Buskerud Kunstsenter i samarbeid med Kongsberg kunstforening presenterer filmprogrammet
Unfolding Spaces – The Depths Below.
Marte Aas, Eglè Budvytytè, HC Gilje, Emilija Škarnulytė og New Mineral Collective
Filmprogrammet tar for seg forholdet mellom levende skapninger, naturen og intelligente økosystemer. Arbeidene kretser rundt artsmangfold, mikroorganismer og økosystemer, fra korallarter som lever dypt nede i havet, mennesker og dyr som samhandler med naturen, til lav som utfordrer ideen om individet og supplerer evolusjonsteorien. Programmet er produsert og kuratert av Buskerud Kunstsenter, og vil bli vist på Buskerud Kunstsenter og i Kongsberg Kunstforening.
Filmvisning i perioden 17.10. – 29.10.:
Onsdager: 11 – 17
Torsdag – fredager: 11 – 15
Lørdag – søndager: 12 – 16
Emilija Škarnulytė, Aphotic Zone (first time in Norway)
Film / 15 min / 2022
A cinematic journey across space and time, Aphotic Zone peers back from the future through dark oceans to witness the threats of climate crisis and economic extractivism; the idealistic prospects of science; and the catastrophic consequences of human greed. Luminous sea jellies beam over choirs of fish as we travel 4km deep past the Pacific seamounts off Costa Rica to reach the pitch black ‘aphotic’ zone of the sea. At the bottom, an ROV drawn from documentary footage carefully samples deep sea corals with robotic arms until it passes into the digital imaginary of a sharply risen ocean. There, the Duga radar (a Soviet-era missile defense system near Chernobyl) is an undersea ruin far beneath the waves. Both documentary and oneiric, the film moves through a landscape of prehistoric life and advanced technology.
Mixed by Oscar-winning sound engineers Jaime Baksht and Michelle Couttolenc, the film’s soundtrack is drawn from a field recording made in Mexico City’s Zócalo on the 500th anniversary of Spain’s conquest of Tenochtitlan. Ecological devastation echoes colonial destruction and the street sounds of CDMX become a ghost warning us of the cataclysms yet to come.
Eglė Budvytytė´s film, Songs from the compost: mutating bodies, imploding stars (first time in Norway)
Film/ 29 min/ 2020
Songs from the compost: mutating bodies, imploding stars is shot in the lichen forest and sand dunes of the Curonian Spit in Lithuania. Eglė Budvytytė cast mostly local youths for a choreography that engages in intimacy and relates the human body to other bodies — those of the forest, the sand dunes and the water. The horizontality in movement undoes the usual verticality of human figure, unfurling her into the landscape. One of the key elements in the video work is the accompanying musical composition written and narrated by the artist herself. The lyrics draw on the work and words of biologist Lynn Margulis and science-fiction author Octavia Butler. Lynn Margulis became known for her significant research on symbiosis in evolutionary theory, as opposed to the traditional Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ approach. Margulis’ work can be read as a true celebration of the role of bacteria in enabling life and the collaboration between single-celled organisms. The work of Octavia Butler reflects on this notion in a more literary way, exploring topics such as symbiosis, mutation and hybridity as a means of challenging hierarchical thinking and categorisation.
Songs from the compost is a hypnotic exploration of non-human forms of consciousness and different dimensions of symbiotic life: interdependence, surrender, death and decay.
Collaboration with Marija Olšauskaitė and Julija Steponaitytė. The film, shot in the pine forests and sand dunes of the Curonian Spit, is a hypnotic exploration of nonhuman forms of consciousness nested within symbiotic life: interdependence, surrender, death and decay. The images gradually layer, alongside intimate lyrics of a song that channels the desires of an entity shapeshifting across different genders, voices, and beyond-human embodiments. With a cast comprising mostly of local youth, the film unfolds through a specially conceived song, choreography and costumes. Horizontality in the choreography undoes the usual verticality of human figure, unfurling her into the landscape.The performers’ bodies are sites of activity, though they’re often horizontal, pulled toward the earth and one another, moving through the forest, along the sand dunes and water. The song lyrics draw on the work and words of biologist Lynn Margulis, celebrating the role of bacteria in making life and the collaboration between the single-cell organisms possible, as well as concepts by the science-fiction author Octavia Butler, who employed tropes of symbiosis, mutation, and hybridity to challenge hierarchies and categorisation.
