Fell, Treanor and von Hausswolff on a field trip to Svalbard

Svalbard 03.06.2024 12.06.2024


BEK has invited Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Mark Fell and Rian Treanor to a 2 week research trip to Longyearbyen and Pyramiden on Svalbard, collecting and analysing material around the settlements, industries and scientific stations, placed midst in the hostile Arctic landscape, as well as in the center of various geopolitical and geostrategic blueprints.

One of the central questions behind the theoretical and practical research conducted by BEK is how we relate to surrounding environments and contexts through practice, and how methodologies and tools that we are using shape these relations. In June 2024, BEK, together with the invited artists, was zooming onto this question during a 2 week research trip to Longyearbyen and Pyramiden on Svalbard, while exploring the settlements, abandoned industries and advanced scientific stations, placed midst in the hostile Arctic landscape, as well as in the center of various geopolitical and geostrategic blueprints. 

During the residency, the artists were collecting and analysing materials through field recording, filming, and conversations with local residents and organizations: from Artica Svalbard and Svalbard Museum to Longyearbyen lokalstyre and LPO Architects Svalbard; from power station Fossil to EISCAT Svalbard radar; and from mountain tops around Longyearbyen to glaciers and valleys of Billefjord.

CM von Hausswolff was focusing on field recording in abandoned mine shafts and buildings, using various types of microphones, in order to analyze the recordings for EVP (electronic voice phenomena) results. He was also, through a series of interviews, looking into the political system and history on Svalbard, in order to develop a new iteration of his conceptual art project Elgaland-Vargaland, analyzing and criticizing the ideas and mechanisms behind the concept of a nation-state.

Mark Fell and Rian Treanor are in particular interested in bringing together perspectives from psycho-geography, land art, sound based practices, procedural performance, and contemporary philosophy. During the residency they were approaching the local context with a specific focus on the following considerations: the relationship between time, sound and landscape; the patterns of being that exist between ourselves and the landscape; the implications of consequences of these patterns of being in terms of environmental care, sustainability and responsibility.

Carl Michael von Hausswolff lives and works in Stockholm. Since the end of the 70s, von Hausswolff has worked as a composer using recording technology as his main instrument and as a visual artist using light projections, film/video and still photography as well as other media. His interests spans from social environmental issues and political statements to abstract penetration and supra/sub-reality. He has exhibited at dOCUMENTA (Kassel), the biennials in Venice, Moscow, Liverpool, Istanbul, Sarajevo etc and in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Nicosia, Kaliningrad, Tokyo, London, New York, Philadelphia, etc. His music has been played in festivals such as Sonar (Barcelona), CTM (Berlin), L’audible (Paris), el niche Aural (Mexico City), MUTEK, (Montreal) etc. and released works on record by labels like RasterNoton (Berlin), Touch (London), Laton (Wien), iDeal (Goteborg) and MonoType (Warszaw).

Mark Fell is a multidisciplinary artist based in Rotherham (UK). Recognised as being one of the most compelling and influential electronic artists in the world, his practice draws upon electronic music subcultures, experimental film, contemporary philosophy and radical politics. Over the past 30 years Fell’s output has grown into a significant body of work – from early electronic sound works and recorded pieces, to installation, critical texts, curatorial projects, educational systems and choreographic performances. Fell´s recent works, drawing from sacred geometries to programming structures, underline his particular interest in non-linear systems and structures, and our complex interrelationships with them. 

Rian Treanor re-imagines club culture, experimental art and computer music, presenting an insightful and compelling musical world of fractured and interlocking components. His debut album ‘ATAXIA’ for Planet Mu in 2019 established him as both a disruptive and essential new voice in British underground club music. His latest album ‘File Under UK Metaplasm’ takes inspiration from his residency at the Nyege Nyege collective’s Boutique Studio in Kampala in 2018, incorporating the high-def bass weight of his home town Sheffield with the enigmatic energy of Tanzanian Singeli and Footwork. Using the programming language Max/MSP he develops bespoke software to explore extended rhythmic techniques and algorithmic processes, building devices that enable spontaneous pattern modulation within various collaborations, workshops, live performances and installations.

The residency is part of New Perspectives for Action, a project by Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by The European Union.

Photos: BEK