In connection with the opening of the exhibition “Telling the Baltic” in Kaliningrad, there will be a presentation of the Dutch art project Satellitgroep. The presentation is made by Jacqueline Heerema.
General information Satellietgroep
Satellietgroep (The Hague NL, 2006) explores through arts and culture how the sea and waterways influence cities, people, communities and environments. Our aim is to enhance public and professional awareness on coastal transitions.
Satellietgroep programs ‘Badgast’ as an international artist in residence program, cinema and talks and develops the project ‘Now Wakes The Sea’ for international collaboration and exchange by artist in residencies programs.
We invite international artists and scientists to jointly develop and present research articulating a cultural, innovative and sustainable significance of the sea and its coasts by doing on-site research, engage with local communities, collaborate with local experts and connect to international networks. We interconnect coastal communities by connecting contemporary research and new works to historic and future coastal developments.
During these residency periods new works – both conceptual and documentary – are developed that reflect upon the complex and layered coastal transitions and urban developments. These works contribute to the International contemporary collection on coastal transitions. With these works we develop presentations on (inter) national public and professional venues. The latest development is the Anthropogenic Coastal Atlas, for mapping and merging cultural with scientific atlases.
Jacqueline Heerema (The Hague NL, 1958) is a trained conceptual artist, studied museology, works as an independent urban curator and is founding director and curator of Satellietgroep. Target fields of work are arts and science, architecture, film, urban developments and innovative heritage connected to coastal transitions.
CULTURE & COASTAL TRANSITIONS
Exchange of local knowledge on a global level – Art as strategy for change
Satellietgroep was founded as an interdisciplinary artists run initiative in 2006 in The Hague, The Netherlands. We have an embedded art and cultural approach in researching how the sea and waterways influence cities, people, communities and environments. We research the pressures placed upon the public, social and cultural use of waterfronts, and develop new concepts and sustainable strategies for a new approach to future sea and coastal urban areas.
The Netherlands has a rich cultural ánd innovative relationship with the sea.
The continuing need for coastal defense due to rising sea level in past, present and future is important for everyone. Reflections on the past teach us that the great flood of the southern parts of The Netherlands in 1953 instigated 60 years of Delta Works with dikes and dams (so called: ‘building against nature’), which have been recently completed. As Emmy Bolsius, director of the governments Coastal affairs of the Delta program recently stated: ‘As a result ecology suffered profoundly because of this strong focus on safety. We rigidly cut salt from fresh water and brought water that moved to a standstill. Water quality became low in some areas behind the dikes and dams. Every area of the country has its water problems: there is too much or too little water depending on the season or water is too salty for certain purposes. Salt water intrusion, saltwater seepage, too much or too little water in the rivers for freight traffic in dry periods. And on top of it all coastal erosion, the rise of the sea-level, stronger storms that last longer and a dipping country.’
So, we recently made a complete turn around in the way that we now invite the sea as a partner to help shape the coastal protection with the sands we put in front of the shores; we call this Sand Engine, ‘building with nature’, rather than ‘building against nature’ with dikes and dams. Sand is the future strategy for coastal protection. It contributes to our most innovative heritage and is the newest Dutch export product.
While discovering and conquering the seas elsewhere, the Dutch shore has been the inspiration of our famous and innovative Dutch painters ever since the 17-th century. The myth of ‘Dutch Light’ attracted international artists to the Netherlands, but, as the famous German artist Joseph Beuys stated, the Dutch light lost its extraordinary radiance after the reclamation of large parts of the Zuyder Zee (now called IJsselmeer) in the mid – 1950’s.
Of great value is to grasp this concept of ‘cultural landscape’ as a characterization of our coasts. This strives to make the coast appear natural so that coastal interventions are not directly visible to the casual seaside visitor. Transparency – making this ‘man-made’ landscape visible and understandable – in the past, present and future is the aim of Satellietgroep. Transparancy contributes to the public and professional awareness of our culture and this particular innovative heritage.
IDENTITY IS FLUID
So, the Netherlands is a country with an innovative historical ánd artistic relationship with the sea. The resilient way of life in the Netherlands has been the inspiration for artists and scientists for centuries. These resilient Dutch people forever compete with the sea, recover from floods, gain lands from the sea, build dikes and invent innovative strategies to survive in our country below sea level.
The offside of this brave Dutch tale is that overall public use of waterfronts is under great pressure. Urban coastal developments seem to neglect the public, social and cultural importance of urban life at these seafronts. These developments show a tendency to focus on strategies that exclude local people and migration movements from the shores and emphasize tourism as a more interesting source of revenues. That may lead to conflicts, estrangements, a loss of heritage and a loss of more informal cultural and economic uses of public coastal space.
