The Ruler of the Common Landscape

Mapping of claims to rights as recieved by the FEFO commission

Please note that none of the claims mapped within have been considered by the commission. This is merely a mapping of interest/expressions of claims and should in no way be taken as a validation or establishment of rights.


Constructions of North
landscape / imagery / society

Thursday January 23 the fourth conference on northern landscapes in connection with the Arctic Frontiers took place. After a welcoming introduction by Janike Kampevold Larsen the following speakers, and moderator Andrew Morrison, contributed to a highly inspirational and interesting day:
William L. Fox - Backwards Landscape the Reading
Johan Schimanski - Constructing imagery, narratives of the Arctic
Stepa Mitaki - Inspiring citizens to change Murmansk through participatory planning
Kathleen John-Alder - The House We Live In: Ian McHarg’s Adaptable Concept of Habitat
Aileen A. Espiritu - Shifting rhetoric – From Barents to Arctic
Stine Barlindhaug - Constructing cultural landscapes through participatory mapping
Silje Figenschou Thoresen - The Indigenuity Project, Improvised design in Sápmi
Arvid Viken - Construction of knowledge: Tourism, research, and governmental institutions building Svalbard as image and place
Larissa Riabova and Vladimir Didyk - Arctic Single-Industry Towns in Russia: social problems, ways to solve them and the role of resource corporations


seminar: positions

Åsa Sonjasdotter, artist and professor at the Tromsø Art Academy organized the highly interesting and inspirational seminar on positions within art. Invited speakers:

Hanna Horsberg Hansen:
On the essay A Story About Sámi Traditions in Transition about the mural decorations for a new school in Láhpoluoppal by artists Synnøve Persen, Aage Gaup, Josef Halse, Ingunn Utsi and Maja Dunfjeld. This artistic collaboration paved the way for vastly important changes in Sámi art. New stories of Sámi art began, stories that exceed the methods and discourses of Art History.

Matti Aikio:
On topics concerning reindeer herding and art production in Finnmark. Aikio is a visual artist who works with photography, video, installations and sculpture. Aikio is interested in the concept of nomadism as a philosophy, culture and way of life.

Fernando García-Dory: On his practice as artist and agro-ecologist, a work which engages specifically with issues affecting the relation between culture-nature, embodied within the contexts of landscape, the rural, desires and expectations related with identity aspects, crisis, utopia and social change. Interested in the harmonic complexity of biological forms and processes, his work addresses connections and cooperation, from microorganisms to social systems, and from traditional art languages such as drawing to collaborative agroecological projects, actions, and cooperatives.


remembering.. Finnmark

Kautokeino church / the ice building / snowmobile trip with Johan Anders Somby / bidos & lavvúliving / guides Elinor Strifeldt & Odd Mathis Hætta at the 0-point / Alta river and dam
the travellers

(pics by Eimear & Gisle)


weekplan update #2 - the commons

See you all Monday morning at 9.00 for a discussion on your commons assignment so far (part I) - and how to proceed (part II)!

Weekplan #2 - the commons as pdf.


the commons and the sami

The Ostrom workshop has a great pooled library of various articles and works. I see there are lots of work already done on applying the commons theory to the rights of land and resources in the sami territories. Check it out. You can search for relevant articles here: http://dlc.dlib.indiana.edu/dlc/search

Social Ecological Framework Analysis

I spoke to Professor Audun Sandberg at the Faculty of Social Science, University of Nordland today. He has worked closely with the Ostrom workshop over the past few decades and suggested we read up on the Social Ecological Framework Analysis. The SEFA is, according to prof Sandberg, an evolution of Ostroms earlier work on the Commons (still written by Ostrom I understand). Should you be interested you can find more information here: http://www.pnas.org/content/104/39/15181.full.pdf+html http://vw.slis.indiana.edu/talks-fall09/Lin.pdf

assignment: #2 - the commons

Use your knowledge about the commons and the complexity of CPR management to:

Find the action arena, locate the action situation and define the participants/actors.

Define the actors’ role(s), and put them in context.

Add narratives of both human and non-human caractere - and expand the perspective beyond the horizon.

Construction of North

Landscapes come down to us thick with the sediments of culture. In other words: Landscapes and territories are cultural products. Our conception of them is formed by image building, values, rhetorics, and politics. All of these have contributed strongly to conceptions of the Arctic through time, from ancient myths of Thule, through myths of exploration, to present days arguments for exploitation and preservation. This seminar invites local and international researchers and experts to explore the agency of imagery in a changing Arctic.

As large areas in the Arctic and Sub Arctic are being turned over into extraction territories, energy spaces and landscapes for tourism activities, stories and mythologies about the north continue to build. The new industries that are gaining foothold in Arctic territories are working within a certain framework of conceptualized understanding of the north as a new commodified landscape. On the other hand, social research brings forth knowledge from local practices as well as the human scale and social aspects of a region in rapid change. Mapping techniques contribute at the same time to render a more diverse and valid image of traditional landscapes, allowing for an extended and novel understanding of them.

