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The Leviathan project was developed by the Live Digital Design collective through a series of collaborations between the principal artists; Joe Fairweather-Hole, Dave Meckin, Keir Williams, Alice Helps and Rhiannon Evans, and local communities, composers, classical musicians, and poets. Each iteration of the project responds to the physical, social and political context in which it is located. Sites have included an abandoned vault, a wall memorial, and an arctic concert hall built within a giant fish oil tank.

An eye watches from the unseen depths,
An electric call in the darkness.
Dragged down through the waves,
Into the belly of the beast.

How did we get here and where do we go now?

As a collective, we are interested in the intersection of performance and technology and more specifically the staging of performance. As practitioners, we have a range of skills as scenographers, academic researchers, curators, and performers. What we offer is the ability to create engaging staged settings within which audiences and artists work and experiment together.

Underpinning our approach is a philosophy that recognises the potential for art and artists to make and take on practical and effective roles in wider society and culture. We achieve this through experimentation and an exploration of the worlds we place ourselves within. In this project, we see the site of Neptun as a meeting point where we can work with the cultures and histories of the surrounding rural environment through dynamic and creative approaches to the geographic setting and its population.

The Neptun Herring processing factory represents a revolution in the way the world caught and processed herring through the application of new technological tools. This in turn, led to unforeseen economic and cultural changes for the local population and the wider world. Climate change and radical shifts in the geopolitical landscape over the past two decades is seeing a shift of focus to the resources and technological advances of the North. Neptun and its surrounding community present an opportunity for us to engage with the complexities of a small rural community setting within wider geo-political shifts. In this project we will ask, how did we get here and where do we go now?

Neptun Art/Science Lab is a physical and theoretical hub and project space, conceived to be at the intersection between Art and Science located at the Norwegian Fishing Industry Museum, North Norway. This project is a collaborative initiative between Nordland Akademi for Kunst og Vitenskap and Museum Nord, supported by Arts Council Norway and Nordland County Council.

The effects on the people and the organisations in Melbu and the surrounding region was inspirational in the sense that this project allowed for time and dialogue – a direct exchange between the artists and people who live here fostering a long lasting connection.

And it is this connection and dialogue we wanted to build upon – digging deeper into what issues that are relevant and important for this place – region – and the global world in which we live in today; and opening it up for visiting artists to add their thinking and to connect this with the people and the culture here. Herring oil was produced at Neptun for more than 70 years, and now it is home to the Norwegian Fishing Industry Museum and Museum Nord. Our lab functions as a hub and lab for artistic, hypothetical and conceptual research in the field of art – science with the main focus on new ways of harvesting the sea; and new ways of processing what we harvest from the sea; our challenges related to the sea and climate, through the use of experimental thinking, new and old technology.

This project builds on a belief that collaboration and participation opens up for wonder and exploration and that this is where thoughts and concepts are given the opportunity to grow into new innovative and novel ideas and concepts. The freedom to research and work across disciplines is incredibly important – things happen when people connect to each other within a physical space engaging in a dialogue on shared history and issues affecting us directly – and globally. For 2016 – 2017 we invited artists who already engage in conceptual thinking around issues that affects the sea, technology related to the sea, the future of sea platter and the importance of history and how it can serve as a compass to the future.