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"Concepts of O"

​Mixed media installations

10.01. - 23.02.2020

From ancient times into the present, different acts of mediation have changed the bodies and cognition of humans and non-humans. Transformations are made, from body language to oral speech and writing into the digital media age. These transitions have their own distinct materiality, radically altering our perception.

Concepts of O invites us to re-engage in some of the forgotten concepts and research of the past. Kjersti Sundland brings attention to some of the inconvenient ties to mystical and occult traditions that have been removed to establish psychology as a scientific field. The exhibition explores whether former systems of healing and trance states can refresh our insight in a growing global economy capitalizing on our zealous attention.

Through the artist´s use of video, sculpture, print and hypnotic trance sessions, Concepts of O playfully connects the impact of terrestrial and human electromagnetic radiation with telepathic sensing and psychoanalysis. Sculptures made of copper take centre stage in the exhibition. This highly conductive mineral comments on the ongoing transition from analogue communication to the Internet connecting all things. Copper is the most extensively used component in communication technologies, but is currently being replaced with fibre optic cables in Norway.

What kind of relationships between humans and other living beings arise if we understand sense perception as distributed among human, animal, technical, inorganic and organic entities?

Therapeutic trance methods have been practiced all over the world throughout history. In the 18th century, German Anton Mesmer labelled therapeutic trance states in a system of interdependencies. He believed trance was induced by “animal magnetism”, a force moving through and affecting living organisms and inanimate objects. Concepts of O explores how these former occult systems of healing are hiding as ghosts, not only in modern science and technology, but in relational and sensory perceptions of our surroundings. The exhibition also draws inspiration from psychosociologist Jacob L Moreno’s concept of tele-encounters, defined as moments of true connection between people.

This project explores communication through tele, not only as acts of mediation through technology, but as transmissions and energy flows between humans and non-humans. Scheduled hypnotic trance sessions conducted by hypnotherapist Martin Mikkelsen will be announced prior the exhibition opening. The evening sessions, titled Magnetic sleep center around human and animal perception, exploring human and non-human forms of learning. The sessions  is the result of a two year long collaboration between Martin Mikkelsen and Kjersti Sundland. (please see below for dates)

«Concepts of O» is the exhibition of the artistic results from Kjersti Sundland’s PhD artistic research project (2016-2020) «In The Presence of Phantoms». The Art Academy – Department of Contemporary Art, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen.

Opening speech by Frans Jacobi, Head of The Art Academy - Department of Contemporary Art.

Kjersti Sundland, currently employed as PhD fellow in artistic research  the Art Academy, KMD, UIB. Kjersti Sundland holds a BA in Fine Art from Coventry University, and an MA in Fine Art from Royal College of Art, London. Her work has been exhibited at Museum of Modern Art, Bologna, TICA Centre for Contemporary Art, Tiran, Punkt Ø, UKS,Oslo, Trøndelag senter for Samtidskunst, Galleri Brandstrup, Artopia Gallery, Milano. Her videos and live video performances have been presented at PureScreen including Castlefield, Cork Film centre, B4 Play Video, Berlin, Netmage, Bologna, AudioVisiva, Milan, VideoLisboa.

Special thanks to M12 and BEK


Jane Sverdrupsen, KMD

Checklist "Concepts of O":

1. Night Number Five in a Series of Seven

Sound piece. 10 minutes loop.

Voices: Øystein Eide Sundland, Mekdes Shebeta, Bente Halland, Laurie Lax, Samuel Brzeski.

Sound design by Kjersti Sundland and Martin Mikkelsen. Edited by Martin Mikkelsen

2. To the Thinker Who is not the Gardener, only the Soil of the Plants that Grow Her.

Copper sculpture. 3 minutes video loop.

3. Transmitter Guard

Copper sculpture.

4. Theory of the World and Organized Beings According to the Principles of M.

Symbols drawn with chalk on wall.

From the manuscript by Anton Mesmer, 1784.

- Side boards on wall

Electric measurement on the salamander

The human D C field pattern

Symbols drawn with chalk on wall.

Illustrations from The Body Electric, electromagnetism and the foundation of Life” by Robert O. Becker

5. Newsprint containing hybrid collection of texts, images, documentation and archive material from research accumulated throughout the artistic research period 2016-2020.

Construction and technical support by M12. Video of Lichtenberg Fractal experiment with help of BEK - Bergen Center for Electronic Arts.

- Review by Subjekt >>>

30.01.2020, 19:00-21:00
at Kunsthall 3,14

In connection with the exhibition 'Concepts of O' by Kjersti Sundland an artist talk will be held. During this talk, Kjersti Sundland will discuss her research and process with Jungian psychotherapist Paal Rasmussen and artist Eamon O`Kane. He has been Sundland´s supervisor on her Ph.D. project.

Paal Rasmussen has done multidisciplinary work at the intersection of cybernetics, contextual logic and mathematics. He has a keen interest in parapsychology and tacit knowledge and has lectured on Reichs orgone experiments for the Norwegian Parapsychological Society. He has also participated in several research projects in organisational learning and tacit knowledge at the Work Research Institute (Oslo).

Eamon O´Kane is Professor of Visual Art: Painting and Drawing at The Art Academy, Department of Contemporary Art, University of Bergen, The Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design (KMD). Eamon O'Kane has exhibited widely and is the recipient of many awards and scholarships with his wide range of impressive work.

"Magnetic Sleep"
Hypnotic Trance Sessions
at Kunsthall 3,14

Throughout the exhibition period, after closing time, you can attend a hypnotic trance session. The session will be conducted in groups of five by hypnotherapist Martin Mikkelsen. Duration approximately one hour.
‘Magnetic Sleep’ is a result of a two year long collaboration between Martin Mikkelsen and Kjersti Sundland.

The topic of the hypnotic trance session centers around human and animal perception, exploring human and non-human forms of learning.

Book and register for a free session by calling
55 36 26 30 or send an e-mail to:
NB: Please note booking is required

Must be over 16 years old

Tuesday 14.01 at 18:00 and at 20:00
Tuesday 21.01 at 18:00 and at 20:00
Tuesday 28.01 at 18:00 and at 20:00
Tuesday 04.02 at 18:00 and at 20:00
Wednesday 12.02 at 20:00
- Tuesday 18.02 at 18:00 and at 20:00

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