The Bureaucracy of the Sea
the result of the workshop 'Into Blue Futures: A Speculative Workshop in Strategic Foresight' presented at the “Worlding the Hydrosphere” festival that addressed the themes of marine and maritime worlds, coastal communities, their manifold ecologies and challenges of sustainability.
with: Piyali Sircar
with: Ena Crnogorac
Change is the only constant in the ocean. Blue, vast and flat on our maps. Previously void of anything useful to humans, now filled with sensors, the ocean has been transformed into a 3D space. Overflowing with infrastructure, resources, logistics, regulations and — meanings. Ever since gas was found on the sea floor, the sea has become a battlefield of regulations and attempts to define where borders are drawn. Imagine the disputes that might harness the wind and tame the waves.

We want to convey the absurdity and impossibility of owning the ocean and what’s in and around it. We want you to walk away feeling the paradox of trying to confine the wind, the water and the marine life. Ever changing, moving, clashing, mixing. Currents as currency. This version of the future illustrates what would happen when the left’s interest in renewable energy is coupled with the far right’s focus on creating walls and defining ownership.

What if we get rid of borders? How do we enforce them? How do we own the wind? Should we own the waves?
Text messages from a fisherman, 2060
A fisherman named Niko/Nitko sends messages to a dear friend, sharing his experiences at sea in 2060. These messages and photos portray a few of the obstacles and triumphs someone in the Mediterranean Sea might face in a world with enforced sea borders.
Reporting from Pula, 2057
BREAKING NEWS: “Wind pirates” have been captured close to the shore of Pula! This piece questions the legitimacy of owning natural resources by illustrating the absurdity and impossibility of attempting to hold and contain something that is intrinsically fluid and constantly in flux.

We share a future where opposing forces are at play: renewables are the primary source of energy while borders in the sea are strictly enforced. The Mediterranean sea is brimming with valuable resources - including wind, water and marine life - to be captured.
Lost at Sea, 2056
Passport laying at the sea floor — a silent monument to new regulations and a silent story of movement – from Turkish coast to the Western basin. This lost passport belongs to a traveler who took a submarine shuttle through the Gulf of Antalya to avoid the unrest of the border – endlessly redefined and re-drawn as new mapping technology becomes available. Look closely at the passport watermark and stamps. The diver represents a region of Italy that is protected from ships and boats, where the only way to cross is by physically immersing yourself. The sea’s salinity at a given moment in time is stamped onto a passport at the border.

The sea of the future is filled with bureaucracy - departments, documents, lost and found offices, custom agents. Once a unified body of water, the Mediterranean Sea is fractured into hundreds of entities belonging to one or more nations.