MOUVEMENTS (BEVEGELSENE), 2015-2018, photography, variable sizes. Exhibitions at Vérité, Grundingen 1-3, Aker Brygge, 0250 Oslo, Norway for Oslo Art and Fashion Festival, and Akers Mek in Oslo, Norway, 100 x 140 cm, Epson Archival Ink, mounted on kapa. The exhibition was supported by Epson Europe,Interfoto Oslo, and CopyCat Fine Art in Skøyen.
The Mouvements series reveals nuanced details in digital imaging technology. The images are informed by tensions in oil and water. The materiality of digital imaging technology, distance in viewing, and surreal representations in water forms are highlighted by minuscule film grains amplified after film scanning. The epistemology of water or way we come to learn and understand what water, is an ongoing endeavour. To then know what we are doing with technology, requires extended looking. The way something appears can obfuscate and reveal our relationship to the looking. Oil and water become elemental allegory for technocratic times. As Umberto Eco writes in several books on late modernity, images are read and our connections and relations are realised as a malleable surfaces. The natural beauty of the water is transformed by a hypnotic colour palette tied to screen technology. Viewing distances engage viewers in a sense of movement in stillness.
ELVELANGS I FAKKELLYS, Oslo, Norway, public installations for autumn 2018 & 2017. Elvelangs is an annual public event for all ages to celebrate the autumnal equinox on a night walk along the river. 2017 Installation at Smelteverket. 2018 dual-site Installation of Vesper Monumenter at Frysja in Nordre Aker Bydel and and Et Dypt Nett at Smelteverket.
VESPER MONUMENTER, 2018, 8 light refracting sculptures, tin-foil and snow-markers, lights with blue photo-gel filters for twilight frequency, “Shimmer” video projection. The Vesper Monumenter sculptures stand as pillars reflecting light in the twilight to darkened landscape.
MOUVEMENTS (BEVEGELSENE), 2015-2018, photography, variable sizes. Exhibitions at Vérité and Akers Mek in Oslo, Norway, 100 x 140 cm, Epson Archival Ink, mounted on kapa.
The Mouvements series reveals nuanced details in digital imaging technology. The images are informed by tensions in oil and water as resources. The materiality of digital imaging technology, distance in viewing, and surreal representations in water forms are highlighted by minuscule film grains amplified after film scanning. The epistemology of water or way we come to learn and understand what water, is an ongoing endeavour. To then know what we are doing with technology, requires extended looking. The way something appears can obfuscate and reveal our relationship to the looking. Oil and water become elemental allegory for technocratic times. As Umberto Eco writes in several books on late modernity, images are read and our connections and relations are realised as a malleable surfaces. The natural beauty of the water is transformed by a hypnotic colour palette tied to screen technology. Viewing distances engage viewers in a sense of movement in stillness.
SOLFEGE SOUCHE, 2018, single-channel video, sound composition and arrangement.
“I love the way the figure is emerges then blends back into its surroundings, it is how I feel in the wild parts of Skye as if I am the landscape. The light is beautiful. It isn’t like Bill Viola’s work, but it has the same emotional effect on me.” -Joan Foye, UK
A Solfège Souche is by definition the root of a forgotten connection with nature. In times of rapidly increased use of technology, humans face increased stimulation and variables on age old questions in ethics and morality. In an effort to portray a dynamic relationship with nature, instead of dominance over nature, the Butoh movements recreate ways lifeforms cut down in the forest continually find ways to reach towards light. This space framed in the video presents a body moving amongst an autumnal forest, merging and emerging from light and shadows. The body draws lines through movement; binaural beats compose the soundtrack. The pitches register at markers in time, reminiscent of ear trauma or tinnitus. The Solfège Souche video is situated at the intersection of dance, performance, video art, projection, embodied cognition research, and resonance study. The artistic research and pedagogical development around the project asks the questions: Are our cultural and bodily movements dangerous if we do not understand what we stand to lose? In what ways do sounds move and change forms from within the body and around?
