With formats spanning from multichannel installations to programming language, researching issues from inherent bias in AI to the impact of deep sea mining: A total of 17 local and international artists have immersed themselves in their projects during residencies in BEK’s studios and spaces this fall.
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The Bergen-based artist Emily Adomah worked on her project pollution in the sound studio, examining the relationship between people and sound pollution. By approaching background sounds in different landscapes, she explores how one consciously or unconsciously accepts these, and the emotional response that can come from being confronted with these sounds. In her residency she is composing for a sound piece, using field recordings, and live processing of these recordings with vocal delay and looping. At BEK summer party, Adomah performed a live-set with some of the new materials.
Pavel Sterec worked in BEK’s video and sound studios developing a video essay for his multimedia project Stakhanovites of Transformation, which he also screened excerpts from at BEK summer party. The project documents and reflects on the transformation of the coal mine Novaky into a mushroom farm. In his body of work, Sterec combines performance, object, installation, photography and other media in a variety of ways. His interest circle around the issues of research, science, museums and archives, social structures and our dependency on tangible or symbolic capital. Sterec’s residency at BEK was organized in collaboration with Are (Are-events.org) in Prague.
In the sound studio, Lorie Ballage recorded «Guided meditation» for her new projects. A visual artist, Ballage works with ceramic sculptures and installations on watery themes. Taking inspiration from her scuba diving practice and daily meditations, she develops interventions that encourage immersive contemplations, allowing to find softness and stillness amidst the noises in modern life. Ballage also invited artist and composer Mathias Loose to collaborate with her in the studio.
August 28–Sept 01
Sabine Popp was working in the electronic lab, testing hydrophones and contact mics, as well as Arduino hardware. Popp focused on developing her understanding of settings and coding in Arduino after a previous Arduino-workshop in May. After first working periods with a company developing maritime technology and previous work with marine biologists, she investigates Arduino’s potential for playing around, monitoring and activating devices.
TAKURO MIZUTA LIPPIT A.K.A. DJ SNIFF
Turntablist, curator and producer Takuro Mizuta Lippit a.k.a. dj sniff worked in our sound studio as part of his visit in Bergen for the second edition of the event series Bulldozer at Østre. Combining DJing, instrument design and free improvisation, his work engages with diverse forms of sonic media, ranging from archival collections of vinyl records to real-time digitally captured sounds during performances.
MARCEL DEL CASTILLO
Artist Marcel del Castillo worked in the video studio, editing the video essay Memorial y Conocimiento; El Agua de las Acequias (Memory and Knowledge; The water of Acequias).
The field work of his research for this essay took place in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, which suffered an intense drought in 2021 and 2022. del Castillo underlines the cultural and social importance of water through the construction of visual stories and the investigation of the relationships and approaches to water of specific communities. He showed excerpts of his work-in-progress at BEK for B-open.
18 September–1 October
Sound artist Al Skua worked in the sound studio and electronic lab, exploring recordings made with Skua’s self-constructed electromagnetic field microphones. During B-open, visitors could test Skua’s microphones, listening to the sound of electromagnetic fields.
ELÍSABET BIRTA SVEINSDÓTTIR
25 September–15 October 2023
In their residency, performance and visual artist Elísabet Birta Sveinsdóttir worked on a new video installation with the working title Love Bear. The project consists of stock videos and animated material as well as music in a three channel video installation. The work explores a relationship with a bear through different human perspectives. It is a declaration of love but simultaneously uncovers darker aspects of the bear’s existence within the installation. The erotic gaze of the music video is mixed with the more scientific lens of nature documentary through extreme close ups and slow motion. Biotechnology and pornography are intertwined in the body of the bear, which is perpetually disassembled and reassembled to the point of decay. During the residency, Sveinsdóttir also worked on their performance project Billy & Sister with Billie Meiniche.
