residency: April—May 2018

Karolina Ferenc (Poland)

Karolina Ferenc

is a Polish multidisciplinary designer interested in all aspects of anthropocentrism and the Anthropocene. She uses design as a tool to question and speculate about contemporary relationship between the human and the natural. Her projects question our uniqueness as a specie and explore unexpected, often intimate connections in human/nonhuman interactions. Narration of her works weaves between scientific facts, para-fiction and imaginary speculation. 

  •  Soiltopia
    • Soil, along with its partners air and water, is the foundation upon which modern society is built and upon which it is utterly dependent. Soil is our dumping ground and our redemption. Ignored, contaminated, compressed, and dormant, the dirt that waits patiently in vacant lotsand that underlies our urban sidewalks, roads, and buildingscontains the potential not only for its own miraculous biological renewal, but for the regeneration of many of our depleted social, economic, and material structures.
      • Nance Klehm, The Ground Rules Manifesto, 2015
  • Karolina Ferencs idea is to create a kind of lab-situation in which she would experiment and perform, day after day with soil as an ecosystem that is indispensable for the survival of mankind. It aims to show, in a curious and imaginative way, major qualities of living soil.
    • A central element of this project is a notion of care. Care is a complex and somehow compromised practise. Caring for one individual may lead to suffering of the others, as we all are interdepended. However, to care means to engage with the world with ethical manner, to be emotionally affected by another and it requires from us more than abstract well-wishing, but to act in a concrete way. So, it is emotional, ethical and active. As Donna Haraway noticed caring means becoming subject to the unsettling obligation of curiosity, which requires knowing more at the end of the day than at the beginning6. Here, the obligation of knowing more requires a curious attitude and a critical knowledge about a subject of affection.
  • Project aims to expose a knowledge, a study of living soil. Performing experiments is a tool to know more. Experiments follow scientific order of study; their purpose is to gain data about particular soil. They are borrowed from soil scientists, yet they are twisted as they dont follow anthropocentric purposes but a curious urge to know more about subject of affection. This practise implies emotional engagement; therefore, experiments are intimate but also a bit playful.


  • Curated by
    • Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka
  • Photo
    • Bartosz Górka
The project is realized in frames of collaboration between Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Akademie Schloss Solitude and Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
This project is co-financed by Akademie Schloss Solitude and the City of Warsaw.