On February 20 and February 21 The Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley is hosting the symposium “Living Time: Art and Life After ‘Art-Into-Life’. We’ve asked participants from three sessions to post some brief thoughts on the topic in advance of the event. This guest posting is by Knut Ove Arntzen (Professor, University of Bergen), who is presenting in the session Regional Check-in: Nordic Times Zones: Time-based art in the High North.
Arctic Conditions for the Arts: Landscapes of Non-Orientable Surfaces – Ecology and Gender
In my contribution I want to point out some views on arctic conditions for the arts, a perspective which I later has expanded on by using the term of non-orientable surface, a term or philosophical concept coined by the Polish architect and philosopher Lech Tomaszweski, that can be used to describe the arctic as an ice desert with non orientable surface,as can be compared to the sea understood as seascapes. Arctic expeditions as well as discovery travels at sea have to my mind been stirred the fascination for non-orientable surfaces. This fascination can be considered as an attraction of a vitalist kind, that has influenced arctic flaneurs or ”dandy vagabonds” among the polar heroes like August André and John Franklin. Likewisely it has inspired visual artists and writers from Caspar David Friedrich to Knut Hamsun and dramaturg Ulla Ryum has developed the idea of a spiral dramaturgy, which can be conceived of as a wide-screen landscape dramaturgy. It is a landscape not captured by logics or symmetric understanding, at close resemblance to Gertrude Stein´s idea of a landscape drama, which also can be described in terms of non-orientable surfaces. Ecology and gender as well as the mythical is reflected in this approach and is expressed by visual art, theatre and drama or time-based art in general, reflecting the non-orientability of ice deserts or seascape. I will exemplify by works of Carole Nadeau, Québec, and her Chaos K.O. Chaos, Beaivvás Sámi Teáhter and their production of Swedish play Kayak Woman, Norwegian Verdenstearet´s installation art performance Konsert for Grønland (Concert for Greenland) and Swiss director Christopher Marthalers Geenland-production +-0.