence of geological mutation, ‘plastiglomerate’ are a new type of rock made of plastic, sand, seashells, corals, and volcanic gravel. A new material is formed artificially-naturally in waste dumps, where fragments of plastic can be melted by a heat source, be it a volcanic eruption or a forest fire.

Nature adapting to technological surplus. Alarmed scientists fear the overexposure to screens might result in a lasting attention deficit, while anxious Christians dread Pope Francis would baptize aliens. ADD is the new multitasking. The brain adapts to higher frequency cycles, to lol cats — “Who are we to close the doors?”


Meanwhile a chatbot is wrongly reported to have passed the Turing test, which requires a machine to convince human interrogators during a series of keyboard conversations that it itself is also human. An army of analysts fearing for the AI pioneer’s credibility managed to widely disprove the claim, between the early hours of the 9th of June and late afternoon on the 10th. Witnessing the agitation on social networks such possibility triggered, I thought: ‘the fox is in the henhouse’; soon enough the oldest sci-fi fantasy will become a reality. It made me feel alive.

Today the fake trees look more beautiful than the actual trees in the garden. Coated with a high-tech UV protection film, they willsurvive the end of the world. They will show them how beautiful and real nature should look like. When all the organic woods aregone, those amputated ones will remain, here, for the next generations, forever.

Elise Lammer, Berlin, June 2014

This tale was written on the occasion of Katja Novitskova’s solo exhibition Green Growth curated by Samuel Leuenberger at SALTS, 19 June–19 July 2014

With the kind philosophico-technological input from Spencer Mansfield Ashby.

Photography: courtesy Gunnar Meier