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Digital initiative

Messy Studio: Aquapolitics Along the Gulf Stream



On Ocean Archive and on Ocean Space and TBA21–Academy Facebook pages

The virtual summit Aquapolitics Along the Gulf Stream, hosted by TBA21–Academy’s Ocean Archive as part of the program accompanying “Territorial Agency: Ocean in Transformation,” will reflect on what it means to experience change and to live through episodes of transformation. Registering, adapting, and resisting the many perturbations caused by neglect, accidents, and slow forms of environmental violence—also means, in a sense, to wait for and participate in the politics of change, if we decide. The voices heard in this summit represent various places along the Gulf Stream, never integrated into a geographic region or a specific world system, and yet connected through similar conditions. They promise to make room for new forms of conversations and speculation, seeking to detect worldviews and futures that are alter/native to colonialism and capitalism.

Messy Studios are peer-to-peer gatherings conceived by Territorial Agency mobilizing critical thinking and research along the interconnected narratives and ecopolitical trajectories of “Oceans in Transformation. Messy Studios engage scientists, artists, governmental and civil society groups, policy makers and conservationists to come together with the aim to forge new pathways for action and new imaginaries for the ocean.


6–8 pm CET
Messy Studio: Aquapolitics Along the Gulf Stream

Presentations by Jamie Allen, artist/researcher; Åsa Andersson, land activist from Kiruna; Louise Carver, critical geographer; Leah Gordon, photographer, filmmaker, curator, and writer; Brad Kahlhamer, artist; Damion “Skinny” Mckintosh, warden at Alligator Head Foundation, Jamaica; Claire Pentecost, artist and writer; and Brian Holmes, art and cultural critic. With Territorial Agency, Markus Reymann, Daniela Zyman, and the participants of the Ocean Fellowship Program.

The event will be live-streamed on Ocean-Archive.org and TBA21–Academy and Ocean Space Facebook pages.

More about the event: https://ocean-archive.org/view/1087


Jamie Allen is Senior Researcher at the Critical Media Lab Basel and Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure, Media and Communications at NSCAD University, Halifax. He has been an electronics engineer, a polymer chemist, and a designer with the American Museum of Natural History, New York. Allen works at the intersection of art, design, ecology, science, and technology and is occupied with the creation of prefigurative institutions that are generous and collaborative, acknowledging that friendship, passion, and love are central to knowledge practices like art and research.

Åsa Andersson is a land activist based in Kiruna, in Swedish Lapland. Åsa works as a healer and storyteller. She combines knowledge from various disciplines, such as complementary and alternative medicine, shamanism, landscaping, psychology, philosophy, rhetoric, and personal development. A specialist in communicating with different places according to the tradition of ancient mystics of the subarctic region, Åsa creates proposals for authentic and meaningful identities, resulting in creations infused by the magic of a place.

Louise Carver is a critical geographer exploring how scientific knowledge interfaces with politics through social and environmental systems. Her research, writing and other activities are informed by social theory, institutional critique and ethnographic methods, while also engaging with the arts and critical design as experimental methods. Louise works in ways that try to go beyond critique while tracing existing and possible geographies of hope and affirmation as modes of world building. She completed her PhD at the Leverhulme Centre for the Study of Value at Birkbeck, University of London specialising in theories of value and the political ecology of the so-called ‘green’ economy in biodiversity conversation. Louise is currently Honorary Researcher at Lancaster University’s Environment Centre, and a 2020 UK Parliamentary-Academic Fellow. She is a contributing editor of the itinerant publishing collective Temporary continent. within the Haus der Kulturen der Welt's Anthropocene Curriculum. Amongst other publications, Louise is developing a book project on the diagrammatic and institutional artefacts that shape and disrupt the logic of environmental offsetting, provisionally titled Casting Netted Natures: Cartesian Coordinates of ‘Green’ Capitalism.

Leah Gordon is a photographer, filmmaker, curator, collector, and writer. In the 1980's she wrote lyrics, sang and played for the feminist folk punk band, The Doonicans. Gordon’s research spans from Modernism and architecture to slave trade, industrialization, class, and folk and grassroots religious histories. Gordon’s film and photographic work has been exhibited internationally in institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the Dak’art Biennale; the National Portrait Gallery, UK and the Norton Museum of Art, Florida as well as broadcast on Channel 4, Arte and PBS. Her photography book Kanaval: Vodou, Politics and Revolution on the Streets of Haiti was published in June 2010. She is the co-director of the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; was a curator for the Haitian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale; was the co-curator of the exhibition “Kafou: Haiti, History & Art” at Nottingham Contemporary, UK and she was part of the curatorial team for “In Extremis: Death and Life in 21st Century Haitian Art” at the Fowler Museum, UCLA. Gordon co-curated “PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince” at Pioneer Works, NYC in 2018 and MOCA, Miami in 2019. In 2015 Leah Gordon was the recipient of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean.

Brian Holmes is an art and cultural critic with a taste for on-the-ground intervention. A polyglot living in Paris from 1990 to 2009, he collaborated with political art groups such as Ne Pas Plier, Bureau d'Etudes, Public Netbase, Hackitectura, and Makrolab. His texts have been published in Multitudes, Springerin, Open and Brumaria, as well as a large number of exhibition catalogues and posts to the mailing list Nettime. With Claire Pentecost and the 16 Beaver Group he co-organized the Continental Drift seminars. His essays revolve around art, free cooperation, the network society, political economy, and grassroots resistance. His books include Escape the Overcode: Activist Art in the Control Society (2009) and Unleashing the Collective Phantoms: Essays in Reverse Imagineering (2007), as well as Volatile Smile (2014) in collaboration with the photographers Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann. In Chicago where he now lives he is a member of the Compass group and teaches intermittently at the University of Illinois.

Brad Kahlhamer lives and works in New York City. Kahlhamer was born in 1956 in Tucson, Arizona to Native American parents and later adopted by a middle-class German-American family. In his practice Kahlhamer combines an iconography that reflects on his Native American roots with an imagery shaped by his life on the Bowery, in New York City's vibrant Lower East Side. In his practice Kahlhamer explores notions of identity and authenticity, cultural heritage and representation within the Native American artistic community. Kahlhamer’s work is featured in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Seattle Art Museum, Washington; the Denver Art Museum, Colorado; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, North Carolina; the Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas and the Hood Museum of Art, New Hampshire, and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary among others. His work has been exhibited extensively in the United States as well as internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include “Brad Kahlhamer: A Nation of One,” at the Plains Art Museum, Fargo, North Dakota (2019-2020); “Super Catcher, Vast Array,” at Open Spaces, Kansas City, Missouri (2018); “Other Walks, Other Lines,” at the San Jose Museum of Art, California (2018-2019).

Damion Mckintosh, also known as Skinny, is one of the four wardens at Alligator Head Foundation. Mckintosh joined the Alligator Head Foundation, Jamaica, in 2017 as a part-time warden after attending the community meetings that led to the establishment of the Marine Protected Area in 2016.

In 2019 Mckintosh became a full time employee of the Foundation. An expert diver, he got certified as a fisheries inspector and a game warden, with mansions of monitoring of the Marine Protected Area.

A fisherman since early age, Mckintosh was a member of the Alligator Head Foundation team that visited the Cabo Pulmo National Park, Mexico, studying their strategies of community-lead, participatory marine management to then implement them in Jamaica. The switch from fishing to tourism has strengthened the bond between the local community and marine ecosystem and produced a thriving and sustainable economy. As much as sites like Cabo Pulmo mean to the thousands of tourists that pass through them, the environment means far more to the locals who rely on the region and its resources.

Claire Pentecost is an artist and writer who researches the living matters of food, agriculture and bio-engineering; her “Soil-erg” project of 2012 considered the material of soil as a commodity, proposing a soil-based currency system. Pentecost’s work is driven by research but inspired by questions of form. She advocates for the role of the amateur in the production and interpretation of knowledge, while her longstanding interest in nature and artificiality predicates her recent responses to anthropogenic climate change. Past projects focused on industrial and bioengineered agriculture in a global, corporate food system.

Pentecost has exhibited work nationally and internationally at dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany; 13th Istanbul Biennial; Whitechapel Gallery, London; 3rd Mongolian Land Art Biennial; Higher Pictures, New York; Corcoran Museum, Washington, DC; Milwaukee Art Museum; Whitney Museum, Stamford, CT; Transmediale 05, Berlin; and American Fine Arts, New York. She is professor and chair of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and holds degrees from Smith College and the Pratt Institute.