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Core Research Team

Marte Johnslien

Artist and researcher

Principal Investigator (PI) of TiO2: The Materiality of White Co-PI of TiO2: How Norway Made the World Whiter


Marte Johnslien

Artist and researcher

Principal Investigator of TiO2: The Materiality of White and Co-PI of TiO2: How Norway Made the World Whiter

Marte Johnslien (1977) is a visual artist and researcher who lives and works in Oslo, Norway. She is an associate professor of Ceramic Art at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, department of Art and Craft. She is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the research project TiO2: The Materiality of White (MoW), and Co-PI of TiO2: How Norway Made the World Whiter (NorWhite), in collaboration with art and architecture historian Ingrid Halland. Johnslien holds a PhD in artistic research and presented the results of her project Circumstantial Sculpture in a solo exhibition at ROM, Oslo, in January 2020. The main project White to Earth, consisted of series of ceramic sculptures and a book. The project investigated the materiality of titanium dioxide, and how the white pigment travels our systems seemingly invisibly. The work formed the basis for the current research projects TiO2: MoW/NorWhite. Her work is in the collection of several public art museums in Norway, for example the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, KODE, Bergen, Henie Onstad Art Center, and Lillehammer Art Museum.

Marte Johnslien

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Ingrid Halland

Art and architecture historian, art critic

Principal Investigator TiO2: How Norway Made the World Whiter and Co-PI of TiO2: The Materiality of White 

Ingrid Halland (1988) is an art and architectural historian and art critic, based in Oslo and Bergen, Norway. She is associate professor in cultural history and museology at The University of Oslo. She is also associate professor in art history at the University of Bergen. From 2020 to 2024 she was associate professor at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, in which she taught in the PhD program. She is the leader and principal investigator of the research project TiO2: How Norway Made the World Whiter and Co-PI of of TiO2: The Materiality of White, in collaboration with artist and researcher Marte Johnslien. Halland’s academic articles have appeared in Log, Journal of Design History, Aggregate, Arkitektur N, and Kunst og kultur, and the book Ung Uro: Unsettling Climates in Nordic Art, Architecture & Design was published in 2021. Halland is editor-in-chief of Metode, a publishing platform by ROM for kunst og arkitektur.

Helene Engnes Birkeli (1990) is an art historian based in Bergen and Oslo, Norway. She completed her PhD at University College London in 2022 with her thesis titled ‘Tracing Territory: The Visual Culture of Danish(-Norwegian) Colonialism in the Caribbean.’ She has taught art history and the intersections between visual culture, technology and science at UCL, the Open University and the University of St Andrews. Her publications include contributions to A Comparative Literary History of Modern Slavery, the Danish art history journal Periskop and the UCL graduate journal Object. She is currently preparing her thesis into a monograph proposal. 

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Helene Engnes Birkeli
Art Historian (PhD) and Postdoc Fellow Researcher in TiO2: How Norway Made the World Whiter


Tonje Haugland Sørensen
Art Historian (PhD) Senior Researcher in TiO2: How Norway Made the World Whiter

Tonje Haugland Sørensen is a...

Bio to be added


Julia K. Persson
Artist and Research assistant in TiO2: The Materiality of White 

Julia K. Persson (1992) is a material based artist working between Oslo, Norway and Malmö, Sweden. She graduated with a MFA from Oslo National Academy of the Arts 2022, and holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Lund School of Architecture, as well as two years of ceramic studies at Capellagården in Sweden. Julia works mainly with large scale sculpture and installation in clay and ceramics, and her work has been exhibited at, among other places, Höganäs Konsthall, London Craft Week and PYTON in Oslo. 

Project Partners

June Stuen

Director of Dalane Folkemuseum and Jøssingfjord Science Museum

June Stuen is ..

Bio to be added


Janne Werner Olsrud

Janne Werner Olsrud (1982) received her PhD in Museology from the University of Oslo in 2019. Her research interest is theoretically and methodically based in Critical Museology and Actor Network Theory. Exploring and analyzing both the historically and contemporary understanding, use and knowledge production within museums with a  focus on museum collections and the practices and technologies of collection management. She is currently Head of Exhibitions and Collections at the Norwegian Mining Museum.

Museologist (PhD) and Head of Collections and Exhibitions at The Norwegian Mining Museum

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Marianne Løken is the director of Research and Development (R&D) at Østfoldmuseene. She also leads Borgarsyssel Museum, which is a cultural history museum located in Sarpsborg. Løken holds a PhD in science education from the University of Oslo. Her research interest is interdisciplinary with a particular focus on gender, diversity and co-creation research. Løken is trained in social anthropology, special needs education, communication studies and action research. She has years of experience from both the private and governmental sectors related to counselling, educational research and science communication, both as an editor and a writer.

Marianne Løken

Science educator (PhD) and Director of Research and Development (R&D) at Østfoldmuseene

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Hege Steen Langvik

Curator and archivist at Østfoldmuseene

Hege Steen Langvik is...

Bio to be added

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Olaug N. Økland

Curator at Dalane Folkemuseum and Jøssingfjord Science Museum

Olaug N. Økland is..

Bio to be added


Architect and Project Leader at ROM for kunst og arkitektur, Producer of TiO2's research exhibitions

Solveig Tjetland

Solveig Tjetland is...

