Fishing for Islands
October 27-29, 2017 | Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin
Photo ©Armin Linke

Makemo, Tuamotus Islands, French Polynesia

Armin Linke, “Oceans – Dialogues Between Ocean Floor and Water Column” (2017)

Armin Linke’s multichannel video work “Oceans”, an official project of the Year of Science 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, emerges from his long-term Anthropocene research project and his participation in three expeditions to the Pacific Ocean with TBA21–Academy’s exploratory program The Current, on invitation of curator Ute Meta Bauer. In the work, interviews with leading scientists and researchers are juxtaposed with images that Linke makes available to the public for the first time, which have been recorded by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), used by biologists and geologists to explore the ocean floor in a depth of up to 5.000 meters. Linke directs our attention towards the predicaments facing the oceans, particularly their administration by human institutions and bureaucracies whose conflictual understanding of the world’s hydrosphere as a resource and as common heritage of humankind continuously challenges the navigation between ecological protection and political and economic exploitation.


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Armin Linke’s work “Oceans” is an official project of the Year of Science 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans, a program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The project was commissioned and co-produced by TBA21–Academy. Armin Linke’s installation was realized in collaboration of the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art.



Photo ©Tue Greenfort

Efate, Vanuatu

Tue Greenfort, “Dræbergople” (2017). Produced in collaboration with Roskilde Festival.


Tue Greenfort’s sculpture “Dræbergople” (2017), a giant balloon in the shape of a jellyfish – floats above head level in the historic hall of Hamburger Bahnhof. Having roamed the seas for at least 500 million years, jellyfish are among the oldest animal species to populate the planet after cyanobacteria and sponges. With warming ocean temperatures, they spread into regions where they were not found previously. As gender and environmental researcher Eva Hayward has shown, jellyfish are beings with ways of knowing and sensing that challenge anthropocentric logics and epistemological taming. Their alterity challenges our ideas of consciousness, ethics, and relationships to more-than-human entities, urging for a shift in planetary awareness.



Photo: Courtesy the artist, 2017

Sissel Tolaas, “Ocean SmellScapes” (2017)

Ecological change is the pivot of Sissel Tolaas’s project “Ocean SmellScapes” (2017). Tolaas collected oceanic smells from the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts in Costa Rica, one of the most speciose places on the planet. Olfaction is our primary sense and it informs us of our surrounding reality, evoking specific emotions and causing substantial reactions in the perceiver. Tolaas has assembled smell data with the aim of preserving olfactory information about the different invisible levels of the oceans—cultural, historical, geographical, social, and linguistic—in light of their imminent disappearance from their site of origin.