Lecture Performance by CORNELIA SOLLFRANK 

artist, cyberfeminist and hacker, Berlin.

Sound design by Malte Steiner. 

Tuesday 6.9.2016 at 20:00

LANDMARK, Bergen Kunsthal

In her text assemblage the artist takes us on an adventurous trip into the realm of zeros and ones, of data and pure information, of ciphers, signifiers and figures. On the other side of reality, we encounter suspected heroes, leaks and phreaks, engineers of escape who control our secret desires. Rape can be performed in many ways. In a state of total transparency: What shall we eat, when society feeds upon the repressed? Knowing yourself means knowing what to look for.


Booklet & web-release by SYNSMASKINEN: a new booklet, BURST, and the new version of the web-site SYN/MASKIN

Antibodies and immune system. Thermosphere, exosphere,atmosphere, inner sphere, biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere. Scaly, blue creatures circulating at the bottom of an intelligence. The transition between afternoon and hatred.



September 2011 Copenhagen
A conversation between Grupo Etcetera: Loreto Garin Guzman & Frederico Zukerfeld and Frans Jacobi

Composed of visual artists, poets and actors, the collective Etcetera began in 1997 in Buenos Aires. They bring art to where social conflict is born, in the streets, and then carry this conflict into the arenas of cultural production, including the media and art institutions. They enter the urban scene as a statement of protest or denunciation, and as a consequence they refer to a time and a specific place. Their practice is characterized by humor, poetic research and deconstruction that shapes a new kind of committed art: free from banal rhetoric and often very sarcastic and “incorrect.” In 2005 they took part in the founding of the International Errorist Movement, an international organization that claims the error as a philosophy of life.

The conversation took place on occasion of Etcetera’s recidency at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen 2011 – and in connection with the phd-project of Frans Jacobi: ‘Aesthetics of Resistance’. We publish this interview now in june 2016 as a prequel to the new collaboration between Etcetera, Frans Jacobi and Thomas Killper. This new collaboration is part of the research SYNSMASKINEN. It is currently evolving and can be followed at:


39.3.2016 Bergen, Norway
A conversation between writer and poet Nathalie Quintane and artist Gitte Sætre
in connection with Quintane’s reading at Audiatur Festival 2016

Nathalie Quintane (b. 1964) is a french poet, living in Digne-les-Bains. She has published a series of books in the borderland between poetry and other litterary genres – play, novel, self-biography, reportage – investigating the relation between representation and reality.

In her reading on march 38th at the Audiatur Festival in Bergen, Quintane insisted on an extra text, departing from her book ’Tomates’ that she was invited to read from. In an urgent adress she told us about the ongoing occupation of Place de la Republique in Paris; NuitDebout. This interview was done hastely, on the day after her reading.

39.3.2016 Copenhagen 

A conversation between Kristian Byskov and Frans Jacobi
as part of the ongoing research of SYNSMASKINEN.

Kristian Byskov is a visual artist and writer based in Copenhagen, DK. He has created the theatre piece Dark Pool together with Sidsel Carré, Kristian Hverring and Maria la Cour. Dark Pool was presented first time in X AND BEYOND in Copenhagen and works with the subject of affective cyborgs and embedded catastrophes in complex systems.

SYNSMASKINEN is a series of inquiries into contemporary political crises. The project will consist of several art-projects, each exploring a certain aspect or manifestation of contemporary crisis. Together these visions are attempts to unfold a contemporary cosmology; a new political horizon.



Martinezphoto by Israel Martínez

Monday 9.11.2015 at 19:00 at LANDMARK, Bergen Kunsthal




ISRAEL MARTINÈZ: SONORO RUGIR (RESOUNDING ROAR). Audiovisual work by Israel Martínez, presenting a mix of pieces by the artist and collaborators plus some excerpts of texts around Mexico’s sociopolitical present. With collaborations by Adela Goldbard, Antena Collective, Chantal Peñalosa, Diego Martínez, Elmer Mendoza, Erick Ruiz Arellano, Félix Blume, Gerardo Montes de Oca, Leonardo Da Jandra, Sandra Sánchez, Sergio González Rodríguez, Tito Rivas and Verónica Gerber Bicecci.

