My name is Samanea saman
My name is Samanea saman
Lucía Diegó and Desiree Kabis 2023

Gardens of the Museo La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia
2. November - 23. November 2023
Casa de Mono, Cali, Colombia
1. November - 10. November 2023

In the frame of the first City-to-City exchange program between the two UNESCO Creative Cities of Media Arts Karlsruhe and Cali (Colombia), the winning artists Lucía Diegó and Desiree Kabis are guiding the visitors through the results of their collaborative creation process in the gardens of the Museo La Tertulia and Casa de Mono.

Between the branches of the Samán tree, hammocks and long strips of fabric, partly printed and embroidered, invite visitors to sit in, dance with, connect with and be attentive to the surroundings of the tree. With the help of these artistic prostheses, the tree will continue to grow with multispecies gestures. The tactile experience is augmented by a sound piece accessed via phone. Listen as the tree tells you its memories and stories about transformation, time and resistance.

Over the years, the Samán tree has remained in its place and resisted the weather, the seasons, and human decisions. The tree sensed the museum's construction, drastic changes and development of the area and life around it. The tree survived these processes of transformation and memorised all of them. A silent observer, not judging, but observing humans taking over its environment.

Often narratives about nature are used as an argument to enforce the gender gap and classify genders and sexualities that deviate from the heteronormative as »unnatural«, while we can point towards many examples of transition and same-sex partnership and reproduction in flora and fauna. The liberation of gender would mean the liberation of norms, expectations and stereotypes. The presented collaborative artwork provides an entry point into the discussion on queerness in our relation to nature.

This exact Samán tree is 3D scanned and projected as a digital twin in Casa de Mono, allowing visitors to experience the growth and interaction with the tree independently from time and space. Recreating a tree with digital and analogue media prompts the question of how the fragile coexistence between trees as the earth’s extensions into the world and humans can be reinstalled and revisited via artistic collaborative means.

Next year, »My name is Samanea saman« will travel to Karlsruhe, Germany, where it will be adapted to the local needs and requirements of the public space.

More information about the exchange program:

The first part of the collaboration took place at the ZKM | Center for Arts and Media in Karlsruhe. The artists visited the museum’s collection and current exhibitions thereby getting to know the highly interdisciplinary visions and research endeavours of the museum. The provided studio space at ZKM allowed the artists to start thinking about the topics, materiality and logistics for the final artwork. After the intensive exchange on-site, they continued working remotely between the two cities. The results of the half-year-long collaboration are shown in the gardens of the Museo La Tertulia and at the Casa de Mono, Cali. Next year, the interactive installation will travel to Karlsruhe, Germany, where it will be adapted to the local needs and requirements of the public space. 

Team Karlsruhe:

Beatrice Zaidenberg: Curator; Project Manager
Daniela Burkhardt: Executive Coordinator and Focal Point UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts Karlsruhe, City of Karlsruhe

Team Cali:
Leila Asserías: Project Manager, UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts, Cali.
Melissa Aguilar: Curator, Museo La Tertulia, Cali.
Maria Elisa Holguín: Focal Point UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts, Cali