You are entering a Biennale Session. A Session about fish, a session about the interplay between biology, food, fishing, design and art. Your host is FOOD+DESIGN from the department of Civil Engineering, Aalborg University, Denmark. This Session is the result of the focused, compact and complex work of 26 design students, which has been carried out during a number of intense workshops to improve the ability of the students to work conceptually within a timeframe. 1000 different expressions of fish are shown in the frieze which spans a total length of 42 meters – or to be precise 999 fish. Fish no. 1 is located in Hirtshals in Denmark. 1000 fish based on eight species from The North Sea and eight species from the Laguna of Venice. Every single one of the 1000 fish are unique and although the fish might seem to be rather spontaneously created, they all represent an answer to a specific question and as such, can be grouped in themes. The fish is industry, food resource and cultural symbol, it is history, it is religion and it is fun, frightening and shrouded in mystery.

The research and education at Aalborg University is problem based, and the Session is an extreme advanced version of this research dogma. The students at FOOD+DESIGN increase their competences for problem based learning, innovative and creative methods and cross-disciplinary group work by participating in this project. The students work across different professions – most important and rather unique is the ability to combine knowledge about design and architecture, shaping and creation of spaces with knowledge about the most recent tools and instruments. This session serves as a bridge between art&design and science&research. Young students, designers, researchers and innovators are here given an opportunity to present and exchange ideas, experiments and know-how on an international established scene.

“As the director and curator of the 54th International Art Exhibition, ILLUMInations, Bice Curiger, has excellently stated, we are living in a time, where the artist himself is a cultural tourist. A time where focus is on the inter-communicative, intellectual understanding. This Biennale Session can indeed create fertile soil for the students at FOOD+DESIGN to experiment with new forms of communities and to research and experiment in differences and similarities, which can become future methods for working with the relation between food, art and science”. Anna Marie Fisker, curator and project manager Food+Design



Why fish?
Fish are everywhere, fish cross the seas and oceans, fish are migrants and fish are synonymous with food in every part of the world. The fish has a very special importance in the Danish region of Northern Jutland because of The North Sea. The fishing industry has secured jobs in the region through generations and today 65% of the Danish processing of fish takes place in Northern Jutland. The export of the North Denmark Region abroad is estimated to be 11-12 billion Danish kroner a year. Northern Jutland needs to keep its fishing industry healthy and to secure the jobs it generates. But due to the global competition and the rising environmental impact, there is a need for visionary, sustainable and forward thinking solutions in order to secure the fish and the survival of the industry and the whole business of the fish.
The Danish Ministry of Food has launched an institute of food experimentation called MadX [FOODX], which goal is to lift the Danish food culture and generate and promote an innovative food business. The background for the establishment of MadX is the desire to position Denmark as a nation which prioritizes the development of new and better quality food and technologies, research and marketing of Danish food, especially food for many. MadX has a department in the city of Hirtshals, at Nordsøen Oceanarium, which is by far the most important cluster of research, business, marketing, innovation and cooking related to fish. The project marks that the unique cooperation between Nordsøen, the North Denmark Region, MadX and Food+Design at Aalborg University is in the groundbreaking lead and works with fish beyond the conventional methods and traditions – for instance fish as experience to fulfil the goal of growth of fish for many – fish to the people.

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