Røst Air

We were invited to Røst air summer 2017 to contribute with a text.

During end of July and beginning of August we continued a work at Skomvaer that deals with in what ways the capitalist system is intertwined with climate change. As two sides of the same coin. The investigations are filtered through our art practice and through a backdrop of queer ecology practiced since years, at Røst Air.We are working with one hand against the ground our feet are standing on.

Skomvaer, Lofoten, is surrounded by water. A vital ingredient in our very bodies, of animals and humans. All life on Earth depends on this fluid. Nonetheless water is more and more contaminated, in order to produce the desire driven living conditions that are inherent to a neoliberal economical system. How do we relate to water as rain? As fog? As steam? As a well? As in ocean? And how are we to hand over water to coming generations? How has water been portrayed? One of our tools, aquarelle, from Latin aqua=water takes it’s transparency from exactly water. Water and dirt. Pigments. This work will not be used as water in washing as in green washing, art washing, queer washing or whatever washing? Alf Hornborg states in The Myth of The Machine “Even our very talk about “sustainable development” is unsustainable.” We will not talk about sustainability.

When a deliberate imbalance, caused by a system that benefits from it, increases on all levels, when global warming makes ices and permafrost thaw, water becomes part of the threat. Still…water connects us! Over water we can travel, but over water people are also forced to escape from climate change and from war and conflicts. In water refugees drown. Our motivation is, formulated with the help of Judith Butler’s orienting principle, to investigate and look for an equitable distribution of vulnerability. Between people, within the system but also beyond. We want to search together with artists and others that work intensely with all our possible tools, for a crack that makes it possible to escape out of the system that promised us freedom, but made us prisoners of a more and more cybernetic market fundamentalism.

When governmentality is calibrated as a sign of confusion we try to get a grip with our bare hands. The tools are the artist’s. With them we create possibilities for bacteria to grow. They will slowly decompose the oil that was poured on troubled water.

The text was presented at Røst Air Open House August 6th at Skomvaer.


Our residency at Røst Air was made possible by Nordic Culture Point (Kulturkontakt Nord).