Future DiverCities

Opening of Latent City

Opening of "Latent City" streamed from Bergen Kjøtt 12.11.2020 19.0012.11.2020 22.00


Welcome to the opening of Latent City 12 November from 19.00 – live streamed directly to you from Bergen Kjøtt! The opening night presents the launch of the VUMA Soner app, performances by Kaeto Sweeney and Gitte Sætre & Frans Jacobi, video screening of Tivon Rice, and a DJ set from Jiska Huizing. From 19.00 art projects will be shown online at bek.no

Please note that the opening will be live streamed only, in other words a recording will not be available after the event. Go to Verse Libre here https://www.mixcloud.com/live/verslibre/ and join us when it happens!

Please note that the opening will be streamed only, due to current covid-19 restriction in Bergen.


Thursday 12 November 19.00 – 22.00 – streamed from Bergen Kjøtt here: https://www.mixcloud.com/live/verslibre/

Opening speech by Katrine Nødtvedt, Commissioner for Culture, Diversity and Equality, City of Bergen

Release: VUMA Soner, a geo-localised app created by VUMA Projects

Video screening: Environment Built for Absence (an unofficial/artificial sequel to J.G. Ballard’s «High Rise») by Tivon Rice

Performance: Are You Ready? by Gitte Sætre & Frans Jacobi (with Omar Johnsen and Craig Wells)

Performance: First kiss before anything once by Kaeto Sweeney

DJ Jiska Huizing

This is an exhibition opening, even though the format will be somewhat different than originally planned. From Thursday 12 November you can experience art projects and read a newly written text commissioned for Latent City, and watch the entire video programme online at bek.no

It fits beautifully in the palm of your hand by Maren Dagny Juell, video installation
The Carrier by Hanan Benammar, video installation
www.ShowMeLove, Marit Eikemo, text (Norwegian only)
Temporary Museum: Microscopic Power of Food Practices by GaraGara Artist Initiative, installation

Video programme – watch it here.
Centarium by Aleksander Johan Andreassen (21:58)
Now I see things for the way it is by Aske Thiberg (29:54)
Public Waiters by Jonas Ersland (03:44)
Zonen by Pia Rönicke (22:34)
Machine Space by Stephen Connolly (24:20)
Environment Built for Absence (an unofficial/artificial sequel to J.G. Ballard’s «High Rise») by Tivon Rice (17:45)

All art projects will be available on bek.no during Latent City 12 – 29 November.

The full programme for Latent City can be found here. All events will be streamed at https://www.mixcloud.com/live/verslibre/ at the times stated in the programme. The programme is continuously updated. Stay tuned, we will keep you updated!

Latent City

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.

About the projects on the opening

VUMA Soner honours the voices, stories and talent of people of colour in Scandinavia. It is an app created by VUMA Projects with 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.

VUMA Projects will host guided city walks on 14th, 21st, 28th and 29th November at 12.00. Please read more here. The production of the app is supported by the City of Bergen, the Arts Council of Norway, and BEK.

Environment Built for Absence (an unofficial/artificial sequel to J.G. Ballard’s “High Rise”)
Video (2018) by Tivon Rice

In our post-digital lives, how often are experiences of urban landscapes mediated through technology? As we move through a city for the first time, the impressions are already joined by pre-existing impressions from Google Maps and cultural images of other cities, making the divide between human and machine cognition blurry and uncanny.

In this video we see photogrammetric documentation of the gradual erosion of a modernist high-rise, merged with the voice of a machine learning system trained on the works of writer J.G. Ballard. Given the complete corpus of Ballard’s texts this A.I., or recurrent neural network, emulates the vocabulary, style, and tone of Ballard’s writing. Furthermore, the words are triggered through images from the video using computer vision. By searching for the poetic, the abstract and the absurd nature of these systems, Tivon Rice asks: Can our observations of this machine’s perception allow us to reflect on human nature, perhaps even from a non-anthropocentric point of view? Please read more here.

Are Your Ready? (2020) by Gitte Sætre and Frans Jacobi
I am a dead tree from the Norwegian woods on a journey into the world of humans. My name is “The Living Unliving Surveillance Poet”, and every full moon I report back to nature through a very special tele channel on the world wide web, due to all species’ needing to be prepared for what’s coming.

You might think, WOW that’s a bit odd – well, everything is surreal at the moment. You need to be open to things out of the ordinary in these extraordinary times. Metaphysics is full of mystical coincidences and the first step to see things clearly is to not dismiss anything, but indeed expand one’s senses of what reality might entail. Oh Dear, this is exciting!

What do you say, Are You Ready?

Are You Ready? is supported by The Norwegian Art Council, The Danish Art Foundation, City of Bergen, University of Bergen/KMD, NBK Vederlagsfondet, The Audio & Visual Fund Norway, and BEK/Future Diversities. Please read more here.

First kiss before anything once by Kaeto Sweeney
Kaeto´s work shapes itself around the different ways stories are told and received, stories that belong simultaneously to personal and societal perspectives. He practices this interest within performance, film and installation as part of an ongoing project called I seem to live. With the use of projectors and green screens as both technological and poetic devices, he questions beginnings and endings. First kiss before anything once is a story of a lonely boy longing to go dancing. With the support of BEK, First kiss before anything once will premier a version that is written for both an online & an IRL intimate audience. Please read more here.

Jiska Huizing’s DJ sets combine tracks from a broad spectrum of genres, but obscure club music, influences of world music and polyrhythms are always important. She likes to make surprising connections in her sets, having no problem with combining sounds of nature with dark electronic music, eerie film scores and driving rhythms that invite you to open up your ears and your feet to move.

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

Latent City 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. This event will be streamed only, due to current covid-19 restriction in Bergen.