OTHER
MINDS

BERLIN
23 SEP—20 OCT

Lundahl & Seitl

SE

Symphony of a Missing Room
(2009–ongoing)
STERNWARTE—A Language of What May Not Be Said (2022)

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Sightless goggles, voice instructions, three-dimensional sound, synchronized movement, touch ● Duration: 16’23’’ ● Commissioned by Screen City Biennial ● Location: Archenhold Observatory, Museum of Celestial Science ● Image credits: Lundahl & Seitl, Symphony of a Missing Room – Tunnelvision at Momentum 8th, Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art (Moss, Norway, 2015). Courtesy Lundahl & Seitl. Photo by Ingeborg Thorsland

READING TIP: Click everywhere to invert colours

Adapting to the location of the Archenhold Observatory, this new iteration of Symphony of a Missing Room emerges from a playful engagement with the German word Sternwarte, which translates as “observatory” but is composed of the words Stern (“star”) and Warte (“wait”). Sternwarte, star-wait, overtones the receptive aspect of the human gaze into the cosmos, whereas the English word emphasizes the subtly invasive act of observing—or peeping—through a telescopic hole.

In Symphony of a Missing Room — Sternwarte, we are receivers of the light that travels from the stars and penetrates our retina. We exercise the extension of our sensorial experience into the surroundings and attempt to make contact with a signal that reaches us from a multiple light-years distance. Participants wear white goggles that induce a spatial white-out, partly rendering our sensory interface to the world incomplete, and partly enabling a new relationship with the surroundings by blurring the distinction between sensing/reasoning, and body/mind. A guiding hand gradually earns our trust, while a whisper in the ear synchronizes our movement and breathing with the architectural sound in the headphones, closing the sensorial loop between our body and the imagined space through a reversed engineering of vision.

In Symphony of a Missing Room — Sternwarte, the value of agency and guidance is constantly negotiated in a dance of listening, adapting, and responding to cues we learn to read with our bodies. Objects and events from the past have been integrated into the works’ choreographic score. They trigger future experiences, surfacing in the close contact and friction between visual and auditory organs, on the nerves and the skin of the two bodies temporarily becoming the work.

Performers: Evgenia Chetvertkova, Franziska Gerth, Christine Sollie, Michiyasu Furutani

Lundahl & Seitl with ScanLAB Projects

SE

Eternal Return: The Memor (2019–2022)

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Unseen choreography of movement and touch—in friction with—an XR environment based on stereolithographic resin prints on steel scaffold, terrestrial laser scans, and three-dimensional sound ● Duration: 17’ ● Location: Archenhold Observatory, Museum of Celestial Science ● Realized in collaboration with ScanLAB Projects 

READING TIP: Click everywhere to invert colours

With the visitor’s body and senses as the active medium, triggered through VR, hyperconnected objects, and live performance, Eternal Return reveals how memory allows for a string of data to be passed through matter across time. From Earth’s deep past as unicellular cyanobacteria, through to its post-anthropocentric future, the living are closely connected with geology: the surface of the earth, and matter stored within a lineage of objects and tools, including the hammer, the piano, and the radio technology of Marconi.

Eternal Return by Lundahl & Seitl and ScanLAB Projects is accompanied by “The Memor” by Malin Zimm, a text of speculative fiction that offers an expanded narrative framework for the artwork. Objects and scenes in the installation thus take on a multitude of experiential modes: physical, virtual, narrative, and emotional. The fiction expands as the art installation evolves, yet its parts can be read and experienced in any order as a non-linear envelope. As a piece of speculative fiction, the text moves from the old world to the new, weaving history and fiction together by picking up facts floating in the tide and finding a new use for them in the narrative. The story contains numerous references to demonstrate the method of “playing” the internet for facts and news, encyclopedic knowledge, and archives. The various references are composed together to form a new interpretation of the events in and around the world as it is presented to our senses.


Eternal Return: The Memor is a space that evokes the human ability to move beyond the present. The first encounter is with a stromatolite, a fossil that predates the human experience by 3.7 billion years. 3D-printed objects act as triggers into a series of environments: a piano workshop, a benevolent abyss, complex rooms where Virtual Reality can be defined as an ability rather than a form of technology. The capacity of memory allows the human mind to experience music rather than perceiving one tone after another. Lundahl & Seitl’s The Memor is a choreographed room that passes through the visitor’s body like a song.

Performers: Evgenia Chetvertkova, Franziska Gerth, Christine Sollie, Michiyasu Furutani

Lundahl & Seitl

Lundahl & Seitl’s immersive methods include staging visitors’ guided movement to augment and alter reality. The virtual experience in their works is created with peculiar objects such as sightless goggles or methods of choreographed touch by reverse engineering visual stimuli. Through a heuristic relationship to process, and created in collaboration between disciplines, the duo has developed an art form and method containing staging, choreographed movement, instructions, sculpture, spatial sound, and augmented and virtual reality. Their performances focus on the resonance between a world and its inhabitants, drawing attention to the connectivity and interdependence that exists within any given environment.

Lundahl & Seitl’s works have been exhibited worldwide, including in the UK at Tate Britain, Whitechapel Gallery, Battersea Arts Centre, Royal Academy of Arts, Cell Project Space, and NOMAD Projects; in Germany at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berliner Festspiele, Hamburger Kunsthalle, MMK2 and Kunstmuseum Bonn; in France at Center Pompidou-Metz, and Avignon Festival; in Belgium at S.M.A.K, STUK and Museum M; in Switzerland at Kunsthalle Bern; in Austria at Steirischer Herbst and Museum der Moderne; in India at the Kochi Muziris Biennale; in South Korea at Wooran Foundation; in Iceland at Cycle Festival; in Norway at Momentum 8 – Tunnel Vision, Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art; in Sweden at Weld, Nationalmuseum, Dramaten, Accelerator, and Magasin III.

In 2022, they showed their work within the Temple of Alternative Histories at Kassel Staatstheater, in conjunction with Documenta Fifteen; they are part of the MIT Media Lab’s Art, Culture and Technology Programme. Lundahl & Seitl live and work in Stockholm, Sweden.

Artworks

Anna EhrensteinProject type

Eli CortiñasProject type

Grace NdirituProject type

Jacob KirkegaardProject type

Jenna SutelaProject type

Lundahl & SeitlProject type

MetahavenProject type

Espen Sommer EideProject type

Patricia DomínguezProject type

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