The Cold Coast Archive (2)

Images from the exhibition and discussion in Rom8. The group discussion on 20 November focussed on the historical and contextual background for the exhibition, looking at the development and subsequent decline of the coal mining industry on Svalbard, the presence today of the global seed bank and of international climate researchers, and the ways in which the Cold Coast Archive weaves together diverse narrative strands, combining documentary accounts with personal observations and artistic interventions. In its multi-layered structure as both online archive and scaleable exhibition installation, the Cold Coast Archive addresses the question of place or site from multiple perspectives simultaneously, calling into question assumptions about the ways in which artists might examine, describe, enter into, interact with, represent or conceptually reconfigure a given place or site. As part of the discussion Anne Marthe Dyvi read a specially composed text questioning our conceptions of time and its relationship to space. The text is published below in English and Norwegian.

Photomontages & poster from the Cold Coast Archive. The faceted form of the photomontages is repeated in the arrangement of video monitors suspended on wooden platforms in the installation.

Exhibition opening 16 November

Part of the installation, suspended projectors sending images to all of the gallery walls, combined with surround audio

Exhibition view from the street (above)

Evigaturen, the eternity recording apparatus relieased its 2nd record.
Evigaturen´s travel up to Svalbard and into the vault is displayed in the photomontage- The audience can listen to the records (1. record: recordings of activity in the vault between Sept 2011 and April 2012, 2. record 2: April-Nov 2012). 

From the artist's talk/group discussion in the exhibition. Signe Lidén, Nora Adwan, Anne Marthe Dyvi, Georgia Rodger

Anne Marthe Dyvi reading a text written for the occasion.

ABOUT TIME / in Room 8 / 20th of Nov 2012 /Anne Marthe Dyvi

Starting point/ a small excerpt from Wikipedia first:

‹‹ Two distinct viewpoints on time divide many prominent philosophers. One view is that time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur in sequence. Sir Isaac Newton subscribed to this realist view, and hence it is sometimes referred to as Newtonian time.[21] An opposing view is that time does not refer to any kind of actually existing dimension that events and objects "move through", nor to any entity that "flows", but that it is instead an intellectual concept (together with space and number) that enables humans to sequence and compare events[43] This second view, in the tradition of Gottfried Leibniz[15] and Immanuel Kant,[22][23] holds that space and time "do not exist in and of themselves, but ... are the product of the way we represent things", because we can know objects only as they appear to us.›› 
(Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time)

My personal view on art, time and artistic research/ a hypothesis

Everything that physically exists is that which highlights time, in the same way that clothes on the clothes line reveal the wind. Time is not observable or existent without this. This is what I can, at this time, say that time is; therefore only able to explain it by its surrounding phenomena.

Our physical decay, our breath, our actions and movements are what make time exist; the surrounding is its level of existence. The artist observes this phenomenon, indirectly and without being conscious of it, then tansforms these observations and time data to be made manifest in art. Like the act of  taking something out of reality, putting it in a Petri dish under a microscope, categorizing it and preserving it.

So for the first time, I have realized the reason for the existence of the term 'artistic research', but it was not what I thought it was: that artistic research is the art that artists make, display and write about. No, artistic research or the making of art is actually research on TIME, artists demonstrating time through research. Artists can depict time, detach it from its original location or logic, and enable an abstract interpretation. You find it in visual art, in literature, in music, theatre and dance.

But all this research, and I naturally want to say, art, prove that time is a personally experienced phenomenon. In two ways: there are many artists who do a lot of work where time is observable. So therefore; many results create a wealth of information, experiences, and expressions, mediated through the artist. There is a huge body of material, and when they relate to the same research field, the results affect each other. The fact that it is a personal or experiential phenomenon, is proved only indirectly by artists: it is the artist's peer review, namely the viewer that interprets research results within him or herself, by experiencing the art. The viewers then get their resonance or dissonance from the artwork, namely the artists evidence / research material on time.

This large group of appraisers and material manufacturers don’t work with the hierarchical structure that the university sector is based within. Sure, there is a hierarchy in the arts as well, but this is around the art work (possibilities, power, money, networks and so on). Art not including the power structures around it cannot build brick by brick, research refers to research, and there are so many voices contributing that they create a cacophony.

The concept cacophony is often used to critique music if it is perceived as complicated and dissonant, or to describe many voices making sound simultaneously, preventing the transmission of messages or sense.

