Armin Linke
Prospecting Ocean
May 23 – September 30, 2018

Armin Linke, Prospecting Ocean. Installation view at CNR-ISMAR, Venice, 2018. Commissioned and produced by TBA21–Academy. Photo: Giulia Bruno
Armin Linke, Prospecting Ocean. Installation view at CNR-ISMAR, Venice, 2018. Commissioned and produced by TBA21–Academy. Photo: Giulia Bruno
Armin Linke, Prospecting Ocean. Installation view at CNR-ISMAR, Venice, 2018. Commissioned and produced by TBA21–Academy. Photo: Giulia Bruno
Armin Linke, Prospecting Ocean. Installation view at CNR-ISMAR, Venice, 2018. Commissioned and produced by TBA21–Academy. Photo: Giulia Bruno
Armin Linke, Prospecting Ocean. Installation view at CNR-ISMAR, Venice, 2018. Commissioned and produced by TBA21–Academy. Photo: Giulia Bruno

TBA21–Academy is proud to present its first major research commission, conceived and realized over three years by the artist and fellow of The Current Armin Linke. The investigative exhibition Prospecting Ocean, which was developed in collaboration with the Istituto di Scienze Marine (CNR-ISMAR), explores contemporary challenges facing our oceans. Drawing upon rare footage of the deep-sea and interviews with leading scientists, policymakers, legal experts, and activists, the project scrutinizes the aesthetics of technoscientific apparatuses and grapples with the tension between ecological protection of our oceans and political and economic exploitation. 
Linke’s Prospecting Ocean presents a rich choreography of newly filmed footage and archival materials exhibited in the former headquarters and laboratory spaces of CNR-ISMAR, including several multi-channel video installations and a new series of photographs. A montage of rarely seen scientific footage of the ocean floor—captured by remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROV) at a depth of up to 5,000 meters—visually juxtaposes the “natural” seabed with the machinery used to extract specimen for research and deep-sea minerals for industrial use. Next to these highly detached images of tools and clinical incisions in the seabed, the exhibition presents imagery filmed at assemblies at the UN, in international law conferences, at marine research centers, and at sites endangered by sea level rise and now also seabed mining in Papua New Guinea. Linke exposes submarine and terrestrial sites that are commonly invisible and accesses the meetings of decision makers that are usually closed off to the public. Scrutinizing the infrastructural apparatuses administrating the seabed, Linke deconstructs the idea of a marine-based blue economy and policy commonly supported by governments.
At CNR-ISMAR, the footage filmed by Linke and his team is presented alongside behind-the-scenes interviews of leading biologists, geologists, and policymakers, as well as footage of activist movements in Papua New Guinea, inviting the viewer to consider the implications of oceanic excavations on both the environment and communities. Linke lays bare an intricate network of dynamics, dissecting how information is negotiated between scientific, legal, and economic entities and institutions, on both local and international levels.
Prospecting Ocean also features a selection of primary documents and books from the CNR-ISMAR historical library selected by the institute’s scientists and critical texts analyzing the legal, political, and economic infrastructures presiding over the allocation of ocean resources. Taken together, the project scrutinizes the administration of the oceans and exposes the simultaneous fascination with and alienation from technologies that map, visualize, and exploit resources in the sea.
A publication with additional research and newly commissioned texts, edited by Stefanie Hessler, will be launched in early 2019.
Prospecting Ocean is made possible by TBA21–Academy in collaboration with CNR-ISMAR–Istituto di Scienze Marine in Venice and institutions such as GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology. 
Stefanie Hessler 
Architecture by Kuehn Malvezzi 
Graphic design by Mevis & van Deursen 
Exhibition production by Altofragile 
Local coordination by M+B studio srl 
The project has been realized in collaboration with Giulia Bruno (camera, editing), Giuseppe Ielasi (sound, editing), Renato Rinaldi (sound), Kati Simon (project management). 
Istituto di Scienze Marine (CNR-ISMAR)

Riva dei Sette Martiri, 1364 
30122 Venezia, Italy 
Architecture of the Ocean
May 24 – 25, 2018

A project by TBA21–Academy and Territorial Agency

In a series of roundtable discussions aimed at together conceiving something new rather than revisiting inherited questions, we bring further discussions and trajectories to the intricate worlds of Armin Linke’s exhibition. Starting with the red threads that interconnect the themes of his exhibition Prospecting Ocean, we try and articulate a series of questions, of openings toward a common research project aimed at reinventing how to live on, in, and with an ocean in rapid transformation.

Thursday, May 24
Roundtable discussion
Oceanic Spatialities

Ute Meta Bauer (NTU CCA Singapore)
Debora Bellafiore (CNR-ISMAR)
Alvise Benetazzo (CNR-ISMAR)
Sandro Carniel (CNR-ISMAR)
Franco Farinelli (Università di Bologna)
Hans Ulrich Obrist (Serpentine Galleries London)
Angela Pomaro (CNR-ISMAR)
Luca Zaggia (CNR-ISMAR)

Can we think of the human-made environments of Venice and its lagoons as a model for the future, a guideline on how to reimagine and define epochs at a time of sea-level change? What would it entail to mirror and morph the histories of Venice into the future of world cities? How to rapidly change vast urbanization processes? The world ocean is a continuous and dynamic space, yet the main way to govern it is through the formation of zones, corridors, and areas. We explore the spatial constructions that articulate this specific form of regulation of human inhabitation of the oceans. From the notion of the closed sea, with its historical connections to the Republic of Venice and the contemporary counterparts in the juridical structures of exclusive economic zones and marine protected areas, we move to the complex regimes that articulate the compartmented imaginary of resource extraction and marine preservation. Deep-sea mining and preservation rely on international law and science to guide their steps: we discuss the connections between different forms of exploration and spatial imaginaries. The relation between science and politics is discussed in spatial terms, with the Venice Lagoon as a reminder of long-term commitment to a dynamic water world.

Friday, May 25
Roundtable discussion
Oceanic Sensorium

Mauro Bastianini (CNR-ISMAR)
Lucia Bongiorni (CNR-ISMAR)
Alessandro Ceregato (CNR-ISMAR)
Adam Lowe (Factum Arte)
Francesca Santoro (UNESCO)
Hashim Sarkis (MIT)
Katrin Schroeder (CNR-ISMAR)
Marco Sigovini (CNR-ISMAR)

How to look at the ocean, how to sound it? Humans are land bound yet look out at the sea from the shore rather than from inland. Starting from the complex dynamics of the Venice Lagoon, we discuss different ways in which science and the arts visualize and imagine the oceans, whether using direct observation or instruments with or without lenses. Sensing under the waves, sensing above the waves, sensing at the level of the waves: What are the connections and forms of practice that are producing contemporary images of the oceans? What are the cognitive dimensions of these images? We discuss contemporary forms of image making: multibeam sonar, ROVs, satellites, underwater cameras, film, and video. All these create images based on sensing at a distance. How do they affect actions and change? What knowledge lies between different ways of sensing?

All sessions are moderated by John Palmesino of Territorial Agency, with interventions by Armin Linke
with ISMAR - Institute of Marine Sciences of the National Research Council of Italy