Rikke Luther

Rikke Luther is an artist and researcher. Her current work examines the movements in the Earth System stemming from the man-made environmental and biodiversity crises.
The Ocean-Lands: Mud Within the Earth System builds on previous works exploring the interrelations between landscape, language, politics, financialisation, law, geology, biology, economics, natural history and the Earth System. Research outputs take the form of film and large-scale drawn mappings, distributed in exhibitions, screenings, publications, and pod casts.


Luther is currently GRASS Fellow at the GRASS Fellow Programme, Uppsala Universitet / Campus Gotland and Baltic Art Center 2022-2024 and conducting field studies for a new research project: More Mud, outputs of which are due in 2024. The project is commissioned by the Art Hub Copenhagen and Nordic Alliance of Artists’ Residencies on Climate Action (NAARCA). More Mud is part of Luther’s post-doctoral practice-based artistic research The Ocean-Lands: Mud Within the Earth System, which is based at Queen Margrethe’s and Vigdís Finnbogadóttir®s Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Ocean, Climate, and Society (ROCS), Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate (CMEC), Globe Institute, Copenhagen University, DK under Prof. Katherine Richardson.

Luther’s work has been presented in Biennales and Triennales [such as Venice, Singapore, Echigo-Tsumari, Auckland, Göteborg and Sao Paulo]; museums [such as Moderna Museum, Kunsthaus Bregenz, The New Museum, Museo Tamayo, Smart Museum]; exhibitions [such as Beyond Green: Towards a Sustainable Art, 48C Public.Art.Ecology, Über Lebenskunst and Weather Report: Art & Climate Change]: as well as film festivals [such as CPH:DOX* – Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival and the Perth International Film Festival].



Dust & Flow: Muds, Movement, Time, Scale [Film, 29min.] Commission by The Nordic Alliance of Artistic Residencies for Climate Action (NAARCA)
The film can be viewed online at naarca.art/online-exhibition-rikke-luther/ from 31 May to 30 June 2024.

The Ocean-Lands project is examining the social, political, and bio-chemical, implications of rapid movements in the planets new mudscapes. Dust & Flow has drawn together new scientific research on sedimentary flows, eDNA, and ‘deep-time’, with personal responses to these moving landscapes, to examine how humans are attempting to make sense of impossibly rapid changes in the Earth System. The film moves across the island ‘mud-scapes’ of Gotland, Iceland, and Svalbard, interweaving up-to-the-moment science with our culturally-limited understandings of history and time. The script accompanying Luther’s visual engagements with these fast-mutating landscapes is voiced by the actor David Bateson, performing the roles of the narrator, Luther, Luther’s inner dialogue, and two subsidiary characters. 

Podcast in co-work with ArtHub at ANA, nov. 2023: Dead and Life in Mud - A Split Second of 2 million years (47min.) Rikke Luther & Karina Krarup Sand, Geo-genetics, Globe Institute, KU


Map12: World Mud Map, Svalbard. Print on canvas, 4,5m.x2,25m., 2023.


- The Ocean-Lands: Mud Within the Earth System, 2023 - 2024 [Post Doc], â€˜Queen Margrethe’s and VigdĂ­s FinnbogadĂłttirÂŽs Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Ocean, Climate, and Society’   
  (ROCS), Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate (CMEC), Globe Institute, Copenhagen University, DK. 

- More Mud, 2022-2024 [Research project] Nordic Alliance of Artists’ Residencies on Climate Action (NAARCA) at Art Hub, Copenhagen; Baltic Art Center, Sweden; Skaftfell, Iceland, Artica 
  Svalbard, Narsaq Internatioanl Research Stataion, Greenland and Finland
- The Ocean-Lands: Mud Within the Earth System, 2022 - 2024 [Film, a short version and a long version] (working title)

- Concrete Aesthetics: From Universal Rights to Financial Post-Democracy, 2024 [Publication] with extended texts by Esther Leslie (Sand Crystals) and Jaime Stapleton (The Global Commons)

- Textile work: World Mud Maps 11 & 12: The Ocean Lands, Gotland & The Ocean Lands, Iceland (working titles)

- Film: Concrete: The Great Transformation (1h. 09min.) - 21/22.

  Trailer to the 2020 version:

Screening in relation to the exhibition On Moving Ground - Sand, Mud and Planetary Change, Iceland, 2022.

The sound recorder takes a break to explain the surface decoration built into the form of the Kyoto Congress Centre. The decoration represents the repeating patterns of human dialogue, which draw together and separate in a continuous flow. (27:14 sec.)

