“World is [...] composed of floating relations, of islands and the in-between, of moving points and winding lines.” (Gilles Deleuze)

Archipelago Logic: Towards Sustainable Futures creates a platform for multidisciplinary discussion that takes as its starting point the urgencies of the Baltic Sea and the Turku Archipelago. The critical questions concerning this region – often named “the most polluted sea in the world” – and their sustainable solutions require dialogue between different ecological, cultural and economic views and values. Thus the symposium invites together thinkers and practitioners, different methodologies and modes of knowledge from various fields, ranging from contemporary art and architecture to philosophy, marine biology and economics. 

The symposium sets out to actively rethink and rework the potential of multidisciplinarity by introducing research-based arts as active participants in the dialogue addressing the concerns of the Baltic Sea. Contemporary Art Archipelago (CAA), an exhibition and research project located in Turku Archipelago, forms a base for the symposium.

The investigative site-specific art works of CAA and their processes make tangible how creative approaches can form radically innovative collaborations with, for example, scientific research. Furthermore, both the symposium and the CAA exhibition project build on the ability of the arts to make spaces for encounters and exchange across the disciplinary boundaries.The CAA exhibition provides insights into and formulates critical questions about the specific archipelago context where the symposium is held. Turku Archipelago functions as a prism through which the issues central to the Baltic Sea can come into focus: the futures of the environment and the local community entwine in concrete yet complex ways here together.

Archipelago as a concept, then again, allows for an understanding not only of this specific site but also of the multidisciplinary approaches required in its address. The logic of archipelago gestures towards the multiplicity of different islands as well as the active spaces of constant flow between them. It can weave together a temporary archipelago, a network of differing critical positions and perspectives that depend on and are challenged by each other in their production of novel knowledge. It can thus be a key to imagining potential sustainable futures into being.

Sunset Korpoström

The symposium is organised by the Archipelago Institute at Åbo Akademi University in cooperation with Contemporary Art Archipelago (CAA). Both the symposium and CAA exhibition are part of Turku 2011 European Capital of Culture programme.