Work Residency: Laurie Lax and Lucila Mayol

Work Residency at BEK 21.09.2020 04.10.2020


In their two week work residency at BEK, Laurie Lax and Lucila Mayol will be working on a teaser of Archaeological Fiction: Sagfjordbotn (AF:S) – an Interactive Fiction with sound, based on the remote fjord of Sagfjordbotn in Nordland. The teaser will focus on a portion of material they collected in July, and give a tangible sense of the look and feel of the final work. 

AF:S is an Interactive Fiction* with sound, based on the remote fjord of Sagfjordbotn in Nordland, where the artist Thomas Kilpper has been renovating a previously abandoned farm into a studio and space for artistic exchange. During their trip to Nordland in July 2020, the artists collected maps, sounds, stories, and images from which AF:S’ narrative will be developed.

Sagfjorden has been unbuilt following a process that could be compared to programmed obsolescence, towards its disappearance. The once-a-week boat stopped its route in 2019 and the telecommunication infrastructure’s future is uncertain. It lies at a poignant intersection: how does the land shape the people and how do people shape the land?

In the narrative, The House serves as the base to explore from: the original part built by a Sami family, the first extensions added by Norwegian farmers, and the future is in the hands of a German couple. You will be able to virtually experience Sagfjorden as it changes through time. As reflected in the pathways within the narrative; the fjord seems secluded and quiet at first, but the more You interact, the more will be unveiled. Mountains are characterful and water is everywhere, richly colouring the fjord’s scenario, but what is most striking are the stories of people who once lived there. From their position of The Other, the artists ask: what is the role of gossip and what stories get to be told?

The binaural sound composition ranges from room-tone-silence to wall-of-noise and enables You to spatially locate yourself by listening to the sounds of water: The Lake, The Waterfall, The River etc. When You travel north The Waterfall sounds on the left; it gets louder as You approach it, and so on.

Laurie and Lucila will present the project at BEK on a later stage.
The final project will be ready for launching in spring 2021 to be exhibited at Hordaland Kunstsenter in Bergen and after the butcher in Berlin.

For exhibition spaces, the gallery is in low-light. In the centre, facing north, the illuminated computer creates an intimate reading space. An artist-book/manual will be placed on the desk. While You explore the narrative, other visitors can experience the sound composition. If no-one is interacting, audio loops from the last location explored. As You interact with the text, sound is transmitted to either headphones or speakers, depending on the exhibition space. In smaller spaces, we aim to have several wireless headphones, while for larger rooms we would like to install two stacks of speakers. The stereo audio will pan between ears or speakers respectively, creating a sense of spatial orientation for the listeners.

1. Paper-mache map made by the former pupils of Sagfjordbotn school
2. Detail of the sound and programming map
3. Laurie and Lucila viewing Trollvatnet from Sagfjordtinden. Photo by Mari Nordahl.

The project is supported by Kulturrådet, Bergen Kommune, Kilpper Projects, Hordaland Kunstsenter and BEK.

Laurie Lax

Laurie Lax, b. 1987, UK. Artist and producer living in Bergen, Norway; previously based in Bristol, UK. In 2020 joined the artist-run space, aerial, which is dedicated to social practices. Most recent work, Bad Ventriloquist, was performed at the Black Box Teater in Oslo, 2019. Completed master in Fine Art in Bergen in 2018 and bachelors in Fine Art in Bath, UK, 2010. Current projects are being developed from studies in Electronic Literature. Exhibited in Germany, Ireland, Norway and the UK and taken part in several residencies and art festivals. 
Laurie’s website.

Lucila Mayol

Lucila Mayol, b. 1986 Paraná, Argentina. Lives and works in Bergen, Norway. Graduated from the MFA at KMD in 2018, and from BFA and DoP studies, at UNA and ENERC in 2011 and 2014. Joined Artist Residencies like Serlachius, Filmverkstaden, and Drake Art Center in Finland; Long Weekend by Castagnino+MACRO museo and Labordeboy by OnceLibre in Argentina. She is part of the duo Turbida Lux. At the moment, Lucila explores the relation with memory and spaces through archival material, drawing, writing, printing, and Interactive Fiction.
Lucila’s website.

Laurie and Lucila are both engaged in the field of writing as an artistic practice, and excited by the possibilities that digital technology allows for this.

*Interactive fiction is software simulating environments in which players use text commands to control characters and influence the environment. Works in this form can be understood as literary narratives, either in the form of interactive narratives or interactive narrations. These works can also be understood as a form of video game, either in the form of an adventure game or role-playing game.
– from Wikipedia, read more here.