Perhaps he fact that the results are cacophonous can help us to identify and formulate time’s own character. As a Lime tree repeats its own form in the shape of its leaf, tree and leaf are similar. It may be that the methodology of scientific time research, known to us as art or artistic research, can say something about time itself. So if seen as a whole the research results constitute a cacophony.

Time says this to us:

I am in transitions - I am observable, or in a mode of existence when the transition occurs, when a snowflake goes from snow to water on the palm of your hand, I'm there. But like anything emulated, I cannot be without the other, without physics. Maybe I am a by-product of processes, such as friction creates friction, but heat as well. Or maybe I am the motivation of the processes, they happen to generate me, Time.”

Unfortunately, TIME also reminds us that it is our self that hinders our ability to grasp TIME. We resonate time in a physical way, but strive to create a language around our experiences. For we are only mediums with the limitations that this gives. Like a radio is unable to transfer images, we struggle to comprehend time. To be able to experience time at the same time that we view it from a distance. We have such difficulty to be in two times simultaneously. Experiencing and interpreting simultaneously. Ultimately we want to be at ease with time. We know who you are; you cannot make us feel troubled, Mr Time. Therefore, we use art as a research park on time, to cope with this turmoil. Then it will be in art itself that we can hold time down, to study it through a personal microscope. For the benefit of the formation of self and the formation of culture.

But if we look at research as a place for development, or evolution as a refining process, where will this art or time research bring us, when the methodology and the transfer of results are so scattered? Seemingly without a clear goal. Will we succeed in time research within art, to fully grasp time? Or put another way, will we get an answer on what time is through art? If so, will the case of art research change from time to something else? And if so, what?
If we get answers, the methodology of the research is proven to be adequate, and the model might be preserved. The research lifts us to a higher level of enlightenment, the time after the defining or discovery of time. What the next case will be in the arts I am also probably not able to describe, as I have not reached enlightenment enough. If we don’t reach enlightenment through art, we will probably just keep on researching the answer to what TIME is. The answer then is that keeping up this activity is being as close to understanding time as possible. Or that we as mediums are not able to develop our selves to receive time. Experience tells us that we will continue to develop, unless it is the case that to grasp time is contrary to our evolution, but then I can not know that either. Maybe we have a built-in default that prevents us from fully grasping time, since to do so might bring about our end.
Or maybe time is merely a relationship, or a glue. The glue in the collage. Information and time fail to conclude.



The Cold Coast Archive at Rom 8

Next Re:place event: the exhibition The Cold Coast Archive at Rom 8, 16.-25. November

The Cold Coast Archive is a joint project between artists Annesofie Norn, Signe Lidén and Steve Rowell, using the Svalbard Global Seed Vault as a focal point.

The Cold Coast Archive project investigates and explores human beings’ efforts to preserve civilization and defy the inevitability of its demise. It investigates Svalbards Global Seed Vaults practical, political, historical and symbolic structure, its arctic location, as well as its infrastructure and cultural nuances expressed in the local environment.
The wide range of material collected is meant to form an archieve of human perception of time between the present and eternity.

Eternity...this intangible future often leads to ideas of a larger divine plan or might well feed a desire for quick profit and short term results, accelerated by technology and market-driven economies.There is a gap between the present and eternity, a distance we often call "future generations" or "our children and grandchildren" in an attempt to relate to the distant future. It is the distance between an intense present, with major political, social and climatic challenges and an elusive future hiding beyond the horizon of our understanding that The Cold Coast Archive is relating to.



Guest lecture Esther Leslie

The latest guest lecture in the series connected to Re:place was given by Esther Leslie on 12. November. Leslie is Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck College, University of London, and is co-author of the blog Militant Esthetix. She has written several books and has contributed to numerous publications and journals. 

Her lecture was wide-ranging in scope and historical perspective, covering Baudelaire, Benjamin and Adorno, the aesthetics of urban culture in early modernism, constructivism and futurism, contemporary radical poetry that re-imagines texts of Baudelaire, and the current cultural landscape that she characterizes as a field of "liquid crystal". She raised many questions that are relevant to the discussions within the framework of Re:place and provided useful tools and terms for further investigation. We hope to have an ongoing exchange with Esther, and look forward to her forthcoming book on the liquid crystal condition.

Esther Leslie speaking, slide of Marinetti's futurist sound poetry

Text from Baudelaire's poetics of hashish

Tatlin's tower - a recurring ikon in our discussions of urbanity, art, imagination

"Instead of storming under a confused compulsion to the conquest of strange stars"

Re-generative poetry

From the middle ages to the 21st. century in one hour.