Water People

The participants
in Nordic Noise:

Emmi Pennanen

photo by Anni Koponen

Emmi was very good at pretending to take a siesta during breaks while working on various projects, during our residency in Lesvos. They avoided the sun at all costs and was very particular about preferring wall-shade over tree-shade. Through a lovely workshop on dance and embodiment, Emmi reminded us about the water within and around us. The prospect of a floating session at our next residency in Reykjavik made them incredibly excited.

Professionally Emmi identifies as a dancer, first and foremost, but works with and studies many, perhaps too many, different subjects and fields as well. They have a vocational degree in dance, a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, with a minor in Social Science and is completing a Master’s in Visual Culture, Curating and Contemporary Art. Emmi works as a dancer, choreographer, assistant and artistic collaborator in various working groups in the freelance dance and scene in Finland. As an animal, Emmi would be an otter. 🦦

Eva Lín Vilhjálmsdóttir

Eva Lín lost her luggage when we went to Lesvos, and now it’s on an interesting journey, probably in Greece. She considers this a cosmic way of never getting too attached to material things. Eva also loves Sviðasulta and will introduce it to everyone when we visit Iceland in November 2022. By approaching the art world from a philosophical perspective, Eva Lín writes about everything from cyborg aesthetics to losing her luggage. 

Eva Lín recently graduated with an MA degree in philosophy from King’s College London and holds a BA in philosophy from the University of Iceland. She currently works at the National Gallery of Iceland and worked at the Icelandic pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2022. Eva Lín has written about art and interviewed artists for several online magazines and publications and continues to expand on her philosophical training throughout her projects. If Eva Lín were an animal, she would definitely be a duck.

Katinka Saarnak

Katinka is a curator and student with a belly button piercing. She is an ouzo veteran, and when we were in Lesvos, she got stung by a bee on her toe. Katinka expresses her personality through her style, her crocs being the statement piece. She is very good at being direct, saying no to other people’s ideas – all this while still being super likeable. 

Although Katinka is obviously a curator, she struggles to call herself curator because: She is currently based between Copenhagen and Stockholm, where she studies the International Master’s Program in Curating, including Art, Management and Law. Alongside her studies, Katinka works as a freelance curator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Copenhagen. After finishing her degree, Katinka worked for a consultancy company in Copenhagen that worked with, and curated contemporary art in public spaces. Together with three colleagues, Katinka runs the independent art guide seaslug.se. In autumn 2022, she interned at Tensta Konsthall. If Katinka were an animal, she would be a goat.

Janosch Bela Kratz

Photo credit: Vikram Pradhan

Janosch could not stop posing in Lesvos; the whole group has several phone images of him looking cool in different locations. He is a dreamer who stargazes awake and walks in his sleep. The steady schedule at the Metochi study center was a fresh breeze in the hot air. He works very well under pressure and made a turbo-spurt in completing the graphic design of our zine at the last minute before our end-of-the-week presentation.

It is always complicated to explain Janosch’s professional identity and study path. He recently graduated from the Icelandic University, Listaháskóli Íslands, of the arts with a master’s degree in Design from the program Explorations & Translations. His final project was related to questions on immigration to Iceland, and he also applied to our Nordic Noise program with a project proposal within this same gravitational field. Janosch has been studying for seven years in a German study program at the University of the Arts Karlsruhe, Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, that will give him a diploma, equivalent to a bachelor and a master in communication design. Janosch is also part of an improv dance group, makes video work together with a friend who doesn’t live in Iceland, helps friends on projects with graphic design and works in a cinema, which is his favourite job. A uniting factor in all his work is fiction. He coined the term super[design]fiction in his thesis. If Janosch were an animal, he would be a Spinnenläufer.

Nina Helene Skogli

Nina loves cats, and during our trip to Lesvos, she was our designated car photographer. She is an excellent party planner but practices this quite seldomly due to the workload. Nina is interested in alternative ways of art dissemination, spectator memory, articulating embodied experiences in language, and exploring how we experience contemporary art collectively and individually.

Nina would love to balance her academic and creative writing, but this can sometimes become a challenge, maybe because of this:

Nina is a theatre researcher, critic, and pedagog based in Kristiansand. She has just finished her Ph.D. at the University of Agder (UiA) with the thesis “Thinking through affect: Affective uncertainty in politically engaged contemporary theatre” (2022). She has been working with education and dissemination at Kristiansand Kunsthall. In addition to this practice, she has been a performer in projects such as Shadows of tomorrow by Ingri Fiksdal, Atomic Tours: City of the Damned by Annika Lundgren and The Journey by Ida Fugli/Flux Manøver. In the autumn 22’ she will begin a post-doctoral fellowship in the interdisciplinary research project “Making memories. Contemporary Aesthetic Articulations of Norway in the Second World War” at UiA. If Nina were an animal, she would probably be a moose. 

Tze Yeung Ho

Photo credit: Kaapo Kamu

Tze could not stand the heat in Lesvos and was constantly drinking cold water, which was his greatest joy. The library that had good air conditioning was his refuge. Tze was also the manager of the recording device that we recorded the podcast with. He is very proactive and quick to move forward in projects, which he himself relates to his composer brain that is motivated by the fear of deadlines.

As already revealed Tze is a composer who completed his PhD at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater in Tallinn. He doesn’t however like to be called a doctor. Especially because Doctor Ho is a brand for pain relief devices in the United States. Tze absolutely does not want to be associated with those. He also feels an aversion towards the hierarchy implied by this title. Tze produces concert series and festivals, which is why curatorial practices and theory are important to him, since he wants to keep himself updated on the current discourse. Right now, he is working on a piece that involves a static accordionist and a moving percussionist which can be either very threatening or very gentle. Tze and Eva Lín are spirit animal buddies.

Our Artistic Advisor
for Nordic Noise:

Jóna Hlíf

Note from Nordic Noise participants: 

Jóna Hlíf works as an artistic advisor for Nordic Noise, providing us with a beautiful balance of incredible artistic knowledge, dance sessions and everlasting laughs. In Reykjavik, she wore her “LOVE” statement-jacket while enthusiastically showing us different aspects of the Icelandic art scene, introducing us to amazing cultural workers and inviting us for a floating session to be able to reconnect with our bodies after so many new impressions. Jóna is encouraging, critical and extremely helpful in guiding us through the amazing experiences and challenges Nordic Noise provides. 


Jóna Hlíf was born in 1978 and lives and works in Reykjavík. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Akureyri in 2005, and completed an MFA degree from Glasgow School of Art in Scotland in 2007 and an MA in art education from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2013.

Jóna Hlíf has extensive experience in the fields of the visual arts and their management. She has worked as an independent visual artist since 2006 and has served as the chairman of the Sculptors Association in Reykjavík (2011-2013), chairman of the Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (2014-2018) and director of Gerðarsafn (2019-2021). She has also served on the boards of Skaftfell, the Association of Icelandic Artists and the Reykjavík Art Festival. Jóna Hlíf was part of the editorial board of the magazine STARA, which aimed to promote discussion and knowledge of art. 

Jóna Hlíf has established herself as an artist with solid knowledge in the arts as well as exhibition management, museum work and art pedagogy. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums and exhibition spaces in Iceland and abroad. Her work is represented in the collection of all the major museums in Iceland. Jóna Hlíf has been a part-time teacher at the Iceland Academy of the Arts since 2013 and the Academy of Fine Arts in Akureyri since 2010. She has worked as an independent curator along with her own art practice since 2015 and co-founded Galleri Box (2005-2009).