The History of Anthropocentric Perception. Raritetskabinett.
Utstilling: Skien Kunstforening 2021
“Art is not about art. Art is about life”
... but life is not just about humans!
I am a visual artist. I live and work in Norway, teaching at the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of South-East Norway. This site displays and comments on some of my art projects.
Norway is one of the few lucky nations where inhabitants live close to nature without having to give up technology (as long as this continues…). Living here and experiencing the local people’s love of nature has influenced me, and changed the priority of my values. Moving out of a big city to a smaller town has also had a big impact on my creative work and life. However, being an academic too, language is constantly competing with the sensory perception of quiet Nature, with its quiet creative processes and resulting art works.
My creative work conceptualizes cross-thematic and cross-media art. Nature, natural science, technology, language, human nature and history are some of the areas I am interested in as an artist. My installations integrate these areas in an artistic approach that combines aesthetic expressions of popular science with semi-scientific methodology. Installations can consist of video, photography, ready mades, plants, insects, dead animals, digital graphics and many others objects.
As an academic, I regard art as a research, in which I try to reveal or construct patterns of the mechanisms behind different thematic subjects, and expose these patterns to each other within the context of exhibition and by exhibiting them together. Through art, I wish to open new horizons of understanding of the phenomena I meet in my life.
Life itself is an inexhaustible source of art materials. I do not have a hierarchy of what deserves to be made into art. Louise Bourgeois said: “Art is not about art. Art is about life”. This means art is about everything. Artists take “life materials” into the studio and expose them to artistic processes. I think these creative processes can provide artists with small drips of insight which then become something bigger than what one creates. In my installations, these processes bridge loose pieces of knowledge, but do not promise to give explicit explanations or to unify these fragments. There is no chronology, only cross-disciplinary and parallel layers of knowledge. These layers are in constant motion with some dominating while others remaining in the background of my installations and vice versa. This artistic approach is The Science of Confusion and Doubt.
Art and science are expressions of the human necessity to understand the world. In other words, art is born from not understanding and is manifested in artistic questions. But there is a significant difference between those two disciplines: behaviours, subjects and methods forbidden in science are welcome in art. The content of art can be subjective, objective, private, personal, politically correct, anti-political, highly religious and atheistic, etc. It can also be a combination of these. It is unstable and self-critical; and anarchistic behaviour is a basic source for its development, positioning art as a key player in keeping human beings humble in relation to reality and to the knowledge we construct.
For me, making art is personal research. It gives the possibility of gathering “uncensored” knowledge. Making art is also a particular way of perceiving, absorbing and expressing reality. It fills life with constant wonder, but it can make one very lonely. “You have learnt something. That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” (George Bernard Shaw). “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” (Ecclesiastes 1:18). Here we could ask, what was first knowledge or sorrow? Springs sorrow from not understanding? Like in Perpetuum Mobile: the more you know, the less you understand, the less you understand, the more sorrow you feel. It could be that sorrow for the artist can be a source of happiness, because it conceives and generates personal moments of enlightenment.