The Kelp Congress (Tangkongressen) was a networking and knowledge exchange art research project that explored the relationships between artistic practices, kelp, seaweed and coastal communities. It was initiated with an emphasis on the environmental and ecological resonances these relationships held within the Nordic countries. The event focused on artistic enquiry and knowledge exchange surrounding the materiality of seaweed.
The project centred on the staging of three research enquiries, feeding into a public symposium that took place during the 2019 edition of the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF 2019). The research strands took place in Digermulen, Napp, and Svolvær in the Lofoten Islands, Norway, between the 16–20 September 2019. Contributors to the research strands were formed through partner representation, invited guests, and an Open Call.
The symposium and public engagement event of the Kelp Congress took place between 20–22 September 2019. The symposium featured artistic interventions and performances, opportunities for the sharing of insights from the three research strands, two keynote lectures, a panel discussion, and a dedicated networking gathering. The embeddedness of the Kelp Congress within LIAF 2019 also enabled access to the local, Nordic, and International audiences that the biennale attracted, increasing the congress’s overall visibility and impact.
Following the event, a publication was produced and published by the North Norwegian Art Centre (NNKS). A copy of the publication can be found at the Nordic Library at Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki.