O.F.F. - Oslo Flaneur Festival 2016

For Oslo Flaneur Festival 2016, which took place between 23 - 25 June, I produced a small digital slideshow "A Selection from The Museum of Traces". The images in the slideshow are from a large, and ever-growing collection of photographs usually taken on walks in and around a variety of cities where I have lived, worked or visited. Some of the images belong to other projects such as the image series Mazine (2009 - 2010)  and some are simply part of an archive of material that is the basis for the development of various projects and events, which have included the concert/performance "Muffled Cyphers" with the Langham Research Centre.


The Atmospherics 5: Stop, Hey, Watch That Sound - exhibition opening

Video of the improvised performance by Bergen Barokk during the opening of the exhibition on 18th. June. Click on the photo to go to the video.

Installation at Sogn & Fjordane Kunstmuseum


The Atmospherics part 5: Stop, Hey, Watch That Sound!

The latest installation in the series The Atmospherics by Trond Lossius and Jeremy Welsh opened on 18 June at Sogn & Fjordane Art Museum in Førde. The new installation is entitled "Stop, Hey, Watch That Sound!" and is the largest to date in this series. Audio is played back through a 20 loudspeaker surround system, with 10 speakers mounted at floor level and 10 high up on the gallery walls, 7 meters above the floor. Video is displayed on 8 projections and 2 Ultra HD 4K tv screens. During the opening, Bergen Barokk played a short improvised concert, responding to the sound and images in the installation.

Imagery and sound for this installation was recorded during several field trips in Sogn & Fjordane, Hardanger, Trøndelag and Lofoten. The soundscape and the image sequences mix material from different locations, so that the result is a hybrid place or space, constructed from details of many different places. All of the videos used in the installation are of different lengths, so that the combination of images changes continually, as does the correspondence between image and sound. 

The Atmospherics began in 2014 and is a further elaboration of themes developed during there research project Re:Place at Bergen Academy of Art & Design in 2012-2013. The project so far has resulted in one short video film, made as a tribute to deceased composer Morten Eide Pedersen, and four previous installations:

The Place Sound Makes In Passing:  Galleri 3,14, Bergen, November 2014
Flags, Flames, Smoke and Bridges: Visningsrom USF, Bergen, December 2014
Til It Rains I'm Gonna Stay Inside: Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall, Arendal, January 2015
And Sometimes The Light Hurts Our Eyes, Heimdal Kunstforening, Trondheim, January 2016

Part 6 of the project is planned for autumn 2016, to be shown at a location in Hardanger. More information will follow!


Pink Shoelaces and Expanded Cinema

It has been a busy couple of weeks, this early April. First I was in Kabelvåg, Lofoten, to hold a course on Expanded Cinema and Video Installation at Nordlands Kunst og Filmskole, then in Trondheim for Pink Shoelaces, an exhibition in public space that I co-curated with David Breida, and that was produced by the group PUNKTET Visningsrom. 15 artists (students & graduates) from Trondheim Academy of Fine Art took part in the exhibition, which also featured lectures and guided tours. The project took place in the area of Trondheim known as Skansen, a public space skirted by the railway and harbour, with a new pedestrian walkway along the edge of the fjord.

Dolphin performance at the harbour edge by Guri Simone Øveraas

Party tent, custom wine labels and 1970's atmosphere by Andreas Wallroth

Light and video installation by Johanna Edgren

Lighthouse: film & video projection in window by Nazare Soares

Sculptures by Per Ellef Eltvedt

Video screening in Skansen Station House by Anders Solberg

Light installation in Skansen Lighthouse by Thea Meinert

Hanging textile work in Skansen Lighthouse by Thea Meinert

Two columns under the railway bridge: sculpture by William Bentsen
Sculpture in the harbour by Sigrid Bøyum

Guided tour and lecture by Simon Harvey

Hanging textile work on the harbour wall by Ida Westberg

Stateless Passport: sculpture by Mujahed Khallaf

Textile landscape image by the fjord: Øyunn Hustveit

Sculpture beside the pedestrian walkway: Per Stian Monsås

The shoes that inspired the exhibition title! Katja Van Etten Jaren

My curator talk (and pink shoelaces!) for the finnissage.

