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The Perforated Landscape

Type of project
PhD
Email
kjerstin.uhre@aho.no
Duration
01.09.2012 -> 23.06.2017

This project has been completed

About the project

Through multi-sited analysis of the ecocultural footprint of a copper-mine prospect affecting both coastal and pastoral communities in Finnmark, the thesis addresses the prospects for re-productive landscapes, Sámi reindeer husbandry, coastal fishery, and outfield environments in the context of Scandinavian policies for industrial mining.

Reproductive sea- and landscapes are threatened by expanding extractive industries and anthropogenic climate change. Extractive prospects propose to utilize outfields, coastal waters, and open oceans for industrial extraction, waste deposits, and infrastructures to meet societal demands for minerals, energy, and transport. Prospective knowledge extraction is a driver in landscape transition that physically and discursively perforates the landscape. Exploration of undiscovered resources in the European Arctic is mediated through sophisticated and dynamic models and cartographies. Perforation conjures expectations of wealth extracted from and distributed through vast stretches of wilderness-like, pastoral land- and seascapes; calving grounds, spawning grounds, nesting grounds, and migratory routes at sea, on land and in the air. Perforation provokes resistance.

Architecture and landscape architecture are among the prospective arts and use the same tools of representing, colonizing, and augmenting space as cartography, navigation and ordinance. In addition the architectures have strong humanistic traditions learned in dialogue and involvement with––and through participating in shaping built and landscaped environments for––society. Can combined humanistic and prospective methods of becoming contribute with alternatives in extraction-driven discourses? This study brings forward a contextual inquiry of the mineral resource extractive policy in Scandinavia, and a situated study of a copper mine prospect in the North Norwegian county of Finnmark. Findings include that industrial mining impact all outfield businesses as well as coastal fishery, and that Sámi reindeer pastoralism is impacted by wide ranges of outfield activities.

The purpose with this study is to analyze how cartographies are employed in controversial landscape transition, and to develop tools to understand and engage with landscapes that already exhibit and are likely to continue to present contested trajectories towards the future. It combines mapping, map analysis, sketching and photography with qualitative methods from the humanities and social sciences, including interviews, active participation and participatory observation in outfield practices and environmental forums. Counter prospecting is introduced in this monograph as an experimental and interpretative praxis-based method that operates on two intersecting planes: It resists dominant and already given prospects, while on a plane of anticipation it reaches beyond these in a prospective exchange towards possible alternate futures. The research is associated to the Future North project.