CAA - Contemporary Art Archipelago

Fathoming Extraterritoriality: sensing the remote

Territorial Agency


Architects and urbanists John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog form Territorial Agency, which has been commissioned by CAA to produce a new spatial mapping of the economic and cultural flows across the Baltic Sea, which pass by yet also shape the communities of Turku Archipelago. The sea forms a highway that carries daily considerable global traffic around the seemingly peripheral islands.

In their own words:
The complex geopolitical structures of cohabitation in the Archipelago are charted and mapped by Territorial Agency through the deployment of remote sensing technologies.

Today the archipelago presents itself as a complex space dominated by a singular image of quietness and remoteness, immaculate natural environments and distance from the metropolitan life. A space outside the major flows of global circulation. Yet, a more detailed look reveals a radical fragmentation of the relation between the spaces of operation of local polities and organisations, and their natural backdrop.

The archipelago is a spatial device for differentiation, separation and control of the flows and trajectories that cross it and pass through its meandering spaces: it separates languages, nationalities, routes, commerces, environments and individualities. The multiplication of these separations turns the archipelago into a space that is both mirrored into the extraterritorial operations of international peacekeeping operations across the globe, and then mirrors back the enclaves, compounds, resorts as well as the sectoral and expert knowledges that appear to be critical hallmarks of the 21st Century. The archipelago is transformed into a system of immunity from the local and global controversies and conflicts that operate across a scattered geography of its many seas and islands.

The new work by Territorial Agency can be found on board Eivor, the boat connecting the furthest island Utö to the inner archipelago. The research will be also presented in more detail on the CAA website and the symposium Archipelago Logic.