Arif Kornweitz, 2018

Garden Broadcasts

Radio Series with Tamar Shafrir
Het Nieuwe Instituut

This public research format wove together interviews, performances, field recordings and music selections to animate the history of the Dutch garden as a site of complex politics, technologies, economies, and human rights. Part of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Thursday Night Live! during the six-month Dissident Gardens programme, the research was made public through six live episodes recorded in the museum. Visitors could take part as a live audience or stream from further afield.

I co-hosted the programme together with Tamar Shafrir, working to adapt her historical research and primary sources into a radio format that brought out the contemporary relevance of the themes. Each show brought experts from science, politics, or the humanities into contact with creative practitioners, using joint interviews to bridge between disciplines. I also commissioned the artist Fabian Reichle to compose an original sound piece for each episode, reacting to the themes through playful or ambiguous compositions of music and voice.

One episode, for example, examined the halfway point as a critical site in the migration of not only plants but also objects and people. By the late 17th century, the Dutch East India Company had pioneered a technique of transplanting species from colonies with tropical weather to the Netherlands, using the hortus in the Cape of Good Hope as an intermediary stopover in terms of both geography and climate. While halfway points are designed to enforce hierarchies of power and control, they also generate new and unforeseeable cultures and ecosystems, as instincts for survival and adaptation negotiate with interrupted narratives, endless bureaucracies, and borders both porous and impenetrable.


Speculative Value: From Tulips to Bitcoin
Halfway Points
Life Fixation: From Aromatics to Ayahuasca
Seeds of Dissidence

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