The deep sea is closer than ever. Global warming is causing an unprecedented rise in the sea level, which will drastically reshape our planet. Dry ecosystems, including human landscapes, will soon be submerged. Great migrations will happen, and all species will be forced to survive extreme changes in their habitats. As the water rises, molluscs, fish and algae will occupy our cities, homes and parking lots. Every object created by humans will potentially end up underwater: cars, televisions, fish bowls. When the depths of the sea finally reach the places that we have carefully designed and built, their original function and aesthetics will be lost. It is time to consider if water will then become a destructive force or an element of transformation. Apart from continuing to fight the causes of climate change, we should also prepare for the inevitable arrival of the ocean.
Deep Sea Minding is a project by SUPERFLEX that merges artistic and scientific research in an attempt to reach an alternative understanding of the marine species, which could ultimately affect the way we imagine and design our environments and objects. While generating relevant data and increasing awareness of rising sea levels, Deep Sea Mindingproposes the creation of structures that could serve the needs and desires of both humans and marine creatures. In August, SUPERFLEX initiates the first of three expeditions to the South Pacific to test marine life responses to the nature of these designed structures. Documentation of the progress of this research will be accessible online and interaction with the project possible through the land-based annual Convenings.
Participants: Dr Dayne Buddo, Ricardo Gomes, Francesca von Habsburg, Dr Barbara Imhof, Dr Alex Jordan, Jun Kamei, Maureen Penjueli, Markus Reymann
Deep Sea Minding is a three-year transdisciplinary research project conceived by the Danish artist group SUPERFLEX and commissioned by TBA21–Academy. SUPERFLEX will be Expedition Leaders of the second cycle—spanning 2018-20—of TBA21–Academy’s three-year fellowship programme The Current. The first expedition—Deep Sea Minding—aboard the M/Y Dardanella research vessel, brings a series of exploratory experiments to the uninhabited island of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, in the South Pacific. The island of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai emerged recently in the South Pacific, challenging the prevailing tendency of a world which is slowly sinking. The perfect location to explore the thin and ever-changing frontier between land and sea. A frontier which will be soon diluted by a vertical migration: bringing fish to occupy our homes and humans to mind the deep sea.
SUPERFLEX is a collective of artists founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen and Rasmus Nielsen. Through a complex and diverse practice, SUPERFLEX challenges the role of the artist today and explores the nature of globalisation and the systems of power. Describing their work as tools, multiple areas of application or use are implied. SUPERFLEX’s practice is, as the name suggests, not bound to any form or context.
About The Current
TBA21–Academy’s The Current is concerned with the state of the ocean and the discourse around it and seeks to provide a platform for the cultivation of interdisciplinary thought, the exchange of ideas and new knowledge production. Organised in three-year cycles, the programme centres around annual expeditions at sea and land-based Convenings linked to the exploratory theme of each ocean encounter. Each cycle of The Current is led by one or more Expedition Leaders selected by the Academy, who in turn nominate Fellows—artists, curators, scientists, and other cultural actors—to join a collective research project unfolding over the three years. Chus Martínez and SUPERFLEX have been appointed by TBA21–Academy as Expedition Leaders of the second three-year cycle of The Current. Their projects will run in parallel from 2018 to 2020.
TBA21–Academy leads artists, scientists, and thought-leaders on expeditions of collaborative discovery. Founded by Francesca von Habsburg and led by Director Markus Reymann, the Academy is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of the ocean through the lens of art and to engendering creative solutions to its most pressing issues. TBA21–Academy commissions interdisciplinary research that catalyses engagement, stimulates new knowledge, and inspires artistic production. Established in 2011, the nonprofit’s programme is informed by a belief in the power of exchange between disciplines and in the ability of the arts as a vessel for communication, change, and action.
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, South Pacific