As the esteemed ethnologist Prof. Dr Gerard Rooijakkers states, identity has 3 locations: in the heart (feeling), in the head (knowledge), in the head of the other person (projection).
Identity also has 3 domains: it is territorial (we connect to spaces as the topographic sense of belonging), it is a construction of the past (we manipulate history and heritage and use rituals to deal with this) and the construction of blood (race, regional or national character, locality).
Arts and science can express the spatial and social qualities – as well as the problems – of our coastal areas, and make them engagingly accessible to the public. These works can transform a destination normally marked by consumption and recreation into a platform for critical communication and serious reflection. This timely reflection of art and culture on spatial transition processes may act as a strong catalyst in generating public and professional awareness and connect contemporary research and new works to historic and future coastal developments.
ART AS STRATEGY FOR CHANGE
Since 2006 Satellietgroep connects arts and science, architecture, film, urban developments and innovative heritage to coastal transitions. We research how the sea and waterways influence cities, people, communities and environments.
We connect to the latest governmental and scientific developments on coastal protection by Deltaprogramma Kust (Coastal affairs of the Delta program) in association with Atelier Kustkwaliteit (Studio on Coastal Quality by the Technical University Delft). Deltaprogramma Kust is the Dutch government’s program that aims to protect the Netherlands this century against high water and keep the freshwater supply up to sufficient level. ‘The National Perspective for the Coast’ will be completed in the beginning of 2013 and it will be the guidelines for the next decades until 2100.
End of May we open the exhibition program in the context of this governmental program for coastal protection, thus merging arts with policy and future coastal scenarios.
Among our Dutch partners is Trans Artist (a platform for international artist in residence programs), Domein voor Kunstkritiek (Domain for Artcritism) and Reinwardt Academy (AHK, Museology and Heritage).
Satellietgroep programs Badgast, a research based artist in residence program, outdoor Cinema with screenings and Talks at the coast and develops international cultural exchange projects, all concerning the sea. Badgast is located in the middle of the surfing village FAST, the Urban Beach Community at the hinge point of the promenade and harbour in The Hague at Scheveningen. During the residency period new works – both conceptual and documentary – are developed that reflect upon the complex and layered coastal transitions and urban developments.
Badgast is a new method of artist in residency program for research and exchange of local knowledge on a global level. We invite international artists and scientists to jointly develop and present research articulating a cultural, innovative and sustainable significance of the sea and its coasts by doing on-site research, engaging with local communities, collaborating with local experts and connecting to international networks. The results are the production of new works related to coastal transitions and the development of new insights that contribute to future coastal scenarios.
In close collaboration with international artists, scientists, curators and guest curators, Satellietgroep develops an international contemporary collection on coastal transitions to be shared with broader audiences. Through exchange projects in The Netherlands and abroad, Satellietgroep interconnects coastal communities with programs at (inter)national public and professional venues.
‘ZEESPIEGEL’ (‘Mirror on the Sea’)
One of the results of the program is the free open air photo exhibition ‘Zeespiegel – Mirror on the Sea’ on the new boulevard of The Hague at Scheveningen. Composed by Satellietgroep with artworks of 25 artists in residence of Badgast, locals en professionals. Contributions about innovative coastal protection, including the Sand Engine, complete the tales about our relationship with the sea and make them accessible to everyone.
NOW WAKES THE SEA (NWTS)
Starting in 2012 Satellietgroep exported the concept and methods of our embedded research based artist in residence program Badgast for the first time abroad. We initiated the project ‘Now Wakes The Sea’ (NWTS), which involves research based artist in residence programs for artists /architects / filmmakers in coastal transition areas. We focus first on countries surrounding the Black Sea and North Sea, encouraging artist to develop new works, to select existing works and to program travelling film festivals for public screenings and debates at venues, on both coasts.
‘Now Wakes the Sea’ (NWTS) combines architecture, arts and sciences in pursuit of local knowledge on a global level. Artist in residencies are used as a research method. NWTS enables artists to do fieldwork and to work on site with local partners in order to map out, collect and research the current status of coastal transitions and to generate new perspectives. This embedded research contributes to public and professional awareness. Thus, our project brings together different views and opens up dialogue. This new method of artist in residency program connects to the international development of artist residencies as cells of knowledge and as alternative academies.
NWTS started in 2012 with the exchange with Turkey and continues in 2013 with Moldova, Georgia and Russia.
ANTHROPOGENIC COASTAL ATLAS
With a grant of Mondriaan Foundation Satellietgroep starts a pilot researching and combining new forms of digital coastal mapping for the ‘Anthropogenic Coastal Atlas’. The project aims and emphasizes the importance of subjective cartography by merging the cultural and human environmental impact with scientific data. This cultural coastal atlas will become connected to the scientific atlases by ICAN – International Coastal Atlas Network.