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Future Guides for Cities: From Information to Home

“Future Guides: From Information to Home” is an artistic research project on following: how to practice and theorize following. It was carried out between 2010-2014 within the Norwegian Artistic Fellowship Programme and around the Bergen Academy of Art and Design. A final exhibition of my artistic research, “Your Revolution Begins at Home“, took place at the USF Gallery and Cinemateket in Bergen, September 4-14, 2014.  “Confessions of an Online Stalker“, a critical reflection text on artistic results of the research, was submitted in 2015.

The critical reflection text can be downloaded here:

The study outlines the emergence of an artistic research method–combining data mining, systems for mapping, storytelling, and translation–and its application in the fields of media art, microhistory, and activism. The development of artistic works (several books, text, film, installation and public performance) become the aesthetic results of conversations, negotiations and reflections around the proceeding questions: How are tracking, guiding, following and stalking used as artistic research methods? What role does image production play in everyday life and how does it create tension between the public and private experience? How can strategies of translation provide the critical tools for experimenting with shifts between context, subjectivity and scale?

This artistic research reflects on a contemporary condition in which personal and social archives constitute a new type of city guide that challenges the official representations of cities online. It reflects on the phenomenon of documenting and sharing one’s urban life to the world online, an act reflective of a culture of making oneself and one’s life visible–thus, present–in online social networks. The work focuses on the “micro” or working on case studies, whereby the studying and following of trails of data produced by different individuals and seeing where it leads is a process of trying to establish where one “is” from other people’s data. However, the effort of pinning down a location is not merely to focus–in a machinic system of (geo)precision–on the place where one might be standing but to recognize the people who occupy (or have occupied) that place in the city. It is a method of online tracking which leads to spatial tracking, from which a narrative language emerges. The question is implicitly addressed: to what extent urban media art can help us to “locate ourselves” in the mediated city by offering to trace and reveal the connections between places, people, and digital culture. But what if the connections reveal a city in crisis? The research leads to a flight to Madrid and ends up in the homes of evicted families, where anti-eviction activists use digital information to “locate” and make public the everyday effects of crisis. In the foreground of the crisis is the crisis of the home. It is there that we encounter sites of political struggle, the act of making oneself and one’s life visible becoming a strategy for collective empowerment.

                             

The Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme is parallel to other research educations organised as academic PhD programmes. The programme intends to secure high level artistic research and leads to expertise as Associate Professor. The Artistic Research Fellowships Programme is among the first in this field in Europe. The programme offers a three-year position as Research Fellow to candidates who have completed the highest art education within their subject area.

Artistic investigations:
Ilica #1 – lecture performance and bus tour, 2011
Folgen – installation, lecture performance, artist book, 2011-2012
Urban Takes Helsinki – installation, 2012
The Little Yellow House – online work, installation and limited edition artist book, 2012
Mortgaged Lives – film, translated book, 2014
Rupture Sessions– text, public reading, 2014

Public presentations:
Tracing Mobility, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2011
Interrogating Methods Seminar, KHIB, Bergen, 2012
Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, 2012
Urban Festival, Zagreb, 2012
Lasipalatsi gallery, Media Façades Festival, Helsinki, 2012
Norwegian Telecom Museum, Oslo, 2013
Manchester Contemporary Art Gallery, Manchester, 2013
Future Everything Summit, Manchester, 2013
Screen City Festival, Stavanger, 2013
A Day of Microhistories, Konstfack, Stockholm, 2013
Medialab Prado, Madrid, 2013
Your Revolution Begins at Home, USF Visningsrommet, Bergen, 2014
Agera Digitalt, Göteborg, 2014
Cinemateket, Bergen, 2014
ThoughtWorks Werkstatt, Berlin, 2014
Microhistories, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, 2014
The Age of Catastrophe, group exhibition, Actual Gallery, Winnipeg, 2015
La Chambre Blanche, Québec City, 2015
Buenos Aires Festival of New Cinema, 2015
Athens International Film and Video Festival, 2015
Mexico International Film Festival, 2015

Critical reflection:
Confessions of an Online Stalker, 2015