The parliamentary representatives of jackdaws, grasses, mosses and bacteria are conducting a heated discussion: Who is responsible for the living conditions of the citizens of the Consol park, under whose lawn mining waste deposits can be found? Why is the growth of mosses favoured by aggressive mowing of lawn areas? Why don’t bacteria in the landfill have access to oxygen?
This debate including these questions could take place in a parliamentary session of the Organismendemokratie—a democracy of organisms. The principle was invented by the group of artists Club Real. Since 2000, the collective has realised participatory, site-specific performance projects which test alternative realities. As part of the Ruhr Ding: Klima, Club Real members Mathias Lenz, Marianne Ramsay-Sonneck and Georg Reinhardt use this parliamentary model as a point of departure to join local residents in examining the question of how the effects of coal mining on this former colliery site can be offset. It would require 800,000 years of photosynthesis by the plants on the site to counteract the quantity of CO2 that was emitted.
The project proposes a form of democracy in which all species have equal rights. The measures required for the future are decided upon in a participatory process that takes into account the needs of all organisms. Citizens can help determine the park’s future as parliamentary representatives of various different species that inhabit the site. The results are then put up for discussion in installations and audio format in the Consol park where visitors can debate them. The project is supplemented by an exhibition in the Kunstinstallation Sammlung Werner Thiel which is located in an adjacent area.
A co-operation with the Consol Theater and the city of Gelsenkirchen.
The installation 800.000 Jahre Photosynthese — Organismendemokratie Gelsenkirchen was developed as part of the exhibition Ruhr Ding: Klima and was on display from May 26—June 27, 2021 at the Consol Park in Gelsenkirchen.