Chronology

Published

20 Years of BEK – Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts: A Chronology

Written by Dušan Barok on the occasion of BEK’s 20th anniversary, 2020.

Jump to: 2000 · 2005 · 2010 · 2015

Before 2000

1987. The artist-run complex Krydderfabrikken is established in a former spice factory situated in the Nygård neighbourhood in the centre of Bergen. The self-organised space houses artists’ studios, music studios and ad-hoc gallery spaces and quickly becomes the region’s melting pot for subculture and underground featuring exhibitions, concerts, raves and other DIY events. It is also associated with Bergen’s theatre milieu that is emerging around groups such as Baktruppen and Verdensteatret that respond to the performative, action-like elements of Fluxus and postmodern postdramatic forms of theatre as well as the ethos of amateurism and ‘no-skill’ of the Geniale Dilletanten subculture. This ethos assumes that everyone should be able to do everything, mixing their talents and skills in a non-hierarchical collective working process. Baktruppen’s first production takes place this same year in a 100–metre long tunnel under a nearby park as part of the Teatertreff festival that would later establish BIT Teatergarasjen. Closely related is the movement to equalise the importance of various artistic media in the creative process. For example, this same year, Maia Urstad and Sissel Lillebostad show their first audiovisual installation as part of the Høstutstillingen, in which the sound and the image play equally constitutive roles. They would soon have their studios in Krydderfabrikken and show work there as well. The factory’s music studio Hindu Lyd frequented by black metal bands, is run by Gisle Frøysland, a guitarist from the famed post-punk and new wave band Alle Tiders Duster, or Dustene. In addition to drum machines and synthesizers, Frøysland is well versed in computers and MIDI since his time in the band in the early 1980s. Finding himself in the milieu where musicians cross paths with visual and theatre artists, Frøysland embarks on working with video, installation and sound sculpture and later enrols at Bergen’s art academy. He would also start working with Baktruppen. #theatre #music #sound #video #installation #collaboration #milieu

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ckD-AWzFYs
Alle Tiders Duster have their origins in the city’s punk milieu and were among the more experimental new wave bands in Norway at the time. They participated in various performance events and appeared in the mystery film Carl Gustav, gjengen og parkeringsbandittene (1982) about a group of children who one day discover that playgrounds have been converted to parking lots.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WplXwFEbrgo
In the early 1980s, finishing her art studies, Maia Urstad played guitar and synth in the ska/new-wave band Program 81. This music video is followed by a February 1982 TV interview with Urstad and Marianne “Pjusken” Sletten.
https://ia802806.us.archive.org/10/items/H220-ThePropellerhead403-2/H220-ThePropellerhead403.mp4
Gisle Frøysland’s work Propellerhead installed at Krydderfabrikken.

1993. Two production-oriented centres for art and technology emerge in Oslo. Originally established in the mid-1960s as a printmaking workshop, Atelier Nord now begins building a video and computer lab. Five years later, after Kristin Bergaust takes over as artistic director, the graphic arts workshop closes down and electronic art becomes its main focus. Parallel to this, in 1993, the Norwegian Network for Technology, Acoustics and Music (NoTAM) is established at the University of Oslo with composer Jøran Rudi as managing director. The centre provides studios, labs and technical assistance for electroacoustic music composition and sonic research. NoTAM would also become an important provider of dial-up internet connections and serve as a webhost for cultural workers and initiatives in the country. The two centres continue a tradition which had been cut short when the Henie Onstad Art Centre near Oslo dismantled its music studio in the early 1980s and its video workshop in 1989. #video #music #electronicart #internet #server

1995. Gisle Frøysland participates in a workshop in the Intermedia Department at Trondheim Art Academy (KiT). The workshop facilitated by media activist David Garcia results in an hour-long broadcast on cable TV in Amsterdam. Frøysland would participate in several workshops at KiT and get connected to other artists working with new media. The department established in 1990 by British-born video artist Jeremy Welsh has been unique in Norwegian higher education in art for its critical engagement with electronic media such as video, sound, internet and software. Its graduates would include Helge Sten (‘96), HC Gilje (‘99), Alexander Rishaug (‘00), Ellen Røed (‘01) and Jørgen Larsson (‘04). #video #tacticalmedia #electronicart

🔗 Jeremy Welsh interviewed by Marit Paasche for the Video Art Archive, 2013-2014 (in Norwegian).

1995, June. The Distributed Real-Time Groove Network, or Dragon, goes online. Initially started by two London-based musicians in late 1994 as the Res Rocket Surfer Project, it has served as a mailing list for exchanging song ideas and sound files and by now has about one thousand members around the world. The new website, created by two Chicago University students, takes the experience further, letting users enter a room, pick up an instrument and sequence it on a drum machine style grid. They can share this with others in the group and, by chaining these patterns together, create songs as if sharing a virtual studio. In other words, Dragon is a virtual environment that enables multi-user, real-time music-making across the internet: a ‘midi-MOO’. Early members include Ulf Knudsen and Per Platou who join from Oslo via NoTAM. An integral part of the experience is a video chat connecting musicians’ studios and bedrooms via CUSeeMe, recently launched as the first internet video conferencing service. This experience of the internet as a social space would continue to shape their artistic practice from this point on. #internet #realtime #music #video #collaboration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpzHQR-skEQ
A 1996 TV feature about the Res Rocket Surfer Project, Dragon and the implications that online jamming might have for making music.

1996, March. The Henie Onstad Art Centre near Oslo stages the six-week long exhibition Electra 96: prosjekt for elektroniske medier exploring technology in relation to art, architecture and design. The first exhibition of its kind in Norway and among the largest in Europe, it features over 30, primarily interactive artworks by the likes of Nam June Paik, Art + Com, Ulrike Gabriel, Knowbotic Research and Bill Seaman drawn from the milieus of V2_ and DEAF festival in Rotterdam, ZKM in Karlsruhe and Ars Electronica in Linz. They are joined by the mid-career generation of Norwegian video artists and photographers such as Rolf Aamot, Marianne Heske and Kjell Bjørgeengen alongside emerging talents such as Espen Gangvik, Vibeke Tandberg and Ståle Stenslie. The museum has put in place, among other things, a high-end Silicon Graphics computer and a web server to support the artworks. The ambitious exhibition is a success with audiences, however, it leaves the museum with a deep deficit and is also largely criticised for its uncritical embrace of new technology. In the live programme, two ‘cyber’-theatre performances stand out. In the first, M@ggie’s Love Bytes, Per Platou and Ulf Knudsen of Nood join forces with choreographer Amanda Steggell, three dancers and a cast of remote ‘lovers’ interacting through video conferencing and onsite with the persona of M@ggie who traverses the field between virtual sex and cyberfeminist spin. The ensemble would continue their internet-aware performance work as Motherboard for over a decade. A week later, the Bergen-based theatre troupe Baktruppen presents its play Tonight 🙂, a “hypertextual lecture on industry, technology, time and memory on 350 sq metre synthetic carpets.” Gisle Frøysland has an ‘expert’ role in the group and engages in an internet relay chat (IRC) on stage. Frøysland also has his video Joystuck in the exhibition. #exhibition #theatre #dance #performance #electronicart #internet #realtime

🔗 A video showreel from Motherboard projects, including footage from a 1999 staging of M@ggie’s Love Bytes on Videokunstarkivet (requires account).

🔗 The September 1994 premiere of Baktruppen’s Tonight 🙂 at Hamburg’s Kampnagel theatre which commissioned the piece (link to Vimeo).

1997, April. Atelier Nord launches an internet server and offers services to artists in Norway via an open letter. The centre is undergoing a shift in direction from printmaking towards electronic arts and by now has a computer and video lab as well as an online gallery. It comes at a time when ‘cyberspace’ is capturing the imagination of many artists, offering new modes of expression enabled by liveness, interactivity, multimedia and digitality. Net-based art has emerged and the web and the internet are soon discussed as artistic media on the pages of national visual art periodicals such as Billedkunst, UKS-Forum for Samtidskunst and Kunstnett Norge. #netart #server

1997, 7–15 June. The Kunstnernes Hus (the Artists’ House) in Oslo stages the exhibition e-on. Following Electra, it is the second major exhibition dedicated to electronic art in Norway. It is held on the occasion of a large-scale international conference on cyberspace, 6cyberconf, organised by Morten Søby at the University of Oslo with media scholar and trans activist Sandy Stone and attended by 200 participants. Among other works at the exhibition, Motherboard presents the culmination of the project now titled LawHat al-umm, a performative installation bridging the real and the virtual working with references from Islamic and Arabic cultures. Developed across several months in tandem with emerging video artists Ellen Røed and HC Gilje and three dancers, the work has manifested in a range of different environments including an artist-run gallery cafe, an art museum and a rave in a night club and yields methods that would prove formative to the participating artists. #exhibition #electronicart

1997, 10–12 October. A seminar on electronic art is held as part of the Screens festival organised by the Intermedia Department at Trondheim Art Academy, at which Kristin Bergaust and representatives of the Arts Council Norway are also in attendance. The discussion revolves around the question of infrastructural support for the field of electronic arts in Norway, yielding two possible scenarios: to build a strong national centre in Oslo, or to build a network of smaller centres across the country. The Arts Council would establish the art and new technology scheme (KNYT) the following year and initiate the open call exhibition Virtuell virkelighet (1999) in Oslo’s Kunstnernes Hus to stimulate cross-disciplinary approaches to new technology from traditional contexts, and start a working group that would produce the important Skjønnheten og utstyret report published two days after the show is dismantled. #electronicart #seminar #culturalpolitics

1998. Despite large protests, the Krydderfabrikken is closed down to give way to municipal plans to turn it into a residential zone. Gisle Frøysland as well as Sissel Lillebostad are among the many artists left without studios, workshops and communal spaces. #milieu

1998. The Kunstnerverksteder C. Sundtsgate 55 (CS55) is established in Bergen on the initiative of two regional artist unions (Visual Artists’ Association Hordaland, or BKFH, and Norwegian Crafts Western Norway, or NKVN) as a co-operative for professional artists working with fine and applied art. The leading forces behind the initiative are board leaders of the two unions, artists Sissel Lillebostad and Marianne Berg. They help to secure five floors of a nine-storey industrial building adjacent to the Bergen Academy of the Arts (the Academy would stay there for another two decades) for artist studios. The top floor being empty, Sissel Lillebostad suggests to the leader of the Bergen arm of the contemporary music organisation Ny Musikk, Jørgen Larsson, that a composer’s residency programme could be established there. As there is not much interest in the idea among composers, Larsson and Lillebostad weigh other options, among which the Bergen City of Culture 2000 (Kulturby 2000)’s call for starting a media lab seems the most appealing. Larsson, a graduate in classical piano from the Grieg Academy Bergen, is in his mid-20s, with long hair and a fervour for experimental music and free improvisation, yet lacking any footing in video and media labs for that matter. They travel to Oslo together to see how labs like NoTAM and Atelier Nord operate. #milieu #organisation

1998, May. Young composer Trond Lossius, who is in the final stage of his studies of music and composition at Bergen’s Grieg Academy, completes his first sound installation piece, titled Texture I. Over the past months, he has been exploring a visual programming environment for computer music composition and performance called Max. Developed in the famous electroacoustic studio IRCAM (Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music), located in the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the tool has gained popularity among composers and sound artists internationally. This is due to its modular design that allows for the software to be extended with functionality developed by third parties, such as with MSP for sound synthesis. Max finally allows Lossius to approach composing in terms of densities rather than timelines as taught in his classical training. He has been more interested in music as a place or situation rather than the narrative of getting from A to B. Closer to the poetics of Brian Eno, John Cage or Erik Satie, Lossius’s problem is that if A is an interesting place then he would rather stay there. Texture I is an algorithmic composition, with MIDI messages generated in realtime using Max controlling a synthesiser. Through Max, Lossius would get closely involved in the digital sound processing community around the world and interacting through a mailing list, himself working from an unstable internet connection out of Namibia where he has accompanied his partner on her two-year research stay as a fisheries biologist. His activity on the list would catch the attention of his fellow student from the Grieg Academy, Jørgen Larsson, who invites him to get involved in building up the new initiative in Bergen to which Lossius gladly agrees. #music #sound #milieu

https://soundcloud.com/trond-lossius/texture-1

1998, May. Per Platou and Amanda Steggell of Motherboard hold a two-week workshop at the Intermedia Department in Trondheim with Ellen Røed and HC Gilje among participants, both of whom are students in the department and part of Motherboard. The pretext is the ongoing development of an installation featuring “a miniature football pitch inhabited by a host of small, battery driven, three-wheeled robots” responsive to cheering and clapping from the audience. The group employs two new pieces of software developed by Amsterdam-based experimental music laboratory STEIM, BigEye and Image/ine. BigEye, first released three years ago, allows the tracking of objects through space and converts their parameters into midi in real-time. Image/ine was first released the previous year and is co-produced by video pioneer Steina Vasulka who is currently STEIM’s artistic director and employs the software in her performances of the legendary work Violin Power. It is the first piece of software that allows artists to manipulate video in real-time. The two tools open up unforeseen possibilities for both interactive installations and live performance and prove formative to explorations in interactive realtime video processing to unfold in the years to come. This would also foreground the aesthetics of nonlinearity and presence over more representational approaches. Ellen has been making use of both systems since the previous year in her performances with Motherboard and Klubb Kanin. #video #realtime #interaction #software #collaboration

