Act II

Archipelago — A Problem (On Exactitude in Science)


Anna Betbeze, Karl Blossfeldt, Etienne Chambaud, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Cevdet Erek, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Irene Kopelman, Gabriel Kuri, Nicolás Lamas, Jochen Lempert, Benoît Maire, Jean Painlevé, Oscar Santillan, Michael E. Smith, Francisco Tropa, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Jorinde Voigt

Curated by: Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

Venue: Toussaintkade 49, The Hague (NL)

Book cover of The Thing from Another World by John W. Campbell, 1938

The exhibition Archipelago – A Problem (On Exactitude in Science) is centred around a fictitious, mental archipelago where a group of mathematicians, geologists, cartographers and other scientists try to make an indexation of the measurable facets and phenomenological manifestations that they uncover on site during their research expedition. As since the unprecedented landscape is subject to constant change and fluctuations, the advanced instruments with which the research troupe are equipped prove to be unsuited to record and document their observations and findings in a precise manner. The scientific languages that they previously employed elsewhere do not appear to correspond in any way with their somewhat predetermined, stable patterns of expectation, preconceived knowledges, and epistemological registers: the diversity of living conditions and environments found within the archipelago appears so diverse and unstable that every island seems to require its own proper linguistic and scientific approach. To this end they decide to develop a new compendium entitled The Sea Island Mathematical Manual, in order to do justice to a world of constant change and composition through a series of SF’s (science fact, science fiction, speculative fabulation, so far).

Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk (1988, NL) works as a curator and writer for The Office for Curating in Rotterdam. Central to Lekkerkerk’s work are social and political discourses revolving around daily living and working practices, cultural norms, and ideologies. He particularly focuses on debates concerning the Anthropocene, ecology and climate, post- humanism, and the increasing entanglement between nature and culture. Lekkerkerk recently published The Standard Book of Noun-Verb Exhibition Grammar (Onomatopee, 2018), a publication regarding the exhibition as an ecological assemblage. In 2012 he received the inaugural Demergon Curatorial Award, and in 2014 he was the beneficiary of the Akbank Sanat International Curator Competition.