Bio to be added


Gjertrud Steinsvåg

Director of ROM for kunst og arkitektur, co-curator of TiO2's research exhibitions

Gjertrud Steinsvåg (1978) is a Norwegian curator, and has since 2019 been appointed as director at the Norwegian interdisciplinary plattform ROM for kunst og arkitektur. She has been Director of International projects at Norwegian Crafts (2011-2015) and program coordinator at  Oslo National Academy of the Arts (2015-2019). Steinsvåg has curated exhibition at institutions like National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (Trondheim), Galleri f15 (Moss), Piken på Broen (Kirkenes), Kunstnerforbundet (Oslo), Officinet (Copenhagen), and site specific public projects in Dublin. Projects also includes writing and editing publications and exhibition catalogues with collaborative partners like Gallerif15 (Moss), KODE museum (Bergen), Suzhou Jinji Lake Art Museum (Suzhou), Kunstforum (Oslo), Feil forlag and Norwegian Crafts / Arnoldsche Publishing.

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Architect and technician at ROM for kunst og arkitektur, Exhibition architecture for TiO2's research exhibitions

Enrique Roura

Enrique Roura is the head of operation and production at ROM for kunst og arkitektur. In the TiO2 project, he designs exhibition architecture and is a part of the exhibition production team. Before/previous to starting at ROM, he worked as art –and magazine technician at MUNCH and The National Museum (in Oslo). Enrique holds a 5-year diploma in architecture from Mexico and a Master of Fine Art degree from NTNU. In parallell to his engagement at ROM, Enrique also works as an artist. 

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(Bui Quy Son & Paul-Antoine Lucas)

 Research-by-design: graphic design, exhibition design, visual identity 

Exutoire (Bui Quy Son & Paul-Antoine Lucas) is a transdisciplinary critical spatial practice based between Hanoi and Oslo. By means of teaching, editorial, curatorial, and design work, they investigate social, spatial, and material justice. Their practice has a research-through-design approach, focusing on the making of spaces, objects, social infrastructure, and knowledge platforms that bring forth underrepresented and marginalized discourses. Their research topics include queer methodologies in architecture and design, liberatory and emancipatory pedagogies, trans-normativity in public space, and the right to housing, advocating for a more equitable architecture and the common good.

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Hans Edward Hammonds

Co-founder of Velferden with Maiken Stene: 

Hans Edward Hammonds (1983) is a visual artist and art mediator based in Stavanger, Norway. Hammonds holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland in New Zealand. In his artistic practice, he explores forms of cooperation, interaction, relational aesthetics, and human beings’ relationship with nature. His work has been exhibited at the National Museum, the Stavanger Art Museum, the Annual Autumn Exhibition and the Vestlandsutstillingen.


Maiken Stene

Co-founder of Velferden with Hans Edward Hammonds: 

Maiken Stene (1983) lives and works in Sokndal, Norway. She has her education from Konsthögskolan in Malmö and The Cooper Union school of Art in New York. Stene's art is based on her personal and societal relationship with the landscape. Stene is best known for her painting practice, which she shows in the form of scenographic installations mixed with video, sculpture, text and an academic programme. Stene has previously exhibited at, among others, Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter, Akershus Art Center, Stavanger Art Museum, LNM, Oslo Art Association, Hå Gamle Prestegard and Uppsala Art Museum. Her works have been purchased by, among others, the Stavanger Art Museum, REV-Ocean, the Danish Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Culture, Equinor, the Statens Konstråd and several private collections.

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MaryClaire Pappas
Art Historian (PhD) and affiliated researcher in TiO2: How Norway Made the World Whiter

MaryClaire Pappas holds a PhD from Indiana University and an MA degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She currently works in the Department of Drawing and Prints at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and has previously worked as a researcher at the Munch Museum in Oslo. In December 2023, MaryClaire will join the art history faculty at Savannah College of Art and Design. Her current book project Somatic Citizenship: Painting and Pedagogy in Norway and Sweden, 1910-1925 explores the intersection of color theory, national identity, and affect in modern painting. 


Kshitija Mruthyunjaya
Architect/designer and affiliated researcher in TiO2: The Materiality of White 

Kshitija Mruthyunjaya is a trained architect with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture, an M.A. in Architectural Regeneration and Development, a Master in Architecture (RIBA Part II) and an M.A. in Design. She currently works independently in three areas — research led writing, exhibitions and pedagogical development to investigate unexplored relationships between human and more-than-human entities.

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Carl Gürgens
Graphic designer

Senior designer at BOLD Scandinavia, graphic designer of Johnslien's White to Earth (2020)

Carl Gürgens is a graphic designer who works with brands and editorial projects for large and small clients in Norway and abroad. Gürgens works as a senior designer at BOLD Scandinavia, he works freelance with book design, and he teaches at various universities and colleges. 

Gürgens' design of Marte Johnslien’s artist book From White to Earth (2020) was bestowed with the award of Norway’s most beautiful book in 2021

Scientific Committee 

The research project 'TiO2: How Norway Made the World Whiter' has a scientific reference group which regularly meets throughout the project (2023 - 2028):

Prof. Kjetil Fallan (University of Oslo), Prof. Peder Anker (NYU), Jukka Savolainen (Director at the Design Museum in Helsinki), Associate Professor Lise Skytte Jakobsen (Aarhus University), and Prof. Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen (Royal Danish Academy).

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