When becoming space, the power over a territory spreads like a map. Having maps is knowing about the organization of space: a joint focus on realities and possibilities of domain. To observe above things, through them, inside them and beyond them, concerns the strategic thinking. Sergio González Rodríguez

The work of Israel Martínez (Guadalajara, Mexico 1979) reflects upon several social topics through sound, music and their relation to images. He has produced video installations, site-specific projects, actions, interventions and graphic works. He has also made multi-channel sound installations and composed a music between electroacoustic and spatiality. In 2007 he received a Distinction Award of Prix Ars Electronica. In 2012 he was resident at the DAAD’s Artists-in-Berlin Program, and at Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier in 2014. Some of his works have been acquired by two of the most important collections in Latin America: Jumex and MUAC/UNAM. His aural work is published and distributed worldwide by labels such as Sub Rosa, Aagoo, Musica Moderna and Abolipop. Since 2008 he teaches seminars and workshops focused on sound in a contemporary context. He’s also co-founder of the multimedia platform Suplex and the music label Abolipop Records.

EKATERINA SHAROVA: SOCIALLY ENGAGED ART WITHOUT SOCIETY. Have the recent explosive artistic strategies really made a change in Russia? What were the mechanisms of including the Russian actionist performances into the contemporary art museum in the West, and then, in Russia? Pierre Bourdieu in his essay “On Television” (1996) argues, “Television, which claims to record reality, creates it instead. We are getting closer and closer to the point where the social world is primarily described – and in the sense prescribed – by television”. Do we really know enough about the social world beyond the screen? How critical can one be to the manipulation mechanisms of the media? What place do the unheard voices take here? These are some of the questions to be discussed at the meeting.

Ekaterina Sharova is an art historian and curator based in Arkhangelsk (Russia) and Oslo (Norway). Ekaterina received her MA in Art History from University of Oslo, after her literature, philosophy and pedagogy studies in Russia, Norway and Italy. She invited some of the key figures in contemporary Russian art and music scene to Norway, such as Pussy Riot (with the First Supper Symposium, 2013 and 2014), Petr Pavlensky (Forrådt, 2013), did screening of the first film about P183 (with Ø-ZONE group, 2014), booked musician Noize MC (Barents Spektakel, 2015). Most of them were outside of Russia for the first or second time. She is interested in questions of media and representation, art in public space, power and popular culture. Grassroot groups, culture of discussion, decentralization, communication between the center(s) and periphery in Russia are important for her current research. She established art groups Ø-ZONE (Oslo) and Arctic Art Institute (Arkhangelsk-Murmansk-Saint Petersburg). Ekaterina has been writing for Klassekampen, Billedkunst,, etc.

BRANDON LABELLE: THIS WEAKNESS THAT I AM .The figure of despair, the figure of illegality, the figure whose body is withdrawn, the figure toward which I must turn, the figure of vacancy and of urgency, the figure without papers, the figure that has nowhere else to go, the figure from afar, and who suddenly comes close, the fragile figure, and the one from which these ideas follow, to disappear, to reappear, the figure of a future resistance, of hope and of misery, the figure that forces another citizenry.

Brandon LaBelle is an artist, writer and theorist working with sound culture, voice, and questions of agency. He develops and presents artistic projects and performances within a range of international contexts, often working collaboratively and in public. Recent projects include “Sixth Housing Estate”, South London Gallery, London (2015), “Civic Center”, La Casa Encendida, Madrid (2014), and “Hobo College”, Marrakech Biennial parallel project (2014). He is the author of Lexicon of the Mouth: Poetics and Politics of Voice and the Oral Imaginary (2014), Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian (2012), Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life (2010), and Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art (2006).





22 Women, 2014, Alfredo Jaar, 22 framed pigment prints. Courtesy the artist, New York

Friday september 4th, 2015 at 11:00 at Stiftelsen 3,14, Vågsallmenningen 12, Bergen

In this talk chilean born, New York-based artist, architect, and filmmaker Alfredo Jaar will present his exhibition 22 Women and other recent projects. 22 Women is a further development of his examination of images and their mediating and supportive structures that in turn form our sensibilities. 

