| VAULT |
Åse Løvgren and Stine Gonsholt
"Dalen/The Valley", 2019
"Other Configurations", 2019
HD video, 20 min
Sound by Alexander Rishaug
06.03. - 31.05.2020
Curated by Malin Barth
The Valley is an idea, a fact or event that you already know, which helps you understand or make a judgment about another situation. The Valley transcends the specific territorial boundaries and has entered a world that consists of things fundamentally in motion.
"Dalen/The Valley" is the name of this video work by Åse Løvgren and Stine Gonsholt. The work depicts the place called Dale which translates into The Valley. This place is still to a degree synonymous with the valley´s former textile industry, when the factory buildings were the pivotal center of society. Today the old industrial societies are no longer aligned with their former cosmology. The power of the industrial architecture has lost its status and its surpluses have been left open to new arenas.
The radical new industry that has occupied the old textile factory buildings is digital mining. The buildings are now housing a large server park, mining for the global cryptocurrency - Bitcoin. The textile industry was crucial during the industrial revolution, and has played a major part in laying the foundations for our advanced societies. By connecting the textile industry to the pervasiveness of digital technology in the world today, the video untangles how technology is intertwined with natural resources, local histories, and global economy.
In the video, Dale is used as a prism to look at global changes related to economy, production, digitization, and trade. Løvgren and Gonsholt investigate how these processes affect the site’s status and the relationship between material and immaterial qualities. The moving images and its soundscape leave the nature of Dale and its landscape as the protagonist of the film.
In the video, "Other Figurations", Løvgren and Gonsholt reflect on the role of the punch cards, that are a central motif from early automated looms, and considered to be an important step in the history of computing hardware. It led to an increase in employee productivity which has had an enormous impact on profit. The artists also look further at the figure of the worker from the pioneering textile industries to today's sweatshops and the dismantling of unions. Power has shifted from producers to traders and retailers. Modern production and distribution of garments have created global assembly lines. The continued rise of giant retailers with low prices and high volumes, has placed even greater demands on manufacturers to lower costs and quickly deliver worldwide.
Together, the two videos take a critical look at today's modes of production and highlight issues of globalisation, power, social relations and historical legacies.
Supported by Arts Council Norway, Billedkunstnernes vederlagsfond, the City of Bergen, Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts (BEK), OCA, and Norwegian Knitting Industry Museum.