Thomas Pausz (b. Paris, 1978) is a Critical Designer and Artist based in Reykjavik. In his interdisciplinary practice Pausz stages real and fictional ecosystems and amplifies the voice of Non-Human entities through a careful work on media and artefacts. In his entangled scenarios between experimental science and contemporary design, Thomas Pausz offers a poetic space for renegotiating accepted technological and biological hierarchies.


Making New Land, 2021

Mixed media installation: Glass, Sandblasted Wood, Sand, Cement, Found images.

70 % of Sandy beaches are undergoing some form of erosion resulting from human activity. The project Making New Land addresses this contemporary context through the lens of a fiction set in a dystopian future without coasts or oceans as we know them. The nostalgic longing for peaceful coasts and beaches is used as a medium to reflect on the conditions that might preserve them today. The growth and fragile architecture of dunes and coastal plants is rendered through artefacts and models, contrasting with the predominant politics of hard landscaping of shores and seawalls. In Making New Land the qualities and complex interactions between plants, minerals and human activity on the shorelines are translated through poetic artefacts. The presence of sand in its various states, both industrial and natural creates an anthropogenic landscape, inhabited by plant architectures and future life forms. Viscous Glass Ventifacts, only temporary solidified by human efforts echo the liquid ontology of the sea and the constant transformation of coastlines and continents;  The installation mirrors the essay Making New Land, and Intertidal Aesthetics written by Pausz to be published in 2021 in the collective publication Swamps and the New Imagination.

The exhibition is a collaboration between the Iceland University of the arts (IUA) and the Nordic House in Reykjavík, conceived of as a contribution of the IUA to the Reykjavík Congress of the Universities of the Arctic (UArctic) network. The initiative is supported by grants from the Nordic Council of Ministers and from the Nordic Culture Fund.

Curatorial and research assistance was provided by students in the Creating and Curating Exhibitons course at the IUA / UI: Daníel Perez Eðvarsson, Friðrik Hjartar, Heiðrún Sif Magnúsdóttir, Mariane Sól Úlfarsdóttir, Sunna Dagsdóttir, Þorsteinn Freyr Fjölnisson