Daro Montag’s art practice has, for many years, been involved with environmental and ecological issues – he is particularly interested in the inherent creativity of the organic world. His research and creative practice start from the premise that the natural world is best understood as being constituted of interacting events rather than consisting of discrete objects. This philosophical position foregrounds the significance of process and its residue. In order to make art with living matter the artist has enlisted the assistance of micro-organisms, plants, insects, toads and other creatures. He has also worked with natural phenomena including wind, rain and fire. Much of this work uses the concept of the indexical trace where nature’s events are enabled to generate their own image. He completed his MA at the Royal College of Art in 1994, and a PhD at the University of Hertfordshire in 2000.
Daro’s work has been exhibited at galleries in the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and the UAE, and published in a number of catalogues. He has also produced commissioned work in collaboration with the Met Office and the Institute of Animal Health. In 2002 he was awarded a prestigious art-science prize in Tokyo. In 2007 he was commissioned to develop an art-science exhibition which resulted in a project entitled ‘This Earth’. The subsequent exhibition and book examines the creative and productive potential of soils from a number of different perspectives. This concern about the importance of soils is being further developed, in collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, as part of a major project for 2013-17.
Another ongoing project is ‘RANE-CHAR’, an action in which biochar was produced and distributed as a means of raising awareness and mitigating climate change. This project developed from his participation in the 2009 Cape Farewell expedition to the Peruvian Andes and Amazon as part of a team engaged in the cultural response to environmental change.
Daro leads the research group in Art, Nature & Environment – RANE.