Deep Sea Minding, 2019–2021

Image from SUPERFLEX's second expedition, “Deep Sea Minding: Surface”. Courtesy of SUPERFLEX & TBA21–Academy © 2019.

Deep Sea Minding is a three-year transdisciplinary research project conceived by the Danish artist group SUPERFLEX and commissioned by TBA21–Academy. 
Alongside their role as Expedition Leaders of the second cycle—spanning 2018-20—of TBA21–Academy's three-year fellowship programme The Current, SUPERFLEX are delving into a long-term commission process, merging artistic and scientific research to reach an alternative understanding of 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 Minding proposes the creation of structures that could serve the needs and desires of both humans and marine creatures. 

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.

Material and conceptual outcomes of Deep Sea Minding are intertwined with SUPERFLEX's activities as Expedition Leaders of the second cycle of The Current and have been presented in various forms. The material enquiry "Pink Element" has been shown at the exhibition There Are Other Fish In The Sea at Galería OMR in Mexico City, and has functioned as the main object of investigation in the PhD programme designed by Jordan Lab at the Max Planck Institute, TBA21–Academy and SUPERFLEX in collaboration with Alligator Head Foundation. The research had been presented in detail as part of BBC's In the Studio, a podcast exploring the creative process of practitioners from the fields of art, culture, and society.
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.
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Deep Sea Minding