In the land of ice and fire
After a week-long stay in the magnificent land of ice and fire, it’s now time to return home sweet home. Above you’ll see find a sure sign (HÆTTA!) of boiling temperatures in the ground at the tourist trap Geysir, which is funny to a half-Norwegian-ling like myself, since that word is used in norwegian slang to express that you are totally freeking out).
Anyways, If you are interested in details about my stay, I am more than happy to share the fact that I and co-curator Rasmus were invited across the freezing sea to do a presentation at the Iceland Academy of the Arts about last year’s art project pOTSYd (an underground exhibition in Bergen’s literal underground), and to attend meetings hosted by the Pixelache network, an informally organized network of electronic art festivals, since I will be working for the Piksel festival in Bergen this year (13-16 nov).
Here’s me trying out the new OCULUS RIFT at the university of Iceland right after a lecture by researcher Terry Hartig on the subject of Stress, Restoration and the Pursuit of Sustainability. His studies shows that there is a significant correlation between people’s happiness and their access to green areas. I won’t be giving away too much information if I told you that the man walking behind me on my left is in the process of creating a high-tech virtual nature vs city-simulator, to further the research in the field of urban restoration. At this point in time I successfully walked up some virtual stairs and felt dizzy in real life.
Which is my cue to jump back in time and restore from past, current and future stress in the grandiose Icelandic nature:
Iceland is home of volanoes, hot springs, magic, sorcery and witchcraft…
…so we couldn’t avoid to visit The museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft in the northern lands and to fill our luggage with literature:
“People tend to react to books of magic in two ways, either they see them as remnants of silly or evil superstitions or as a forbidden and exotic wisdom that fires the imagination.”
– from Two Icelandic Books of Magic. 2008. Magnus Rafnsson. Strandagaldur ses, Galdrasýning á Ströndum.
In the movie Cold Fever (Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, 1995), an Icelandic elf rescues the Japanese protagonist from freezing to death in the snowy wilderness. We naturally decided to attend the Sunday Elfs- and Hidden people school to learn more about the phenomenon. According to head master Magnus the Moderate, as many as 54 percent of the icelandic population believe in Elfs- and Hidden people, but few talk about it in public out of fear of being stigmatizatised. I now have a pretty cool new diploma to add to my CV.
and of course…Björk’s last consert on the Biophilia tour can be seen at the theatres, so we went.