Amphibious Trilogies

Movements. Island and pond

Field Notes, Apr 26 2017
10 min spontaneous writing

Recently,  I have traveled to Vardø to follow up on the culmination seminar of the Future North project (AHO) and the Vardø Restored project. Shortly after  I traveled to  Lillehammer with MA students of choreography from KHiO, namely Kyuja Bae, Thomas Presto, Katarina Skar Lisa and Otto Ramstad. This is a three-week residential workshop called Amphibious Moves. Choreographies of littoral landscape. The workshop is based on the ‘Pond’ thematic, hosted by Prof. Hans-Jørgen Wallin Weihe (Inland University College) and the Maihaugen Open Air Museum. And by a trick of the tale we made a connection to Vegar Landsverk, a Bachelor student of the Norwegian Film School based in Lillehammer. In the middle of the workshop I got a bad cold. I tried to work with it, but eventually took time off in the weekend, traveling back to Nesset, close to Oslo. I am writing this text from my cabin in Nesset, covered by blankets, looking out over Bunnefjord.

In Vardø I lived in my host’s family apartment, paying for basic expenses. In Lillehammer we all stayed in Hans-Jørgen’s house for free (myself , 4 students and research fellow Brynjar Åbel Bandlien). All are generous. All do as well as they can. Different circumstances. Different localities. Different personalities. Different challenges. Conflicts of understanding to be breached beyond cold critical views.

I am thinking about artistic research and I do seek to bring students into artistic research practices. The mandate says that we should use research in our teaching. What ‘research’ does this pertain to?

I have a small budget. I have to decide where, how and who to take with me – sharing resources across thresholds of economy in accordance with local situations. I try to apportion out the available funds (in a kind fuzzy logical way) to get the most out of encounters when working with fieldwork in littoral landscapes.

In artistic research in Norway there is a push towards an international standing (dissemination – presentations). Yet my experience of working in various littoral landscapes in Norway (and in other countries too) I learn about relationships between the land and sea that contest the given borderlines, founded from both current and historical perspectives. Movements. What I am trying to say is that we humans are mixed bunch. For example, working as a volunteer in a refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos in 2017 I have met many people from different countries, their plight, their hopes and dreams. Holding on to a social importance. Connecting in the doing and sharing, beyond the given national/political territories. The students I am working with now have entered Norway from the US of A with ancestors in Norway, from routes in Korea and Trinidad, and one who is discovering her Sami ancestors. Then there is Vardø – arctic island- with strong connections with Russia, Finland +++.

This post is a 10 minute spontaneous writing.  There are many issues to attend to. I am trying to understand. To cut a long story short, I do think that the focus on international outstanding (pertaining to institutions) within artistic research on today is a misdemeanour – a wild herring? And yet it is so very inspiring, challenging.

Right now I am on my cabin 27 km from Oslo by road. I look over the water of the fjord, now fluid, not frozen as I left it. Not so dramatic when on Hornøya  in Vardø when the birds migrate from the antarctic to the arctic. Because the spring came lately many birds had trouble to make a nest. Many sort out alternative places to raise their young. That was once two weeks ago. Really, I would like to stop here. Really I would like to migrate to my boat on Hovedøya, just 5 min by ferry to mainland Oslo. Right now I am content to look out over the fjord. To see the spring bloom with flowers, buds and the birds. I can be here calmly. – On Monday the work starts again in Lillehammer, some 4 hours by bus and train. I will be living in a house that houses many books in shelves and crannies that I would like to read.

No time. Some time. I land in my cabin. My bed. Mirror boat mirror. Mirror cabin. I am logging off now.

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