The project is an expansion of Three Women (2010), an installation in which miniature photographic portraits of three women – Graça Machel (Mozambique), Ela Bhatt (India), and Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma) – are brightly illuminated with an assembly of tripod-mounted, fluorescent spotlights placed in near proximity to each image. 22 Women presents more subjects from around the world who predominantly are relatively unknown activists unseen by the powerful amplification of the mass media. Jaar’s installation is not solely a research project into women leading specific social causes – putting them into the spotlight – but also gestures towards that very spotlight as a key factor in the dynamics of our attention and the invisible hand ‘manufacturing consent’. Typically for Jaar’s work, 22 Women presents a difficult tension in which the mediating structures of art and the media rub shoulders, giving no easy answers and instead present a constellation of elements that are both celebratory and contradictory.

22 Women is a work in progress as Jaar´s goal is to expand the project to incorporate one hundred extraordinary and outstanding women, which he can shed bright light on. At 3,14 the installation with Amira Hass (Israel/Palestine), Bertha Oliva (Honduras), Camila Vallejo (Chile), Hawa Abdi (Somalia), Jenni Williams (Zimbabwe), Kalpona Akhter (Bangladesh), Lina Ben Mhenni (Tunisia), Lydia Cacho (Mexico),Mahnaz Mohammadi (Iran), Malalai Joya (Afghanistan), Mathilde Muhindo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Nawal El Saadawi (Egypt), Ni Yulan (China), Olayinka Koso-Thomas (Nigeria/Sierra Leone),Razan Zaitouneh (Syria), Sandra Gomes Melo (Brazil), Susan Burton (United States), Svetlana Gannushkina (Russia), Ta Phong Tan (Vietnam), Tetyana Chornovol (Ukraine), Vandana Shiva (India),and Zainab Alkhawaja (Bahrain), is on view.

Alfredo Jaar’s work has been presented worldwide. He has participated in the Venice Biennale (1986, 2007, 2009, 2013) and Sao Paulo Biennale (1987, 1989, 2010), as well as in Documenta (1987, 2002). He has had major exhibitions at The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Whitechapel, London; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, to name but a few. A major retrospective of Jaar’s work took place in three institutions across Berlin in 2012 (Berlinische Galerie, Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst e.V., and Alte Nationalgalerie), and, in 2014, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, hosted the most extensive retrospective of his career to date. 22 Women was previously shown at Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, Norway, in 2014-2015.

This lecture is presented in collaboration between Stiftelsen 3,14,  Bergen Academy of Art and Design and the artistic research project Synsmaskinen.

22 Women, 2014, Alfredo Jaar.
22 framed pigment prints. Courtesy the artist, New York



ilyabildeTuesday 13. May. 2014 at 19:00 at HKS, Hordaland Art Centre, Klosteret 17, Nordnes, Bergen

Based on his own practice artist, curator and historian Ilya Budraitskis will look closer at how history is re-interpreted and actively used as a political tool in Russia today. This lecture is organised in collaboration with Hordaland Kunstsenter and follows the exhibition The Structure and Properties of Matter

From the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s third presidential term the question of ’values’ and references to the ‘our great past’ moved to the centre of the political language of Russian elite. The Soviet history has been an important source of this new ‘politics of value’, but the soviet legacy is much more complicated and meaningful than just a puppet in the hands of the new constructors of history. Somehow, contemporary art appeared at the front of a constructed battle between the patriotic ‘silent majority’ and the liberal ‘internal migrants’.

The extensive project Pedagogical Poem by Ilya Budraitskis, in collaboration with Arseny Zhilyaev, was an interdisciplinary project consisting of over 100 lectures and seminars throughout 2012 with international and Russian artists, historians and cultural theorists that culminated with the exhibition The Archive of the Future Museum of History at Presnya Historical Museum in Moscow. Budraitskis will present the project and the recently published book Pedagogical Poem – The Archive of the Future Museum of History (Marsilio Editori, 2014). With this project and his work at the State Museum of Contemporary History of Russia as a backdrop, he will examine the possible liberating role an old museum may have, based on the story of ‘the revolutionary memory’ from 1905 and 1917.

