H20 x W6 x L25 cm, 15 pages, 13 editions Artist book in collaboration with Sara Rönnbäck
The book deals with a meeting with three trees and a litter of rabbits on our small farm. The book consists of seven handmade pages with associated texts. The texts describe experiences and thoughts on working with the trees and rabbits. On the left page is an amplifier and speaker for a tree. The bottom right page shows a conversation between three trees. The book is part of Concerning the Spiritual in Art, curated by Locus and LATERNA, and presented at among others the Norwegian Institute in Athens during the opening week of Documenta 14, at the Cosmocow International Art Fair 2017 and Bergen Art Book Fair.
Three sculptures react to the impressions they have while standing in the exhibition space of Noplace in Oslo. They express themselves with the help of light cubes that are incorporated into their bodies. The sculptural bodies sense their surroundings with electronic sensors that detect light changes and vibrations from visitors’ movements in the room and from the interaction with the sculptures.
‘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.’
The project explores intuitive choice and the original spark of inspiration through meditation and other mind-altering strategies. The sculptures appear to me with unfamiliar forms and questions about the sender.