BERLIN 2022 /



Capture (2022)


Music by Espen Sommer Eide ● Single-channel video, sound ● Duration: 40’ 
Commissioned by Screen City Biennial, Kunsthall Trondheim and Art at CERN ● Location: Archenhold Observatory, Einstein Hall ● Image credits: Metahaven, Capture (2022). Production still. Courtesy the artists.

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An intimate sci-fi essay about art and physics, Capture interweaves unique archival films and videos from CERN—the Geneva-based physics laboratory known for, among other things, proving the existence of the Higgs boson particle—within a loose narrative structure.

 “Anything made by humans can lie,” says A—the protagonist and narrator in the work. “What’s not made by humans can’t lie, and fiction can’t lie because it is doing it already.”

A.’s enthusiasm for the fundamental indifference of the universe is paired with her care about the overlooked, such as the unacknowledged workers who once prepared Einstein’s food. This work playfully opens the possibility that there’s something lacking in the very concept of scientific “measurement,” while also exploring the inherent cuteness of bats, or the uncategorizable nature of lichens—hybrids between fungi and algae who are “bound to be both,” says A.

Quoting from the work of theoretical physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein and the philosopher of physics David Z Albert, while nodding at Thomas Nagel’s book What Is It Like To Be a Bat?, Metahaven’s Capture is a genre-defying film work. 

The work interweaves original archival material from CERN with a series of sequences filmed in Norwegian forests that engage with sensing and bio-indication by lichens (composed of fungi, algae, and/or cyanobacteria, and can be understood as entangled “amalgams of multiple organisms”), as well as with the perceptibility of change.

The invention of the particle collider at CERN—which visually forms a perfect circle underground in the Franco-Swiss territory—wasn’t just an act of science and technology; Capture suggests it was also an act of inscription, of writing into the earth, and is thus subject to the laws that govern narratives. And so is the film Capture itself.

For this work, Metahaven has invited the Norwegian composer Espen Sommer Eide.

Capture has been supported by KORO, the Arts Council Norway, NL Film Fund, La Palma Escuela de Cultura, and the Instituto Canario de Desarrollo Cultural. Arts at CERN is supported by UNIQA Fine Art Insurance, Switzerland.


The work of Metahaven encompasses filmmaking, writing, and design. Films by Metahaven include Chaos Theory (2021), Hometown (2018), and Information Skies (2016), nominated for the European Film Awards 2017. Metahaven has created solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1, New York, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, Izolyatsia, Kyiv, ICA London, e-flux, New York, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and State of Concept Athens, among others. They have participated in many international group exhibitions, including Artists Space, New York; the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw; the Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju; the Busan Biennale, Busan; the Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; the Warsaw Biennale; and M HKA, Antwerp. Their work is featured in collections such as the Sharjah Art Foundation, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and others. Recent publications include the book-length essay Digital Tarkovsky (2018).

Espen Sommer Eide

Espen Sommer Eide is a composer and artist based in Oslo, Norway. His practice revolves around time-based media, installation and performance, with a special focus on music and sound, and it is characterized by an experimental approach to instruments, archives, places and languages. Emerging from the Tromsø techno scene of the 90s, Sommer Eide is a prominent representative of the experimental electronic music scene in Norway. He has released several solo albums as Phonophani and Alog (with Dag-Are Haugan), under the labels Rune Grammofon, Hubro, and Sofa among others.

Sommer Eide’s work has been exhibited and performed at Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen Assembly, Manifesta, Marres, Henie Onstad kunstsenter, Stedelijk Museum, De Hallen Haarlem, Dark Ecology, Sonic Acts, Mutek festival, GRM/Presences Électronique, Performa Festival, and Museo Reina Sofia, among others. Additionally, Sommer Eide is a member of the theater/art collective Verdensteatret, with extensive international touring and exhibi­tions.

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