Voices of the North Sea at NEMO’s De Studio

Contributions by: Jesper Buursink, Xandra van der Eijk & Katja Philippart (Underwater Noise); Maarten Erich, Thijs de Zeeuw & Sheng-Wen Lo ism Yi-Fei Chen (A Voice for the Eel); Theun Karelse, Maarten Kleinhans & Darko Lagunas (Future of the Delta); Frank Bloem, Axel Coumans, Harpo ’t Hart & Valerie van Leersum

The finalists of the design challenge Give a Voice to the North SeaOlivia D’cruz, Marieke Druiven, Jesse Havinga, Hugo Heinen, Leah van Oorschot, Tjesse Riemersma, Jos Spijkerman, Marina Sulima; Florida Visser (Underwater Noise); Dennis Hamer, Maarten Meijer, Charlotte von Meijenfeldt, Eileen Stornebrink; Willie Vogel (Future of the Delta) & Daniel Garcia (A Voice for the Eel)

The Embassy of the North Sea was established in 2018 to provide a voice to the North Sea and its residents. For centuries, we in the West have seen humans as the only actors on Earth. Today, however, the Earth is speaking back through forest fires, acidified oceans, pandemics and melting icecaps. Plants, animals and microbes help shape our world. Nonetheless, human actors only feel accountable to one another and not to non-human life. For its part, the Embassy of the North Sea believes that herring gulls, porpoises, sandbars and fishermen are also entitled to take a seat at the political table. By 2030, the Netherlands should be capable of viewing the North Sea as a political player.

To be able to represent non-people, we must first learn to listen to them. We humans have a body, a head, ears, eyes, a sense of touch and a nose. But our sensory capacity to understand the sea and its inhabitants is very limited. To make up the shortfall, the Embassy of the North Sea is designing listening methods that create space for new forms of political representation.

voices of the North Sea

At NEMO’s De Studio, between 21 and 25 November 2020, you could find out more about the way in which the Embassy is carrying out its research work. Art, design, science and policy are all being jointly deployed to investigate and represent the depth, diversity and movements of the North Sea. Via measurements and sound recordings, team Underwater Noise is producing a representation of the landscape of underwater noise. What is the impact of these anthropogenic noises on marine life? Within team Future of the Delta, we are speculating on future scenarios for the Oosterschelde, also taking account of the interests of non-human delta communities. The winning proposals from the student design challenge Give a Voice to the North Sea will be on display as well.


Saturday 21 November, 13:00 — 16:00

Sunday 22 November, 13:00 — 17:00

Monday 23 November, 13:00 — 17:00

Tuesday 24 november closed

Wednesday 25 November, 13:00 — 17:00.

Entrance is free of charge

Location: De Studio van NEMO, Gebouw 027A, Kattenburgerstraat 5, Amsterdam


Team: Curator: Harpo ‘t Hart & Thijs Middeldorp; Communications & development: Christiane Bosman; Production: Floortje Halters; Graphic design: Corine Datema; Spatial design: Tim Vermeulen; Production-assistent: Leon Papa Pereira; Direction & editing: Jose Biscaya; Camera: Joao Costa

Partners Welcome to the Parliament of Things: Ambassade van de Noordzee & Stichting Internationale Spinozaprijs ism ARCAM; BOOM Uitgevers; Building Conversation; De Balie; Felix Meritis; Filosofie in Den Haag; Garage Rotterdam; Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; Marineterrein/ Living Art Lab; De Studio van NEMO; Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen; Schrijversvakschool Groningen; Spui25, University of Twente & Zone2Source

Thanks to: Amarte Fonds; Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst; ASML; Bankgiro Loterij Fonds; Barco; DPG Media; Gemeente Amsterdam; Gravin van Bylandt Stichting; Iona Stichting; imec; K.F. Hein Fonds; Marineterrein/ Living Art Lab; NEMO; Pauwhof Fonds; Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds; SHV; Stichting Dialoog; Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie; Televic & Van Dijk

Photo’s: Casper van der Linden