Electronic Conceptions of the Metamorphic
Please join us for the one-night symposium “Electronic Conceptions of the Metamorphic” organised by Andreas Kühne, concluding his BEK residency!
Time: 30 May 2023, 19:00–21:30
Place: BEK, C. Sundts gate 55
Free entry, no sign-up required!
What is energy, where does it come from and how do we relate to it? In large, energy is something that can be contained or viewed as a connection, a radiant or transfer, between multiple entities or materials. In everyday life our direct connection with nature as a source of energy has become less obvious with ongoing capitalism and the advancement of technology over the past decades as the interfaces and products we use on a daily basis and the lobby behind those products are not a direct visual representation of the resources, such as fossil fuel, minerals and water –and not to mention, labour – used to produce them. In the progressing information age, climate change has become a serious threat forcing a shift in the industry towards renewable energy and a general rethinking of our consumption behavior.
Arguably, there is a general misconception of energy practice as a continuation of a circuit in the way many societies – due to industrialisation and urbanisation – relate to nature, which generates a feedback of geo-political aggressions, climate change and imbalance between and within people. Electrical circuits only work when they are complete circuits. Perhaps, we could think of ourselves and our relation to nature as part of a large circuit that is about energy flowing from, through and towards in circuits. How do we foster a good balance and refrain from short circuits that lead to spills and catastrophe?
As a field recordist who records present sounds as well as creates sounds as a dialogue with on-site objects, Kühne is interested in this duality of industrial and social superimpositions on nature. He recently visited one of Europe’s largest quartz quarries in Tana – Deanu together with artist and filmmaker Polina Medvedeva, as part of a research residency at Pikene På Broen. The incomprehensible scale and expansion plans of today’s mineral excavation obtained a very real reflection of the deafening rate of the modern day demand and supply chain, as hundreds of reindeer were drawn back from approaching the open pit mine in their natural habitat. During the BEK residency, Kühne has utilised the electronics lab to research the properties of quartz and create prototypes for interactive works that function as a metaphor for the metamorphic processes as imposed by humans and to continue the necessary dialogue on our relation to nature and the agents within. Alongside this process, he has recorded field improvisations at both abandoned and operating hydropower stations.
During the event on 30 May, (un)finished prototypes are presented alongside video documentation of field work. The main programme consists of live talks with artists who have been working with set themes for many years: New Mineral Collective’s works practice “counter-prospecting” in opposition to the exhaustion of land and its inhabitants, and has taken interest in the invisible and hidden politics and economics of mining in Northern Norway. Also artists Nanna Elvin Hansen and Eliza Bożek have been exploring these complexities by tracing a supply chain of minerals down to the quartz quarry in Tana, from which they’ve done a three day live radio broadcast. Together with Ana Brotas and Viviana Cárdenas, current BEK resident Karina Sletten examines the social relation people have to active and decommissioned mining sites, and how the extracted minerals affect landscapes and places.
Taking the shape of a one-evening symposium, Kühne has invited the artists to speak about their works and (research) methodologies. A selection of their works will be screened/played alongside the talk, and we’ll finish the evening with a group conversation moderated by Polina Medvedeva.
BEK RESIDENT AND INITIATOR
Multi-media artist Andreas Kühne explores non-idiomatic field improvisation as a methodology for interdisciplinary and site-specific art production, presentation and participation. The radical properties of improvisation, adhocism and DIY practices and their affiliations with electronic music are some of the driving motives behind his practice as an artist and educator creating electroacoustic music, collaborative audiovisual performances and interactive installations. He is a doctoral research fellow at the Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø – Romsa.
New Mineral Collective is a platform that looks at contemporary landscape politics to better understand the nature and extent of human interaction with the earth’s surface. As an organism, NMC infiltrates the extractive industry with alternative forces such as desire, body mining and acts of counter prospecting. Their work has been shown extensively nationally and internationally. Since 2015, the artists Emilija Škarnulytė (born in Vilinus, Lithuania; lives in Tromsø, Norway) & Tanya Busse (born in Moncton, NB, Canada; lives in Tromsø, Norway) run NMC.
Nanna Elvin Hansen is an artist and filmmaker based in Copenhagen, whose practice often has focused on questions related to politics of feminism and migration. These questions are mostly researched through collective and collaborative process of film, video og sound production. She recently graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where she was studying at the Media Art School with Angela Melitopoulos and Jane Jin Kaisen.
Eliza Bożek (moltamole) is a Copenhagen based artist with a background in electronic music and performing arts – oriented sound design, working within the field of composition, installation, dance, theatre and digital art.
Karina Sletten is a multidisciplinary artist working with sound, performance, video and relational aesthetics. Her projects involve the architectural meeting points of coexistence between people, nature and objects of human design, often using abandoned places as performative sites or objects of further research.
Polina Medvedeva is an artist and filmmaker based between Amsterdam and Bergen. Working with audiovisual installation, film and performance, she explores practices often considered “informal” or “non-conformist,” embracing the complexities through which vernacular and lived experience transcend rigid categories of inside/outside, belonging/exclusion and formality/informality. Her focus on the tactics of civil disobedience and mechanisms of self-sufficiency – improvised, passed through generations as oral histories, smuggled in through migration – speaks of the (im)possibilities of existing within while being against systems of oppression.
BEK’s space unfortunately is not wheelchair accessible. Please send us an email at email@example.com if you’re using a wheelchair, and we’ll do our best to facilitate your needs.
Our space has all gender toilet facilities. Service dogs are welcome. We also provide the option of a quiet room.
Image information: Photos and graphics by Andreas Kühne.