Organised and curated by
Transitional Territories Graduation Studio: Inland, seaward. The Trans-coastal Project
Joint Studio Pantopia / Architectural Association Diploma 9: The Third Territorial Attractor
Under the framework of Delta Urbanism Research Group, Section of Urban Design.
Department of Urbanism, TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.
convened and curated by
TUD Transitional Territories Graduation Studio: Inland, Seaward
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Luisa Maria Calabrese
Pantopia, AA Diploma Unit 9: The Third Territorial Attractor
Territorial Agency—Oceans in Transformation
Commissioned by TBA21-Academy
© Territorial Agency
Territorial Agency—Oceans in Transformation Commissioned by TBA21-Academy Sea ice off the coast of Greenland, ESA Sentinel data elaborated by Territorial Agency
© Territorial Agency
If law is based on a concrete line in the ground, delineating the perimeter of a territory, how do we conceive of the oceans? Since the 17c the ocean’s alterity fed arguments and disputations in favor of its exceptionality. For the longest time, the ocean has been written out of history, conceived of as an anomaly, a passage or a perilous surface, and narrativized as a stage for human struggle. And yet, the “free sea” may be the key to understanding the practices that linked commercial ventures and imperial governance of European colonial expansion. More recent scholarship points to the interconnectedness of human activity on land and water, arguing for the inseparability of land-based and oceanic regimes. And yet, what would we lose by disregarding the ocean’s otherness and unknowability? How can we tend to the ocean and its vulnerability without replicating terra-centric thinking and forms of sovereignty? My talk gathers notes, thoughts, poems, sounds, and stories of the oceans and from their watery inhabitants offering an intimate articulation work that hopes to uncover possibilities towards a new mari-tory. I will introduce some remarks on the oceans’ legal conceptualizations to then attempt to open the conversation to emergent and ancestral practices and ways of knowing the aquatic.
Daniela Zyman is artistic director of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), a private foundation established in Vienna by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza in 2002. The organization’s multi-tier mission is to collect and present contemporary art through an ambitious program of commissions, exhibitions, and public activities and to pursue urgent ecological, social, and political issues, especially since 2011 via its ocean research platforms TBA21–Academy and Ocean Space in Venice. Daniela joined TBA21 in 2003 and has played an instrumental role in shaping the foundation’s exhibition and commissions program. In 2020/21 she is curating “Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation” at Ocean Space in Venice and Walid Raad’s “Cotton under my Feet” at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza In Madrid.
Between 1995 and 2001 Daniela was chief curator of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art in Vienna, which included the founding and programming of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles. From 2000 to 2003 she worked as the artistic director of the Künstlerhaus, Vienna and as director of A9 Forum Transeuropa, a program platform of Vienna’s Museumquartier.
Daniela holds an MA in Art History from the University of Vienna and an MFA from New York’s Columbia University. She wrote her PhD on forms of artistic counter-research under the framework of emergent cosmopolitics. She has taught at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and is currently lecturing at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz, and frequently authors essays for art publications.
Ocean-Archive.org has become a significant site of experiencing and recalibrating the research exhibition “Territorial Agency–Oceans in Transformation” at Ocean Space in Venice https://ocean-archive.org/collection/49
e-flux architecture’s series of essays on the state of the oceans
An ambitious anthology of texts, research, and visual essays narrating TBA21’s practice of commissioning was published in 2020 under “TBA21: The Commissions Book”. Edited by Eva Ebersberger and Daniela Zyman and designed by the amazing Irma Boom.
Paris-Saclay (MDP Michel Desvigne Paysagiste, 2009 – ongoing…)
For close to thirty years, Michel Desvigne has designed and implemented numerous major projects in France and around the world. As developed in his recent book ” Transforming landscapes ” (publication director: Françoise Fromonot), Michel Desvigne will present, during this lecture, a selection of these territorial scale operations. What intentions, strategies and professional culture underscore their design process? What landscapes and uses are produced by these projects that mature over a long period of time? Michel Desvigne will reﬂect on these questions, which are central to his practice, and on the main themes that run through his work.
Michel Desvigne is a landscape architect internationally renowned for his rigorous and contemporary designs and for the originality and relevance of his research work. He has developed projects in more than 25 countries, where his work helps in highlighting the landscapes and rendering them visible, in understanding the mechanisms at work giving them form, and in acting upon these mechanisms in order to transform the landscapes and imbue them with meaning. Among his most renowned awards are 2019 AIA Honor Award for Detroit East Riverfront Framework Plan (US), 2014 European Prize for Urban Public Space and 2011 France’s Grand Prize for Urbanism.
View of the Himalayas captured December 20, 1975 by a KH-9 HEXAGON spy satellite. Image from the National Reconnaissance Office (U.S. Geological Survey).
As the domain where different vectors of the current climate crisis meet and interact, and where conflicts around its regulation are emerging, the atmosphere also produces multiple localities where these transformations can be observed and understood—and sites of mediation can be imagined. Far from being understood in all of its complexity, the atmosphere continues to elude our ability to model its dynamics—or to compute future scenarios.
In Transboundary Geo-logics of the Sky River, ongoing research (conducted together with Marco Ferrari and Jingru (Cyan) Cheng at the Royal College of Art, London) examines how the established and emerging plan of China’s Tian He (Sky River) seeks to govern atmospheric water, leading to the rise of a new planetary imaginary, extending well-known concepts of land sovereignty into the domain of the atmosphere.
Elise Misao Hunchuck is a Berlin-based researcher, editor, and educator. Her transdisciplinary research practice—with sites in Canada, Japan, China, Europe, Russia and Ukraine—employs cartographic, photographic and text-based methods to document, explore, and archive co-constitutive relationships between the materials, resources, infrastructures, natural processes, humans and more-than-humans. She is a Senior Researcher and Tutor in the Architecture and Landscape Architecture programmes at The Bartlett School of Architecture, a Studio Tutor at the Royal College of Art, School of Architecture, an assistant professor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design (University of Toronto), and the editor of transmediale 2021–22.