The Henningsvær Charter
Art & Ocean - NTNU
07 - 13 May

The Henningsvær Charter
In September 28-30 2017, around 20 artists and scientists gathered at the Lofoten archipelago, to draft “The Henningsvær Charter” -- a platform for investigations into future ecologies of the oceans encompassing ethics, aesthetics and environmental concerns
“The Henningsvær Charter” anticipates a moment in time that is about 50 years from now. But rather than envisioning the future and gesturing to what is going to happen, the aim is to create future points of view from where to look back and ask the converse question: What happened? Or, in the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Whatever could have happened for things to have come to this?”

In November 1967, Arvid Pardo proposed that the oceans bounty should be considered "the common heritage of mankind". His seminal speech at the United Nations General Assembly raised issues that are today as charged as 50 years ago: the overexploitation of resources, the militarization of ocean space, and the pollution of the sea.

Following this trajectory, the Henningsvær Charter will outline some of the fundamental values and principles, responsibilities and collaborations that will have emerged, in another 50 years, out of the exploration and exploitation of ocean space due to rapidly developing technologies.

Instead of predicting most accurate scenarios, the goal of the gathering was to reverse-engineer our present time through commitments that are made from a future point of view. This means to imagine the contents of a meanwhile or meantime -- from a variety of different urgencies. It needs to be understood and used as an elliptic, fragmentary and disruptive format, and should discover, reveal and unfold a multiplicity of processes that are interacting with each other.

The idea of a charter implies the re-distribution of certain rights or privileges and it requires commitment from different agencies based on a shared understanding among the signees. While not entitled by any official authority, the drafting of the Henningsvær Charter can be seen as a parody, a slightly misaligned enactment that takes place with a certain delay and a specific distortion. But in doing so, it uncovers the mechanisms of power and sets out, by relatively simple means, to gain a new form of access to the courtly theater of policy making.

The gathering took place in Henningsvær, a fishing village that is located on several islands in the Lofoten archipelago above the Arctic Circle. Here the “three economies” of the ocean over-determine the very location: Food, transport, and the extraction of raw materials.

At the same time, uncertainty, complexity, and fluidity within ocean research are challenging the borders of conventional forms of knowledge production. It always has and continues to open up new opportunities for interventions and change -- carried out in new coalitions of agencies and stakeholders while operating within an epistemology that is based on the understanding of nonlinear systems and regimes of uncertainty.

On this basis, the charter aims at initiating creative conversations between art, science and politics to develop a relation with what is yet unknowable and yet imperceptible.
It is supposed to form a space-time, based on extrapolations of scientific knowledge, simulations of possible futures and the revaluation of strategies of value creation.

Rather than about their research, the contributors are invited to speak on behalf or in the name of their experiences and expertise. Rather than representing a current constellation of knowledge, interests or capacities, the challenge is to take the chance to anticipate, enact and perform a future, and thereby virtual, point of view.

Contributors to the Henningsvær Charter:

Stefanie Hessler -  "Brave New Seas"
Hessler is a curator and writer from Germany. She is the co-founder of the art space Andquestionmark in Stockholm, Sweden (with Carsten Höller). Currently, Hessler is curator of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21)—Academy in London, a fellowship programme on a research vessel investigating human impact on the oceans.

Terje Finstad - "Blue revolution or cultural evolution?"
Finstad is a researcher in science and technology studies (STS) at Department for Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, NTNU. Currently, he is working on the history of microbes (both land based and marine) and how the domestication of the creatures of the ocean has affected human societies and imaginaries and vice versa.

Jeremy Jackson - "People and Place in an Era of Rapid Global Change"
Jackson is professor of Oceanography Emeritus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Senior Scientist Emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution. He studies the threats and solutions to human impacts on the oceans and the ecology and evolution of tropical seas. Jackson is the author of 160 scientific publications and eleven books. His most recent book is Breakpoint: Reckoning with America's Environmental Crises (2018).

Berit Kristoffersen & Lone Nikolaisen - "The Røst bank & the Lofoten barrel bank"
Kristoffersen is a political geographer based in Lofoten, working as an associate professor at UiT-the Arctic University of Norway. She is currently working on developing analysis on supply-side climate policy as well as practices of ocean policy in dynamic ecologies such as ice zone in the Barents Sea. Nikolaisen is a historian living in Røst, Lofoten, working as a commercial fisherman on several different boats, including her own. She is in the board of the local fishermen's union and constantly looking into other sustainable marine ventures. This has for instance brought her Alaska to take part in the wild harvest of Pacific Salmon.

Lisa Rave - "I am 88. 8 is actually my favorite number"
Rave lives and works in Berlin. She studied experimental film at the University of the Arts Berlin and photography at Bard College, New York. Her essayistic work often investigates issues relating to postcolonialism, science and natural phenomena, looking at history’s repeating patterns in the complex interplay of culture, economy and ecology.

Jennifer L.  Bailey - "World peace through marine and coastal management"
Bailey is professor of Political Science at the Department of Sociology and Political Science (NTNU). She is currently a work package leader for the 7FP EU project OCEAN CERTAIN and NFR Project SUSTAIN-FISH, and a research participant in NFR Project CHASES.

Astrida Neimanis - "The sea and the body, an archive of feeling"
Neimanis is a writer, teacher, and collaborator. She is currently a Lecturer in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her work is primarily interested in water as a site of
damage, desire, fear and fecundity; as an idea and imaginary, but also as environment and embodied place. Her preferred tactic is bringing feminist and queer theories to explore (and explode) environmental questions.