The term, Solfège, refers to the music education method developed to teach sight-singing and pitch accuracy. Originating in 11th century, music theorist Guido of Arezzo assigned six syllables: ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, now recognized as the major scale. Much later, the “ut” was changed to the open syllable “do”. “Sol” changed to “so”. “Si” later became “ti”, was added for the seventh scale-note, giving rise to the modern solfège. Souche has several meanings; as a stump (of a tree), the Latin word meaning root, simultaneously referring to genealogy. Souche was also a name of an unknown virus claiming the lives of at least twenty people (une souche virale inédite a fait au minimum vingt morts).
The changes and understandings in musical notation, are related to posture and movement. These bodily performances considered intuitive or based on vision, relating Gregorian and Orthodox histories with traditions found in native and pagan rites of passage. Therefore the things themselves, present and projected become the shared ground. The next record in this artistic research is the Afjordance video projection and data based, algorithmic generated sounds based on the term Affordance.
Affordance is what the environment offers the individual, and refers to all action possibilities depending on users’ physical capabilities. For example, a chair not only “affords” being “sat on,” but also “thrown,” “stood on,” and so on. James J. Gibson, coined the term “affordance.”
NORSK: Solfege Souche, 2018, enkelt kanel med lyd, filmet i Maridalen, Oslo, Norway
En Solfège Souche er per definisjon roten til en glemt forbindelse med naturen. I tider med raskt økt bruk av teknologi, møter mennesker økt stimulering og variabler på eldgamle spørsmål innen etikk og moral. I et forsøk på å skildre et dynamisk forhold til naturen, i stedet for dominans over naturen, gjenskaper Butoh-bevegelsene måter livsformer kuttet ned i skogen kontinuerlig finner måter å nå mot lys. Dette rommet innrammet i videoen presenterer en kropp som beveger seg mellom en høstlig skog, smelter sammen og kommer ut fra lys og skygger. Kroppen trekker linjer gjennom bevegelse; binaural beats komponerer lydsporet. Plassene registreres ved markører i tide, og minner om øre traumer eller tinnitus.
Solfège Souche-videoen ligger i skjæringspunktet mellom dans, performance, videokunst, projeksjon, forskning og studier. Den kunstneriske forskningen og den pedagogiske utviklingen stiller spørsmålene: Er våre kulturelle og kroppslige bevegelser farlige hvis vi ikke forstår hva vi taper? På hvilke måter beveger lyd og endrer form fra kroppen og rundt?
Begrepet, Solfège, refererer til musikkopplæringsmetoden som er utviklet for å undervise i synge og tonehøyde. Opprinnelsen fra det 11. århundre tildelte musikteoretikeren Guido fra Arezzo seks stavelser: ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, nå anerkjent som hovedskala. Mye senere ble “ut” endret til den åpne stavelsen “do”. “Sol” endret til “så”. “Si” ble senere “ti”, ble lagt til for den syvende skala-noten, noe som ga opphav til den moderne solfège. Souche har flere betydninger; som en stubbe (av et tre), det latinske ordet som betyr rot, og refererer samtidig til slektsforskning. Souche var også et navn på et ukjent virus som krevde livet til minst tjue mennesker (une souche virale inédite a fait au minimum vingt morts).
Endringene og forståelsene i musikalsk notasjon, er relatert til holdning og bevegelse. Disse kroppslige forestillingene ble ansett som intuitive eller basert på visjon, og relaterte gregorianske og ortodokse historier med tradisjoner som finnes i innfødte og hedenske overgangsritualer. Derfor blir tingene i seg selv, nåværende og projiserte, den delte bakken. Den neste posten i denne kunstneriske forskningen er Afjordance videoprojeksjon og databaserte, algoritmisk genererte lyder basert på begrepet Affordance.
Overlegenhet er hva miljøet tilbyr individet, og refererer til alle handlingsmuligheter avhengig av brukernes fysiske evner. For eksempel gir en stol ikke bare “å sitte på”, men også “kastet”, “sto på” og så videre. James J. Gibson, laget begrepet “overkommelighet”.
