Maretopia – explores the potential for the waters of Stockholm

Maretopia is an artist collective initiated by artist Jens Evaldsson, based in Liljeholmen. Maretopia explores the potential for the waters of Stockholm. Their idea is to create a floating culture and eco-village on rafts, anchored just outside Färgfabriken. The first raft was built of left-over materials from the urban development exhibition Stockholm on the Move, that took place at Färgfabriken 2013. 

Three rafts outside of Färgfabriken are the result of the course “small building floating utopia” within the Interior Architecture and Furniture Design program at  University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. The five week long course focused on floating utopias and was led by lecturers Sergio Montero Bravo and Rochus Hinkel, in collaboration with Maretopia. The course included a seminar series about water and methods in design anthropology which was organised with the help of Sara Reinholtz by Interaktiva Institutet. The students developed a vision of a floating culture house for which they then started to manufacture and build a theatre scene and an audience platform as well as a pedalboat. The rafts were launched on June 5th in Gröndal opposite to Färgfabriken.

The idea for these islands was further developed by the Interior Architecture student Cecilia Tjärnberg, resulting in two larger islands with plants cleaning the water and function as a floating habitat for animal life. In August Maretopia, in colloboration with curator Sarah Guarino Florén, presented the work “Kvadratmeterpris” (Square Meter Price) by Stockholm based artist Carl-Oskar Linné. It consists of a sign showing the price per square meter for housing real estate in the area of the sign.

Maretopia is for everybody. For those who wish it is possible to, at their own risk, visit the rafts by using a pedalboat. During opening hours you may borrow a lifejacket and get directions to the pedalboat by Färgfabriken’s hosts.

The artistic program offered by Maretopia during the exhibition Experiment Stockholm consists of single day events on the water curated by Kristina Lindemann. Like a reflection in the water, the outdoor events will in turn be visualized or contextualized indoors at Färgfabriken, too.


31st Oct at 2 pm: Jonas Esteban Isfält – Scanning Territory: On Glitch, Green Screen and Watercolour Painting
We meet infront of the entrance to Färgfabriken, duration ca. 2 hours

On Saturday, October 31, photographer Jonas Esteban Isfält invites you to Maretopia for a presentation of his current work on the topics of glitch, green screen and watercolor painting in Romanticism. The Romantic era is associated with the birth of specific ways of speaking and thinking about ecology and national identity. The presentation will a.o. take up the question why these ideas might be interesting to reexamine today.

With an ever growing amount of visual information that we are fed each day, our way of processing information has in part shifted to superficially scanning, filing and rearranging in order to handle and navigate the information saturated landscape. Hence, how information is subjectively re-contextualized is now more important than its technological representation.

“The definition of computational photography is still evolving, but I like to think of it as a shift from using a camera as a picture-making device to using it as a data-collection device”. Kevin Conner, Photojournalism Ethics on Shifting Technological Ground.

A portable hand held scanner is usually used for digitizing text through moving the scanner over a surface where the text is located. Instead of scanning text, Isfält scans other surfaces around us. One could call it taking samples of a certain place. In a scientific process such samples might be gathered, catalogued or arranged and archived according to a certain hypothesis. In the process of transmitting information from its original place to the digital realm, pieces of information can go missing and the material is put together in an altered manner with gaps and glitches.

Isfält is interested in abstractions and errors in the digital photographic process and its relation to notions of truth and how we produce or relate to ideology. The arbitrariness of the glitch makes collecting data a non-scientific endeavor and questions scientific knowledge production itself. The ruptures, bruises and scars in an image can reveal underlying tensions and contestations and help us relate to aesthetic, technological and social issues.

The installation of flags on Maretopia can be seen as a token of being able to shift our views on territoriality. Made from chroma key green screen fabric, they can represent both the green of nature and the ecology movement. In addition, chroma key green is used for projections of CGIs (computer generated images), which means that we can project ourselves, and perhaps our imagined territorial affiliations, onto it.

Time and date not set: Carl–Oskar Linné

Time and date not set: Cecilia Tjärnberg

23rd Sep 5.30 pm: Performance by Era Isabel Serander & Sara Hedberg

17th Oct 4 pm: A name for the one who doesn’t move by Love Enqvist
We will meet at 4 PM at Gröndal’s boat club and take a journey, forgetting the cold for roughly 1,5 hours, getting to know more about some of Love Enqvist’s work. Please think of wearing appropriate outdoor clothing (hat, scarf, gloves and warm socks), also bring a blanket if you can. Space is limited, for a guaranteed place, please RSVP to until Friday 3 PM.