1998, Summer. Jørgen Larsson approaches the only artist who he knows is working with video in Bergen: Gisle Frøysland. Ten years his senior and carrying the reputation of a legend through his involvement in the Dustene and Baktruppen, Frøysland takes Larsson by surprise by readily agreeing to work together. He moves his studio to the top floor of CS55, which also serves as Larsson’s temporary residence and an informal meeting place for a milieu including Grethe Melby, Bjørnar Habbestad, Piotr Pajchel and others as well as a space for ad hoc events. What is important now is to build own infrastructure, to “get the tools into the workers’ house.” They apply to the Arts Council’s KNYT fund with “a project based on the interaction between artwork and the public on the internet,” which is to take shape as a web-based interactive audiovisual platform. It would be in development for the next few years under the heading of pl0t and, although it is never completed, it serves as a vessel for buying equipment for the new centre. Its focal point is a computer server, also called plot, that would immerse the soon-to-be-formed Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts (BEK) in international networks through hosting artist websites, mailing lists, audiovisual streaming and software repositories. #organisation #milieu #software #server

1998, September. Over one hundred people gather at Kvartetet for a live show from Japanese noise legend Merzbow known for his pulsating electronic wall-of-sound performances. It is the largest showing yet for an event of the Bergen’s arm of Ny Musikk, which has recently embarked on staging more noise and free improvisation concerts. This is mainly due to the involvement of John Hegre and Jørgen Larsson from the local scene that also includes figures such as Nils Are Drønen and Jørgen Træen and their projects Public Enema and Der Brief. While their music generally involves more lyrical undertones than the signature harsh sound of their Tokyo counterparts, what they share is a way of treating sound as texture instead of ‘lines’ (as in classical composition). It also builds on a range of local references including post-punk, Krydderfabrikken’s rave-ish electronica, heavy and black metal as well as free improv. Merzbow is supported in concert by Lasse Marhaug from the equally lively scene in Trondheim with the likes of Tore Honoré Bøe (Origami Republika), Helge Sten (Deathprod) and the touring event Klubb Kanin. During this period, Hegre and Marhaug form the acclaimed duo Jazzkammer, which would have a lasting influence on the next generation of musicians. #noise #milieu

1999, March. Jørgen Larsson and Gisle Frøysland travel to Amsterdam and Rotterdam to attend Next 5 Minutes, a tactical media festival co-created by David Garcia. They encounter people from V2_, Waag, XS4All and others involved with media arts and activism internationally, many of whom they know from mailing lists such as Nettime. What is inspiring to them is to see artists building their own software and infrastructure, running servers and mailing lists and also doing ‘net.art’ and other stunts. The Netherlands has a high standing in media arts, counting several organisations focusing on art production such as STEIM, NIMk, V2_ and Waag. Yet, true to their ‘contrary thinking’, Larsson and Frøysland do not envisage building a version of any of them, nor of IRCAM or ZKM, nor of Atelier Nord or NoTAM for that matter, as it makes little sense to emulate something that does not fit the context in Bergen. They see themselves less as a media space and more as an artist collective. #milieu #netart

1999, June. The notorious anonymous artist collective Netochka Nezvanova releases an extension for Max entitled ‘nato.0+55+3d.’ Nato extends Max with video processing functionality and contributes significantly to the surge of interest in generative, real-time and interactive audiovisual arts associated with the software tools Max/MSP, Pure Data/GEM, Image/ine and BigEye and mailing lists such as Max, Pd-list, music-dsp and LEV (Live Experimental Video). For many artists, ‘realtime’ aesthetics mark a sharp departure from the more product-oriented approach of ‘rendering’ electronic music and video. On the other hand, while each software is in continuous development and extendable by users, it is also associated with particular aesthetics recognisable to the trained eye. This would be partly responsible for the emergence of many other platforms in the years to come. Other important aspects include licensing policies and the divide between operating systems. Most of the software is proprietary and limited to Mac users. Pure Data/GEM, on the other hand, is the first major audiovisual tool available as free software for Linux and Windows. Some of the platforms would later be ported to other operating systems, while there would also emerge projects with system-independent web-based interfaces. #software #video #realtime #interactivity #sound #music #signalprocessing #mailinglist

1999, June. The Arts Council publishes the report Skjønnheten og utstyret: produksjonsnettverk for elektronisk basert billedkunst authored by Anne Wiland, outlining the establishment of a network for collaboration between different production sites in electronic arts, modelled on the Virtueel Platform in the Netherlands. The following year, PNEK (the Production Network for Electronic Art) would be founded as an umbrella organisation and the Arts Council begins awarding annual infrastructure grants to the centres in Oslo (Atelier Nord, NOTAM), Bergen (BEK) and Trondheim (Top Floor) for an initial period of three years. #organisation #culturalpolitics

🔗 A 2005 interview with Kristin Bergaust about PNEK’s history.

🔗 A 2005 interview with Trond Lossius about PNEK’s history.

1999, July. Trond Lossius returns to Bergen, gets involved in the renovation of BEK’s premises, becomes its core member and from May 2000 also its employee, following Gisle Frøysland and Jørgen Larsson who would be employed from January 2000 with Larsson as managing director. #organisation

2000

2000, 4–16 January. The worklab Hot Wired Live Art represents the culmination of a number of collaborations and developments of past few years. The event, which spans more than two weeks, has been initiated by Per Platou and Amanda Steggell of Motherboard. It is the first major event to be held at BEK, while it also overflows to a spatious project room on the sixth floor of the Art Academy next door. Eighteen invited artists from Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, the UK and Austria gather to share experiences in realtime video, sound and performance. Their backgrounds vary from video and installation art to music, dance and choreography. The pretext is a networked audiovisual software called Keystroke (later renamed Keyworx), currently in alpha version. It has been developed over the previous three years at the Waag by artist Sher Doruff and her team including Niels Bogaards both of whom join the worklab. The platform treats different media as equal and allows for blending them in a connected, collaborative setting. With Keystroke, multiple participants can improvise together with image, sound, text and other signals over the internet and the cybernetic notions of input and output capture the imagination of the artists present. They are busy interconnecting cameras, screens, computers, people and objects in the space and on the network into an ever-changing feedback loop. Remote controlled helium balloons fill up the space serving as projection screens for video feedback and light bulbs reacting to microwave heat provide other video material. Connections with other realtime software are explored as HC Gilje introduces the Nato software and Trond Lossius brings in Max/MSP. Niels’s presence enhances the feeling of immediacy as he does changes and updates to Keystroke on site. The workshop culminates in public events at the Academy and online. The lab is a major boost for Keystroke which would soon see its official release and become a major networked performance platform in the years to come. The cross-disciplinary and collaborative nature of the event resonates strongly with many participating artists. For BEK, the event would open the way to collaborations with Doruff and Bogaards of the Waag, Ellen Røed, who is about to wrap up her intermedia studies in Trondheim, HC Gilje who recently graduated from there, Michelle Teran who is based in Canada and others. Motherboard would organise three follow-up events in the next three years in Moss (Norway), Banff (Canada) and Kampala (Uganda) with BEK as co-producer. #liveart #electronicart #video #sound #netart #streaming #software #workshop #performance #collaboration

🔗 Event website designed by Amanda Steggell and programmed and developed by Ellen Røed.

🔗 List of participants.

🔗 An article in Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian).

🔗 A video showreel from the event by Ellen Røed on Videokunstarkivet (requires account).

 

Sher Doruff interviewed by Scott deLahunta at HWLA. Courtesy of Motherboard.

 

Amanda Steggell interviewed by Scott deLahunta at HWLA. Courtesy of Motherboard.

 

Per Platou interviewed by Scott deLahunta at HWLA. Courtesy of Motherboard.

 

Gisle Frøysland interviewed by Scott deLahunta at HWLA. Courtesy of Motherboard.

2000, 28–29 March. Masami Akita (Merzbow) and Zbigniew Karkowski are ‘locked up’ for two days in one of the rooms at BEK with four Norwegian musicians and composers and an assortment of equipment. The invited participants are John Hegre, Maja Ratkje, Ronnie Sundin and Andreas Brandal. Out of this comes a collaborative noise piece that is performed in the same room and broadcast online. #noise #workshop #streaming

2000, May. The Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts (BEK) is established as a non-profit foundation. Its formation is supported by the Arts Council Norway, Bergen City Council, Kulturby Bergen 2000 and The Kavli Trust. #organisation

2000, 31 July–5 August. HC Gilje gives an internal workshop about the Nato software in BEK, titled / 55 \ Så jævla sanntid (So damn real-time). The participants are Trond Lossius, Gisle Frøysland, Thomas Sivertsen, Reinert Mithassel and Kurt Ralske who flies in from New York, as this is the first opportunity for artists to meet around Nato in a workshop situation. Several new patches are developed and the week culminates in a networked group performance at Kvarteret. Ralske writes a report and would soon form the video improvisation trio 242.pilots with Gilje and Polish artist Lukasz Lysakowski and perform internationally in the years to come. #video #software #realtime #workshop #performance

🔗 Kurt Ralske’s detailed report from the workshop on the / 55 \ list.

2000, 23 September–5 November. The annual Autumn Exhibition (Høstutstillingen), held at the Lysverket building (today the Bergen Art Museum), features the installation Sement by Per Platou, Amanda Steggell, HC Gilje, Ellen Røed and Gisle Frøysland, produced by Motherboard in collaboration with BEK. Invited to contribute a ‘net-specific’ work, the artists respond to the ongoing highly-charged international debate about what constitutes internet art and how to present it in a gallery. Inside an abandoned office complex, selected classic works of net art are presented alongside generic screensavers on monitors, each stationed inside a different office room where they are observed by motionless mannequins, in a somewhat ironic contrast to liveness associated with realtime net-based performance. The office settings can be observed through glass walls from a spacious lounge situated in between them. Throughout the exhibition, the light dome on top of the building is illuminated by a number of spotlights in different colours. The lights are controlled via a public website that also features photos from a stationed webcam. This marks the first use of the software pl0t developed by Lossius, Frøysland, Larsson and Espen Riskedal as a web-based composition tool for multiple users, connected to and programmable through Max. #netart #lightart #interaction #exhibition

🔗 Video (RealMedia).

🔗 Exhibition photographs.

🔗 Project website.

🔗 Jill Walker’s review of the project (in Norwegian).

2000, 30 September–6 November. BEK takes part in the major initiative Kulturby Bergen with the internet art café project Café9, situated on the ground floor of Bergen Kunsthall and linked to partners in seven other European Capitals of Culture 2000. Trond Lossius and Reinert Mithassel’s installation Ekkofisk is shown in which two goldfish generate quadrophonic sound by their changing mutual positions. In many of the participating cities, the occasion drives the development of infrastructure for art and technology and Bergen is no exception: the Kunsthall and BEK would rebuild and reopen Café9 the following year as a new cultural venue called Landmark. #exhibition #organisation

Ekkofisk, 2000-2001

2000, October. In the context of Café9, BEK invites musician Espen Sommer Eide to perform at an outdoor event with live video. There is much anticipation as wall projections are still very rare and a strong projector has to be shipped from Oslo especially for the event. However, Bergen’s oceanic climate shows no mercy and the city is hit by heavy rain. Eide has recently moved here from his home town of Tromsø and has graduated from Bergen University in philosophy with his master’s thesis on Derridean deconstruction of Kantian critique of judgment. He has a teaching job at the university but is determined to pursue his career as a self-taught musician. Starting out with flute and trumpet, then playing drums in several ‘broken microphone-stand’ bands, he began experimenting with computers and samplers and soon embarked on his solo project Phonophani as well as the duo Alog with Dag-Are Haugan. The recent debut albums of both projects fuse ambient, experimental electronica and post-rock and are received to critical acclaim. Eide would soon get acquainted with Max/MSP through Trond Lossius and find in it a great tool for developing new techniques and turning them into instruments. Instrument-making would become an important part of his music and art. #milieu #music #software #musicalinstruments

🔗 An interview with Alog for Wire magazine, 2001.

2000, October. With the help of BEK’s server Bjørnar Habbestad executes his TelArt project, spamming 50,000 mobile phone users with music commissioned from ten artists. Six years later, Habbestad would make his fourth iteration of the project together with Jørgen Larsson and i/o Lab, distributing telephone messages among hundreds of inhabitants of Stavanger. #culturejamming #soundart

2001

2001, January. Ahead of the internal Nato workshop held the previous year, BEK had started a mailing list for Max/MSP/Nato titled / 55 \. With the banning of Netochka Nezvanova from the official Max list over a plagiarism dispute, the / 55 \ list becomes the main communication platform for Nato users, administered by Lossius and Frøysland. In the long run, the / 55 \ significantly contributes to BEK gaining recognition as a major centre for realtime work with audiovisual media in Norway and internationally. By the end of 2002 it would have almost two hundred members. #software #mailinglist #milieu

🔗 The / 55 \ list archive.

🔗 Relaunch of the list.

🔗 Grethe Melby’s article about Netochka Nezvanova, 2002 (in Norwegian).

