Amphibious Trilogies

Elastic conversations 2

Elastic conversations 1

Octopus and Medusa

Yesterday I had an unexpected encounter with the multidisciplinary artist Assaad Awad while he was leading a workshop at Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Enamoured by the beautiful tattoos on his arms, an octopus and jellyfish, I asked him if he could tell me why he had chosen these creatures of the sea. In the process he showed a third tattoo that was hidden from sight. Without giving the game away I really do think he is amphibious at heart. Very cool!


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On silence

Notes on what is not spoken about and on silence

This spring I have had the opportunity to participate in a small gathering at what is called Fordypningsrommet at the island group of Fleinvær the 20th. 21st and 22nd of January ( The small group of people gathered were all occupied of what is not spoken about – being at Fleinvær – windblown islands outside of Bodø – meant that we were gathered for days only relating to the others and our surroundings. We shared topics not normally spoken about. Some of them rather personal, some about questions hard to address with words and better expressed through music, movement, visualising and art.

Being a writer I was moving into unfamiliar terrain of expression. Personal reflection in close association with people who wish to share and interact both with their surroundings and others give a possibility to insights and experiences not normally achieved. A mother spoke of her relationship to her mentally sick son – a man about his struggle with alcohol and others about their own challenges.

Being professionals and some of us historians we spoke about the tragedies of the past – just north of the islands of Fleinvær a British Warship was torpedoed in 1915. We talked about the past and the memories in the small fishing communities of Fleinvær and Helligvær. Places where life is always vulnerable and where most families have lost family members at Sea.  Even if far in the past those who died and those who survived in 1915 are very much part of the historical heritage and memories of the islands. In some ways even created strong bonds to their families in far-away England.

The researchers who have worked with interviews with families, survivors and rescue workers of the Alexander Kielland accident in 1980 where 123 oil workers died, spoke about their interviews and the memory of the past. We spoke about what is chosen to be remembered and what is, in many people’s opinion, best forgotten.

Some months later I opened the exhibition “Poetry of Silence”. The artist Kristin Skrivervik ( at Prosjektrom 3 at Vinstra in Gudbrandsdal north of Lillehammer. The exhibition included recordings, film and pictures. The artist, having worked in a variety of places, have been very much being inspired by the Saami culture, music and nature. After the exhibition, we had an art-talk and the artist spoke about theories and thoughts of movement by the musician, physicist and philosopher Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni (1756 – 1827) “Entdeckungen über die Theorie des Klanges.”

The question of silence and what is deliberately silenced is very much the essence of the core issues of humanity and tolerance as well as the limitation of expression. That is why we need to challenge using art as well as relating to other living beings and non-human nature itself. I am expressing myself like this because the concept of nature as separate from man is naturally meaningless. We breath air and drink water – we can never separate from other surroundings, still we have the meaningless experience of being totally apart.


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How do your fluids flow?

The systems of tiny fissures of many bones show looped and spiralling forms reminiscent of the laws according to which the water flows.

The images below stem from a recent conversation with Ingunn Rimestad while planning her participation in the up and coming Amphibious Working Seminar. The first image she showed me during our meeting; a photo she took of River Mersey, Northwest England, some years ago. The second she sent me a few days later; a found image from her research in body fluids, organs and bones.

River Mersey; its looped and spiralling forms.

Human shoulder blade (after Benninghoff).


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Contested Borderscapes

From: Contested Borderscapes
To: Amanda Jane Steggell
Subject: Abstract received
4 April 2017, 10.57

Many thanks for submitting your abstract to Contested Borderscapes. The Organizing Committee will be in touch soon!


All think twice. It’s just another day for you and me in paradise.

Affiliation and Keywords

Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Samos Volunteer Group. Arts-based perceptions.


Track 5: Representations and communication

Abstract (up to 500 words)

All think twice. It’s just another day for you and me in paradise.

Do islands offer a feeling of isolation or of freedom?

Who and what gets attracted to-, or left out of a pond?

What is the hope, happiness and trauma of the pond and sea?

This contribution concerns arts-based perceptions of littoral zones of conflict. It draws on mixed creative methodologies from choreography and performance in particular with inclusions of design fictioining and sociology, as we ‘do things’ together with refugees living in one of five refugee shelters on Samos, namely The Paradise Hotel.

The contribution will take the shape of a performance lecture that will convey through ‘movements’ between three interlocking thematics, ‘Island’ and ‘Pond’ and the ’Passage’ between the two. We are currently experiencing how these thematics come into play as returning participants of the Samos Volunteer Group. What has changed since we have been here last, and how do we adapt to the momentary now?

Author name:

Amanda Steggell


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Look what I saw

From: Andrew
To: Amanda
Sent: December 24, 2016 10:16 AM
Subject: lovely to see you

always inspiring
look what i just saw
and its downloadable


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Something for you

From: Amanda
To: Hans-Jørgen
Sent: November 8, 2016 21:26 PM
Subject: Something for you!

Dear HJ,
you might find this link useful



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