Ilya Budraitskis participates in the exhibition The Structure and Properties of Matter with the work The Grenelle Agreements. This video work is made by Learning Film Group, which Budraitskis is part of, and which takes as its starting point the historic agreement that was negotiated during the riots in France in 1968.

The exhibition The Structure and Properties of Matter, curated by Frans Jacobi and Åse Løvgren, investigates different approaches to historic legacy, as conveyed through the media, materials, stories, fantasies and dreams. It is part of the discussion of how history is conveyed, interpreted and used as in our understanding of the world, but also as a political tool to describe conflicts, contradictions and how policies are formulated.

The lecture will be in English.

Ilya Budraitskis (1981) is an artist, theorist and historian. Since 2010 he has been on the editorial board of Moscow Art Magazine. Since 2013 he is working in the National Center of Contemporary Art (Moscow). During 2012-2013 worked as scientific fellow in the State Central Museum for Contemporary History of Russia.

He was an editor and contributor (together with Ekaterina Degot and Marta Dzievanska) of a book Post-post-Soviet? Art, politics and society in Russia at the turn of the decade (Chicago University Press, 2013).

This lecture is presented in collaboration between Hordaland Kunstsenter,  Bergen Academy of Art and Design and is also supported by Nordland County Council.

The Grenelle Agreements, film by Learning Film Group

POPULAR unrest


Still from Popular Unrest

Monday, April 28, 19h, 2014 at KHiB, 8th floor, C.Sundtsgaten 53

Since the economic crisis began in 2008, artist Melanie Gilligan has created three narrative episodic video works, Crisis in the Credit SystemSelf-Capital and Popular Unrest which reflect on the economics and politics of capital’s current ongoing crisis. Gilligan’s talk will focus on the third of these three works, Popular Unrest, and will center around its particular perspective on the present.

Melanie Gilligan is an artist and writer based in London and New York. Gilligan has written for magazines and journals such as Texte zur KunstMuteArtforum, and Grey Room. In 2008, Gilligan released Crisis in the Credit System, a four-part fictional mini-drama, made specifically for internet viewing. Popular Unrest, is a multi-episode drama set in a future much like the present. Here, however, all exchange transactions and social interactions are overseen by a system called ‘the Spirit’. A rash of unexplained killings have broken out across the globe. They often take place in public but witnesses never see an assailant. Just as mysteriously, groups of unrelated people are suddenly coming together everywhere, amassing new members rapidly. Unaccountably, they feel a deep and persistent sense of connection to one another.

The lecture will be followed by soup and discussions.

The video-works of Melanie Gilligan is online here:



Foto: Hans Breder with student

Thursday, April 10, 5pm, 2014,  KHiB, 8th floor, C.Sundtsgate 53

Cornelia Schmidt-Bleek will be talking about the exhibition Anti-Academy, first presented at the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton/England, 2013. The show examines the ideas, processes, workshops and legacies of three radical educational models in 1960s Japan, the USA and Denmark. Comprised of three installations, each relating to one of these school’s programmes, Anti-Academy explores life at Bigakko, Tokyo, The Intermedia Program at the University of Iowa, and Ex-School, Copenhagen.

Schmidt-Bleek curated the Intermedia section of the exhibition, a program that was established by the German artist Hans Breder in 1968. At Intermedia, students experienced workshops by various visiting artists with an emphasis on exploring ‘the boundaries between media, between artistic and scholarly practices, between genres, between social and political universes, between viewer and artist’.  The Iowa program was characterized by an innovative use of media and technology. Key to its early years was the involvement of visiting artists who developed work with student participation, including creations by Robert Wilson and Allan Kaprow amongst others. There was an emphasis on development of a collaborative relationship with the local community and the utilisation of the local landscape as site for the making of student work. Anti-Academy includes works made with students (notably with the year group of students that included Ana Mendieta and Charles Ray) by Elaine Summers, Mary Beth Edelson and Vito Acconci, alongside a broader review of the archive. This program will be the focal point of the talk.

The lecture will be followed by soup and discussions.

Anti-Academy is organised in collaboration with Heidi Nicolaisen.