New Mineral Collective, Emilija Škarnulytė og Tanya Busse, TIDAL BODY
Film/ 9:50 min/2022
The coastal areas around western Norway are perforated landscapes. The maps are dotted with holes of actual, future and prospective sites. Continuing their interest in invisible architecture and extractive industries, New Mineral Collective has created a new work entitled Tidal Body. Tidal Body is a graphic score that explores concepts of contemporary cartography, buoyancy, and the ocean as a sonic space. The ocean’s properties and processes are mostly known today through distributed sensor networks. Using this data as a starting point for a composition- Tidal Body incorporates local notations such as tidal rhythms, elemental swirls and eddies, maritime industry and NMC’s own iconography.
Throughout their practice, NMC has questioned what it means to prospect– to inspect, seek, or search for a probability of advancement or profit – and suggests a notion of counter-prospecting. A method that is, for them, a measure of reclaiming the perforated landscape as a body itself. The score explores portals (maelstroms) of possibilities of what could be altered to conjure a song for the future.
Marte Aas, What I Miss About People, and What I Do not Miss About People
Film/ 10:51 min/ 2017
What I Miss About People, and What I Don´t Miss About People is a vision of a future world where people are gone and where a lone dog describes what she misses and what she does not miss with people. The dog moves around in a deserted rock landscape where she has settled for unknown reasons. This landscape, with small traces of human activity, suggests a disaster that has wiped out all of civilization, while hinting at human exploitation of natural resources as a possible cause of the disaster. However, the dog does not appear to be affected, it talks about extremely prosaic things as it traverses around the quarry.
HC Gilje, The intimacy of strangers
Film/ 10 min/ 2022
Commission for AMIFF. Soundtrack by HC Gilje with drums by Justin Bennett. The intimacy of strangers is a work that explores the microscopic landscapes of the lichen living on one rock in the stone fence around Trondenes Kirke. Apart from the extreme variations in appearance, textures and color, lichens have become the poster organisms for a new biology which challenges the idea of the individual and supplements the theory of evolution. They also expose the limits of human knowledge, something explored in the writings of Alexander Bogdanov, Lynn Margulis, Donna Haraway and Merlin Sheldrake among others.
Lichen eat rock: Through a process called weathering they grow into the rock and inject strong chemicals and mine it for minerals that then becomes part of the eco system (and might end up in your body at some point). When lichen die they become the first nutrient-rich layer of soil on new land (and the oldest dated lichen is 9000 years old). The most striking thing is that lichen is not one organism, but a symbiosis of several organisms from different kingdoms: Mainly a fungi that partners up with a photo-synthesising organism (either algae or bacteria). In the context of evolution, when a branch diverges from another branch on the tree of life this means that a new organism with slightly different traits have evolved from its parent branch. What is going on with the lichen is that branches from completely different parts of the tree converge, or grow together, acquiring a completely new set of traits. The film was created using a custom made computer-controlled mechanical stage and a digital microscope combining almost 50 000 microscope still images into miniature landscapes.
Eglè Budvytytè (b. 1982, Lithuania). Lives and works in Vilnius and Amsterdam. A graduate in photography from the Vilnius Art Academy and in audio-visual studies from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, Eglė Budvytytė obtained a master’s degree at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam in 2008. Her work has been presented at several art centers in Europe and elsewhere in the world, in particular the Museum de Arte Moderna in São Paulo, the CAC in Vilnius, the Swiss Institute in New York and the TENT in Rotterdam.
Her practice is defined through a variety of mediums, video, radio broadcast, or performance, and explores a certain relationship to the environment. Eglė Budvytytė questions the sensitivity and consciousness of what surrounds us through semi-constructed, semi-improvised situations, between fiction and reality, staged scenario and documentary. The artist dissolves the boundaries between the imaginary and the real in order to analyze the social construction of identity and its relationship to the real.
