Inhabiting the Interlacing: Umeå

Can we find a way to make the city ours, if only for the moment?

Umeå, a city in the North of Sweden and once a former isolated outpost, is becoming an urban and economic hotspot. The city and the region will be affected by the multiplication of fluxes across localities and the strong interactions between natural and anthropic ecosystems. We call the interlacing of these fluxes and interactions ”hybrid communities”, assemblages of humans and non humans.

These non-humans have a high degree of expression and we find them very well suited to describe these new scenarios. We think it’s possible to talk with them because they are good spokespeople of these hybrid communities.

We chose three things you can find in Umeå: a lichen, a painted truck part and a light bulb. Lichen tells us about the connection of the city with climate change. They can detect and react to changes in weather conditions occurring in other places. A painted part of a Volvo truck will try to give voice to the material fluxes embedded in the pigments of white paint. The lightbulb will disassemble the electric light in a myriad of stories about energy sources.

The installation Inhabiting the interlacing shows a “glocal” map of Umeå incorporating various objects linked to the city and the region. The selected objects work as the delegated spokespeople for a number of processes that are currently transforming Umeå. Through the intricately interwoven contexts that these objects are part of, they contribute to the story of Umeå’s future.


  • Installation shown at Communitas exhibition, curated by Cecilia Andersson, Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden, November 2012.