Frontiers in Retreat – Multidisciplinary Approaches to Ecology in Contemporary Art (2013 – 2018)

This blog is published due to my participation in the European AiR programme Frontiers in Retreat – Multidisciplinary Approaches to Ecology in Contemporary Art (2013 – 2018).

Recently asked questions from the organizer:

How do you envision the notion of “frontiers”? What does it signify to you?

To me, a frontier is a fluid space that connects and seperates two ore more domains at the same time. A frontier is a humain categorie. It is a point of vue. Earth does not have frontiers or bounderies but constantly changing conditions.

What are the most important artistic methods for you?

beeing, observing, regarding, listening, drawing, reflecting, breathing, shaping, faulting, dreaming, dancing, writing, communicating, listening, walking, questioning, sustaining contradictions, continuing, standing still

How would you describe your current interest and artistic approach towards “ecology”
What is your definition or angle to ecology?

To me, ecology is the space between humanity and the world. I have focused on this gap for a long time, in an interdisciplinary way, using diverse techniques and materials. I want to understand both, being convinced that we need the world but the world does not need us at all. It is important to me to keep in mind the different time scales of terrestrial life and earth history. I want to understand our contemporary relations and responses to ‘earth’ or ‘nature’ and how they relate to our beliefs and philosophies. One approach is to come closer and to touch and look for details, another is to disconnect and to search for an overview, within the bounderies of human existence.

Earth rhythms are intrinsic to our human experience. Can they be made visible, perceivable? This is my wish.

From the series ‘flow’

‘flow (14/01)’, Textile foil on wall, 400 x 230 cm, Städtische Galerie KUBUS, Hannover 2014

Water is the only chemical compound on Earth that exists as a liquid, a solid and a gas in nature. It is the basis of life on Earth- a live enabling circumstance.

Quote “Living Earth – Outline of the Geology of Iceland” by Ari Trausti Gumunðsson

The island is a land-born or supramarine section of the divergent plate margins, otherwise only evident as the submarine North-Atlantic Ridge. (…) The Mid-Atlantic Ridge measures 14 000 -15 000 km in length and forms a broad threshold which runs the length of the sea floor from the Arctic Ocean southwards past Africa. The ridge is formed by the accumulation of eruptive material and the drifting of the plates which float on top of a plastic (mobile) layer in the earth’s mantle. They support continents in the east (Europe, Asia and Africa) and the west (South and North America). (…) On dry land the plate margin runs northeast (…). Just to the east of the axial rift lies the centre of the Iceland hot spot, which has long been active in the North Atlantic. It is actually the top of a mantle plume of upwelling ductile rock which is somewhat hotter than the mantle rock found within the mobile and relatively light mass that rises along the entire length of the ridge rifting zones, including Iceland. Where the hot spot and plate margin coincide, the production of magma and resultant crustal aggregation is so great that eruptive rock has created a large island: a kind of thickening of the crust.

“Living Earth – Outline of the Geology of Iceland”, Ari Trausti Gumunðsson, Reykjavik 2013, first edition 2007, page 9ff

FIR-Residency in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland

During my first one-month stay in Seyðisfjörður in the autumn of 2014, in addition to doing research, I started using frottage (a graphic technique) and moulding parts of the mountain surface. These latex impressions can be used as printing blocks. I call these works ‘mountain print’.

‘mountain print (15/08/02)’, Latex print, stamping ink on paper, 29,7 x 42 cm, Kopenhagen 2015

About ‘dancing dough and circumstances’ I

My new project is called ‘dancing dough and circumstances’. It includes past and future series of works in which I work on movements of the earth.

‘Monument to the Earth II’ – drawing of a chalk line of loosely hanging hand on Bjólfurin Mount parallel to the ground about 102 m above sea level, Seydisfjördur, Iceland, 2014.

I am a sculptor and, using various materials, I explore the way that form evolves from  movement.

I am fascinated by the way that rock is moved by natural forces over different periods of time, e.g. the world’s turning on its axis and around the sun in the rhythm of the day or the year respectively, or the drift of the continental plates over millions of years. I am fascinated by how rock is formed and what movements come about during this, like the upthrust of mountains as well as their constant erosion due to the movements of wind and water.

The movements may be slow, quick, continual, jerky, soft, rough. These patterns of movement seem to me like dances, physical-chemical choreographies, which appear quite light despite their inconceivable dimensions, and which I would like to trace in drawing. The earth, its rock seems to me like a dough that forms in movement, and is formed by movements, dancing, a dancing dough with its own temporal beat and rhythm in the varying climatic circumstances in each case.