• The Aquarium is a Listening Glass
    Louise Emily Carver and Angela Rui
    Humboldt Books, 2023
    Louise Emily Carver & Angela Rui

Armin Linke (with Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi), “Oceanarium,” 2021. Still from video. Video installation, 4K video, colour, stereo sound; 43 min. Courtesy the artist

The shape of the fish tank reminds us of the cabinet of curiosities: whether it contains animals or plants, they function through the mediation of glass walls, a material separation from what lies beyond, re-evoking nineteenth-century patriarchal and colonial missions that sought not only to take control of animals from exotic or faraway places, but also to create visual narratives for the communication of knowledge. Through the entanglements between archive research and its spaces, and situated scientific research at sea, the book itself becomes a conceptual aquarium where design and architecture serve as tools for speculation, highlighting how the modern idea of living outside of nature has today become a paradigm to be deconstructed in order to contemplate a new form of situated knowledge in which feeling, experimenting, and communicating potentially foster new forms of interdisciplinary solidarity and justice towards others, adopting more than merely human perspectives.

Louise Emily Carver is a critical geographer working across research, cultural, and policy sectors. She holds a doctorate in geography from Birkbeck, University of London which she completed with the Leverhulme Center for the Study of Value in 2017. Her transdisciplinary work explores the scientific knowledge and policy practices of human and environmental systems across land and marine contexts along with creative methods that both represent and intervene in them. She is head of knowledge-practices at TBA21-Academy, senior research associate at Lancaster University and was recently a fellow at the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology. Carver lectures internationally in scientific as well as arts and design contexts. She publishes original research in journals as well as experimental forms of ecocriticism and has exhibited collaborative work at the London Design Museum, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and SAVVY Contemporary. She is based between Berlin and London.

Angela Rui is a design curator and researcher based in Milan. She completed her doctorate in exhibition design at the Politecnico of Milan, Faculty of Architecture. She believes that design is positioned as a critical practice that problematizes conventional ways of inhabiting and experiencing the world, and that designers could operate to recognize collective commons and design for a more-than-human society. Among other projects, she recently curated the exhibition and program Aquaria. Or the Illusion of a Boxed Sea at the maat (Lisbon, 2021); she cocurated I See That I See What You don’t See the Dutch Pavilion for Broken Nature – XXII Triennale di Milano (2019), and Faraway So Close—the 25th Design Biennial of Ljubljana (2017). She is currently teaching Pedagogies of the Sea at the GEO-Design graduate program—Design Academy Eindhoven, exhibition design at the graduate program in interior design at the NABA in Milan, and “Critica del Contemporaneo” at the Università di Design di San Marino.