Mir­ja Busch is an inter­di­sci­pli­na­ry artist and artis­tic rese­ar­cher based in Ber­lin, Ger­ma­ny. She stu­di­ed Fine Arts at the Braun­schweig Uni­ver­si­ty of Art (until 2006) and par­ti­ci­pa­ted in the post­gra­dua­te magis­ter pro­gram for art theo­ry and art prac­ti­ce at the Uni­ver­si­dad de Chi­le, Sant­ia­go de Chi­le (2008−2009). A rese­arch resi­den­cy at the Spe­cial Coll­ec­tion of the for­mer Cen­ter for Advan­ced Visu­al Stu­dies (CAVS) at the Mas­sa­chu­setts Insti­tu­te of Tech­no­lo­gy (2013) led to a long­stan­ding enga­ge­ment with Land and Envi­ron­men­tal Art move­ment, cen­te­red around the ques­ti­on of how ‚authen­tic‘ expe­ri­en­ces are crea­ted and media­ted through documents.

Her artis­tic prac­ti­ce focu­ses on the mate­ria­liza­ti­on of the imma­te­ri­al and the cap­tu­ring of back­ground phe­no­me­na, such as distil­ling theo­ry or archi­ving pudd­les. She is a foun­ding mem­ber of the artist coll­ec­ti­ve Pathe­tic Sym­pa­thy See­kers and co-direc­tor of the Alps Art Aca­de­my, Switz­er­land.

Mir­ja has been stu­dy­ing the onto­lo­gy of pudd­les for over a deca­de. She has deve­lo­ped a deep under­stan­ding of the com­plex rela­ti­onships bet­ween pudd­les and the envi­ron­ments in which they exist. Her artis­tic rese­arch and prac­ti­ce explo­re modes of co-exis­ting in Natu­re­Cul­tu­re assem­bla­ges, expe­ri­men­ting with methods of rela­ting to eco­lo­gy and eco­lo­gi­cal con­di­ti­ons through mul­tis­pe­ci­es, femi­nist, and spe­cu­la­ti­ve sen­si­bi­li­ties. She also exami­nes how to ima­gi­ne pla­ne­ta­ry care.

Mir­ja approa­ches pudd­les as high­ly site-spe­ci­fic and embedded in their sur­roun­dings, rather than sim­ply ran­dom accu­mu­la­ti­ons of water. As such they are sto­ried eco­lo­gies that arti­cu­la­te pla­ne­ta­ry pro­ces­ses and per­so­nal expe­ri­en­ces and are indi­ca­tors of an int­act water cycle. Mirja’s rese­arch seeks to con­tri­bu­te to dis­cour­ses around art and the pla­ne­ta­ry cri­sis by brin­ging atten­ti­on to this over­loo­ked phenomenon.
Throug­hout her rese­arch, Mir­ja has deve­lo­ped various modes of archi­ving and rela­ting to pudd­les. She main­ta­ins an ongo­ing pho­to­gra­phic archi­ve of pudd­les from around the world, coll­ects pudd­le water samples, and has deve­lo­ped a pudd­le foren­sics method to inves­ti­ga­te dry pudd­les. Based on ear­ly methods of cloud deter­mi­na­ti­on in pre-modern meteo­ro­lo­gy, she has inven­ted a sci­en­ti­fic lan­guage to descri­be and clas­si­fy pudd­les in a dif­fe­ren­tia­ted way. Addi­tio­nal­ly, Mir­ja offers pudd­le wat­ching tours, taking peo­p­le to visit and expe­ri­ence pudd­les as a way of respon­ding to the lack of atten­ti­on they recei­ve, in dia­lo­gue with eth­no­gra­phic methods and bird wat­ching. Curr­ent­ly, she is col­la­bo­ra­ting with eco­hy­dro­lo­gists in Ber­lin to explo­re the role of pudd­les in urban ecologies.
In sum, Mir­ja aims to open up new per­spec­ti­ves on cities, land­scapes, and the cli­ma­te cri­sis. She is inte­res­ted in explo­ring the inter­ac­tion of soil and wea­ther and how human urban prac­ti­ces, site spe­ci­fi­ci­ty, eco­lo­gi­cal, and eco­no­mic con­di­ti­ons can be made visi­ble and expe­ri­en­ced through the medi­um of the puddle.

Her work has been exhi­bi­ted at/in col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with Umwelt­bun­des­amt (Fede­ral Office for the Envi­ron­ment, 2022), at Kau­nas 2022-Euro­pean Cul­tu­re Capi­tal (2022), at the Aka­de­mie der Küns­te der Welt, Colo­gne (2019), OVERGADEN. Insti­tu­te of Con­tem­po­ra­ry Art, Copen­ha­gen (2018), and Art Safien­tal- bien­ni­al for Land and Envi­ron­men­tal Art, among others. Her work has been fun­ded by the Stif­tung Kunst­fonds (2023, 2022, 2020, 2015), the Ber­lin Sena­te (2016), Hans and Char­lot­te Krull Stif­tung (2014), Gold­rausch Pro­gramm Ber­lin (2011) and DAAD (2008), among others.