SÉBASTIEN ROBERT & MARK IJZERMAN
Sébastien Robert and Mark IJzerman were in a residency working on Another Deep – their immersive art project created to visually and sonically explore the impending deep-sea mining in the Svalbard region. The project aims to bring visibility to potential environmental, geopolitical, and indigenous impacts resulting from the mining operations. The outcome of Another Deep will be an audiovisual live show, and Sébastien and Mark worked on the sonic part of the show in BEK’s sound studio.
NICOLA GUNN & THOROLF THUESTAD
Nicola Gunn and Thorolf Thuestad were in a residency in the project space to work on multichannel sound for The Interpreters, Part 1 in preparation for premiering the immersive sound installation–performance at Meteor theatre festival. The Interpreters is a collaboration between choreographer, writer and performancemaker Nicola Gunn, sound artist Thorolf Thuestad, architect Cristian Stefanescu (a-works architecture) and lighting designer Emma Valente. The 3-part, cross-artform project combines performance, experimental sound and video installation that makes visible the dramaturgy of translation and the act of interpretation.
GABRIELE DE SETA
Researcher Gabriele de Seta worked in the video studio on Latent China, a video essay documenting an ethnographic walkthrough of a machine learning model. In this work, de Seta weaves a documentary narrative about a country – China – by combining videos generated by a text-to-video model developed by Alibaba, one of the Chinese tech companies currently developing AI systems. By prompting the model to generate videos about various aspects of Chinese society, culture and history, de Seta explores the representational biases, predominant patterns and emerging aesthetics that are encoded in these new tools.
16 October–11 November
Visual artist Kjersti Sundland worked in the sound studio, processing sound recordings from the Bekhilderen grotto. The grotto is only accessible at ebb tide, and Sundland recorded there in collaboration with Mekdes Weldehanna Shebata and Martin Mikkelsen, with local guide Arthur Selstø.
JONAS BEILE & SUGANO MATSUSAKI
3 –23 November
Jonas Beile and Sugano Matsusaki had a residency across spaces, adapting and re-editing their video works GMT +9 and Untitled.BTS in preparation for two different group exhibitions: GMT +9 was selected for Regionale 24: Concerto finale at Kunsthaus Baselland 26.11.2023–8.1.2024 and Untitled.BTS for Unscharfe Realitäten / Indistinct Realities at HEK 25.11–31.12.2023, both in Basel, Switzerland.
27 November–10 December
In his residency in the sound studio, Bruvik explored programming techniques and composing using the Shnth instrument and the Shlisp language. The time was specifically focused towards building patches that utilises the LISP layer of the compiler to generate code and interacting with multiple units in a 4-channel soundspace.
Photos: 1) Photo: Sébastien Robert & Mark IJzerman 2) Emily Adomah in the sound studio, photo: BEK 3) Pavel Sterec presents his work at the summer party, photo: BEK 4) Still from Stakhanovites of Transformation by Pavel Sterec (2023) 5) Lorie Ballage in the sound studio, photo: Mathias Loose 6) DJ Sniff in concert at Østre, by Bulldozer, photo: Mila Elisabeth Larvoll 7) Marcel del Castillo showing Memorial y Conocimiento; El Agua de las Acequias during B-Open, photo: Marcel del Castillo 8) Al Skua working in the electronics lab, photo: BEK 9) Still from Love Bear by Elísabet Birta Sveinsdóttir (2023) 10) Photo: Sébastien Robert & Mark IJzerman 11) Nicola Gunn: The Interpreters. Photo: Atle Auran 12) Still from Latent China, Gabriele de Seta (2023) 13) In a boat with Arthur Ingebrigt Selstø, Martin Mikkelsen and Mekdes Weldehanna Shebeta, photo: Kjersti Sundland 14) Perspective of the cave at Bekhilderen by Mekdes Weldehanna Shebeta, photo: Kjersti Sundland 15) Jonas Beile and Sugano Matsusaki in the video studio, photo: Sugano Matsusaki 16) Still from GMTplus9 by Jonas Beile and Sugano Matsusaki (2023) 17) Thomas Bruvik in the sound studio, photo: Thomas Bruvik