To Acquire a Life Boat - Activism, art and man-made earthquakes - Finissage The Intimate Earthquake Archive


To Acquire a Life Boat - Activism, art and man-made earthquakes Finissage The Intimate Earthquake Archive

14:00 - 16:00
Lecture and discussion


Time: 14:00 - 16:00. Location: classroom.

- Welcome;
- Lecture performance Circling the Mountain by Sissel Marie Tonn in Het Oog;
- Round table discussion, with talk by Bea Blokhuis, Christoph Brunner, Sissel Marie Tonn and visitors;
- Opportunity to visit The Intimate Earthquake Archive (last chance!);
- Drinks and celebration.
RSVP: please register online if you would like to join the finissage.



In her work The Intimate Earthquake Archive Sissel Marie Tonn investigates alternative possibilities of 'archiving' the event of a man-made earthquake, by translating the seismic data recorded by the KNMI into a tactile composition. This way, she creates an 'archive' that museum visitors can experience with their bodies. For the finnisage of The Intimate Earthquake Archive Sissel has invited activist Bea Blokhuis for a discussion. Philosopher Christoph Brunner will act as moderator.

Bea Blokhuis is a teacher and activist living in Delfzijl, Groningen. Here, she experienced several earthquakes induced by gas drilling, what led to her often humorous and creative acts of activism against the NAM. For instance, she repeatedly requested the gas company to provide her with a life boat, since her house is close to the dikes. Bea continues to 'troll' the system of damage claims, with a specific focus on the absurdity of bureaucracy and questionable data gathering procedures of the gas company.

This afternoon, Sissel Tonn and Bea Blokhuis wish to address the creative potential of both activism and art. The discussion will also focus on the impenetrability of the systems enabling the destructive eploitation of the earth, and the human and non-human consequences in the wake of this exploitation. Christoph Brunner's work is based on the intersections between research, creation and activism. From these three perspectives, the activist, the political and the artistic, they hope to create a discussion about the local, national and global challenges of these 'man-made geological phenomena'.


Christoph Brunner

Christoph Brunner is assistant professor for cultural theory at Leuphana University Lüneburg. He works on the intersections between art, philosophy, and activism with a specific focus on emergent collectivity and technopolitics. Together with Yvonne Volkart he organized the symposium “Ecologies of Existence” in 2016. Before coming to the north of Germany he worked at Zurich University of Arts and studied in Montreal and London. He is member of the SenseLab in Montreal and initiated the ArchipelagoLab for Transversal Practices at Leuphana.

Bea Blokhuis

Bea Blokhuis is a teacher at the Willem Lodewijk Gymnasium in Groningen and the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG). Since 1992 she is living in Delfzijl, where she experienced several earthquakes induced by gaswinning which caused damage to her house and which necessitates strengthening of the construction of her house to prevent collapse during a major quake. Her negative experiences with the damage-taxation protocol of the NAM and the refusal of NAM to make her house ‘earthquake-proof’ has led to her activistic approach towards NAM and connected organisations. She focuses on getting attention for the damage to mental health caused by the continuation of gaswinning by engaging in both playful actions with a serious undertone on the one hand and critical questions to scholars and scientists on the other.

Sissel Marie Tonn

Sissel Marie Tonn ( is a Danish artist living in The Hague. She works with multi-media installation, textiles and writing, and her processual approach is driven by a great deal of curiosity and the possibilities of building relationships across fields. Her work revolves around an interest in structures of attention and perception within ecologies undergoing subtle or profound changes. Within this discourse her work explores these environmental (often humanly induced) changes, extending the public debates towards epistemological issues connecting these events to the body and its sensing of presence. She completed a master in Artistic Research at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in 2015 and will be a resident at the Jan van Eyck Akademie in Maastricht in 2017.

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