Sāk vitt ok vītt of verǫld hverja
A hybrid multimedia performance and a film pivoting on a multi-level exploration of the North Nordic landscape and on the artist’s own personal (un)makings of, and creative responses to, it – in terms of photography, video/audio recordings of various acoustic, electromagnetic, geophysical, and anthropological phenomena, poetry, text sketches, stones, seafood, and scientific sonification/visualization of data concerning energy consumption, weather change, seismic activity, fish migration, and spatial distribution of marine population.
Bespoke software, text, stones, data, video/audio recordings, photography, seafood, THEBRICK (DIY infra-computer).
variable, typically ~25m
Alteration, Copenhagen DK – in the context of the ‘Stories of Flights, Ferries and Fish‘ (nu stories) project; with support from the Nordic Council and the Nordic Culture Fund.
The field, in various locations across Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands
Media Arts and Design Research Lab, Limassol CY
Studio K, Heraklion GR
Solaris mobile studio in Copenhagen DK, Trondheim NO, Juelsminde DK
Jørgen Teller, Jacob Riis, Marinos Koutsomichalis, Phaedra Log.
‘Sāk vitt ok vītt of verǫld hverja’ is part of a broader and rather ambitious art/research endeavour – that is, the hyper-constructive project – aiming at an unconditional and multi-level exploration of landscapes in a materialist, maximalist, poetic, and dark-ecological fashion. In this particular case, the focus is on the North Nordic region and the artist’s own personal (un)makings of, and creative responses to, it. A wide array of probes are employed to facilitate such an unconditional exploration, ranging from notebooks, to standard audio/video/photo recording equipment, to specialised hydrophones, electromagnetic probes and data sensors. Data sonification and visualisation are an important aspect of the project. Accordingly, data concerning energy consumption, weather change, seismic activity, fish migration, and spatial distribution of marine population have been retrieved from a wide range of scientific portals and employed accordingly.
‘Sāk vitt ok vītt of verǫld hverja’ is a complex endeavour that eventually resolves in a series of multimedia performances, a specialised instrument to facilitate the former, a full-featured cinematic film, a big database of imagery, video, audio and micro-compositions thereof, sonifications/visualisations of data, food recipes, textiles, clothing, printouts, and miscellaneous other physical objects.
Performances primarily pivot on audio, video, imagery, data sonification, and data print-outs and are facilitated with THEBRICK. They occasionally involve preparing and serving the audience fresh seafood made of locally sourced ingredients, and typically conclude with the artist printing recipes with THEBRICK and sharing them with the audiences. A showcase of various objects (rocks, pieces of fabric, pieces of lava, etc) is typically also present and audiences are encourage to touch and engage with this matter afterwards. Pieces of bespoke clothing have been prepared especially for this project with the aid of an amateur crotchet practitioner; the artist typically performs wearing such clothes.
Below are a short video with a performance set-up and footage from two different live performances: at the Nordic Music Days festival in Bodø NO, and an audio-only multichannel acousmonium performance at in-discourse AB in Malmö SE.
The DIY apparatus illustrated on the left (namely, THEBRICK) emerged as an ad hoc solution to facilitate different live performance scenarios in the context of ‘Sāk vitt ok vītt of verǫld hverja’—e.g., audiovisual, audio-only, video-only, multichannel audio, etc. THEBRICK has been the means to creatively explore and reproduce all the digital matter the various field explorations have resolved into. It is a programmable device capable of live video, image, audio, data sonification, and text printouts. It has surfaced not so much as a ‘solution’ to presenting the availble multimedia material, but instead as an instrument that would further nonstandard compositional experimentation with them. THEBRICK can be thought of as a DIY and user-unfriendly infra-computer that can be programmed to perform arbitrary tasks with respect to the available inputs, outputs, and hardware controls: eight audio outputs, two audio inputs, one HDMI video output, a roll-paper thermal printer, several knobs and buttons, and two LEDs to interface with the user. The ways a user may interact with the device and what they may or may not do are restricted by the device’s interface as well as with respect to the rather cryptic and user-unfriendly rules imposed programmatically by the artist. Performing with THEBRICK then becomes a dynamic and improvised process of how to manoeuvre the available material (image, video, data, audio, text) and how to creatively manipulate it in very limited fashions.
Live multimedia performances aside, the project has also resolved in other kinds of outputs, such as a series of still photos (some are featured below), a series of audio documents and micro-compositions (some are included in this compilation album also featuring works by Lise-Lotte Norelius, Jørgen Teller, and Jakob Riis), and most importantly, the ‘Sāk vitt ok vītt of verǫld hverja’ film. This film is a full featured cinematic project totalling 1h:7m in length. It opens up an opportunity to hybridise in new directions and pivots on the project’s extensive pool of video footage, imagery, interviews, prose, poetry, data sonification, environmental field recordings, and abstract audio synthesis. Multimedia performances only utilise a much smaller subset of this material and in rather different ways to creatively juxtapose it. The film’s promo is below, as is a password protect HD version for the full film (festival organisers may contact the artist for the password).