Research fieldwork station Ruigoord in Port of Amsterdam

On May 24, 2023, the Embassy of the North Sea will conduct ecological and sensory research in the Port of Amsterdam. The results will be presented at the Fieldwork Station Ruigoord, starting June 21, 2023, as part of the 50th anniversary program of artists’ village Ruigoord.

At first glance, Ruigoord is a green oasis and the bordering harbor an industrial area. But this division is not as obvious as it seems. As a port city, Amsterdam is always in direct connection with the North Sea and through the North Sea with the world, specifically the world of (fossil) industry, trade and extractivism. But under water in the North Sea Canal, all kinds of non-humans are alive. Even on the noisiest ships in the harbour, filled with coal and oil, there is life.

In our times, when human influences are visible all over the world and “pristine nature” seems to be a thing of the past, we must practice to still seek connection with our urban and industrial environment and realise that city dwellers are also part of ecosystems. With the Fieldwork Station, the Embassy of the North Sea aims to sensitize visitors to all non-human voices and – however dirty and noisy – also establish an ecological relationship with the industrial landscape.

The Fieldwork Station Research team consists of: sound artist Harpo ‘t Hart, ecologist Maarten Erich and scent artist Frank Bloem.