“... from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” (Charles Darwin)
If life started now, the beginning would not be “so simple” as Darwin suggested. As we have complicated our relationship with life. The boundaries between nature and culture sublimated and we are breathing a gaseous mixture of man-made with natural. Our very human culture, overrides nature. Our capitalistic biomass manufactures mountains of e-waste, beaches of tar, rivers of zinc, oceans of plastic. We are an army of plastic surgeons giving the planet a new face. A face that opens its eyes to new life forms, new beginnings, new extremities.
An Ecosystem of Excess is an attempt to create a post-human eco-system, a living community of speculative organisms and their environment. The project takes the idea that we are surrounded by “man-made extreme environments” as its starting point. A man-made extreme environment is a site of excess, where leftovers of our capitalistic desires and consumerist actions are accumulated. Hence junkyards, landfills, wastelands are all examples of “man-made extreme environments”.
An Ecosystem of Excess starts in the Pacific Trash Vortex. Discovered in 1985 by Captain Roger Marshall, this site is a floating nexus of plastic waste covering roughly 5000 km² area of the Pacific. Pacific Trash Vortex is a monument of plastic waste at a global scale. Referring to Kantian aesthetics, it is a truly 'sublime' kinetic sculpture built by all the nations around the Pacific Ocean over many years of mindless, unsustainable consumption. Pacific Trash Vortex is where plastic bottle caps meet the Laysan albatross' digestive tract . In other words out there in the ocean, there is a site of interchange between the organic and the synthetic, a site of fusion between nature and culture. According to the primordial soup theory, about four billion years ago life starts in the oceans when inorganic matter turns into organic molecules. Today, the oceans have turned into a plastic soup. This project asks a very simple question: “If life started today in the oceans of plastic, what kind of life forms would emerge out of this contemporary primordial ooze?” The answer to this question is – An Ecosystem of Excess: a new Linnaean taxonomy of species of excess that can thrive in man-made extreme environments such as the Pacific Trash Vortex. The project suggests a series of interconnected species burgeoning in pelagic plastic, chemical sludge and other debris. The design of ecosystem follows Jacob von Uexkull's concept of ‘Umwelt’: the perceptual world in which an organism exists and acts as a subject . Hence big emphasis is given to the sensory modalities of each organism; their “worldview” is simulated via diagrams, models and code.
An Ecosystem of Excess is born at the intersection of ecological and feminist thinking; hence it negates the utilitarian, anthropomorphic approach which disregards the intrinsic value of any life forms regardless of its use value to human subjects. Therefore an ‘Umwelt’ for every single organism in the ecosystem is generated as a first step to the speculative design process.
The project has been developed through the Vilém Flusser Residency for Artistic Research, which is part of the all year activity of transmediale (in cooperation with the Vilém Flusser Archive, Academy of Fine Arts Berlin) and has been realized through a cooperation with the Ernst Schering Foundation. According to the jury that selected the project, “An Ecosystem of Excess discovers its potential to provide more than just another contribution to the current eco-art trend. The project rather promises critical and ironic reflection upon the very possibility for an art project to explore environmental problems and to develop a certain art immanent ‘research methodology’ and analytical tools.” 
 Moore, Charles and Cassandra Philips. Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain's Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans, [120-122] Avery, 2011 .
 Uexkull, Jacob Von. A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans: with A Theory of Meaning (Posthumanities), 2010.
 Cf. “Vilém Flusser Residency of Artistic Research 2013: Jury Statement”, online at www.transmediale.de/content/vil-m-flusser-residency-of-artistic-research-2013-jury-statement.
Pinar Yoldas is a cross-disciplinary artist and researcher. Her work investigates social and cultural systems in regards to biological and ecological systems. Lately she has been designing mutations, tumors and neoplasmic organs to rethink the body and its sexuality transformed by the mostly urban habitats of techno-capitalist consumerism. Pinar received her MFA from University of California Los Angeles. Currently she is pursuing her PhD in the Art, Art History and Visual Studies department at Duke University. Her research interests include bio-art, art-neuroscience interactions and eco-feminism. Prior to her education in the States, she has received a Bachelors of Architecture from Middle East Technical University, a Master of Arts from Istanbul Bilgi University and a Master of Science from Istanbul Technical University. She holds a bronze medal in organic chemistry in national science olympics and had her first solo painting exhibition when she was five.
What is the connection between hacker practices, artistic experimentation and queer performativity in the post-digital era? Since 2011 Tatiana Bazzichelli has been developing the reSource transmedial culture berlin, the year-round initiative of transmediale festival as a project of networking based on the inter-connection of genres and practices in the field of art, technology, politics and identity. The main goal was to facilitate the sharing of resources and knowledge between the transmediale festival and the local and translocal scene engaged with art and digital culture in Berlin. This presentation will reflect on curating as an activity that crosses practices and languages, in connection with a critical reflection on media culture. By highlighting how networking can be a disruptive concept able to work on the convergences of interdisciplinary fluxes, the focus will be post-digital practices presented before and during transmediale 2014 “afterglow”, linking the artistic with the mediatic, political, economic and queer practices.
Tatiana Bazzichelli is Postdoc Researcher at the Centre for Digital Cultures /Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany) and curator at transmediale festival in Berlin, where she runs the reSource transmedial culture berlin. She received a PhD degree in Information and Media Studies in 2011 at the Faculty of Arts of Aarhus University in Denmark. In 2009 she was a visiting scholar at the H-STAR, the Human-Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute of Stanford University in California. She wrote the books Networked Disruption: Rethinking Oppositions in Art, Hacktivism and the Business of Social Networking (DARC Press, 2013) and Networking: The Net as Artwork (Costa & Nolan, 2006 /DARC Press, 2008). Active in the Italian hacker community since the end of the ’90s, her networking project AHA:Activism-Hacking-Artivism won the honorary mention for digital communities at Ars Electronica in 2007. She is born in Rome (Italy) and since 2003 she lives and works in Berlin.