Rachel Wolfe (b. 1984) is an American-born artist and photographer, living in Norway since 2015. Her work is realized in mediums of images, installation, drawing, painting, video, performance, and traveling objects. The Print Atelier represents images from Human Needs.
Rooted in disciplines of dance, painting, drawing, piano, voice, Wolfe has been making solo and group projects, working with land, space, light, and photography since 1999. Theories in Chinese medicine influence her work navigating themes of beauty, sense, feeling.
Awards and scholarships include: 2015 First place by the jury, Imagining New Eurasia exhibition in Gwangju, South Korea. 2015 Woelffer scholarship and 2014 academic merit award from Otis College of Art and Design, 2013 Academic scholarship for social psychology study in Matsuyama Japan, 2009 Historic Pathways winner from Indiana State University.
U: Who are you and what do you do? RW: I am Rachel Wolfe I make art considering the site and utilizing materials and images of photography, including light, video, sound, and performance of body.
U: What characterizes your work? RW: Sensory dynamics in the nature of desire. Human, felt experiences are important in a bottom-up approach to understanding versus a concept-to-completion mode of working. Beauty services the process in various forms as elements of nature are always in the work.
U: How would you describe your personal style? RW: Based on what I am learned about style I would say everything must always be in service of dynamic movement.
U: How do your own experiences influence your work? RW: Synesthesia is something I thought everyone has but later came to find out, they certainly do not. I use my sensory sensitivities and route them through a process of omission relative to the site, and to a history I am interested in daisy chaining with.
U: What will you be showing at the uncontaminated festival? RW: I’ll be exposing ways of gazing upon a horizon to consider the perception of motion through time. This sense of temporality as a form of continuous movement and how that relates to bodily senses.
U: What do you want to communicate through your work? RW: Reverence as an important tool in agency. Trade economics are sometimes spoken of as a force in opposition of life, and in the sense of hurriedness or performance anxiety, one could certainly become at odds with their lives and relationships. My work is demanding in a subtle way of slowing down, that most to gain by giving in to what is working through choices with what’s there. My hope is locating an orientation of intrinsic desire and value-to go forward from an aesthetic experience with an embodied sense of wholeness.
U: Do artists of today have some kind of social responsibility? RW: Responsibility is such a rich space for conversation. Artists have the responsibility to keep making work, and to start talking with people in a way that doesn’t create an intellectual paywall.
U: What does uncontaminated mean for you? RW: Uncontaminated is an idea about an ideal. For example, the idea of blue blood or a form of purity that in reality is an impossibility. For example, mud is still always dirt. That kind of aspirational dreamstate feels a lot like a mental space one could achieve through traditional forms of meditation.
U: What is the most important thing in your life? RW: Being alive.
U: How do you feel right now? RW: I feel like having a proper bath. Where are all the bathtubs here (in Oslo)?
U: If you could change one thing in the world today, what would it be? RW: Remind people the generative quality of cooperation and the value of a well-considered no.
U: What are the main reasons you are joining us for the festival this year? RW: I am interested in art and fashion and want to connect with people to learn about what they desire-what brings people out of their homes to connect with each other in public spaces.
U: Who or what do you value as a great inspiration for you creatively? RW: Opposing points of view from books, family, and friends. Paying more attention to noticing phenomena in nature. How many different ways can something I think I’ve seen a million times reveal something new about itself?
U: Can you elaborate on an important moment in your life where you experienced a big change, chose to make one or another event which altered your way of thinking or your approach to creativity? RW: Deciding to be the author of my time, which is a never ending dance I still trip over my own footing with. After decades of training, the red thread is making something out of the desire to make and create value in the satisfaction of the making process.
U: How does digital and social media affect or inspire your life and creations? RW: Being prone to affective disorders, I really try to keep an arms distance with the broadcast version of life. I wonder a lot about the ways in which the intimacy of viewing a distant life up close affects psychology and if there could be some kind of epigenetic change relative to the emotional change in media technology.
