Through a systematic examination of the weaknesses of systems, conspiracy and criminality may be viewed as a form of critique - a deceitful narration of ‘legitimate’ practices.

According to the US Geological survey it is estimated that the Arctic is home to the 30% of the planets undiscovered natural gas reserves, 13% of the remaining oil, and vast mineral deposits. These commodities, compounded by the effects of climate change, have exposed the Arctic to corporate profiteering, and the potential geopolitical tension caused by unresolved sovereignty claims.

Who Owns The Arctic is a proposition for several devious money-making schemes specifically designed for the unique environmental, ecological and political composition of the region. These schemes seek to enable small communities to exert agency in the financial environment of the Arctic by viewing greed, conflict, and environmental disaster as another of the regions resources. They encourage the manipulation of licit systems of resource prospecting, insurance and finance to provide reward.

The schemes themselves sit somewhere between plan, proposition and account – they are presented in skeletal form through images, text, animation and tools, as if each is occurring simultaneously.

The schemes serve to hint at the complex and increasingly fraught relationship between the environment, ecology, politics, and economics of the Arctic, and reflect upon the context and distribution of international law and corporate culture.

Scheme outline and scripts

Thanks to Alexa Pollmann, Hyung-ok Park, Lana Z Porter, Mohammed Ali, Shing Tat Chung.

Interview on We Make Money Not Art

Who Owns The Arctic awarded 1st place in the Think Space Territories competition