the process is the artwork

In the land of ice and fire

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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.

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Which is my cue to jump back in time and restore from past, current and future stress in the grandiose Icelandic nature:

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Stokkur - Iceland's Old Faithful - which erupts every five minutes or so minutes. I highly recommended to bring an extra pair of dry clothes.

Strokkur – Iceland’s Old Faithful – which erupts every five minutes minutes or so. Bring an extra pair of dry clothes.

Gullfoss

Gullfoss

Gullfoss - the golden fall - is located a short ride from Geysir. If you changed your wet clothes already, you should have brought yet another pair of dry clothes. Expect a golden shower, it's good for your skin.

Gullfoss – the golden fall – is located a short ride from Geysir. Did you change your wet clothes already? Too bad, you’ll need another pair. Expect a golden shower, it’s good for your skin.

Iceland is home of volanoes, hot springs, magic, sorcery and witchcraft…

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…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.

Merchandise

Newly bought merchandise lined up at The Sorcerer’s Cottage, Icelandic Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft.

Watching over Goyas witches

Watching over Goya’s witches

My favorite icelandic sigil, the Hulinhjalmur is a magical sign to make yourself invisible.

My favorite icelandic sigil, the Hulinhjalmur is a magical sign to make yourself invisible.

The head of the beast with a penis-shaped horn is at display at the Phallological museum in Reykjavik - The Icelandic Phallological Museum contains a collection of more than two hundred and fifteen penises and penile parts belonging to almost all the land and sea mammals that can be found in Iceland, including specimens from Homo Sapiens.

The head of the beast with a penis-shaped horn is at display at The Phallological Museum in Reykjavik – which contains a collection of more than two hundred and fifteen penises and penile parts belonging to almost all the land and sea mammals that can be found in Iceland, including specimens from Homo Sapiens.

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.

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and of course…Björk’s last consert on the Biophilia tour can be seen at the theatres, so we went.

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