As a first round of finalization we are now organising 4 seminars/talk-shows that will summarize the various research projects that’s has been produced within the framework of SYNSMASKINEN. For each talk-show we have chosen a general theme that enables us to draws lines and detect themes across the 7 main projects. The 4 themes are:


For each theme we have selected research-material and art-works from the various projects and are presenting them in new variations and combinations, made especially for these occasions.

The first theme is PERCEPTION. As one of the 7 crises defined at the beginning of the research, we understand the crisis of perception as a kind of general crisis conditioning other contemporary crises. In his book The Vision Machine from 1985, Paul Virilio, warns about how the combination of technical perception machines – photo and video cameras – and computers are gradually changing and taking over human perception. In the following 30 years this process has accelerated far beyond his vision and we can now see an entirely new kind of perception emerging: A distributed perception that connects agents across scales and dimensions we are not able to grasp with our physical senses. A machinic vision that can be understood as an assemblage of both human, digital and other entities.

The talkshow on PERCEPTION is a poetic, performative assemblage of such entities; the hydra, the hyper-object, transpersonal mirrors and flying killer robots.

Research-leaders Åse Løvgren & Frans Jacobi will give a general introduction Synsmaskinen and to the Hydra as a structural device connecting the various parts of the research.
In dialogue with RD Laing artist Kjersti Sundland & poet Ole Ellestad will discuss the crisis of perception as it has been dealt with in their collaborative research ‘V-shaped Plateau’.
Benedicte Clementsen, Christina René & Frans Jacobi has created a new performance exemplifying the hyper-object, which has become a central term to the research as a whole.
Derived from the Divine Comedy by Dante Alghieri, Anniken Jøsok Hessen, Maria Victoria Høvring Høeg, Eli Mai Huang Nesse, Mari Nittim & Linda Marie Westgaard has staged a poetic perception experiment.
Finally, the american poet CA Conrad has devised a somatic ritual on drones and bombs, that will be performed in collaboration with Mathias Loose and Frans Jacobi.

The talkshow series will be hosted by Dante & Vergil. In the Divine Comedy they were guiding the readers through hell and purgatory. Here they will guide us through 4 circles of contemporary crisis.

You are all welcome!

About Synsmaskinen
Synsmaskinen is an artistic research conglomerate based at the Department of Fine Art at the University of Bergen. Synsmaskinen proposes a multifaceted inquiry into contemporary crises. Through a variety of interrelated artistic projects, a politically-charged horizon comes into focus: apocalyptic abysses, systemic entanglements, and hyper-complex realities.
Globalised economy and culture are intertwined, forming a complex knot of overlaps and messy interconnections. Thus, in looking at climate crises one is implicitly confronted with financial crises and social crises. Given the intricacy of such structures, one method for understanding and facing these crises could be to examine certain manifestations and elements of their fallout. In this way, the inscribed objects or phenomena dealt with in the Synsmaskinen projects can be considered symptoms, symbols, contemplations - or perhaps as interventions into the crises themselves.
The name Synsmaskinen is taken from the Danish and Norwegian translations of Paul Virilio’s seminal book on the techniques of perception, La Machine De Vision. This title has inspired the overall structure and methodology of the project. SYN=vision / MASKIN=machine.
In a sense, Synsmaskinen operates as a conglomerate: each production results from different collaborative constellations of a group of international artists, including organisers professor Frans Jacobi, co-artistic-research leader Åse Løvgren, and research assistant Benedicte Clementsen.