Yngvar Olsen- "Seafood from Norway"
Olsen is professor at Department of Biology (NTNU) and project manager for the cross-disciplinary project "Ocean Certain”. Olsen is also Specialty Chief Editor for Marine Fisheries, Aquaculture and Living Resources, Frontiers in Marine Science.

Maxime Lesage - "Deep sea mining"
Currently PhD candidate at the NTNU within the Institute for Geoscience and Petroleum. From 2007 to 2016, he has been a project engineer, senior consultant and offshore company representative for companies as Subsea 7, Technip Norway and Aker BP (ex-Det Norske). He is part of the
Deep-sea Mining Pilot, which endeavor giving recommendation for a future pilot project at NTNU.

Heidi Ballet - "It is 2067 and the oceans are no longer the terra nullius they used to be"
Ballet is an independent curator based in Berlin and Brussels. She co-curated the Lofoten International Art Festival I Taste the Future (2017) and currently is curating the 2018 Beaufort Triennial in Ostend,
Belgium. In 2016 she curated the Satellite exhibition series Our Ocean, Your Horizon co-produced by Jeu de Paume Paris and CAPC Bordeaux.

Håkon With Andersen - "Sea transport"
Andersen is professor at Department of Historical Studies (NTNU) and former elected dean of Faculty of Arts (NTNU). He has been project leader for “Managing risk – Ship classification and risks at sea" and project leader for the project "3ROceans - The high seas and the deep oceans: Representations, resources and regulatory governance”.

Susanne Winterling - "Navigation in the future with phytoplankton and
dinoflagellates as a guide for making kinship and alliances in these times of war"
Winterling is an artist based in Berlin and Oslo and professor at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Winterling’s work is informed by her interest in philosophy, artificial intelligence, and ecofeminism.
Winterling’s installation Glistening Troubles (2016) resulted from the artist’s residency at the TBA21 Alligator Head Foundation in Jamaica. The work investigates the bioluminescence of dinoflagellate algae as indicators for the health of coastal waters with toxic potential.

Geir Johnsen - "Polar night – past, present and future – a view for nature
management and decision making"
Johnsen is professor in marine biology at the Centre of Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (AMOS) at Department of Biology (NTNU), Prof II at University Centre on Svalbard (UNIS), and is one of the founding partners in a NTNU spin-off company Ecotone using new optical techniques for mapping and monitoring the marine environment.

Kriss Rokkan Iversen - "Earth has reached the first step of convalescence"
Iversen is a marine ecologist and entrepreneur. Born and raised in Lofoten, Iversen early grew a passion for the marine environment, resulting in a PhD in marine system ecology, studying the microbial food web in a changing Arctic Ocean (University of Tromsø, 2011). To be able to live in Lofoten and still use their marine competence, Iversen and Kjersti Busch (PhD aquaculture) established SALT (Salt Lofoten AS, in 2010, together with Akvaplan-niva AS.

Philip Steinberg - "The ocean and transport / the ocean in transport / the ocean as transport"
Steinberg is professor of Political Geography at Durham University, where he directs IBRU: the Centre for Borders Research and edits the journal Political Geography. His current research focuses on the regulatory and representational challenges posed by the marginal ice zone – the ecologically important zone where frozen and liquid oceans meet.

Jana Winderen - untitled
Winderen is an artist educated in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London with a background in mathematics, chemistry and fish ecology from the University of Oslo. Jana focuses on audio environments and ecosystems which are hard for humans to access, both physically and aurally. Amongst her activities are immersive multi-channel sound installations and concerts which have been performed internationally in major institutions and public spaces in America, Europe and Asia.

Florian Schneider - "The scientific image is our new primitivism"
Schneider is the Head of the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art (NTNU) where he runs the pilot project Art and Ocean, bringing together artists and scientists to explore new forms of collaborations. With Irit Rogoff, he recently initiated the European Forum for Advanced Practices (EFAP), an independent gathering of artistic and practice-based researchers.

The Henningsvær Charter was organised by:

TBA21-Academy is the exploratory soul of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, and an itinerant site of cultural production and interdisciplinary research. Conceived as a moving platform on the oceans, it brings together thinkers from various fields concerned with today’s most urgent ecological, social, and economic issues. Through its Expeditions on sea and land, TBA21-Academy seeks to reinvent the culture of exploration in the 21st century, while inciting new knowledge, communicative strategies, and dynamic solutions for environmental challenges facing the world we inhabit.

Lofoten International Art Festival is a biennial festival for contemporary art taking place in Lofoten, a cluster of islands located on the Northern Coast of Norway, just above the Arctic Circle. Since 1999, LIAF has presented works by international artists in a local and site-specific context. LIAF acknowledges the complexity of place and seeks to be a discursive, engaged and social platform for different positions creating dialogue between the local and global.

Trondheim Academy of Fine Art at NTNU
The Trondheim Academy of Fine Art (KiT) is organized as a flexible, dynamic and experimental institution dedicated to the education of contemporary artists and artistic research on an advanced, international level. Collaboration is at the core of the current development of the department into a strong and robust environment that initiates and fosters new notions of working together: Driven by emergent aesthetic sensibilities that acknowledge—indeed, appreciates—our mutual dependencies across disciplines and beyond identities. As a part of NTNU and embedded in a new faculty that covers architecture, art, design and planning, KiT has developed a strategic focus on revisiting, revaluating and reimagining the relationships between art and technology.

NTNU Oceans
NTNU Oceans is one of NTNUs main strategic research areas combining natural science, marine engineering and technology, humanities and social sciences in education, research and innovation. Its portfolio consists of both basic science as well as joint projects with industry and public authorities. More than 200 professors at thirty different NTNU departments are bringing the best minds to work to understand the ocean better and to improve technological solutions for its sustainable use.