Simon Harvey and  PUNKTET leader Ella Jahr Nygaard at Skansen Station.


VP3 at Kunstgarasjen, Bergen

Today I installed a video projection for a window at Kunstgarasjen, Bergen's new space for contemporary art. It's a back projection onto a three-paned window, set in a concrete wall in the parking area of the building. The imagery is re-edited material from a commissioned work I made in 2014 for St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim. The screening is part of a new show at Kunstgarasjen that opens on Friday 1. April. The work is entitled "VP3" (Video Painting nr. 3)


MWB (Music Without Borders) in Finnmark

The artistic research project Music Without Borders, based at the University of Agder, Kristiansand, is now in its second year. In mid-March, Bjørn Ole Rasch, project leader, and myself travelled to Kautokeino in Finnmark to record two Sami vocalists at Arctic Studios, together with musician/producer Roger Ludvigsen. The core of the project is series of recordings of traditional folk music from Setersdal in the south of Norway, and each new iteration is a response to these recordings. So far, musicians from Asia and from the Middle East have responded to the recordings, in many different ways. This time we were working with musicians representing a very different tradition in Norwegian music, coming from the far north, in the county of Finnmark. Kautokeino is a small town on the Finnmark Plateau, a centre of cultural activity for the Sami population and it lies in the midst of a spectacular landscape. Both musicians we recorded on this occasion are highly accomplished exponents of the Sami vocal tradition known as "Joik" - deeply immersed in the tradition of this music, but equally able to improvise and to respond directly to the recordings that were played to them. It was a privilege and an inspiring experience to work with Roger Ludvigsen,  Per Tor Turi and Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska!

Arctic Studios, Kautokeino

Overview of Kautokeino from the top of the old ski jumping structure


A + R (again)

Having spent the last few days reviewing applications for a professorship focussed on artistic research, I'm once again reflecting upon this issue and my own position with regards to it. By now, artistic research within higher arts education has become a standard and prominent feature of the academic programmes of arts universities and art academies, and a number of orthodoxies have started to feature. One of these is the tendency toward Phd programmes that are not radically different from standard academic/scientific Phd's, where art practice is often a lesser component of the research undertaken, and another, the so-called Norwegian Model, places artistic practice at the centre with (theoretical) reflection as a support and a contextualising methodology.

I look at my own current practice which occurs both within and outside of academia, and consider to what extent it can be described as artistic research, while it still remains art practice framed within a professional art environment. My long-standing and ongoing collaboration with sound artist & composer Trond Lossius bears many of the characteristics that have become hallmarks of artistic research projects within institutions; it is collaborative, experimental, investigative, focussed upon elaboration of specific themes or questions, and it generates reflection through the process of developing, producing and exhibiting trans-disciplinary artworks.

Our current project "The Atmospherics" is now entering its fifth phase, leading toward an exhibition at Sogn og Fjordane Museum of Art in Førde (Norway) in June 2016. This will be our largest installation to date and will be entitled "The Atmospherics part 5: Stop, Hey, Watch That Sound". It will comprise multiple video projections and a surround sound installation, featuring material recorded on field trips through Western Norway since 2014. Completion of this new installation will represent a nodal point in the project, where a thorough documentation of the whole project to date will become a priority, and it will provide vantage point from which to reflect over the processes, problems, investigations and aesthetic solutions that have characterised the project so far. I feel we have now developed a set of methods that are robust and ultimately transferable, so that they can be exported to future projects, and can also form the basis of academic work, both in terms of teaching and research. The crucial factor is that this potentiality arises from the extended period of creative work which the project represents. For us, the research is deeply embedded within practice and reflection is enabled by the experience of working.

The Atmospherics part 4: And Sometimes The Light Hurts Our Eyes. Heimdal Kunstforening, January 2016.