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Kelp Congress September 20 – 22, Svolvær

The Kelp Congress at LIAF 2019 focuses on the lesser explored artistic and cultural dimensions related to kelp and other macroalgae. The event emerges with a curiosity in the current discourse surrounding seaweed within the industries of energy, food, nutrition, agriculture, cosmetics, and medicine, and will settle instead on a consideration of the performative, narrative, conceptual, and material approaches towards kelp. Throughout The Kelp Congress, seaweed will be promoted as a protagonist and collaborator within artistic and curatorial ways of making, and as a partner for cultural response within current and future ecological and environmental discussions.


Exploring resilience and community from human and other-than-human perspectives.
This initiates “The Kelp Congress”, a 3-day public programme that seeks to explore the artistic and cultural dimensions related to kelp and other macroalgae. Events include: open studios, presentations of artistic research processes, a keynote lecture, talks, and kelp-related artistic performances. With Devil’s Apron, Sarah Blissett, Futurefarmers, Signe Johannessen, Julia Lohmann, Sabine Popp, and Astrida Neimanis.


The Public Programme of the Kelp Congress takes place between September 20 – 22, most of it in Svolvær Film Theatre. During this weekend insights, processes and discoveries from the Coast, Line, Kelp Curing and Kelp Diagramme Collective closed workshops that lead up to the weekend will be shared. These sharings will take place in Svolvær, Lofoten as part of a wider programme consisting of keynote lectures, discussions, art works, and performances.

Friday 20:
Following an introduction to the Kelp Congress by the LIAF curators, a keynote lecture by Prof. Cecilia Åsberg will be followed by performances by the Coast, Line and Kelp Curing participants.

Saturday 21:
A recorded keynote lecture, So Tired, the Sea … by Prof. Astrida Neimanis (made in collaboration with Dominique Baron-Bonarjee, Prof. Adriana Verges, and Siouxzi Connor) with a live-streamed Q&A – moderated by Dr Marietta Radomska – will be followed by a performance lecture by Sabine Popp, a discussion series on “Kelp Connections”, enactments and open studio visits of the Kelp Curing and Kelp Diagramme Collective research strands, and performances by Signe Johannessen and Devil’s Apron.

Sunday 22:
An informal networking breakfast followed by a performance of Sea Ceremony by Julia Lohmann.


The Kelp Medal of Honour by Signe Johannesen centred on the story of how the artist’s ancestors were saved from battle by hiding underneath kelp in the intertidal zone during WWII.

Common Notions (confusion resumes outside a few squaremeters), by Sabine Popp, conceived as an experiment or game, exploring an examination of the performativity of algae, objects, and bodies in instances of observation.

Intertidal Shelter I+II by Devil’s Apron – Kåre Grundvåg and Trond Ansten (NO) – is a sculpture intervention that explores how we can facilitate an intimate meeting between life within shallow water and us humans.

Sea ceremony – a performance by designer Julia Lohmann, inspired by the Japanese ‘tea ceremony’ tradition. A time for collective sharing and reflection on algae – organism, habitat regenerator, superfood and sustainable material – a ritualistic closing event with seaweed.

Coast, Line navigated by Futurefarmers (Amy Franceschini & Lode Vranken) + guests, with Janice McEwen, Janna Holmstedt, Sergey Kostyrko, Alexander Kozachek, Julia Lohmann, Julia Parks, Alexander Rishaug, and Danni Zuvela.

Kelp Diagram Collective
navigated by Sabine Popp, with Anne Louise Blicher, Robin Everett, Heidi Hart, Marcellvs L. and Francisco Beltrame Trento.

Kelp Curing navigated by Sarah Blissett, with Aoife Casby, Tinna Guðmundsdóttir, Tiina Arjukka Hirvonen, Paola Ruiz Moltó, Marietta Radomska, Angela Rawlings, and Cecilia Åsberg.

LIAF 2019, together with Annette Wolfsberger, initiated the Kelp Congress with input from several artist-run organisations and research centres based in the Nordic countries and Northwest Russia – ArtLab Gnesta, Fridaymilk, Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, Mustarinda, Posthumanities Hub, Skaftfell – Center for Visual Art, and The Department of Seaweed.