HC Gilje (b. 1969, Norway) has moved between installation, experimental video, live performance and set design since he graduated from the intermedia department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Trondheim in 1999. Early in his career he was a key figure in the live cinema scene from around 2000 (with 242.pilots and various other constellations). Gilje toured extensively throughout the world, while at the same time creating experimental videos presented at various film, art and festival venues. Gilje was also quite active in theater and dance, mainly through his many-year collaboration with choreographer Eva Cecilie Richardsen. Together they established Kreutzerkompani with a yearly production from 2000 to 2006.
From 2006 his focus has been to take elements from his earlier practice into a longer-term project he has called Conversations with Spaces. This project explores, mainly through large-scale installations, perception of change and transformation in the meeting between the ephemeral media of light, projection, sound and motion with physical structures. This has resulted in a series of installations labeled Projected Light Spaces and Projected Light Objects, as well as outdoor sound installations and more recently light-motion installations like in transit, revolver and trace. These projects have been shown in traditional gallery spaces, outdoors and in more unconventional settings.
Emilija Škarnulytė (b. 1987, Vilnius, Lithuania) is an artist and filmmaker. Working between documentary and the imaginary, Škarnulytė makes films and immersive installations exploring deep time and invisible structures, from the cosmic and geologic to the ecological and political. Her films are in the IFA, Kadist Foundation and Centre Pompidou collections and have been screened at the Serpentine Gallery, UK, Centre Pompidou, France, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York and in numerous film festivals including in Rotterdam, Busan, and Oberhausen. She is the winner of the 2019 Future Generation Art Prize, Škarnulytė represented Lithuania at the XXII Triennale di Milano and was included in the Baltic Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture, and her recent solo show was at Tate Modern. Most recently she concluded her tenures at Art Explora and Cite des Art, which occurred on the heels of another significant residency at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture.
She is a founder and currently co-directs Polar Film Lab, a collective for analogue film practice located in Tromsø, Norway and is a member of artist duo New Mineral Collective, recently commissioned for a new work by the First Toronto Biennial.
New Mineral Collective is a platform that looks at contemporary landscape politics to better understand the nature and extent of human interaction with the earth´s surface. As an organism, NMC infiltrates the extractive industry with alternative forces such as desire, body mining and acts of counter prospecting. Their work has been shown nationally and internationally, including SIART Bolivia International Art Biennial, Artists’ Film International Season 7, organized by Whitechapel Gallery; the first Toronto Art Biennial; SeMA Seoul Museum of Art; On Earth, Structure and Sadness, at Serpentine Galleries, UK; the Swedish Center for Architecture and Design, Stockholm; and most recently as part of Swimming Pool: Troubled Waters, currently on view at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin. Since 2015, the artists Emilija Škarnulytė (born in Vilinus, Lithuania; lives in Tromsø, Norway) & Tanya Busse (born in Moncton, NB, Canada; lives in Tromsø, Norway) run NMC.
Marte Aas (b. 1966, Trondheim) is a photographer and film maker based in Oslo. Aas´ main area of interest is the intersection between contemporary image culture, history, technology and landscape. Her work attempts to address underlying structures and gestures that form political and ideological narratives. The different subjects of interest visualizes in the form of films, photographs and installations, folding them into non-linear and layered narratives. The starting point for her works is often a story present in contemporary or historical material, which is being processed through research into different formats and media, although strongly grounded in a photographic practice. Photography´s material aspects, the connection between the sign and the signifier and the representational value of photography is thus also investigated and processed in her art.
Aas is educated at The School of Photography at The University of Gothenburg and has had a number of exhibitions and screenings in Norway and abroad, her last major exhibition was Francine (was a machine) at Kunsthall Trondheim in 2019. Aas has published several books and catalogues including Marte Aas – Photography and Film, 2010, Torshovtoppen, 2008 and On the Subject of Body and Space, 2013 and is also one of the founding members of the publishing house Multipress.