- Exhibition, 2024: Baltic Art Center, Sweden [Helena Selder]

- Exhibition, 2025: Astrid Noacks Atelier - ANA, Copenhagen, Denmark [Katherine Bolt Rasmussen]
- Exhibition, 2025: Art Hub Copenhagen, Denmark [Lars Bang Larsen & Jacob Fabricius]


- Exhibition, 2023: Mud in the Earth System, Astrid Noacks Atelier - ANA, Copenhagen, Denmark [Katherine Bolt Rasmussen]

- Exhibition, 2023: First There is a Mountain, BlĂ„vandshuk, Denmark, [Stenka Hellfach & Tyra Dokkedahl]

- Testing Grounds, episode 4, Baltic Art Center Artists' Role in an Age of Climate Crisis, spring 2023 [Podcast] with director of Baltic Art Center H. Selder, N. & G. Urbonas, Luther (Katie Revell) 

- Exhibition 2022/2023: Consume By, Museum Arnhem, Holland
- Exhibition, 2022: On Moving Ground - Sand, Mud And Planetary Change, Skaftfell, Seydisfjörd, Iceland [NARCA]
- Public project, 2021: For the Future,Viborg municipality, Denmark [Ceramic tiles, ceramics and a support wall as a part of a new infrastructure project]
- VR & AR - educational material made for young students, 2021: The material is based on the Global Commons and the Spaceframe Complex, Kunsthal Aarhus.
  Co-produced with Khora and Kunsthal Aarhus.

- Exhibition, 2021: The New Mud, Astrid Noacks Atelier - ANA, RĂ„dmandsgade 34, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark, including Esther Leslie's lecture Mud Crystal and
  exchange with Lise Autogena, Nomeda Urbonas and Gediminas Urbonas

- Phd. defence, April 2021, Concrete Aesthetics: From Universal Rights to Financial Post-Democracy. Opponents: Esther Leslie (Political Aesthetics, Birkbeck, London
  University); Kim West (writer and curator) and Solveig Gade (IKK, Copehagen University)

- Podcast and Exhibition 2020: Spolied Waters Spilled, Manifesta 13 Les ParallÚles du Sud, Marseille, France [Clelia Coussonnet & Inga Lāce]. A pod cast at the
  Ocean Archive released August 2020: Spoiled Waters Spilled was done in the framework of the exhibition.


- Exhibition 2019: Corruption: We Lost Control Again, Aarhus Kunsthall, [Jacob Fabricius], Aarhus, Denmark

- Film, world premiere at CPH:DOX* - Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival 2019, Concrete Nature: Planetary Sand Bank (38min.)
  The film was selected for the competition Next:Wave. See further https://cphdox.dk/program/serier-og-temaer-2019-2/?ser=98

'Concrete Nature' explores the political history of concrete and the social structures it embodies. Rikke Luther’s dialogue weaves a broad range of research material into a narrative of personal exploration. Her film draws out the cultural threads that lay between critical moments of modernity; from concrete’s ‘discovery’ in the first decades of the 19th century, through ideological hopes of Modernists, into our era of sand scarcity, and investor’s hopes for a future, post-apocalyptic, 3D-printed concrete society in space.

The film was shot around in and around the MIT campus, Cambridge, Boston, New York, Hudson River, High Fall, London, and includes historical images. The film explores concrete buildings that were politicized before they were constructed, before an architect lent them their particular voice; buildings whose political speech is now being overwritten, rewritten, and erased, by the shifting stands of ideology and environment.

- Tapdance show: The Sand Bank, MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, MA, US - a part of the 50 Year Celebration of ACT, spring 2018

The Sand Bank. A tapdance show, here one out of three backdrops (canvas 2.25m.x4m.) - see more 'click' at History.

- Exhibition: Live Uncertainty - 32nd Sao Paulo Bienal, Brazil, 2016. The work Overspill: Universal Maps included the four maps showed below. Original the maps, showing the 
  Global Commons, were printed on tiles as a part of the larger work Overspill: Universal Maps. They are now often exhibited as print on textile.


Overspill: Universial Maps, maps the Global Commons. Details from the installation, graphics for four tiles, 2.25m. x 4m. - see more 'click' at History.

Certainty lives in a state of continual reformation. Human apprehension is as temporal and provisional as the environment that sustains it. The intellectual systems through which humans apprehend and the environment have their own life-cycles. Life divided by the simple binary plant and animal did not survive the 20th century. The borders of nations, seemingly fixed a hundred years ago, similarly proved themselves to be contingent and temporal. Continental shelves creep. Ice melts. Political and economic fortunes fluctuate. Thinking collapses, just when we think we got it.

‘Overspill: A Universal Map’ comprises a number of separate elements. Four large drawings printed on ceramic tiles map the Global Commons; a concept that negotiates the facts of history, political ideology, law and ecology as they are modulated by the limits of legal arguments and enforcement, national self-interests, global corporate power, and the economic and environmental ‘overspill effects’ of pollution on planetary chemistry and climate. This two-dimensional element is contrasted by a wall of in-built vitrines, housing a number of natural artifacts. Here toxic mud form the 2015 environmental disaster in Brazil rubs shoulders with slime molds, recent concrete ‘techno-fossils’, and an important historic fossil of the first bacteria to produce oxygen on the earth. In the foreground lays, a 1:1 scale model of an 8.26 m prehistoric fungi on a concrete bench. Each of these elements is accompanied by explanatory and commentary ‘labels’, written in English and Portuguese.

Created for the 32nd SĂŁo Paulo Biennale,‘Live Uncertainty’, curated by Jochen Volz with Gabi Ngcofo, JĂșlia Reboucas, Lars Bang Larsen

Materials: Ceramic tiles, original tiles from the building, concrete, toxic mud, concrete, slime mould, plants, fossils (pre-historic oxygen producing bacterial fossil).

Kochsgade 31 D, 2. sal 5000 Odense C