Visionary Arctic 2010

February 5, Friday
09.00 – 17.00
Rica Arctic Hotel, Stoltenbergsalen

The conference has especial focus on settlement patterns in the High North as a result of centralization, recent changes in the border relations and management of resources.

Part 1: North Norway – the High North – the Saamiland – the Barents Region – Siberia – the Circumpolar Arctic
• Arne O. Holm, the High North Center at Bodø Graduate School of Business:
”The High North Seen from Inside and Outside”.
• Aileen A. Espíritu, senior researcher at the Barents Institute, Kirkenes:
”Who is the Arctic?: (re)configuring talk, image, imagination”.
• Knut Erik Jensen, film-director, Tromsø:
”The North – between fiction and documentary”.

Part 2: The Urban Arctic
• Dagur Eggertsson, Rintala Eggertsson Architects, Oslo:
”Hotel Kirkenes, No Man´s Island and other Paracentric Architecture”.
• Reiulf Ramstad, Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, and investor Arthur Buckhardt, Oslo:
”The World´s Highest Wooden Building in Kirkenes”.
• Magnus Jørgensen and Kari Dalland, Department of Urban Design and Planning, NTNU:
”Breathing City Project”.
• Winners of Europan Norway 2010 Langdon Reis Architects, UK/Portugal/Australia/ Canada, and Øystein Rø, secretary of EuroPan Norway:
“Vardø in Focus. Repositioning the Remote”.

Part 3: Arctic Journeys – through time and space
• Tomi Knuutila, artist, Rovaniemi:
the interactive video installation “Climatable”.
• SpringerParker, artist duo, Berlin:
performance ”Memoria Norway”.

Concluding part: “Barents at Risk – Resources at Play”
The Risk-game about challenges of the Barents Region.
By Northern Office for Research and Design – NORD, Copenhagen.
Everyone playing!

Arne O. Holm (born in Bodø) is an experienced writer, in-depth journalist and editor, and has worked for the Norwegian media such as NRK, Dagbladet, Dagens Næringsliv and Svalbardposten. He has won several prizes for his social and political engaged reportages, and has written books, amongst them, about Svalbard-related issues.

Dr. Aileen A. Espíritu (born in Canada): her areas of research include quality of life studies in mono-industry towns in the Barents Region, cross-border identities and performances, gender and interethnic relations.

Director Knut Erik Jensen (born in Honningsvåg) is a veteran of the Norwegian film. His films are coloured by his fascination with the Norwegian North and the Russian culture. He has made several feature films, like Stella Polaris (1993), Burnt by Frost (1997), Passing Darkness (2000) and Ice Kiss (2008). In 1978 he joined the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), and has since made different films and tv-series for NRK, as well as numerous independent productions.

Dagur Eggertsson
Pikene på Broen invited Finnish architect and artist Sami Rintala to make an artwork for the Barents Art Triennale in 2005 – a meeting place for the multicultural Kirkenes, and Sami decided to make a small hotell. “In my view, the seamen, fishermen, hunters, hikers and fortune-seekers going through the town need a place to rest that would suit their economies that change like the weather,” says Rintala. The Hotel Kirkenes is claimed to be the world´s smallest hotel (27 sq.m, 2 bedrooms, no electricity or running water. The Hotel was nominated in the category “Architecture” by the Forum AID Award 2007 (Best Nordic architecture, interior design and product design). “No Man´s Island” in Kirkenes commissioned by Pikene på Broen is being developed by Sami Rintala and Dagur Eggertsson following their basic principle of harmony the building and landscape. The project is under construction.

Reiulf Ramstad ( and investor Arthur Buckhardt present the project-in-process: The World´s Highest Wooden Building in Kirkenes.
The Arctic town of Kirkenes is the hub of regional relations between Norway and Russia. This building will mirror the diverse interchange that is taking place between the two nations and symbolize innovation and open possibility. Wood and timber play an important role in the culture and traditions of both nations. Therefore the concept was to create a signal edifice out of wood. The result will be the tallest wooden building in the world; a multi-functional, architecturally innovative structure that constitutes a pilot project regarding the use of wood in the buildings of tomorrow.

“Breathing City”
What happens in the periphery as the urban areas grow? Project team from Trondheim University studies rural areas along the Norwegian coastline and introduces the notion of “part-time urbanity”, claiming that it may become a strong counter-tendency to the growing migration from rural areas to urban centres. Is it possible to rethink what rural living implies? And is this type of living actually the most ecological and sustainable solution for tomorrow?

Europan Norway 2010: Vardø in focus.
The winning project of Vardø, developed by Langdon Reis Architects (UK, Portugal, Australia, Canada), presents Vardø as a future junction in a vital Barents Region, with a focus on alternative ways of energi winning and sustainable development. Cultural developments will also be important, and the house of ”Proden” will be made better use of as a public meeting-point.
Ana Reis (Portugal) has been the leader of the internationally compounded winner-team that includes Ross Langdon (Australia), Louis Hall (UK) and Kelly Doran (Canada).

The winners, Langdon Reis Architects (UK, Portugal, Australia, Canada), presents Vardø as a future hub in the Barents Region, with focus on alternative energy and sustainable development. The project “Repositioning the Remote” recommends 3 solutions for the future of Vardø: (1) cultural development of Proden and other potential meeting places, (2) identity-building linked to green energy, marine-biology and sustainable development, and (3) Vardø as a pioneer for climate change research.

The artist Tomi Knuutila based in Rovaniemi is interested in different forms of participatory image and sound. One of his latest works is the video installation “Climatable”. “Climatable” is an interactive table with 4 unique hotspots for 4 different datasets. The data is related to climate change: CO2 level, annual mean temperature change, sea ice extent and glacier volume balance. Activating each set, you can see and hear how these parameters change year after year.

The artist duo SpringerParker from Berlin presents their new audiovisual performance ”Memoria Norway”.
It is an expedition into an Arctic landscape. It is an artistic reflection and transformation of acoustic and visual impressions and memories. SpringerParker’s focus lies on the impact of climate change on Northern Norway and the resulting consequences on society. During several explorations for the last two years, SpringerParker have observed and investigated the landscape of Finnmark, the northernmost county of Norway. They have recorded their impressions in the form of frottages, photography, and soundscapes, which will form the basis for live performances, exhibitions and publications.

Barents at Risk – Resources at Play
The game about the future of the Barents Region
Developed by NORD (Copenhagen, ).
One of the Barents Region’s challenges is to develop while achieving a sustainable relationship between its resources and cultural values. The region faces a major task of transformation of its natural resources into societal resources.
Imagine that the Barents Region was a game board! What would the goals, stakes and risks be? What would the rules be, who would be the players, and how would one win the game? The basis is different missions, formulated as possible future scenarios for the Barents Region. All the seminar participants playing! Choose your mission, estimate your risks and start negotiating with your partners!

Find video documentation of the conference here.

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