Interdisciplinary Research Program – TUDelft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Topography of Chance—End-of-the-Year TUDelft Transitional Territories Graduation
Transitional Territories Studio 2019-2020: End-of-the-year Online Exhibition. A table of conversation between six lines of inquiry and their moving relations.

A Topography of Chance

Projects
Anneloes van Slooten, Santiago Palacio Villa, Alexander Scho, Gijs van Berge Henegouwen, Zuzanna Maria Rosinska, Daniele Ceragno, Gioele Colombo, Martijn Vos, Richard Thomson, Andrea Malagnino, Ian Omumbwa, Luca Parlangeli, Nicole Garcia Vogt, Stefano Agliati, Jun Chen, Binghui He, Isabel Recubenis Sanchis, Ioanna Virvidaki, Anne de Jong, Prinka Anandawardhani, Petra Grgic, Jahnavi Bhatt

Curated by
dr.ir. Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, dr.ir. Luisa Maria Calabrese

Graphic design and website
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Geert van der Meulen, Robert Reinartz

Texts
Luisa Maria Calabrese, Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, TT Studio

Invited critics
Dirk Sijmons (TU Delft/H+N+S Landscape Architecture), Martino Tattara (KU Leuven/Dogma), Stefan Laxness (AA Diploma Unit 9), Gabey Tjon A Tham (installation artist).

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Historically, the North Sea has been a contested territory, a platform for geopolitical affairs of military, religious, economic, and social ties and divides. The many claims and interests which have layered through time on its surface and in its depths, gave voice to some and silenced many. The exhibition “A TOPOGRAPHY OF CHANCE” invites to engage with the discordant mixture of shattering and silenced tones emerging from the sea. An act of listening, where any spatial proposition – whether landscape, urban or architectural – seeks for an accurate dialogue with the North Sea as a territory of coexistence.

The exhibition is organized around a virtual table of conversation. Each project is represented by a signature on the table. What was randomness at the outset of our research, became the topography of displacement of the table. An unexpected aesthetics of shift into the imagination and spatio-political representation of six lines of inquiry.

The works presented in the exhibition “A TOPOGRAPHY OF CHANCE” close the three year-long cycle on the North Sea. Inspired by the ‘Topographie Anecdotée du Hasard’ by Daniel Spoerri, the studio engaged in an open conversation amid six lines of inquiry (the coexistence between different claims at sea, ranging from extractivism, energy, fishery, ecology, logistics and migration to carbon storage and climatic shifts) regarding the future of the North Sea region. After having disclosed, represented and analysed its past, present, and future geography, in this closing cycle the studio projected and delineated a radically different space for the North Sea territory: a topography of chance. The “table of conversation” presented in the first session of this exhibition website is the topos and, the same time, a performative act. We used it as a non-conventional method to guide the non-hierarchical dialogue between the six lines of inquiry and the consequent development of the projects. It invited participants to explore and experiment with the role of ‘rhetorical object’ in communicating issues, to look at and reflect on relations between intention and concepts, but also between research understanding and design intentions. At the outset, each project positioned itself with respect to the claims on the North Sea. Subsequently, through an iteration of conversations seeking for assonances and dissonances amid the lines and projects, a topography of displacement emerged. An unexpected aesthetics of shift into the imagination and spatio-political representation of the six lines of inquiry. The tablecloth provided a physical record of the iterations (positioning-assonance-dissonance), which moderates itself without the need to ‘tie up loose ends’. Ultimately, this guided dialogue among projects – and therefore among points of view – draws a Topography of Chance, an overture towards a new development logic of the North Sea (and exceptions).

 

Six lines of inquiry:
1. ‘Flux, erasure and terraforming’
inundation, erosion, ice

2. ‘Capital’
oil / minerals / sand / food

3. ‘The dual nature of externalities’
polluted grounds, salt intrusion, carbon and methane emissions, extreme weather

4.  ‘A pervasive ecology of flows’
energy, fishery, logistics, migration, data

5. ‘The oceanic project’
edge, island state(s), power

6. ‘Crises of representation’
political divisions, cultural heritage, assemblages and dissonances

Projects* geographic locations:
Land, coastal or sea locations/ cities and specific sites at the North Sea countries Norway, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, Scotland. In addition, three case exceptions are displayed: Indonesia, India, and Italy.

Related
International Delta Conference—Redesigning Deltas
Territory as a Project: Accumulation—Clearance. Work-in-Progress Exhibition—2021-2022