Love Enqvist has on several occasions used both the water and own personal memories as a starting point in his artistic practice, taking him from Stockholm to Istanbul by kayak, to the end of the world and a disappearing language as well as to a man, who travelled with a raft and shared his near death experience.

On Saturday, Love invites you on a performative twighlight journey, a physical and psychological drift, passing fragments of language and memory, movement and disappearance, travel and documentation. Life is flux and the journey aims towards a thought process on a story’s origin and destination.

24th Oct 2 pm: Konsthall 323 in conversation about mobility, neighbourhood and being close to water.
We meet outside Färgfabriken and will move between Färgfabriken, Maretopia and Konsthall 323, duration ca. 2 hours.

On October 24, Konsthall 323 will be present at/on Maretopia. Konsthall 323 is an art institution in a car, active since 2010 in places that can be reached by car. The kunsthalle is run by Frida Krohn and Ylva Trapp.

Since 2014 Konsthall323 has mostly operated in Saltsjöbaden, where there is a lot to discover for the critical gaze of contemporary art; job market conflicts, artist myths, capitalist dreams and death anxiety. Xet’s painted wardrobe doors, Grünewald’s enormous artists studio doors, shiny BMWs, tanned white skin, sun glitter and ice crystals. They have met skaters, hotel staff, castle owners, labour union economists, kunsthalle directors and free roaming dogs. They learned about jazz chaps, strike actions, watercolour painting, porridge house, capitalist history, skin technology.

This Saturday you can listen to sound pieces from there; observations of a society by the water, characterized by order and tidiness, safety, emptiness, grand buildings and stories and where Konsthall323 sees great development opportunities. The talk will also revolve around the question what happens when a kunsthalle does not operate in fixed premises and how Saltsjöbaden influenced the program of the kunsthalle.

28th Oct 1 pm: Art Lab Gnesta – Swamp Storytelling 
Artist Signe Johannessen and curator Caroline Malmström have collaborated on numerous projects throughout the past few years, both within and outside of Art Lab Gnesta’s artistic program.

At Maretopia they present their work with Swamp Storytelling, a work that departs from the swamp as a symbol for current climate politics, necessary transformation processes and the cradle of life.

The project started as an exchange with the marine biology research station ANET (The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Environmental Team) in India. They wanted to combine the disciplinary field of natural science with artistc production on climate issues and at the same time sought to study how art can function as a transmitter of knowledge for new research. In the exchange the artists were invited to a close dialogue with researches and professionals in order to formulate new perspectives regarding questions and challenges climate change poses as well as managing a catastrophy.

As a part of Maretopia they link together the Indian and Swedish swamp with the waters of Liljeholmsviken and invite to a talk on what we can learn from a swamp. The talk will also be based on a workshop Signe and Caroline did with second and year year students from Konstfack’s textile program. It took place outside Gnesta and the students each wrote a fable as an artistic statement in reaction to the workshop.

Please note: The program is preliminary and will be updated regularly. More events will be added during the course of the exhibition. 

You can become a part of Maretopia by joining in the collective or get a newsletter about the ongoing activities; sign up here. You can also follow the project on Facebook and Instagram.  

Maretopia is a development of the art project Mare Liberum (2013), which was initiated by Marja Knape, Santiago Mostyn, Lisa Gideonsson, Gustaf Londré, Jens Evald son, Andy McDavitt and Heather Jones.   

Students from University College of Arts, Crafts and Design – Interior Architecture & Furniture Design who participated in the coarse and built the rafts: Anton Normark, Cassandra Lorca Machiavelli, Cecilia Tjärnberg, David Lundberg, Elias Båth, Elin Östling, Elisa Hedin, Emma Strömberg, Frida Wallin, Helena Winberg, Malin Bosdotter Marcus Badman, Martin Thübeck, Revaz Berdzenishvili, Sandra Meurman and Vilde Lee Thumper.

The project is implemented in cooperation with: Sergio Montero Bravo, Rochus Urban Hinkel, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design – Interior Architecture & Furniture Design, Peter Lang, Royal Institute of Art, Jan Ryden “Experiment Stockholm” Färgfabriken, Curator Sarah Guarino Florén, Designer Sara Rein Holtz, Curator Kristina Lindemann.

Further thanks to: Briggs & Stratton, Jackon AB, Konstfrämjandet, Erik Sjödin, Fernando Caceres and many other artists, researchers and architects.