U: What do you define art? RW: Art requires discipline, something that is worked on by an artist and through a diligent practice and vision work is made. Is Duchamp’s urinal art today? No, that was an artefact as a testament of a notion that somehow art is one thing or another-that art is about ideas or feelings or one thing or the other. Art is art. To conflate art as anything other than the word itself services rhetoric or belief-both of which I am interested in being free from. I have a great faith in people and the ability to know. Art and artefact can have a close relationship but they are different. I as one among many people practicing art today may be in a practice of making artefacts more than art, and that’s something I’m always looking closely at within my work as well. Does this diminish what artists are making; I don’t think so. I do find the conversation valuable moving forward.
U: What is your definition of artistic freedom? RW: Discipline. Having gone through a phase of coming undone, and going in many directions, I’m in a process of refining.
U: Is there a difference for you between art and commercial/commissioned work? RW: Commissioned work has always been easier for me, to work in a dialogue. Making art for myself entails far more responsibility which then requires a lot more time. A few months at a residency can accomplish a lot, but it is still not the same as having years to work on art.
U: Do you struggle to find artistic freedom in the span between commissioned work and your personal needs to express yourself? RW: Personal expression is not an area I struggle with or work with in my art.
U: What do you aspire to? In the near future? In life in general? RW: Aspire is a great word. I wouldn’t go panting after doing I do though. The question I’m often asking myself now is what is truly essential and can I live with today, tomorrow, and 50 years from now.
U: How do you feel art and fashion intervene? RW: Aesthetics and function. The formal qualities of how something looks conveys a great deal of ideas. Aesthetics as signs of ethical choices isn’t a new concept. There’s a lot of value in considering what aesthetic choices are relative to fashion, and then wondering the function, does this work. And if it doesn’t work, ie can the body stay warm, does the systems circulate healthfully, this kind of questions have a lot to do with the intersection of art and fashion. The head and body need not be severed from the other, you know?
U: What is a great example of a fashion art collaboration in your view? RW: I cannot look at fashion and not see art. When I see art, I have a desire to somehow become the art I see. I have seen so much incredible and daring fashion and art these past years, I am afraid I can’t call out anything specific right now.
U: Where do you think art and fashion is heading in our digital age? RW: People are demanding more from each of their purchases. Less is not more now. More in fewer items is the thing. A lot of the digital future is already available today but not yet on a wider scale. Someone once advised me to invest in black clothing, that this pigment would become rare in the future. For some reason this stuck with me.
TEKNOVISUELL EXPERIENCE, Virtual Material, Public Installation of Detail #5, Otis College of Art and Design Admissions Office, Los Angeles, California, 2017. The artwork engages the relationships of body & space to image technology through the clarity of perceived images. The imaging processes displace and reform pigments and images, creating fuzzy borders. The Teknovisuell Experience series represents images of water as aesthetic and ethical qualities technology raises in our societies.
The images in Virtual Material involve several layers in the materiality of the image, systems and processes in imaging, the vision-body relationship, and ways civilisations form understandings of nature. From an empirical, materialist philosophical standpoint, the works reflect on age-old discussions between Platonic and Sophist ideas, and the places spiritual and scientific ideas are permitted. Through the emphasis on the ethereal nature of screen-based technologies, the Teknovisuell Experience Details take-up these conversations both through the processes in which they were created and in the results of the viewers interactions and memories with images. By engaging the physical body with the vision, the distance in viewing engages viewers’ bodies in the opportunity to look at processes otherwise invisible to users of screen-based technology, but evident to builders of technology such as R&D, the coder, manufacturer and marketer. The details in Teknovisuell Experience were composed of the decomposition of images up and downloaded through social media channels; 7 times for each image. The final images reconstitute a representation, highlighting the way images become a form of cultural ritualisation. By further manipulating the image to highlight degraded visual qualities, and print at large scale or clip sections out as fragments, the various installation formats available engage viewers in contemplation of the areas in an increasingly liquid society. The scale and application of the image evokes motifs and patterns found in traditions of totems and textiles. Still images applied as wall coverings, pillars, scrolls or flags. Digital gifs of the images afford exhibition on screens and move static light reflections, creating visually ghostly movements.