2001. The BEK board is established. Its first chairman is Jeremy Welsh, the video artist and professor who has just moved to the Art Academy in Bergen after spending eleven years at Trondheim Academy. Other board members include the artistic director of Bergen Kunsthall and Baktruppen member Bo Krister Wallström, cultural manager Harm-Christian Tolden and later also Jill Walker, a doctoral researcher on electronic literature at the University of Bergen and an early blogger. The affiliations of board members indicate some of the institutional partnerships that BEK would maintain in the years to come. Bergen’s Art Academy would frequently figure in collaborative projects with BEK, in a partnership strengthened by its immediate proximity. During the first decade, professors Jeremy Welsh, Karen Kipphoff and Andrea Sunder-Plassmann would get involved, as well as a number of students. #organisation #milieu

2001. After the experience of developing pl0t, Trond Lossius embarks on creating other extensions for Max/MSP/Nato for mathematical operations, digital filtering and audio signal analysis, including a program called Loorph-mooper which allows for working with an audio sample as a layered terrain instead of the usual wave curve. Many extensions become widely used in the Max community internationally, thanks also to being published under the GNU GPL open-source license. The involvement with Max/MSP also leads to new collaborations such as with American-German composer Peter Castine who becomes BEK’s first artist in residence and develops a variety of noise generators (February-March). #sound #image #signalprocessing #software #freesoftware

2001, 17 March. Under the moniker pilota.fm, Espen Sommer Eide and Nicholas H. Møllerhaug establish the concert series Trollofon which is held inside a trolley bus driving through Bergen. The two first met on the terrace at BEK and discussed the idea of starting an internet radio. Eide had enough technical knowledge, while Møllerhaug is a journalist with a background in literature and brought in Dada and surrealism and also an interest in local history. The project would soon materialise as the pilota.fm website hosted on BEK’s server and streaming radio episodes and recordings from Trollofon events, woven into an unfolding fictional narrative with the trolleybus as the lead motif, anchored in an attempt to save the last operating trolleybus line in Norway. The daytime part of the festival takes places in an actual trolleybus from the early 1970s that has not been in use for 15 years. Invited performers cover a broad span of genres and the electricity for instruments of those who need it is provided directly from the wire network powering the bus. The evening programme takes place in a borrowed venue and features a surreal mix of poetry, jazz, electronic music, noise and folk. Started with the support of BEK and NyMusikk, the event would establish itself as an annual music festival with an evening programme at the café gallery for new media art Landmark from 2004 and continuing up to 2006 as part of the Bergen International Festival (Festspillene). Over the years it would feature the likes of Peter Rehberg, Oval, Fennesz, Tujiko Noriko, Francisco López, Maja Ratkje, Goodiepal, Biosphere, Emi Maeda, Haco, Jaap Blonk, Janek Schaefer, Massimo and Kim Hiorthøy, among others. The trolley line continues to operate today. #soundart #music #festival #streaming #radio

The heavy-duty Škoda 9Tr trolleybus.

🔗 Trollofon‘s launch event website.

🔗 An impression from a Trollofon event in the BA newspaper, 2001 (in Norwegian).

🔗 Audio archive of Trollofon editions.

🔗 An interview about Trollofon with Espen Sommer Eide and Nicholas H. Møllerhaug by Sissel Lillebostad, 2012.

2001, May. Torbjørn Brundtland quits his civil service at BEK to pursue his career with his band Röyksopp which is about to have an international breakthrough. Their song Eple (meaning ‘apple’) would haunt Mac users as it is selected as the OS X setup assistant tune.

2001, 5–14 October. Jana Winderen, Maia Urstad and Jørgen Træen organise a festival of “sound as noise, noise as art and art as sound,” titled Motlyd at Kulturhuset USF, co-produced by BEK. Near to USF at this time is a scrapyard full of metal and industrial waste that can be walked on, knocked on and that inspires creativity. The Motlyd programme includes sound installations, concerts, screenings and discussions. Winderen and Urstad together with Trond Lossius present a layered ‘textural composition’ distributed over eighteen speakers in the Viewing Room (Visningsrommet) across a 120 square metre space. This is a turning point for Lossius when it comes to presenting sound in space. Jørgen Larsson prepares a ‘vertical’ site-specific concert with eight speakers, piano and a soap bubble machine in the 12-metre high Borggården. The Motlyd festival comes at a moment of increased interest in sound in visual arts across Scandinavia. Two years earlier, the Young Artists’ Society (UKS) magazine had released a CD with a booklet documenting works from the 1990s and the weekly radio programme Ballongmagasinet moved online as an artist-run sound gallery. That same year, Teddy Hultberg prepared an exhibition of the Stockholm-based artist association Fylkingen in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde and Jørgen Teller established a biennial of Danish and international sound art in Copenhagen called Ssshhhhh. #soundart #music #exhibition #festival

Jørgen Træen, Maia Urstad and Jana Winderen (left to right).

🔗 Event website.

2001, 26 October. Landmark opens on the ground floor of Bergen Art Association’s Bergen Kunsthall. This multipurpose café gallery for new media art is named after architect Ole Landmark who designed the functionalist building in the heart of Bergen as one of his major works in the 1930s. The idea for this new arts venue originated from an internet café set-up the previous year as a collaboration between BEK and the Association, and later advanced with the restaurant operator Willies and the firm 3RW Architects who took care of interior design. The minimalist lounge with white walls and ceilings and wall-to-wall beige wool carpet features a stage situated on the mezzanine above the bar. BEK has worked with Thomas Sivertsen on the state-of-the-art audiovisual and networking setup, suitable for both live events and sound installations. The space features three video projectors, a multi-speaker setup, two computers, a 2 Mbps fixed line internet connection and Wi-Fi. Live streaming becomes an integral part of events. As a result, BEK gains its ‘home’ venue, while also opening up its event programming to other initiatives in the city. In the months following, BEK would organise several events in the space. #electronicart #organisation #milieu #gallery

🔗 An interview with Jørgen Larsson for a local newspaper, October 2001 (in Norwegian).

🔗 An early website for Landmark, 2002.

2001, 24 November–6 December. BEK’s first major event at Landmark, Looking Forward, See You Soon, is dedicated to live art and Keystroke, the tool introduced to the milieu the previous year. By now, the inclusive nature of the use and development of the software has created a community of collaborators spanning the Waag, BEK and the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada where a two-week long session was produced by artist Michelle Teran earlier in the year. For BEK, Keystroke and the availability of webcams have provided a welcome means for connected, networked performance practice for which Ellen Røed would emerge as chief instigator. Keystroke’s head developer Niels Bogaards attends the event along with over twenty artists mostly from Norway. Remote participants include Teran and her collaborators at InterAccess Toronto and Ivar Smedstad joining from Berlin. The artists activate the space for different audiences, stage new installations every day, have jam sessions and test different interfaces and networking tools. As is the case with many BEK events during this period, the process is chronicled in a lively ‘log.’ #liveart #performance #netart #streaming #software #workshop

🔗 Event website.

🔗 List of participants.

🔗 Live ‘log’ of the event. Code names: ink (Ellen Røed), gif (Gisle Frøysland), pp (Per Platou), thomas (Thomas Sivertsen), ij (Isabelle Jenniches), ulFo (Ulf Knudsen), Niels (Niels Bogaards), Misha (Michelle Teran), pea (Piotr Pajchel), Amanda (Amanda Steggell), Jeremy (Jeremy Welsh), Lodewijk (Lodewijk Loos).

2001, December. Kunstnett Norge names pilota.fm art website of the year in the category ‘Institution/Forums’.

2002

2002. BEK goes through organisational changes. The increasing debt and strained liquidity have brought the organisation into crisis management. In January, Jørgen Larsson resigns as general manager. A new board is constituted and its role in the organisation strengthens. In July, BEK withdraws from Landmark which then continues to be operated by Bergen Kunsthall and Willies. The situation improves toward the end of the year thanks to cost reductions and refinancing grants. A research remit is included as part of BEK’s strategy for the coming years. #organisation

2002, January. Ellen Røed joins BEK as the instigator for performing arts. She has previously collaborated with Verdensteatret, Motherboard, Origami Republika and Michelle Teran on onsite and online performances and founded the noise platform Klubb Kanin together with Tore Honoré Bøe and Lasse Marhaug back in Trondheim. Starting out with making web art in the early 1990s, Røed soon began working with moving image in projection mapping, analogue video synthesisers and live video tools such as Image/ine, Nato and Keystroke. In the piece Foolish Fish! (2000), for example, she employed microphones as sensitive instruments to allow for algorithmic mapping of the movement of dancers on the stage on aspects of visual projection. In her most recent project, Røed created the ambient theatre piece Papercuts together with Bøe which stemmed from a pile of printed script for Terrence Malick’s film Badlands which was cut, read, torn up, recorded and enacted in audiovisual feedback loops by the two performers. Røed’s position at BEK is supported through the Arts Council’s stipend for emerging artists which would later be extended until October 2004. #organisation #performance #video

🔗 Ellen Røed’s critical reflection on her artistic work written as part of her fellowship at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design, 2014.

2002, 11–13 January. The Glitch festival and symposium, organised by Motherboard in collaboration with BEK, takes place at the Oslo Art Academy. The event explores the poetics and aesthetics of error and noise in music, visual art and science, themes that have occupied Per Platou and Amanda Steggell of Motherboard over the past year. Among others, Gisle Frøysland, Jørgen Larsson and Espen Sommer Eide take part in the programme. #noise #performance

🔗 Event website with documentation.

🔗 A review of the event by Ketil Nergaard.

2002, 15 January. The Verdensteatret artist collective premieres Tsalal at the Black Box Theatre in Oslo. Founded in the mid-1980s by Lisbeth J.Bodd and Asle Nilsen in Bergen with an affinity to theatre scholar Knut Ove Arntzen, the artist collective has been notorious for its persuasive blending of music concert, theatre performance and installation art. The collective is well regarded in the BEK community, with a number of artists joining the group for periods at a time and contributing to a production process known for its communality and meticulousness. In the past, Ellen Røed worked with the group from 1995 to 1996. Trond Lossius takes part in the current production, following his previous involvement in creating an installation version of the troupe’s Régla (2000). Tsalal is the collective’s seventh major work and unfolds as a dreamscape from a journey across the Black Sea. Central to the piece is the sonic dimension, the exploration of the spectrum between pure sound and language, whereby performers’ voices are transformed using realtime processing. Lossius would continue working with the collective on Concert for Greenland (2003-2005), Piotr Pajchel would join the group from 2003 to 2019, Thorolf Thuestad from 2010 to 2015 and Espen Sommer Eide from 2010 to 2016 and again from 2019. #theatre #music #performance #collaboration

Excerpt from Tsalal, 2002.
Installation view of Régla by Verdensteatret.

Verdensteatret in 2002. Trond Lossius on the left.

2002, 17–24 March. A series of happenings orchestrated by Motherboard takes place at Landmark. A theatre play by Baktruppen is livestreamed from ZKM Karlsruhe and an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s poem Terje Vigen by Ulf Knudsen and others from Oslo. #performance

🔗 Event website with documentation.

2002, May. The BEK website is relaunched, designed by Piotr Pajchel and programmed by Gisle Frøysland using the Zope framework. #organisation

🔗 BEK’s website at 2002.

2002, May. BEK starts a new mailing list for the sound and music computing system Csound. It is administered by Ian Duncain and Trond Lossius and would quickly grow to hundreds of members. #sound #software #mailinglist

2002, May. Gisle Frøysland presents his installation Freeze! at Landmark, a cubist video collage made possible by multiple cameras fixed on a ring surrounding an object. An integral component of the work is a new Linux-based software application called MøB developed at BEK in collaboration with Italian programmer Carlo Prelz from V2_ Rotterdam. MøB continues the work Frøysland started three years earlier with his application GIFJam to produce a software for supporting both interactive installations and live video performance. For example, he had used it in works such as the ironic virtual shopping simulator JoyStuck III – the Walker, the misguided sonic surveillance environment Easy Listening and the interactive ‘party’ environment Re:Actor developed with Piotr Pajchel, John Hegre and Anders Gogstad. #software #video #installation #interaction

Installation views of JoyStuck III – The Walker, 1999-2002.
Easy Listening installed at Zoolounge, Oslo, 1999.
Re:Actor shown at a festival in Hull, UK, 2003.

2003

2003, 24–29 March. The work-in-process exhibition Living Room is staged at Galleri KiT, Trondheim, presenting fourteen Norway-based artists working with electronic media in visual art, sound and film. The project has been developed over the previous two years by PNEK in collaboration with BEK, TEKS (the Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre) and other partners. Trond Lossius and Thorolf Thuestad present a joint multi-channel sound installation. #exhibition #installation #soundart

2003, May. Ole Mads Vevle’s short movie Love is the Law co-produced by BEK is presented as part of the International Critics’ Week at Cannes Film Festival and receives the Prix Canal + du Meilleur court métrage and the Prix de la (toute) jeune critique. #film

2003, 1–5 July. BEK co-produces a public space exhibition in a temporary room built of seven shipping containers stationed in central Kristiansand. The project started up by BEK intern Alf Waage explores the theme of the extreme consequences of borders. It is titled Tampa after the cargo ship that carried over 400 refugees who were refused entry to an emergency port in Australia two years earlier. Eighteen artists from the communities around BEK, Bergen’s Art Academy and Tellé Records contribute installations, video work and performances. #exhibition #performance #socialpractice

🔗 Photographs and press release.

2003, July. Two artists from the Netherlands, Marieke Verbiesen and Gijs Gieskes, arrive at BEK for a six-month self-directed residency. Verbiesen has recently graduated from an art school in Den Bosch and works with lo-fi animation and live video. As an early Keystroke and Nato user, she worked with Sher Doruff in the Waag and with Sonic Acts in Amsterdam, learnt about BEK and the Norwegian live video scene through its / 55 \ list and joined the Looking Forward event back in 2001 in person. Gieskes, Verbiesen’s fellow student, specialises in building musical instruments. The two run the live-played lo-fi video game concert project Video Home Training and engage in the MicroMusic community using game consoles to make chiptune music. Verbiesen has been with BEK ever since. #milieu #organisation

2003, 9 October. BEK issues a call for action. After the initial three-year period, the Arts Council declares it is unable to continue to provide infrastructural support. After being turned down by government as well, BEK’s prospects look bleak and the only way forward is to continue to lobby and garner support and solidarity for an appeal. The petition quickly gains hundreds of statements of support from across the international scene. #organisation #culturalpolitics #milieu

🔗 Call for action with statements of support.

2003, October. Trond Lossius takes a three-year sabbatical from BEK to focus on his doctoral research at Bergen’s Art Academy. This is one of the first artistic research positions in Norway. Jeremy Welsh and Lossius’s former tutor Morten Eide Pedersen act as his advisors. During this period, Lossius would explore productive tensions between contemporary music and fine art traditions through collaborative sound installations and other projects. Many other BEK members and collaborators would further develop their practices through doctoral artistic research. In the same period, Amanda Steggell and Sher Doruff would gain fellowships at the Norwegian Theatre Academy at Østfold University College and the University of the Arts London, respectively (both ‘06). Later on, HC Gilje, Ellen Roed and Michelle Teran would gain fellowships at the Bergen Art Academy (‘09, ‘14 and ‘15, respectively). Other research fellows in arts and technology in Norway would include Victoria Johnson, Ruben Sverre Gjertsen, Thorolf Thuestad, Craig Wells, Stephan Meidell, Tijs Ham and Magnhild Øen Nordahl, showing that a research mindset is inherent to electronic arts. #artisticresearch #soundart #music #organisation #milieu

2003, October. Following Lossius’s departure, the position of managing director is taken up by Roar Sletteland who is new to BEK’s milieu. A few years earlier, Sletteland wrapped up his philosophy studies with a thesis on a poststructuralist take on the architecture of Bergen’s railway station and the tension between it being both a historical object and a living thing. He found a job as a political secretary and began turning his thesis into a book although having doubts about it, when an offer came to join the board of the Bergen’s arm of Ny Musikk to take care of finances, he eagerly accepted. This is also how Sletteland learnt about BEK. At BEK, he finds a project room filled with computers and a sound studio, both actively used by many people on a drop-in basis. Eva Sjuve becomes BEK’s sound director for a year before leaving to embark on a PhD. Other regulars include Gisle Frøysland who is in charge of video, Trond Lossius who drops by a lot as the Academy is right next door, and other people who are part of the milieu including Espen Sommer Eide who would eventually rent his studio here, Nicholas Møllerhaug, Bjørnar Habbestad, Maia Urstad, Thomas Sivertsen, Piotr Pajchel, Stefan Mitterer and Peter Mitterer and also Marieke Verbiesen, Gijs Gieskes and Dalas Verdugo who are on longterm residencies here. The space is frequented by many other residents from the Hordaland Arts Centre in collaboration with NIFCA. #organisation #milieu

2003, 16–21 September. BEK is closely involved with this year’s Autunnale music festival. Among the contributors are American microsound composer Kim Cascone who gives a performance and a lecture, Victoria Johnson who performs a piece for electronic violin by Knut Vaage, Verdensteatret who performs Tsalal and Øyvind Brandtsegg who gives a workshop on Csound, while BEK premieres an audiovisual performance featuring dance with sensors called Cracker. Following the festival, Verdensteatret holds a week-long cross-disciplinary workshop in collaboration with BEK at Teatergarasjen. Attended by about 40 artists, musicians and students it is centred on the concentrated work of two Tibetan Buddhist monks from northern India who spend the week creating a large sand painting, a mandala. The workshop culminates in a performance and a ceremonial dissolution of the mandala. The sacred sand is eventually thrown into the sea at Nøstet. #festival #performance #music #workshop

Excerpt from the performance Cracker by Frode Thorsen (recorders), Gitte Bastiansen (dance), Trond Lossius (sound) and Gisle Frøysland (video).

2003, 11 October. BIT20 Duo and Ellen Røed premiere the programme Virtual Garden at Ultima contemporary music festival held at the Henie Onstad Centre near Oslo, consisting of minimal music pieces and live video. #performance #video

Performance excerpt from the second concert event as part of Ekko festival, Bergen Kunsthall, 2005.

2003, 3–9 November. The first edition of p1k5el, or Piksel, takes place at BEK, Landmark and the Art Academy. The instigator of the event is Gisle Frøysland whose original intention was to organise a workshop around ‘real-time media’ tools, particularly the MøB platform which has reached a state where it may prove useful for other artists. By now, however, both real-time video processing and open-source culture have matured enough for a number of similar tools to be developed in different places. The workshop therefore serves as an occasion to bring these initiatives together for the first time. Participants include Artem Baguinski, Antoine van de Ven and Simon de Bakker from V2_ Rotterdam, Tom Schouten from Belgium, Yves Degoyon from France, Jaromil from Italy, Pedro Soler from Spain, Amy Alexander from the USA, Martin Howse from the UK and Kentaro Fukuchi from Japan, altogether about 30 artists and developers. Per Platou moderates the discussions. Among other platforms, the open-source ‘fork’ of Max/MSP called Pure Data is discussed. The outburst of activity finds a common ground in drafting an interoperability protocol that would allow different applications to exchange data and ‘talk’ to one another. #video #vjing #software #workshop #realtime #freesoftware

🔗 Workshop website.

🔗 Video software interoperability website.

🔗 Report in a local newspaper (in Norwegian).

2003, 13 November. Marieke Verbiesen and Gijs Gieskes take their VideoHomeTraining project to Newcastle, UK. They are joined by Dalas Verdugo who has arrived at BEK at around the same time on a year-long Fulbright scholarship from the School of Film and Animation at Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. Verdugo is involved in an early video blogging community called Blumpy run by his fellow student Jacob Lodwick who happens to be visiting him and makes their company. Lodwick experiments with QuickTime plugins and makes it possible to upload videos directly to a webpage, bypassing the otherwise necessary FTP transfer, making it possible for people without server access to share videos. He also approaches Gisle Frøysland and gets to host his online project on BEK’s fast server. Lodwick would soon rename the service Vimeo, continue it as a community art project upon his return to the States and begin to scale it up in late 2006 to become a major video-sharing site. Verdugo would go on to work for Vimeo as community director. #milieu #video #streaming #sharing #software

Excerpt from the VHT show with support from Verdugo as vocalist.
Verbiesen’s early vidblog from February 2004 featuring shots of Bergen’s fjord and a Landmark party.

🔗 Verdugo’s vidblog page on Blumpy.

2003, November. Canadian artist Peter Flemming who is at BEK for a two-month residency, holds a ‘low mech’ workshop on tinkering and hands-on electronics. This provides a welcome contrast to the computer-driven environment in the electronic arts. Roar Sletteland reconnects with his long-standing passion for electronics and embarks on building his own amplifier. This would take a long time but from this point on his office would be dominated by a table piled with tools and gadgetry, a welcome distraction from his office work and a conversation starter for visitors. This is how he would eventually start building musical instruments out of loudspeakers with Espen Sommer Eide. #musicalinstruments #workshop #lowtech

2004

2004, 22 January. BEK is saved. After distributing the petition with 600 statements of support to politicians and bureaucrats, the Parliament decides to grant long-term support for BEK, followed by the Arts Council and the Ministry of Culture confirming additional funding. BEK now has the long-term financial security it never had before. #organisation #culturalpolitics

🔗 Announcement.

2004. BEK defines itself as a national interdisciplinary and cross-aesthetic competence and resource center for work in the intersection between art and technology. #organisation

2004, March. A joint exhibition by Trond Lossius, Jeremy Welsh and Jon Arne Mogstad (“LMW”) is staged at Kristiansand Art Association in Kristiansand. The show is part of a series of collaborative installations collectively titled Dialogue/Transition that explores an interdisciplinary aesthetic combining painting, installation, electronic images and digital audio. The first in the series was shown as part of the Living Room project the previous year and would develop across multiple iterations spanning the next six years. BEK provides the support for the projects. #exhibition #installation

2004, 19–27 March. BEK is closely involved with the inaugural edition of experimental music festival Borealis, established as a merger of the Music Factory and Autunnale festivals. BEK co-produces the performances of Re:Actor, Bergen 8-bit Allstars (curated by Gisle Frøysland and Gijs Gieskes) and Ap (Martin Howse and Jonathan Kemp), as well as the large-scale installation Lydmur (Sound Barrier) by Maia Urstad, which is shown at a temporary gallery in Nordnes. Lydmur consists of some 150 antiquated cassette decks and compact disc players assembled into a 10 by 2 metre large wall playing in turn a composition of sounds involving speech, morse code, white noise and fragments of recordings from radio channels. In the years to come, the piece would be installed at multiple venues around the world and become known as one of Maia Urstad’s signature works. #festival #music #installation

Maia Urstad’s Lydmur installed in Strandgaten 218. Photo: Thor Brødreskift.

2004, 3 May. At BIT Teatergarasjen, Ellen Røed, together with Torunn Skjelland, organises a one-day electronic arts festival called Beta. It is arranged as a special edition of Prøverommet, Teatergarasjen’s monthly event for presenting experimental performative work in process. Twenty-four artists from BEK’s milieu as well as from the fine art community are invited to present installations, concerts, paintings, photography and film. An additional international programme of experimental film and video from sixteen artists has been curated over the internet and assembled for the occasion. The event is attended by a large audience of about 170 people. #exhibition #interaction #performance #sound #video #festival #socialpractice

2004, 5 June. On the initiative of Marieke Verbiesen, BEK arranges a MicroMusic evening of 8-bit music at Landmark that marks Norway’s premiere event of the community of musicians using modified game consoles as instruments, active since 2000. Artists from the Netherlands, the UK, the USA and Germany perform. The event is followed by a five-day workshop. #8bit #chiptune #music

2004, July. Composer, sound designer and producer Thorolf Thuestad joins BEK as sound manager. After graduating in composition and music technology from the Utrecht School of the Arts with a thesis on machine-generated music, Thuestad has recently moved to Bergen to pursue his practice. He would swiftly emerge as a prolific collaborator working with fellow composer Knut Vaage and various groups and ensembles such as Transiteatret, Fat Battery, Verdensteatret and BIT Ensemble among others. #organisation #sound #music

2004, 19–26 September. BEK holds the worklab Come on Petunia exploring artists’ strategies for structuring time outside the constraints of linear narrative. Among the participants are 20 musicians, video artists, composers, performers and other artists from the milieus of BEK, Motherboard, the Academy and Verdensteatret as well as guests from the Netherlands (Geert Mul, Rene Beekman). #workshop #milieu

🔗 Event ‘log’ written by Amanda Steggell.

🔗 Event website.

2004, 7–16 October. Ellen Røed and Amanda Steggell realise an interactive installation inviting the public to remix Bergen’s popular ‘anthem’ Nystemten using a keyboard triggering video samples of locals performing the song. The work is presented as part of BIFF, the Bergen International Film Festival, and is shown in the Galleriet shopping mall in town. #installation #socialpractice

2004, 30 October–7 November. The second Piksel takes place and expands the focus on live video to include sound as well. Many participants from the previous year return and are joined by others, totaling about 50 people. Part of the event takes place at Landmark but it appears challenging to engage a broader audience and Piksel’s outlook is more of a workshop rather than a public-facing festival. Its point of convergence remains the interoperability between live video platforms. Sound processing platforms are also discussed, among which the versatile Pure Data and SuperCollider emerge as essential tools. Yet the discussions are not limited to VJing and sound processing as the event embraces streaming technologies, embedded solar powered devices, EEG monitoring, GPS data use for installations, and lively PlayStation interfaces, for example, as Martin Howse notes in his report. The exclusive reliance on free software as opposed to proprietary tools is without precedent in the context of arts events. With further editions to follow ever since, Piksel would establish itself as the leading event for open-source arts internationally. Like-minded festivals would follow including Make Art, organised by Goto10 in Poitiers between 2006-2010, and LiWoLi in Linz from 2008, later called Art Meets Radical Openness. #video #vjing #streaming #software #freesoftware #festival

🔗 Martin Howse’s reflections from the festival.

🔗 Festival website.

2004, 23 November–5 December. Riksutstillinger’s traveling exhibition and live programme of critical media art, Detox, is staged at Bergen Kunsthall, Landmark and BIT Teatergarasjen and co-curated by Jørgen Larsson. Trond Lossius and Piotr Pajchel collaborate on Verdensteatret’s piece Concert for Greenland. Ellen Røed and Bjørnar Habbestad present their audiovisual concert for video, flute and electronics Etterklang. Gisle Frøysland shows his electromagnetic radiation sonification installation Tempest Karaoke. #exhibition #performance #installation

Documentation of Verdensteatret’s Concert for Greenland, 2004.

Ellen Røed and Bjørnar Habbestad performing Etterklang at Landmark.

🔗 Detox Aftershock fanzine with articles by Grethe Melby and interviews with Gisle Frøysland, Piotr Pajchel, Bjørnar Habbestad and others.

🔗 Event website.

2005

2005, March. Trond Lossius joins American engineer Timothy Place in developing a new open-source framework for building modules in Max/MSP/Jitter, called Jamoma. The work builds on Place’s earlier efforts to reduce the complexity and unstability of Max patches, started during his time at BEK in October 2003. By now, the idea is “to create something of a standard for how to construct a Max patch for maximum reusability and interchangeability.” The software would be in active development over the next eleven years with new contributors from France and elsewhere. It would also be framed as artistic research, featured in conferences and in academic papers. Lossius would use it in his sound installations and other work with Max, as would others including Verdensteatret, Espen Sommer Eide, Alwynne Pritchard, Knut Vaage and Ricardo del Pozo. Some of the ideas from Jamoma would later be implemented in Max itself. #software #collaboration #freesoftware

🔗 Jamoma website.

2005, 9 May. The second festival-as-artwork Beta is held at Teatergarasjen. Created by Ellen Røed and Torunn Skjelland with support from BEK, the event brings together a wide range of process-oriented works from over 30 artists in an open-ended social setting. Eleven installations and eight performances are presented, drawing from electronic, intermedia and networked contexts. Among many others, Jana Winderen presents a sensor-controlled interactive sound installation titled Kunsten å gå på vannet created with Trond Lossius and Jørgen Træen and which has previously toured schools in the Hedemark county. #festival #exhibition #performance #sound #video #interaction #socialpractice

🔗 Review in Kunstkritikk (in Norwegian)

🔗 Event website.

2005, 13 May. The second MicroMusic event at Landmark takes place with acts from the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. #8bit #chiptune

2005, 16–23 October. Piksel widens its scope to focus more broadly on the aesthetics and politics of open source, adopting the subtitle ‘Festival for Free, Libre and Open Source Audiovisual Software and Art’. About 60 participants gather at the event, from the collectives and organisations Goto10, dyne.org, Hackitectura, De Waag, Free Software Foundation and others. The programme includes a variety of workshops and performances taking place at the Teknikerkroen bunker inside the mountain below the Bergen University as well as an exhibition on game art at the Hordaland Arts Centre curated by Isabelle Arvers from France. The political subtext of open-source and free software movements comes more to the fore. By now, Piksel has also established an informal support network with the audiovisual arts and digital culture festival Pixelache which took place in April at Kiasma Museum in Helsinki and its offshoot Mau au Pixel planned for the following April in Paris. #video #software #freesoftware #games #exhibition #festival

Excerpts from performances.
Excerpt from a live video performance.

🔗 Photo documentation.

🔗 Festival website.

2005, 25 November. Bringing another dimension to the ongoing debate about the visual pollution of Bergen’s public space by advertising, the background music in the Galleriet shopping mall is replaced for one day by a curated playlist featuring Erik Satie, Muzak and ambient music from the 1990s. The event called Kunstmuzak Inc. marks one of the first projects of an experimental gallery for sound-based art practices called Lydgalleriet. The initiative has been founded by former BEK director Jørgen Larsson along with a group of musicians, sound artists, art historians and organisers affiliated with BEK and Ny Musikk including Bjørnar Habbestad, Erlend Hammer, Maia Urstad, Roar Sletteland, Steinar Sekkingstad, Thorolf Thuestad and Trond Lossius. Lydgalleriet would find its permanent address on Østre Skostredet 3 in central Bergen where it would stay until 2020. The gallery would establish itself as the only permanent exhibition platform for sound art in the Nordic countries. Larsson would organise more than 40 exhibitions there. #sound #exhibition #milieu

🔗 Jørgen Larsson’s interview in a local newspaper, December 2005 (in Norwegian).

🔗 Lydgalleriet’s programme in autumn 2007.

🔗 Lydgalleriet’s 15th anniversary retrospective publication.

2006

2006, April. BEK’s first record release, the double CD Crashing Happy, is launched in Landmark. The genesis of the project goes back to the summer of 2001 when a computer in BEK’s sound studio experienced a machine error that made it generate sound on its own initiative, likely reading its internal memory and playing it back as audio, including fragments of sounds that had been worked on previously. A half-hour recording of the random and distinctly digital ‘computer’ performance served as a material for remixes by composers from BEK’s milieu. They include Jørgen Larsson, Asbjørn Flø, Espen Sommer Eide, Thorolf Thuestad, Øyvind Brandtsegg, Ulf Knudsen and Francisco López. #music #glitch

🔗 The Crashing Happy sound file (AIFF)

2006, 5 May. In collaboration with Inger Lene Gaasemyr, BEK curates a programme for the Version06 festival at the McCormick Tribune Student Center, Illinois Institute for Technology in Chicago. The festival’s theme is ‘parallel cities’, focusing on strategies and models for action and interaction globally and locally. The programme includes an improvised music performance by Fat Battery (Knut Vaage, Alwynne Pritchard, Thorolf Thuestad), the interactive audiovisual installation and performance Re:Actor (Gisle Frøysland, John Hegre, Anders Gogstad), Maia Urstad’s concert for fifteen FM radios, a video installation by Kyrre Bjørkås and a concert for flute and electronics by USA/USB (Bjørnar Habbestad and Jeff Carey). #festival #music #performance

2006, 12–15 October. The fourth edition of Piksel shrinks from one week to a long weekend yet the programme, with 70 participants, becomes ever more diverse. The festival is organised around the theme of open hardware. The collective ap/xxxxx (Martin Howse and Jonathan Kemp) prepares a two-day seminar on speculative hardware framed by Friedrich Kittler’s concept of electro-mysticism at the USF Cinemateket with German chaos theorist and endophysicist Otto E. Rössler among guests. The programme also revolves around live coding, circuit bending, sonar panel bots as well as the new open-source physical computing platform Arduino. The Hordaland Arts Centre hosts an exhibition. A CD-Rom is made with Linux distribution containing a selection of applications for the audiovisual performance, ‘Piksel Live CD’. #video #software #freesoftware #lowtech #exhibition #festival

🔗 Photo documentation by participants.

🔗 Documentation from ap/xxxxx seminar.

🔗 Festival website.

2006, December. Brite Hindal has an exhibition at Visningsrommet USF, mainly involving video projected on a photograph, wall or sandblasted glass. The works are based on concrete and recognisable objects and actions, many being meditative in their simplicity. BEK serves as the production facility. #video #exhibition

2007

2007, February. Trond Lossius completes his fellowship and returns to his role as BEK’s managing director. Both Roar Sletteland and Thorolf Thuestad would continue to focus on their artistic practice and as key instigators of Bergen’s music and performing arts scenes. #organisation #artisticresearch

🔗 Documentation of Lossius’s final-year work, Cubic Second, shown at Hordaland Arts Centre in November 2006.

🔗 Lossius’s reflection text (PDF).

2007, 6 April. Gisle Frøysland curates an evening programme with musicians and artists associated with BEK as part of the Make Art festival organised by Goto10 in Poitiers, France. The event BEK.NO(ISE) features Audun Eriksen, Bjørnar Habbestad, Eva Sjuve, Lasse Marhaug and Frøysland. #festival #music #video #performance #noise

Gisle Frøysland performing with Lasse Marhaug.

2007, 23 April. Alog’s fourth album Amateur is released. The recording is distinct for its use of self-built instruments many of which were created with Roar Sletteland and co-produced by BEK. The first among them was Tantrix, made from a loudspeaker and featuring a microphone. While digital instruments often imply the control of sound or video, the physicality brings in the experience of being ‘outside’, out of control, with an instrument having its own identity. The album would be nominated for the Spellemann Prize in the electronics category. #music #musicalinstruments #lowtech

Interview and excerpts from Alog’s performance at Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid in September 2007.
Eide previews another instrument from the ‘Tandberg family’, Slåttberg, January 2008.

2007, 31 August. The stage production Floating Characters premieres at BIT Teatergarasjen. Created by Karen Kipphoff, professor of fine arts at the Bergen Academy of the Arts, together with Trond Lossius and art students from the academy, the work draws from ancient Japanese bunraku puppetry and utilises visual and digital media. It is developed in collaboration between the Academy and BEK. #liveart #theatre #performance

🔗 A review in Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian).

2007, 15–18 November. The fifth Piksel festival revolves around free audiovisual software, circuit bending and artist-made electronic music instruments that are demonstrated by Casperelectronics, Gijs Gieskes and Audun Eriksen among others. The ap/xxxxx is again in charge of a seminar that takes shape as a 12-hour ‘life coding’ event, an iteration of the Plenum event that took place as part of NodeL London festival in March the previous year. Tatiana Bazzichelli, Jessica Rylan, Stewart Home, Paolo Cirio, Otto E. Rössler, Nancy Mauro-Flude, Alejandra Perez Nunez are among its participants. On-site, August Black and Federico Bonelli produce a no-budget film called Kaos -aka- Rosencrantz & Guildenstern in Hell using free software. Distributed alternatives to social media such as YouTube and MySpace are presented. Git is introduced as a new standard for a distributed versioning system for software development. A book anthology on free software and art in collaboration with Goto10 is underway. This is the last edition organised by BEK and from the following year it would operate as a separate organisation. #video #software #freesoftware #circuitbending #musicalinstruments #film #lowtech #exhibition #festival

🔗 Nancy Mauro-Flude’s report from the seminar.

A short film by August Black and Federico Bonelli shot using open-source technology during the festival.

🔗 Photo documentation by participants.

🔗 Festival blog by Eleonora Oreggia.

🔗 Review by Jeremy Welsh (in Norwegian).

🔗 Festival website.

2008

2008. BEK switches to a new server (Xserve OSX). At this point it has almost two hundred registered users, hosts almost one hundred websites for artists, projects and organisations and operates a variety of mailing lists. BEK is the only node within the PNEK network that offers such services. #server

2008, February. While there have been various initiatives to build archives for video art in Norway in the past, none has grown beyond their immediate milieu and historical works going back to the 1970s are in real danger of being lost forever. Last October, after several years of work, the Arts Council published the report To preserve the ephemeral: A study for a national archive of video art (Å bevare det flyktige) prepared by Mie Berg Simonsen, Marit Paasche and Åslaug Krokann Berg. In response, BEK join forces with USF Verftet and Trond Lossius, Mayra Henriquez and Aashild Grana come up with an ambitious alternative proposal to establish a centre of excellence not only for video art but more broadly for ephemeral, non-object-based arts. The centre would be organised as a subject section under BEK and located at USF. The Arts Council would eventually follow the original report and issue an open call for a pilot project of a nationwide collection of video works. KINOKINO, Atopia and PNEK each submit their own proposal and, in the autumn of 2011, the Council awards the assignment to PNEK with Per Platou as project leader of what would become the Videokunstarkivet. #preservation #documentation #archive #video

🔗 The Arts Council’s study (in Norwegian).

🔗 USF and BEK’s report titled Escape (in Norwegian).

2008, 1 March. Alwynne Pritchard’s work Don’t touch me, you don’t know where I’ve been for flute, guitar, percussion, clarinet, piano, voice and electronics premieres at Logen Theatre as part of Borealis festival in Bergen. Commissioned by BEK, the development of the work started in the autumn of 2007 and involved musicians through recordings and workshops. Thorolf Thuestad has been responsible for programming and processing. In addition, Roar Sletteland has built a 23-channel amplifier that drives 80 speakers which are placed among the audience. In the autumn, an installation version of the piece would be presented at BEK as part of B-open. The quirky title is related to Sletteland’s earlier, private commission from Pritchard. Puzzled by the standard practice of determining the amount of a fee according to the length of a commissioned piece, in 2005 he asked her to compose an orchestral piece lasting one second. He had one condition – the title. So, when Pritchard took the liberty of calling the piece World Enough under which it was performed several times, Sletteland insisted on commissioning the next piece with a title of his own. Pritchard’s reflection about the process behind Don’t touch me… would be published the following year as a book by the Bergen Academy along with Sletteland’s article on the commissioning process. #commission #music #publication

🔗 Publication with Pritchard’s and Sletteland’s articles.

2008, April–May. Bertolt Brecht’s Mann=Mann (Man Equals Man) is played on the main stage at the Rogaland Teater. The piece directed by Tore Vagn Lid is a continuation of a long-term collaboration between Transitteatret Bergen and BEK by Thorolf Thuestad since 2004 related to the development of the visual Hörspiel (radio play). The performance would win the 2008 Hedda Award as theatre project of the year. #theatre

🔗 A review of the play in Idalou (in Norwegian).

2008, 21 May–10 August. A debut exhibition by Golden Serenades (John Hegre and Jørgen Træen) opens at Lydgalleriet. Commissioned by BEK and developed in collaboration with Roar Sletteland, the installation involves an automated mechanism featuring relays, motors, sensors, a large number of microphones and pickups, effect pedals and other electronics. The mechanism operates two guitars, turning them into an improvising duo producing a stream of loud electroacoustic noise similar to the sound of smashing guitars in the final part of the traditional rock concert. This is, in fact, how Hegre and Træen performed the piece earlier in Oslo. The concert became the target of an attack in a televised discussion with tabloid editor Knut Haavik who highlighted it as an example of what he saw as the inadequate policies of the Arts Council and of their support of work lacking artistic merit. In the ensuing debate, other funded projects by Motherboard, Kate Pendry and Sven-Åke Johansson were also singled out. Nominated to the Council by a far-right party, Haavik’s stance was perceived as a political attack on free expression. This sudden appearance in the spotlight was also the reason for creating an installation version of the piece which the Council eventually supported with the same amount of funding that the concert had received. Despite his reservations, Haavik eventually became a supporter of the Council’s independence and policies. A concert version of the piece would be performed at the Henie Onstad Art Centre and Bergen Kunsthall the following year. #soundart #music #improvisation #exhibition #noise #commission #culturalpolitics

🔗 “Is This Art?”. A tabloid article about the controversy (in Norwegian).

2008, December. Anne Wiland leaves the BEK board after five years as a board member and later its chairperson. Aashild Grana is appointed as the new chair. #organisation

2008. Economically, BEK is at a crossroads. Either considerable operating grants must be raised, or work at BEK must be scaled down, in the worst-case wound up. It will not be possible to continue operating at the current level with the framework BEK has now. #organisation

2009

2009, March. BEK launches its new website, replacing the one which has been in operation since 2002 on the Zope system that is no longer supported. The new site has been developed in-house and operates on the RubyOnRails framework. Programming was done by Trond Lossius while Espen Sommer Eide was responsible for the design, also creating a new visual identity for BEK. #organisation

2009, September. BEK’s leadership is split into two positions. Lars Ove Toft is appointed as the new general manager and Trond Lossius moves to a newly created position of professional manager. Marieke Verbiesen continues in her part-time role as computer and software technician, while Espen Sommer Eide is hired on a temporary basis as information manager. Toft is already familiar to BEK’s milieu through his work at BIT Teatergarasjen and because he followed sound art early on through his partner Maia Urstad. Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he had a studio together with Urstad at Krydderfabrikken and, with his Taskenspillerne troupe, was part of the experimental theatre milieu around Teatertreff (later BIT) street festival from which both Verdensteatret and Baktruppen emerged. When the festival moved into Teatergarasjen in 1991, Toft was already part of its team and continued as production manager for a good 15 years. Forced to leave the theatre because of injury, he studied organisational science and leadership and, now fresh from his studies, he is a perfect fit for the job of running BEK. The remit from the board is clear: we need people. Toft views music, art and stage art as three pillars of BEK and sets out to lower the threshold for people to come to BEK. His strategy is to see the role of BEK in three layers. The first is lab-based and here the task is to engage people who seek practical help and advice and to build a basis for ongoing small projects. Another layer is to accommodate professional artists and musicians who need a place to work and people to work with for their own projects. The top layer is artistic research and development and BEK’s engagement in international collaborations and publishing. This would filter down to the first layer by way of an introduction to tools. #organisation #milieu

2009, 20 October. Chop Chop, a 30-minute electronic music composition for 16 speakers by American composer and musician Jeff Carey, premieres at Ekko Festival at Landmark. The work has been commissioned by BEK. #commission #music

2010

2010. BEK initiates a long-term collaboration with Sindre Sørensen and Stian Remvik who is newly graduated in design and visual communication from the Bergen Art Academy. Sørensen is responsible for server and network support and they both contribute as programmers and technicians to various art projects co-produced by BEK. By 2015, Remvik would work as a technical developer in the organisation, continuing to support a wide range of artists. #organisation #milieu

🔗 Grethe Melby’s interview with Stian Remvik, 2018.

2010, 18–20 March. BEK arranges a MicroMusic event which ends with a large 8-bit music party at Landmark. The programme included a workshop on Nanoloop with Haeyoung Kim, a workshop on LSDJ with Chris Burke, a screening of the documentary 8 Bit, concerts by Glomag (USA) and Bubblyfish (USA), Atari-DJ Gw3m (UK), a VJ set by Thomas Sivertsen and the installation Tombraider 0.1 by Marieke Verbiesen. Haeyoung Kim and Chris Burke were invited from New York to share first-hand knowledge of different ways to make music with Game Boys and simple computer generators. #8bit #chiptune

2010, 26 March. Pascal Baltazar and Bjørnar Habbestad, in collaboration with Benjamin Maumus, premiere their work Unruhige Räume at the Journées Électriques festival in Albi, France. The artists describe the work as Hörspiel (radio play) for historic building, audience, speakers, microphones and three electroacoustic performers. Jointly commissioned by BEK and GMEA (the National Centre for Musical Creation), the starting point for the work was to combine a high degree of performative actions with a spatial realisation of the soundscape. As part of the process, a number of electroacoustic instruments were built: Respirator for facilitating sound synthesis and interaction between SuperCollider and a flute, the realtime composition environment Z based on Max/MSP and the multitouch interface for Max, MSpace. The Norwegian premiere would take place at Borealis festival the following March. The authors also publish an essay about the working process in the proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference. #commission #music #electroacoustics #software #composition #publication

2010, 4 June–8 August. In collaboration with Maia Urstad and the 3,14 Foundation, BEK produces the exhibition Contemporary Artists from South Africa for the 3,14 Gallery. The show features an installation by Hobbs & Neustetter and a multi-channel sound installation by James Webb, both created in Norway. The video programme consists of 8 video works by different artists and animation films by Cameron Platter. A catalogue is published. #exhibition #installation #publication

2010, 28 September–1 October. BEK holds a workshop about a tool for building instruments in SuperCollider, called Modality. Developed by Jeff Carey and Bjørnar Habbestad, its starting point was an attempt to unify various protocols (HID, MIDI, OSC). Other invited participants include Alberto de Campo, Wouter Snoei, Marije Baalman and Trond Lossius. The workshop is the first extended meeting around Modality. BEK would go on to host another workshop in November 2013. Over the years, Modality would develop into a toolkit to support live electronic performance environments. #musicalinstruments #software #music #workshop

2010, 11–29 October. BEK presents Mattias Arvastsson’s video sculpture Offset Variations and Maria Øy Lojo’s installation Ripple at USF Verftet. #exhibition

2010, December. Anne Marthe Dyvi joins BEK as artistic developer. Freshly graduated from her master’s at Bergen’s Art Academy, she also has a background in theatre and is part of the female collective platform Ytter along with Julie Lillelien Porter, Anngjerd Rustand and Vilde Andrea Brun. Dyvi came into contact with the electronic arts milieu through her participation in a competition arranged by the computer science department at NTNU together with TEKS in Trondheim where she received the main award for her project about data and algorithms. She views the field’s potential as being especially about bridging scientific and humanities work and thinking and opening this out to a broader society. While Lossius’s point of focus at BEK is primarily research, Dyvi would come to see her role as being focused on frameworks, situations and content that artists and audiences can respond to. She would work at BEK until 2019. During that time she would also closely engage with diverse art scenes in Norway as a practising artist and in other roles as a board member for Bergen Kunsthall, NBK–Norske billedkunstnere (Norwegian Visual Artists), PNEK and Lydgalleriet. #organisation

2011

2011, 11 March. The first in the event series Rad curated by Espen Sommer Eide and Anne Marthe Dyvi for BEK takes place at the recently established artist-run gallery KNIPSU in central Bergen. The philosopher Steinar Bøyum reflects on the concept of the series, departing from the idea of raw laughter of the 15th-century author Rabelais. Eide presents the sound of dead languages. Ellen Røed does a performance for science, sarabande and harpsichord. Maia Urstad performs the radio concert 23 Uhr in Deutschland, Las cinco de la mañana en Madrid, Hilversum 16:00, Saint Johns 7:30 while 7:00 in Nova Scotia. #performance

2011, 11–12 June. The second Rad event takes place at Knut Vaage’s cabin at Sunde, Kvinnherad, south of Bergen. The invited musicians/artists Knut Vaage, Trine Hylander Friis, Signe Lidén, Alog/Espen Sommer Eide, Dag-Are Haugan, Sigbjørn Apeland and Anne Marthe Dyvi improvise together, present a reading of Ragnvald Vaage’s poetry and serve food. The audience and performers spend the night there. #concert #performance #poetry

🔗 Photographs from the event.

2011, 29 May–21 August. The exhibition Sonic Interaction Design on the use of interactive sound design in art, music, design and research takes place at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology in Oslo. It is a result of a four-year research project funded by the EU. Curated by Trond Lossius (BEK) and Frauke Behrendt (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge) and produced by BEK. For the exhibition, eleven works were selected from over a hundred proposals received and a work was commissioned from Espen Sommer Eide who creates a multi-touch music instrument in the form of an app. An estimated 30,000 people visit the show. A catalogue is published. The exhibition accompanies the major international conference NIME 2011: The International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression which takes place at the University of Oslo. #sound #design #interactiveart #exhibition #publication

🔗 Exhibition photographs.

🔗 The exhibition catalogue (PDF).

2011, Autumn. The Video Art Archive is launched by PNEK. BEK is indirectly involved through Anne Marthe Dyvi as she takes part in the archive’s resource group, being responsible for dissemination. The group also consists of Per Platou as project manager, Ida Lykken Ghosh as coordinator, Marit Paasche as lead researcher and Ivar Smedstad as technology expert. In the pilot phase, which runs until 2015, a large scope of video works and material would be collected, archived and digitised and published online, while the collection of over 2,900 videos by 645 artists would be transferred to the library of the National Museum in Oslo in 2020. #archive #video #preservation

🔗 The online version of the archive with a large collection of digitised material (requires registration).

2011, 18 November. Rad #3 is dedicated to literature, art and law and revolves around the notion of ‘zero document’ (0-dokument), a designation in Norwegian public administration for documents deemed confidential for third parties. The event takes place inside the Bergen District Court. The programme includes a lecture by Bjørn Ekeland from a research group on law, rhetoric and literature at the University of Bergen, a performance by Trine Falch, photographs by Julie Lillelien Porter, a radio play by Nicholas Møllerhaug and a performance by Alwynne Pritchard, Thorolf Thuestad and Claire Zakiewicz. #performance

2012

2012. By now it has become clear that building the organisation around the three-layer structure, as Lars Ove Toft envisioned when he started as BEK’s general manager over two years earlier, is difficult. Restricting employee roles to different user groups creates close dependencies, where things cannot move on when someone is not available. In terms of expanding BEK’s user base, its main potential partner is the adjacent Academy which is however busy with continual restructuring and has no resources to maintain networks with small organisations. It also proves challenging to keep the emphasis on developing tools and open-ended experimentation because funding is bound to artistic output in terms of events and is not so suited to longer-term development of artistic projects and tools. What has worked, however, is maintaining an environment where people are welcome to reach out for advice, equipment and collaboration, which helps to embed BEK more closely in local art milieus. Small projects receive due attention next to larger initiatives and BEK’s role as facilitator becomes of central importance. The plans for building a structured organisation have been set aside and BEK would keep moving forward by being shaped by what the people who work there are interested in. In the following years, Toft’s contract would be extended twice and with a temporary leave in 2018 he would continue leading BEK until late 2020. #organisation #milieu

2012, 16 June. Rad #4 explores reading aloud as artistic form and takes place at the Latin school in Mesterlektien, Bergen. The programme includes readings from texts selected by a number of invited readers, lectures, sound, music, food, performative approaches, poetry and film. Contributors include Anne Margrethe Konow-Lund, Julie Lillelien Porter, Yngve Pedersen, Kristin Tårnesvik, Steinar Bøyum, Trond Søbstad, Ole Mads Sirks Vevle, Espen Sommer Eide and Anne Marthe Dyvi.

2012, 1–2 October. The experimental performing arts project An Index of Collisions (En indeks over kollisjoner; Kollisjonsindeks) initiated by Roar Sletteland and Thorolf Thuestad is shown at KNIPSU Gallery in Bergen. The work is an ongoing exploration of the margins between installation and performative art, based on a series of kinetic sculptures and instruments. Other contributing artists include Øystein Nesheim, Tor Kristian Liseth, Øyvind Ådland and Hild Borchgrevink. It would be shown in changing iterations at Trykk:trykk in Bergen in November 2012, Lydgalleriet in April 2013 and the Small Projects gallery in Tromsø in October 2016. BEK serves as co-producer and publisher of a book based on the project in 2015. #installation #exhibition #performance #musicalinstruments

Kollisjonsindeks shown at Lydgalleriet, April 2013.

2012, 2–11 November. BEK produces and curates the exhibition The Ritual of Walking in a Circle in collaboration with Lydgalleriet at the s12 gallery in Bergen. The exhibition presents Kjersti Sundland’s video installation Enduring Portrait showing the gradual ageing process of a woman, Ellen Røed’s video Elektra based on volcanic activity of Popocatépetl and Anne Marthe Dyvi’s new video work I / Jeg. The show is part of the programme of Ephemeral Sustainability, a major international conference on presenting, documenting, collecting and archiving sound-based art. #exhibition #video

2012, December. Maia Urstad and Sissel Lillebostad edit a special issue of Kunstjournalen B-post on sound art featuring contributions by and about a number of artists from BEK’s milieu. #publication #soundart #milieu

🔗 The bilingual journal issue, in English and Norwegian, open access.

2013

2013. Apichaya (Piya) Wanthiang receives a year-long funding award under the Arts Council’s scheme to support emerging artists. She has recently graduated in art from the Bergen Academy of Art and Design and previously studied art, culture and language in Belgium. Wanthiang is originally from Thailand, but also has Belgian citizenship. She works with installations that combine painting, three-dimensional structures, video, sound and other media. She works with themes related to place such as geography as well as social practice and the relationship between the image and the spectator as an active and choreographed participant. The works also touch on topics such as migration, identity, belonging and cultural codes. #organisation #video #socialpractice

2013, 6 June. Rad #5: Transition explores the path between light and dark, objecthood and flatness, and sound and silence. The event takes place in the premises of Fortidsminneforeningen (The Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments), Bergen. The starting point for a performance by Mari Kvien Brunvoll, Kristin Tårnesvik and Espen Sommer Eide is printing plates used in early 20th century textbooks introducing a new classification system of plants by Emil Korsmo. Further contributors include Lasse Årikstad, Lona Hansen, Steinar Bøyum, Piya Wanthiang, Tolga Balci and Anne Marthe Dyvi. #performance

2013, 13 September–24 October. The two-part exhibition This Must Be the Place is staged at KINOKINO Centre for Art and Cinema and the Sandnes Art Association. It has been developed as part of the artistic research project Re:place realised by the Bergen Art Academy with the Oslo Art Academy, the Grieg Academy, BEK and others over the past year. Trond Lossius has served as project manager through his 50% professorship at the Bergen Academy. The central theme is place and artistic processes of intervening in places and placemaking. Presented are works by Anne Marthe Dyvi, Trond Lossius, Ellen Røed, Signe Lidén, Jeremy Welsh, Jan Schacher, Andreas Bunte, Morten Eide Pedersen, Bull.Miletic, Eamon O’Kane and Line Bøhmer Løkken. #exhibition #artisticresearch #soundart

🔗 Transcript of public conversation with participating artists.

2013, 20–22 September. BEK organises the art and music event Durative Practices at the Villa Kalfarlien 18 in Bergen around the theme of duration. The programme is curated by Anne Marthe Dyvi and includes a concert by Tommy Kotter Trio (Tommy Kotter, Yasuhito Mori, David Sundby), a video work by Apichaya Wanthiang accompanied by a dance by Karen Eide Bøen, a geological science-fiction movie by Anders Elsrud Hultgreen and a weaving performance by Idunn Aune Forland and Dyvi.

2013, 17–25 October. An interactive installation by Marieke Verbiesen, Moviestar, is presented at Art Academy as part of Meteor Festival. The work, co-produced by BIT-Teatergarasjen and BEK, utilises classic film, animation, robotics, sound and motion tracking to simulate a movie scene where visitors play the main role. They find themselves on a film set surrounded by cameras, lights and a green screen studio, projected into a world of monsters, UFOs and surreal events they control by movements in front of the camera. The first version of this tribute to the history of special visual effects was presented three years ago at TodaysArt festival in the Hague. #installation #interaction

2013, 18 October. The Bergen Public Library opens the Bergen Reads – Together! project, developed together with BEK, inviting visitors to contribute to a digital version of a novel by Stig Holmås by reading its passages on camera. The recording would be completed in two weeks and followed by several more books. #socialpractice

2013, 25–27 October. Anders Elsrud Hultgreen’s new video work Evighetens avkom is presented as part of the Screen City festival in Stavanger. The work has been commissioned by BEK following an open call. #video #commission

2013, December. Oslo-based composer researcher Anders Vinjar holds a workshop at BEK on OpenMusic, a visual programming language for computer-aided composition developed at IRCAM, Paris. The software is currently being ported into Linux and in this connection, Vinjar has been commissioned to create an ambisonic piece to be presented the following year. BEK also commissions two of the workshop participants, Jostein Stalheim and Marcus Davidson, to compose two short pieces which would be eventually completed in a year. Later in November 2015, IRCAM developers would give an OpenMusic workshop at the Music Academy in Oslo with several artists from Bergen taking part. #music #software #workshop

2014

2014, 23–26 January. On behalf of BEK, Apichaya Wanthiang curates the exhibition I Love Your Manners Full of Deceit at KNIPSU Gallery with works by emerging artists. #exhibition

2014, 4–13 April. With BEK’s support, Apichaya Wanthiang presents her immersive installation Without Waiting for Her Reply at Visningsrommet USF. The work explores the oral and embodied storytelling culture in the artists’s childhood village in northeastern Thailand and revolves around a live broadcast of sunrise over a landscape in the countryside which the audience observes during night-time in Bergen. The installation is framed by wooden structures reminiscent of Thai traditional rest houses on rice fields and features videos and songs from daily life. Electronics for the installation have been developed by Roar Sletteland and Sindre Sørensen. #installation #exhibition #video #streaming

2014, 14 June. Rad #6: Freedom, Interaction, Isolation takes place at Fløyen above Bergen and forms the occasion for the launch of an LP record from the event Rad #2 in 2011, where artists and audience members huddled in the composer Knut Vaage’s cabin.

2014, 26 June. As part of a new series titled Multi, BEK and Lydgalleriet present an ambisonic concert using a 24-channel speaker rig installed at Østre, the venue above Lydgalleriet. Presented are world premieres of works by Natasha Barrett and Anders Vinjar and the Norwegian premieres of works by Åke Parmerud (Sweden), Ludger Brümmer (Germany) and Fernando López-Lezcano (USA). Vinjar’s work Aria ex aria has been commissioned by BEK and done with open-source software. BEK has a long history of working with surround sound, including the development of supporting software platforms such as Jamoma and ATK for Reaper. Artists working in ambisonics in Norway and even internationally are however very few and the Multi series would offer rare workshops, commissions and concert opportunities for both established composers and emerging artists. The original impetus came from Lydgalleriet as a way to make use of its equipment while it had to reduce its exhibition programme due to financial difficulties. Natasha Barrett initially serves as curator of the series and is later joined by Trond Lossius and others. #music #ambisonics

2014, September. Trond Lossius collaborates with Joseph Anderson from The Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) at the University of Washington on porting the software toolkit for ambisonics (ATK) from Supercollider to another audio editing software, Reaper. It would be used by artists, musicians and composers in immersive concerts, performances and installations internationally, including the concert series Multi. Lossius also participates on developing a file format for describing and storing works that use surround sound called SpatDIF. #software #sound #ambisonics

🔗 The website for the Ambisonic Toolkit developed by BEK in 2016.

🔗 A paper by Trond Lossius and Joseph Anderson discussing ATK for Reaper, 2014.

🔗 A paper by Nils Peters, Trond Lossius and Jan C. Schacher discussing SpatDIF, published in Computer Music Journal, 2013.

2014, 17 and 25 October. Two works commissioned by BEK premiere at Østre as part of the Ekko Festival. Asbjørn Blokkum Flø’s work Analogikk for analogue electronics and four musicians, developed since 2010, is performed by the composer, Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje, Alexander Rishaug and Hild Sofie Tafjord. Guitarist and composer Stephan Meidell and multimedia sculptor Birk Nygaard present Dialogues in which Meidell performs computer music using a tape deck machine as the interface while Nygaard creates a visual accompaniment to the music. In addition, as part of the festival exhibition, Nygaard also shows two wall clocks interacting to music and Marieke Verbiesen presents the audiovisual instrument Mayhem Machine for synchronised sound, light and animation compositions, co-produced by BEK, which she would continue to develop in the years to come. #commission #music #interaction

2014, 14–16 November. On behalf of BEK, Anne Marthe Dyvi curates the art programme for the Solund Light Art Festival. Viel Bjerkeset Andersen, HC Gilje and Ellen Røed present site-specific works. #lightart #festival

2015

2015, 4, 18 and 25 March. In collaboration with Dušan Barok who runs the Monoskop.org platform and moved to Bergen two years earlier, BEK organises a three-part series of seminars on media aesthetics titled The Extensions of Many. Named as a pun on Marshall McLuhan’s understanding of media as the extensions of man, the cycle aims to rethink mediality from non-anthropocentric perspectives. The themes range from sonic art and theory of rhythm, through the emergence of narratives about multimedia systems in the amalgam of library science and peace activism, to relations between video art and ecological crisis. The speakers include Ina Blom (University of Oslo), Florian Cramer (Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam), Knut Ove Eliassen (NTNU, Trondheim), Olga Goriunova (University of Warwick), Aud Sissel Hoel (NTNU, Trondheim), Eleni Ikoniadou (Kingston University, London) and Femke Snelting (Constant, Brussels). #seminar #theory

🔗 Video recordings of the seminars.

2015, 12 March. Lydgalleriet, BEK and Electric Audio Unit present another edition of Multi concerts at Østre as part of Borealis festival. The works presented include those by Thorolf Thuestad (for 27 loudspeakers), Natasha Barrett, Rebecka Sofia Ahvenniemi and Bethan Parkes. Bethan would return to Bergen the following year as a guest artist at USF. #music #ambisonics

2015, 3 May. Theatre maker Jingyi Wang presents Static Theatre: Those That Have Been Left Behind at Studio USF. Co-produced by BEK, the work explores the boundaries of theatre as an art-form by presenting works of invited Bergen-based artists in a still performance without performers. #performance #theatre

2015, 15 May. For Rad #7: Norsk Retorikk, Espen Sommer Eide and Anne Marthe Dyvi have invited 50 researchers and artists and writers to contribute to a manual of Norwegian rhetoric. The fanzine, published in an edition of 300 copies, is launched at Hordaland Arts Centre. This is the final edition in the Rad series. #publication

🔗 Electronic version of the fanzine.

2015, June and December. BEK releases three e-books edited and designed by Apichaya Wanthiang. Thorolf Thuestad and Roar Sletteland’s Kollisjonsindeks – It’s Magical and Strange, but it’s just Natural is a collection of interviews, documentation and material from a project exploring the margins between installation and performative art. Espen Sommer Eide’s Language in Time is based on his lecture given in connection to his exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall in 2013. Finally, On Balancing by Ellen Røed gives an insight into an artwork as an evolving performative system exhibited by Røed and Christian Blom at Rom8 during the Borealis festival in 2012. #publication

🔗 Kollisjonsindeks on Apple Books.

🔗 Language in Time on Apple Books.

🔗 On Balancing on Apple Books.

2015, 25 September–11 October. BEK participates in the large cross-generational exhibition Lokalt situated in a former prison in Bergen. Anne Marthe Dyvi and Trond Lossius are among the 27 featured local artists. BEK supports the production of several works. #exhibition #milieu

2015, 27 November–3 December. The French artist duo Les Balthazars presents the installation-performance diptych Nocturne at Lydgalleriet and Studio USF in collaboration with BEK. The work revolves around mist as a sculptural material. #installation #exhibition

2015, 9 December. BEK’s workshop on circumferential sound for composers and sound artists is accompanied by another edition of Multi concerts at Lydgalleriet. Presented is a new work by Trond Lossius and earlier pieces by Joseph Anderson and French-Syrian artist Julia Hanadi Al Abed. #music #ambisonics

2015, 11 December. BEK celebrates its 15th anniversary at Landmark. The rich programme curated by Anne Marthe Dyvi includes concerts, videos, animations, online art, light art, performances and noise. With performances by Espen Sommer Eide, Gisle Frøysland, HC Gilje, Jørgen Larsson, Lerin / Hystad, Trond Lossius, Gisle Martens Meyer, Ellen Røed, Maia Urstad, Amanda Steggell (Motherboard) and Marieke Verbiesen. #organisation #milieu

🔗 Ellen Røed’s talk about BEK’s early years, entitled “Equalize all media!”

🔗 Photos

2016

2016. The work starts towards renovation of BEK’s premises for the first time since the late 1990s. Lars Ove Toft, Trond Lossius and Anne Marthe Dyvi are in charge of the process, rethinking uses of the space and gathering funding. The new BEK would reopen in January 2019. #organisation

2016, 10 March. Three new musical works for a surround system are presented at Østre at Borealis festival as part of the series Multi by BEK, Lydgalleriet, NOTAM, Borealis and Electric Audio Unit. The works are by Anders Vinjar, Kari Telstad Sundet, Julian Skar and Mia Marlen Berg. Curated by Trond Lossius, Roar Sletteland and Peter Meanwell. #commission #music #ambisonics

2016, 3 June. The opera Tycho Brahe written and directed by Ursus productions (Sigurd Fischer Olsen, Lena Buchacz, Roar Sletteland) premieres at Grand Bergen. The story centers around the death of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe in Prague and is situated in the world of early modern science. BEK has co-produced the work and commissioned music from Sigurd Fischer Olsen. #performance

Trailer.

2016, 23 June. BEK stages an evening of installations and performances called Playful Interventions at Østre. This is the first event of the Mikrolabs initiative for video game-based art which was started by Marieke Verbiesen three years earlier. #performance #installation

2016, Summer. BEK is part of the new four-year project Future DiverCities focusing on art in the urban context and the role of citizen participation in shaping the city. Funded through the EU’s Creative Europe programme together with nine organisation across the continent, BEK has been working on it since 2014, with the project being managed and developed by Anne Marthe Dyvi. In the years to follow, a number of artists from BEK’s milieu would take part in workshops and festivals organised by the network. #collaboration

2016, September. BEK participates in Tarek Atoui’s project Within, developing new musical instruments for the second edition of the Bergen Assembly art triennial. The project explores the diversity of hearing and how deafness can give us a new understanding of the performance of sound and music, sound space and instrumentation. The instruments were installed in the disused swimming pool Sentralbadet in central Bergen and used by invited participants in performances. Espen Sommer Eide has developed an instrument called Ouroboros in collaboration with deaf practitioners and those with different levels of hearing. The instrument consists of custom-made microphones, pedals and speakers. Kari Telstad Sundet and Trond Lossius develop software for another instrument called FELT, a sound sampler operated by pressure-sensitive textile panels. All three take part in a performance programme as well. #musicalinstruments #performance

2016, September. The film Oilers created by Anne Marthe Dyvi together with Massimiliano Mollona from freethought collective premieres as part of the End of Oil programme at Bergen Assembly. The 30-minute film investigates the Norwegian oil economy from the workers’ point of view. Throughout the previous year, while the recession had been progressively hitting the job market, the artists followed workers assembling an offshore platform at the Kværner Stord shipyard and weighed on their faith in the declining sector and prospects for the future. #video #film

Film trailer.

🔗 Régine Debatty’s review of Oilers.

2016, 28 October–6 November. Sara Rajaei’s short film In the Gaze of Panoptes is presented at 3,14 Gallery. The work features the life journeys of fifteen Bergen inhabitants from different parts of the world. The exhibition is curated by Trond Lossius and Malin Barth and has been produced under 3,14’s residency programme in collaboration with BEK. #video #film #exhibition

2016, November. Vilde Salhus Røed joins BEK as information manager for internal communication, social media and Future DiverCities project. She received her master’s from Bergen’s Art Academy and worked with different organisations including NBK as a board member. She comes to BEK at a time when funding for art and technology is slowly fading out and there is an effort to emphasize its institutional side. #organisation

2016, 3 November. Niilas and Bethan Kellough perform their pieces on Lydgalleriet’s ambisonics setup at Ekko music festival as part of the Multi series in collaboration with BEK. Niilas’s piece is a commission for the series. #commission #music #ambisonics

2016, 3–4 December. BEK holds the seminar and workshop The Material in The Immaterial for artists working with video to share and discuss their practices, organised by Sara Santos and Anne Marthe Dyvi. The invited artists Julien Maire (France), Alexandre Estrela (Portugal), Ellen Røed and Kjersti Sundland give presentations, while Julien Maire also leads a workshop for real-time manipulation of video and graphics. #seminar #workshop #video

2017

2017, January. Marit Paasche, an art historian who has also focused on video art early on, joins BEK’s board as chairman. She views BEK’s potential as being especially about expanding on the issues in art, technology and society and reaching out to new audiences. #organisation

2017, 9 March. Four new musical works for a surround sound system are presented at Østre at Borealis festival as part of the commission series Multi by Lydgalleriet, BEK, NOTAM, Borealis and Electric Audio Unit. Tolga Balci (Turkey) and Jacqueline George (Egypt) present their ‘surround’ debuts, Craig Wells (UK)’s work combines live electronics and surround sound, while Yvette Janine Jackson (US) presents a surround sound radio opera. #commission #music #ambisonics

2017, 11 March. Espen Sommer Eide and Signe Lidén perform Vertical Studies: Acoustic Shadows and Boundary Reflections II at a former military base outside Bergen. The interior of the 15-metre-high cannon serves as a vertical field laboratory, where the artists utilise sound created by wind-recording instruments and bird songs at various heights of the atmosphere. Vertical telescopes with speaker elements allow them to play sounds on the whole vertical axis of the space. The audience is placed on different levels and wanders up and down through the laboratory. The work is presented as part of Borealis festival, commissioned by Sonic Acts and Dark Ecology and supported by BEK. #performance #musicalinstruments #sound

2017. Throughout the year, in collaboration with Bergen Public Library, BEK arranges a series of workshops on technology and crafts, Digicraft, aimed at young people. Jan Willem Hagenbeek and Steven Pickles give a workshop on DIY instruments, Raquel Meyers on digital embroidery and Rosa Menkman on ‘datamoshing’ and glitch art. #workshop #crafts #glitch

2017, 11 August. The stage production Blind Spot: Staring Down the Void by Karen Kipphoff, Trond Lossius and others premieres at the Norwegian Theatre Academy in Fredrikstad. The work examines the blind spot as a sensory phenomenon. Created in collaboration with the Academy of Performing Arts at Østfold University College, BEK and other partners, it would be played again at BIT Teatergarasjen in Bergen in October. #performance #theatre

2017, 4 September. Filmmaker and electronic musician Carsten Aniksdal and bass-guitar player and composer James Welburn present their first collaboration at a concert at Landmark. It is a result of their residency at BEK as the pilot edition of its Studio Sessions, 10-day residencies where two musicians are invited to collaborate in BEK’s sound studio to create a new composition. The series is organised by Marieke Verbiesen for BEK. The evening also has the interactive animation Harmonic Connection created by designer Stian Remvik who has been collaborating with BEK since 2010. Aniksdal and Welburn’s recording would later be edited, mixed, mastered and released as a two-track cassette on the Italian label Subsidence in June 2018. #commission #residency #music

2017, 1 December. Tijs Ham launches the series Mod/All focusing on developing artistic visions in order to address the perceived need of catching up with the continuous developments in technology for live sound. The series would later involve three discussion sessions and a practical workshop week in early March 2018. #workshop #sound

2018

2018. After 20 years, the Arts Council closes down the support scheme for art and technology projects, known as KNYT, as it evaluated that it overlaps with other schemes and transfers the funds under visual arts. This move has been expected for a long time, still it raises existential questions for many organisations associated with the field. #culturalpolitics

2018, April–January 2019. Lars Ove Toft takes a temporary leave, his duties as general manager are taken on by Anne Marthe Dyvi. #organisation

2018, 1 June. BEK organises the seminar Survival Kit for the Age of Technology at the Bergen Public Library, arranged by Anne Marthe Dyvi. In their lectures, Knut Melvær, Kjetil Rommetveit and Jill Walker Rettberg, all from the University of Bergen, delve into terminology, technical gadgetry and communication habits spawned by technological developments. Musician and performer Eva Pfitzenmaier and Dutch electronic instrument builder Tom Verbruggen/toktek present their performance created as part of BEK’s Studio Sessions residency programme. #seminar #scholarship #commission #residency #music

Lectures and discussion.
Performance.

2018, 8–14 June. BEK organises the gradually changing exhibition-workshop Thresholds of the Algorithmic at Lydgalleriet, convened by David Pirrò and Hanns Holger Rutz from the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM) at Graz University of Music and Performing Arts. Participants selected after an open call bring in open-ended projects and develop them at the location. The event features sound installations, kinetic sculptures and performance work by Niklas Adam, Eirik Blekesaune, Alicia Champlin (USA), Max Franklin (Netherlands), Erin Gee (Canada), Kosmas Giannoutakis (Austria), Tijs Ham, Daniele Pozzi (Austria), Thorolf Thuestad and Stefano Zorzanello (Italy). The process is documented in an online video by Paul Johannessen. The event is part of a series of sound-oriented workshops co-produced with Notam, aimed at experienced artists. #exhibition #workshop #soundart

2018, 3 November. The site-specific work Sprang by Maia Urstad and Hilde Hauan opens in the Gjerstad-barn at Osterøy Museum. The work has been in development since 2013, produced by BEK. The light and sound installation references Pythagorian tuning systems and the textile technique ‘sprang’ (leap), known in the Nordic region from the Bronze Age as a way of constructing a fabric using stretched threads and a simple kind of loom with only warping. #exhibition #soundart

2019

2019, 19 January. BEK reopens its premises after three-month long renovation by 3RW Architects with a two-week-long series of events curated by Anne Marthe Dyvi. Paul Johannessen facilitates a course on DIY film, Kjersti Sundland discusses electromagnetic radiation in art and thought, Sabine Popp gives a performance lecture on the artistic use of algae, objects and the body, Siri Austeen and Espen Sommer Eide talk about sound art in a post-truth era and Else Olsen S, John Hegre, Brita UT and Andrea Urstad Toft give performances. With this also comes a repositioning of BEK as an institution. It is acknowledged that new technology has become ubiquitous across the arts as well as in society, politics and everyday life. While serving as a meeting place and facilitator for new connections, BEK also wants to put an emphasis on themes such as identity, globalisation/nativism, surveillance and ecology while thinking about and with technology. The use of sound and video rooms is also adjusted and longer-term uses for production and short-term residencies are prioritised. #organisation

2019, 10 March. The audio cinema piece Reality-based Audio Workshop: Mongstad premieres at Bergen Cinema as part of the Borealis festival. The project was initiated by BEK in collaboration with sonic ethnographer Ernst Karel from the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab and developed through a workshop with a group of artists held the previous year in August. The workshop was second in the series of workshops for experienced artists. In it, the artists visited Mongstad, an industrial area north of Bergen, to record sound on-site and follow CO2 gas from the refinery through the CO2 capture facility – which former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called Norway’s “moon landing” – to an algae plantation where CO2 is used in the cultivation of edible algae. This circular path of the CO2 was chosen as a symbol of one of the biggest issues facing Norway today, concerning its past and future. Participating artists: Signe Lidén, Alexander Rishaug, Bodil Furu, Rune Søchting, Yngvild Færøy, Jiska Huizing, Siri Austeen, Joakim Blattmann, Espen Sommer Eide and Ernst Karel. #soundart #fieldrecording #ecology #ethnography #ambisonics #workshop

2019, 24 April. British electronic musician Adam Parkinson and Norwegian composer and artist Tine Surel Lange present their live electronics collaboration at BEK created as part of its Studio Sessions residency programme. #residency #commission #music

Performance.
Research process.

2019, 15 June. BEK holds a screening of the video book Survival Kit for the Age of Technology created during a workshop at BEK as part of the Future DiverCities project. The workshop organised by Anne Marthe Dyvi builds on the seminar held the previous year. Contributors include Michael Ang (Canada/Germany), Rocio Berenguer (Spain/France), Samuel Brzeski (UK/Norway), Stine Gonsholt (Norway/Germany), Yana Gorbalenya (Russia/Norway), David Guez (France), Tarik Hindic, Paul Johannesen (Australia/Norway), Åse Løvgren, Linda Kronman (Finland/Norway), Vilde Salhus Røed, Sara Salamon (Croatia) and Andreas Zingerle (Austria/Norway). #video #publication #workshop

Video book.

2019, 30 August. The participants of the Reality-based Audio Workshop present a collective improvised performance using a surround sound system at Struer Tracks urban sound art festival at Struer, Denmark. The work is a culmination of a workshop held prior to the event. The group addresses issues around land use and changes in the landscape occurring due to digital, global communications. The participating artists are Espen Sommer Eide, Yngvild Færøy, Siri Austeen, Alexander Rishaug, Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, Eduardo Abrantes and Rune Søchting. #fieldrecording #workshop #landscape #performance #ambisonics

2019, October. After nine years at BEK, Anne Marthe Dyvi leaves the organisation to fully focus on her art practice. Åse Løvgren joins BEK as project developer. She graduated from Bergen’s Art Academy and has, besides many other initiatives, worked as part of artistic duo Rakett with Karolin Tampere. Løvgren’s role in BEK involves initiating and producing art projects, first of which is the large closing event for Future DiverCities project, which would later be postponed, due to the coronavirus crisis, until late 2020. #organisation

2019, 26 October. As part of the Ekko festival at Østre, BEK hosts an artist talk on the history and future of home music production with acid house musician Andy Jenkinson (Ceephax Acid Crew, UK), chiptune musician Gareth Morris (gwEm, UK), ‘lowres’ veejay Julian Van Aalderen (Vj The C-men, Netherlands) and moderated by Marieke Verbiesen. #music #chiptune

2019, 7 November. Norwegian synth musician Helene Rickhard and British chiptune musician Gareth Morris present their collaboration at Lampemannen Bar in Bergen created as part of BEK’s Studio Sessions residency programme. The live performance and research process are documented in an online video by Paul Johannessen. #residency #commission #music #chiptune

2020

2020, 20–28 January. After the previous year’s success, BEK holds another open week with a range of programmes.

2020, 17–21 February. Artist and composer Luke Fischbeck from California facilitates a workshop on machine learning techniques for creative work with sound, another in the series of workshops for experienced artists. Participating artists were selected after an open call: Niklas Adam, Magnus Bugge, Toril Johannessen, Roel Heremans, Elise Macmillan, Øyvind Torvund, Espen Sommer Eide and Sindre Sørensen. #machinelearning #workshop #sound

2020, 3 May. In a continuation of Reality-based Audio Workshop, Yngvild Færøy, Jiska Huizing, Joakim Blattmann, Signe Lidén and Espen Sommer Eide perform from locations in various parts of the Oslo region as part of the global Reveil 2020 streaming festival. #sound #streaming

2020, 23 September. BEK launches a series of online lectures titled Blended Reality with Elizabeth LaPensée’s talk on Indigenous-led games and comics. The following month, Laura Allcorn of the Institute for Comedic Inquiry would talk about humour as an artistic strategy. The series is initiated and organised in collaboration with the Office of Life + Art (OLA).

2020 – the future. Coming faster than you realise…….

Acknowledgements
Anne Marthe Dyvi, Espen Sommer Eide, Gisle Frøysland, Jørgen Larsson, Signe Lidén, Trond Lossius, Åse Løvgren, Marit Paasche, Per Platou, Ellen Røed, Vilde Salhus Røed, Roar Sletteland, Lars Ove Toft and Marieke Verbiesen contributed to this chronology. Dušan Barok’s text has been proofread by Pip Rowson.