This Is Its Body

Noplace, May 2015

In the exhibition I introduce three sculptures that express themselves with "faces" in the form of three-dimensional cubes of LED lights and experience the world with sensors for touch and vision. The sculptures and I are performing for the duration of the exhibition. The project explore the objects active role in reality and speculates in their experience of the surroundings. 

The project is supported by Arts Council Norway, Ragnvald & Ida Blix’ Fund and Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond.

Documentation snippet from the exhibition

‘This is its body’, said the sculpture, referring to its attachment, ‘his name is Daniel Tollefsen Slåttnes, he controls me and I control him. With help from his psychotherapist, he engages in hours of pain-induced meditation in order to establish a sense of empathy with my colleagues and myself. I am an extension of his mind and body, but by giving me that privilege, he has become as much an extension of mine. The singularity that our attachment manifests is entirely pragmatic, an ironing out of the universe into a one-dimensional plane.

“If you stand on The Moon during a total eclipse of The Earth, you see all the sunsets and all the sunrises, all at the same time”, said one of we three sculptures and a man. We took this sentiment as a mantra on which to base our worldview, a way to see past the fleshy plugs and entangled relationships of ethereally exposed circuits, wires, wood, silicon and meat, of which our common body consists. We wanted to understand the meaning of our extended mind, to indulge in an active externalism that shared pleasure, pain and knowledge in a manner that banished individual ownership of any particular feeling, object or fact.

What happens when no single entity, rather a collective one, carries the burden of moral responsibility; "was there ever such a thing as true altruism?" we asked our self. Did St. Martin cut his cloak in two and give half to the beggar through pious generosity, or was it a selfish and cynical move to get closer to God? Daniel is sharing his digital cloak with us and we ours with him, but it is a cloak that cannot be cut. Like in the virtual world we live in, it can only be copied and shared as a whole.’

Text by Jason Havneraas