This 2014 side-event to the Arctic Frontiers conference, arranged by the Tromsø Academy of Landscape and Territorial Studies, discusses the construction of landscapes, social conditions and imagery in the Arctic. Different construction strategies will be discussed by a wide range of scholars:
Janike Kampevold Larsen, William L. Fox, Johan Schimanski, Stepa Mitaki, Kathleen John-Alder, Aileen A. Espiritu, Stine Barlindhaug, Silje Figenschou Thoresen, Arvid Viken, Larissa Riabova, Vladimir Didyk and Andrew Morrison.

Program as pdf.

For info on the main conference please see www.arcticfrontiers.com/

reminder: #2 - the commons

A reminder of the design principles derived from case studies of long-lasting systems of common-pool resource governance:

Clearly defined boundaries. The boundaries of the resource system and the individuals or households with rights to harvest resource units are clearly defined.

Proportional equivalence between benefits and costs. Rules specifying the amount of resource products that a user is allocated are related to local conditions and to rules requiring labor, materials, and/or money inputs.

Collective-choice arrangements. Many of the individuals affected by harvesting and protection rules are included in the group that can modify these rules.

Monitoring. Monitors, who actively audit biophysical conditions and user behavior, are at least partially accountable to the users and/or are the users themselves.

Graduated sanctions. Users who violate rules-in-use are likely to receive graduated sanctions (depending on the seriousness and context of the offense) from other users, from officials accountable to these users, or from both.

Conflict-resolution mechanisms. Users and their officials have rapid access to low-cost, local action situations to resolve conflict among users or between users and officials.

Minimal recognition of rights to organize. The rights of users to devise their own institutions are not challenged by external governmental authorities, and users have long-term tenure rights to the resource

Nested enterprises. Appropriation, provision, monitoring, enforcement, conflict resolution, and governance activities are organized in multiple layers of nested enterprises.

(Ostrom 1990, 2005)

Weekplan #2 - the commons as pdf.

Fieldwork Findings Ronald


mapping lecture - wednesday 9.00

Just a reminder that we start tomorrow, Wednesday, at 9.00 with a mapping lecture - consultations afterwards - see you all!



Finnmarksvidda as an action area - Jan Åge Riseth

In addition to the text, Sustaining the commons, you here have the slides from Jan Åge Riseth to prepare for the lecture and seminar Friday:


Jan Åge suggests you also bring a print of the handouts as support during the lecture and discussion:




The students are traveling Finnmark this week, you can follow them at instagram: @70N_arkitektur and under the hashtag #tromsøacademyforlandscapeandterritorialstudies.
If you are not on insta you can see the pics here.


#1 - field work

The quote is from one of the texts you have received, Inside the cave, outside the discipline by Catharina Gabrielsson (Architecture and field/work, 2011).

For your first assignment we want you to keep awareness of the concepts of reality check, complicity with the work as well as your habits of mind, and bring back one observation/reflection for every day of the trip (6-10 January) in the form of a (short) text illustrated by photo/drawing/graphics.

You will have the week after the trip to work on the assignment, entitle it and put it together as a booklet or poster (or other). Your work should be uploaded to this blog, preferably as a pdf embedded via issuu, no later than Thursday January 16, labelled with your name and the assignment title #1 - field work (picked from the label list).


Finnmark field work

The studio starts with an intriguing trip to experience the immersive atmosphere of the dark and cold winter on the Finnmark plateau. We will meet the actors in the landscape and analyze the potential conflicts in these contested territories. The silent knowledge from traditional reindeer husbandry is confronted by the global demand for minerals, and the physical impact of the mining industry. We will investigate beyond the obvious and seek out knowledge that is not so easily accessible, and we will trace the tracks of money connected to global powers and economies. Basically is the value of the landscape as a common renewable resource at risk. The studio objective is to act as landscape architects in a situation where the historical landscape can be transformed into a complete new reality, and where its traditional agents of humans and animals can be displaced.
Weekplan #1 - field work as pdf.



Enter Biedjovággi

Welcome to the TACL winter studio, Focal Point Biedjovággi!

Sun, Joanna, Bowen, Vlad, Eimear, Victoria, Kristján, Ronald & Ona Katrina - we are happy to enter the landscape together with you, starting Monday..

Here is the preliminary studio timeline (NB! updated January 6):

Timeline as pdf.



Focal Point Biedjovággi

Northern landscapes and territories are to an increasing degree exposed to strong economic and political interests, working to achieve ownership, exclusive rights and definition power in territories that are carriers of complex stories and tacit knowledge. Focal point Biedjovággi will relate to the critical debate on the development of Northern landscapes and aims to be a platform for experimental approaches to the landscapes. In the latent conflict of mining in Biedjovàggi the interests of the different landscape actors are in fierce conflict, and the studio will discuss to what extent this opposition can be negotiated. Through introductory and thematic investigations projects will be developed and defined at different scales, and will shed light on contradictions and interests in the landscape, also through design solutions. Through theoretically and visually informed thematic investigations, the students will define their own project assignments. These will be generated both by individual and collective experiences. The assignment will process findings at different scales and will shed light on differences and interests in the landscape. Texts, essays and articles by, among others, Doreen Massey (for space), Elinor Ostrom (Governing the Commons), Deleuze & Guattari (Rhizome - A Thousand Plateaus) and Bruno Latour (We have never been modern) will be studied and discussed. Invited local and international guests and experts will contribute under the themes of field work, the commons, vulnerability and reorientation.
If you want to print, cut and fold your own booklet you can download the pdf here: