Future DiverCities

Latent City – Invisible Fields #1: Reading, performances, music, and conversations

"Latent City - Invisible Fields #1" online via Zoom from Bergen Kjøtt 21.11.2020 14.0021.11.2020 18.00


Welcome to Latent City – Invisible Fields #1, a programme that brings issues raised in the exhibition Latent City into dialogue through performances, talks, presentations and more. The programme will be live streamed, and through Zoom you can participate with your questions and omments. Details below.

Latent City – Invisible Fields #1 on Saturday 21 November 14:00 – 18:00 live streamed from Bergen Kjøtt
The event will be streamed on YouTube here and on BEK’s Facebook page here. This will be live streamed only, a recording will not be available after.
Please register here to receive a Zoom invitation, where you can participate with questions and comments to the panel discussions.

PROGRAMME (approximate times)

14:00 Welcome and introduction (English)

14:10 Thure Erik Lund: Kunstige forvandlinger, essay read by Erlend O. Nødtvedt (Norwegian)

14:30 Maren Dagny Juell, presentation and discussion with Thure Erik Lund and Magnhild Øen Nordahl (Norwegian)

15:00 Meus Caros Amigos – part II – correspondence with N, Nayara Leite, live performance (English/Portuguese)

15:15 Hertzian Field #2, Stelios Manousakis, introduction and performance, pre-recorded excerpt (English)

15:30 Firebird, Parsa Shomali/Teresa Prati/Anders Hannevold/Juan Qin, concert/performance

15:45 Meus Caros Amigos – part II correspondence with Tom, Nayara Leite, performance (English/Portuguese)

16:00 VUMA Projects: Sheila Feruzi Kassim, Christa Mako Teigen and Majenneh Dukuly, presentation (English)

16:10 Reflection on the video programme of Latent City, Anders Rubing, pre-recorded (English)

16:30 Panel with VUMA and Anders Rubing, moderated by Maria Rusinovskaya (English)

17:15 Meus Caros Amigos – part II – correspondence with Té, Nayara Leite, performance (English/Portuguese)

17:25 Edgelands,Trond Lossius with an introduction (English)

18:00 End of programme

Latent City – Invisible Fields #1 starts out dealing with the often invisible layer of technology that is physically present in our cities. It registers our bodies, but it is not visible to the naked eye. Stelios Manousakis’ performance Hertzian Field #2 is an augmented reality immersive sound and movement performance that analyzes the body’s interference on WiFi networks to produce sound. A WiFi sensing system is coupled to an audio feedback network surrounding the audience to create an environment in which body, space, movement, sound, and WiFi waves are entangled in a quantum embrace.

Further aspects of technology are investigated in Thure Erik Lunds text Kunstige forvandlinger, where he ponders on the relation between art, language and technology. Maren Dagny Juell will present her artwork that is part of the Latent City exhibition, that takes into account how smartphones have become an extension to our bodies and how they influence communication and affect. Juell and Lund will enter a dialogue moderated by Magnhild Øen Nordahl, artist and PhD candidate at KMD, the University of Bergen, where she investigates the intersections of art and technology.

Firebird is a multimedia project that includes live performance and audio/visual arts. This project is generated by the usage of paper. The project is created by Juan Qin, Teresa Prati, Parsa Shomali, and Anders Hannevold, who will also perform the piece live at Bergen Kjøtt. 

The second half of the day will deal with the more social aspects of invisibility: What is the power relation between visibility and invisibility? VUMA Projects, represented by Sheila Feruzi Kassim, Christa Mako Teigen and Majenneh Dukuly, will present their work with VUMA Soner, a geo-localised app that triggers stories told by people of colour residing in Bergen. By literally setting their mark on the map and the public spaces of Bergen City centre, albeit through the invisible medium of sound, new stories are told, and the dominant identities of these spaces can be challenged. Anders Rubing is invited to bring a reflection on the video programme of Latent City based on his research at SKOK, University of Bergen, where he aims to unpack how visions of different urban futures are produced by urban security and resilience discourses, with a focus on dimensions relating to migration, social inequality and gender. VUMA and Anders Rubing will enter a dialogue moderated by Maria Rusinovskaya, delving into their individual works and discussing aspects around representation, whose point of view is being seen and heard, how to reclaim space and history, and how to move from the potentials that lie in the present to envision a future.

The sound work Edgelands by Trond Lossius starts from a series of field recordings from the suburbs and fringes of the city. These zones are critical as urban infrastructures, residential areas and for transport and industry. Still, they come across as bland, banal, and anonymous, haphazardly developed and aesthetically neglected. The suburban soundscape is truly anthropocene and testifies to current political, societal, economic and environmental conditions. 

Nayara Leite will present a performance, entitled Meus Caros Amigos – part II, that will be interspersed throughout this day’s programme. This is a continuation of a project in which through writing letters, she enters intimate dialogues with her friends in Brazil. The work addresses  issues around politics, especially related to the victory of self proclaimed homophobe Jair Bolsonaro, threats of violence directed to the LGBTQ+ community and latent unrest in the Brazilian society. Thoughts on the political reality is mixed with frustrations in daily life, how to live in the midst of all this, how to be able to understand the people that you share your country with, and how to find hope and come together.

Latent City – Invisible Fields #2 takes place on 29 November, and will be streamed.

Please find the full programme of Latent City here, and see the online exhibition here.

Latent City presents artistic productions dealing with the city’s hidden stories. Seen through the lens of artistic observation, latent infrastructures and questions of digital presence and of power and democracy in our cities, meet in an exhibition that takes place over three weeks. The Latent City is the city that awaits, the one that is about to unfold, our common future city. 

Contributions by: Aleksander Johan Andreassen, Aske Thiberg, GaraGara Artist Initiative, Gitte Sætre & Frans Jacobi, Hanan Benammar, Hannevold/Prati/Qin/Shomali, Jan Mocek, Jonas Ersland, Kaeto Sweeney, Maren Dagny Juell, Marit Eikemo, Nayara Leite, Pia Rönicke, Stelios Manousakis, Stephen Connolly, Thure Erik Lund, Tivon Rice, Trond Lossius, VUMA Projects, Søssa Jørgensen & Yngvild Færøy. The programme is developed by BEK.

Several of the art projects are financed or commissioned by BEK, while others are existing works presented in new formats. A video programme will be on show throughout the project period and there will be an extensive program of talks and performances. Please find full programme here.

The title Latent City is inspired by the term “latent space” from machine learning and artificial intelligence. Latent space refers to the pool of compressed data that the machine analyzes in order to extract knowledge from, and where algorithmic computations often are so complex that they become opaque and gain a life of their own. Latent City thus approaches the city structures that are obscured from our view: infrastructures such as wi-fi and surveillance technology, more-than-human perspectives from animals and nature, and political factors that involve power relations and social exclusion. Sci-fi visions of the city and contemplations on city planning point to new possibilities as well as pitfalls.

Contributors to Latent City – Invisible Fields #1

Thure Erik Lund (b. 1959, Vikersund) is one of Norway’s most original writers. In his writings, technology seems to be a springboard for reflection on nature and culture, and man´s transformations during a digital era. In his last essay collection, Romutvidelser (2019) he raises the question if nature and technology can merge. He has been called a kind of “techno-mystic”, who is continuously approaching the indiscernible future. Lund is currently working on a text around language technology, machine learning and originality. Through a variety of scenarios he looks at how language technology is able to influence and form existence, and thereby also litterature. Thure Erik Lund´s debut came in 1992 with Tanger, for which he received Tarjei Vesaas prize for debut prize. Lund has since then written ten novels, and written the essay collections Om naturen (2000), Forgreininger (2003), Om de nye norske byene (2006), and Romutvidelser (2019). In 2005 came the pamphlet Språk og natur. Lund has received a number of awards, amongst others the Sult-prize (1999) and Aschehoug prize. Please read more here.

Erlend O. Nødtvedt (b. 1984 in Bergen) is one of his generation ́s most central poets, and his poems have a certain energetic, wild and invoking form. He had his debut with the poetry collection Harudes in 2008. Later he wrote Bergens beskrivelse (2011) and Trollsuiten (2014). For his poetry he has won prizes such as Young Poetry Prize in 2008, Bergensprisen in 2011, Bjørnsonstipendet in 2012, Bokhandlerforeningens writers ́grant in 2015 and Premio Ostana in 2017. In Autumn 2017 Nødtvedt published his first novel Vestlandet and in 2019 the poetry collection Slekter.

Maren Dagny Juell (b. 1976, Oslo) works with video, Virtual Reality and installation. She has been invited by BEK to develop a new work that takes as its departure the formidable development of technology in the last 20 years, that we address in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of BEK this year. Her contribution to Latent City is the video installation It fits beautifully in the palm of your hand. Here tactile properties of the iPhone like the hard and the glossy are mixed with the magical and incomprehensible of this small machine. A voiceover consisting of both inner and outer monologue brings us into the constant friction of tension and harmony in the balance of what is fact and what is subjective. Juell has an MA from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (2004) and has had solo exhibitions at, among others, Atelier Nord, Trafo Kunsthall, Trøndelag Center for Contemporary Art, Podium Oslo and Akershus Kunstnersenter. Please read more here.

Magnhild Øen Nordahl (b. 1985, Ulstein) lives and works in Bergen, Norway. In 2018, she co-founded Aldea Center for Contemporary Art, Design and Technology and started a PhD in artistic research at the University of Bergen. In her practice, she looks at how we translate phenomena into abstract concepts and how giving a sculptural body to abstractions can be a way of examining with our hands, eyes, and feet; the things that structure our everyday. She has made works about measurement systems, the spherical shape of the Earth, standard shapes in 3D modeling software, and the double nature of the 3D model as both abstract and particular, digital and physical. Please read more here.

Nayara Leite (b. 1989, Fortaleza) is a Brazilian visual artist based in Bergen, Norway, whose practice navigates between analogue photography, performance, text, installation and video. Living abroad has made Nayara, in some ways, more patriotic. Being far away internalised her desire to be closer to Brazil. Not physically, but spiritually. She then found a way of making herself more present and actively involved with the Brazilian LGBTQ+ issues that are so close to her heart by producing a dark and often unbearable portrayal of the oppressive reality in which this community lives in her home country. Please read more here.

Anders Hannevold, Juan Qin, Teresa Prati, and Parsa Shomali is a constellation of four artists with different focuses in their artistic approaches, coming from four different countries and cultural backgrounds. They got to know each other and worked together while they were all studying at the University of Bergen. Parsa Shomali is a composer from Iran who studied at UiB, Tbilisi State Conservatory and University of music and performing arts, Vienna. He specializes in electronic music, and was a selected composer of International Computer Music Conference 2018 and Seoul Computer Music Festival in 2017 and 2019. Anders Hannevold is a Norwegian contemporary composer who studied at UiB and Kyoto University of arts, and was a selected composer of numerous seminars and workshops in Japan, Norway and worldwide. Juan Qin is a designer and visual artist from China who studied at UiB, China Central Academy of Fine Arts and Aalto University in Finland. In her work she focuses on digital visual arts. Teresa Prati is an Italian new media artist who studied at UiB and Academy of Fine Arts in Bergamo, Italy. She is specialized in the field of audiovisual performances. Please read more here.

Stelios Manousakis (b. Chania, 1980) is a Netherlands-based artist exploring relationships between time, space, body, system and sound. His work is particularly concerned with the invisible and the ephemeral. His practice lies in the convergence of art, philosophy, science and engineering; extending from performances, to interactive installations to compositions, fixed media pieces, and music for dance and film. Stelios’ work has been shown in five continents, in varied venues & festivals such as ZKM Karlsruhe, dOCUMENTA, Seattle Art Museum, IDFA Amsterdam, Museum of Contemporary Art Vigo, Dag in de Branding, ICMC, NIME, Rewire, Audio Art, and Athens Digital Arts Festival. Together with duo partner Stephanie Pan, Manousakis is the co-founding director and curator of the Modern Body Festival. Please read more here.

VUMA Projects is an initiative to see more young people of colour heard and represented in Scandinavia, on their own terms. It was started in Bergen, Norway by four women of multicultural backgrounds. VUMA Projects write, edit, research, run events, consult on diversity practice, and much more.

For Latent City VUMA Projects has developed a geo-localised app: VUMA Soner. It honours the voices, stories and talent of people of colour in Scandinavia. The app contains geo-triggered immersive audio experiences. This chapter of the app contains a collection of thoughts, reflections, and conversations, remembered or spontaneous, tied to specific landmarks, buildings and areas in the city of Bergen. The authors are all living in Bergen, some speaking in Norwegian and some in English. The sounds can be accessed in six central locations through a free downloadable app, which can be combined into one long, or multiple small walks. Production of the app is supported by the City of Bergen, the Arts Council of Norway and BEK. VUMA Soner is made by Sheila Kassim, Majenneh Dukuly and Christa Mako Teigen with additional sound elements and mastering by Tolga Balci. Please read more here.

Anders Rubing (b 1983, Umeå, Sweden) is an architect and a Ph.D. candidate at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK), University of Bergen. In his Ph.D. project, he wishes to unpack how visions of different urban futures are produced by urban security and resilience discourses, with a focus on dimensions relating to migration, social inequality and gender. As an architect and teacher, Rubing has a broad approach to architecture, as something that both influences and is influenced by society, politics, economy, struggles for democracy, diversity, marginalisation and inequality. Rubing was educated at Bergen School of Architecture (BAS) and is teaching at the same institution. He was co-editor for the award-winning book The City Between Freedom and Security (2017). Rubing has designed a broad spectrum of architecture, urban plans, and public art commissions and is currently one of three curators for the Nordic architecture exhibition Jävla kritiker! Please read more here.

Maria Rusinovskaya is currently Curator of Live Programme at Bergen Kunsthall, where since 2014, she has been developing and presenting a comprehensive programme with a discursive series, music, performance and moving image. In December 2020 she will take over as the new director of BEK – Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts. Maria studied art history in Murmansk (RU) and Oslo, and previously worked as a curator and producer at Pikene på Broen and at the Murmansk Museum of Art in Russia. Please read more here.

Trond Lossius (b. 1966, Bergen) is a sound and installation artist based in Bergen. He investigates the dynamics of sound, place and space in field recordings, audio-visual installations and collaborative cross-disciplinary projects, with a particular interest in the soundscapes of the suburb. He develops open-source software for spatial audio and real-time media for use in his own projects, and he has published research in international conferences and journals on sound and music computing. He is professor and PhD-leader at The Norwegian Film School and professor II at The Grieg Academy. Please read more here.

Latent City

Latent City coincides with the celebration of BEK’s 20th anniversary in 2020 as a pioneering resource centre and springboard for artistic projects to come to life, at the forefront of art and technology. This year, BEK revitalises its history by showing art projects from the archive, and looks into the technological developments of the past 20 years, from a societal perspective. For Latent City, we have commissioned new works of art and texts, with support from the Arts Council Norway, Bergen Municipality and Fritt Ord Foundation.

Latent City is BEK’s culminating project for Future DiverCities, a four year long EU collaboration supported by the Creative Europe programme. The project has investigated new ways of collaboration while focusing on artistic production to examine our future cities. Please see Future DiverCities for more information. BEK receives funding from Arts Council Norway, City of Bergen, and Vestland County.

Bergen Kjøtt

This exhibition /event is made possible at Bergen Kjøtt with the support of Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen kommune, Kulturrom, Arena Akustikk and BN Visuals.

Bergen Kjøtt and BEK take the situation regarding covid-19 seriously; all events follow current guidelines and restrictions from FHI. Latent City – Invisible Fields #1 will be held online via Zoom, due to current covid-19 restriction in Bergen.