Critical Duration
The works of Chen Chieh-jen


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Exhibitions 2011


The Piksel Festival is organized for the eight time between 18th-21th November 2010. The festival subtitle (Un)stable, points to the temporarily placed and unsteady constructions – mobile spaces, code in constant development, a globally charged political climate.
The festival program is made up of presentations, hands-on workshops, audiovisual performances, exhibitions and specially curated events – all on the topic of free technology and art.
Piksel is an international event for artists and developers working with free/libre and open source technologies & art. Part workshop, part festival, it is organised in Bergen, Norway, and involves participants from more than a dozen countries exchanging ideas, coding, presenting art and software projects, doing workshops, performances and discussions on the aesthetics and politics of FLOSS & art.
19.11.10. - 09.01.11

Artists presented:
Anis Haron [US] - Audio Palimpsest
Ben Dembroski - Ben Woodeson [UK] - Push and Shove
Gijs Gieskes (NED) - Hypnotoad
Emanuel Andel, Christian Gützer [AU] - Spactive
Korinna Lindinger [AU] - Unrund
Jorge Luis Crowe [ARG] - 2x
Richard Schwarz [AU] - From error to time – or: from time to time an error –

Stories, in Between
Curated by Johan Lundh and Aileen Burns

Stories, in Between features artists whose works trace and unpack complex cultural identities impacted by Diaspora using narrative strategies. Based primarily in Western hemisphere, participating artists negotiate and problematize cultural and geographic associations of their personal identities as wells as that of their artwork. The show includes Loulou Cherinet, Patricia Esquivias, Brendan Fernandes, Tamar Guimarães, Will Kwan, Runo Lagomarsino, Maya Økland.

Discussions around identity in our supposedly post-colonial world have been in the forefront of intellectual and artistic activities for nearly four decades. From Edward Said onwards, thinkers like Homi K. Babah, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Frantz Fanon have transformed the way that we understand and discuss colonialism and globalization. Despite this crucial critical reflection, or possibly as a reaction to it, we are currently in the midst of a nationalist trend spreading rapidly throughout Europe and North America. As one of the world’s wealthiest regions, Scandinavia has a strong tradition of universal welfare and foreign aid.  Yet, it is also at the forefront of this alarming nationalist trend, the effects of which can be observed around the world. In this ever more globalized and culturally intertwined time, stubborn tendencies towards distrust and ignorance fueled by fear, calls for renewed engagement in the public sphere with the multicultural realities at hand.
Stories, in Between features artists whose practices trace and unpack complex cultural identities impacted by diasporas. Based primarily in the Western hemisphere, these artists discuss and negotiate cultural and geographical associations of their personal identities as well as that of their work. The exhibition includes recent and new works by Loulou Cherinet, Patricia Esquivias, Brendan Fernandes, Tamar Guimarães, Will Kwan, Runo Lagomarsino, and Maya Økland. The artists share a desire to address the multifaceted implications of migration and globalization in relation to their various practices and positions. These are not necessarily personal narratives but stories that result from research into tangled webs of international interpersonal relations. The use of time-based media allows these artists to negotiate more than one position, and convey intricacies and ideas that change through time.

21.01. - 06.03.11

Runo Lagomarsino, We Support (Slide projection, 2007-11)
Courtesy the artist and Elastic, Malmö.

Chen Chieh-jen
Empire's Borders I & II

11.03. - 30.04.11

Chen Chieh-jen is Taiwan's most internationally recognized artist. Chen's artistic practice is fueled by an ongoing examination of hidden political powers and power relationships, in order to reflect upon today's neo-liberal empire built upon the alliance of nation and capital. Through art, Chen seeks to create an action that eliminates imperial consciousness.

The video Empire's Borders I is based on Chen's The Illegal Immigrant blog, and is divided into two segments of dramatized reportage. The first segment presents eight typical cases of Taiwanese applicants enduring a consular officer's abuse at AIT (American Instiute Taiwan), and then being denied a nonimmigrant visa for inexplicable reasons. The second segment presents the stories of nine Mainland Chinese spouses immigrating to Taiwan on marriage visas, who, starting from their arrival interview at the airport, suffer all manners of discrimination and rigorous scrutiny from Taiwan's National Immigration Agency. Chen Chieh-jen compares these two situations to explore global hierarchies of border control policies, and the disciplinary tactics dominant countries deploy when dealing with people of other nations. The video also critiques the Taiwanese government's domineering attitude and use of Cold War ideologies in dealing with weaker individuals from other regions.

Empire’s Borders II – Western Enterprises Inc is based on a number of documents the artist’s late father, a member of NSA, left behind which painted an intriguing picture of a life lived in cold-war secrecy. They hinted at the politics of an era when the CIA cooperated with Taiwan and trained the Anti-Communist National Salvation Army (NSA) on its long-abandoned mission to retake the Chinese mainland. Some of these objects are included here as photographic records: a list of soldiers who lost their lives in secret raids, personal belongings, an empty photo album, fragments of an autobiography Chen’s father wrote and his old army uniform. As Chen says, his father rarely talked about his work; the only fact he acknowledged was that his autobiography was fictional, written to show his loyalty to the state.

In Factory, Chieh-jen invites former seamstresses from a closed textile factory back to the building to re-enact their work. Filmed without sound, the slow-moving images of workers exploring the abandoned space and at work constructing garments are intercut with archival footage of the factory at the height of its production. The result is at once a bittersweet portrait of the lasting personal bonds between labourers and a subtle critique of the social impact of shifting economic realities.

Still Life
Kjell-Erik Ruud, kurator
Peder Istad, is skulptur, kunstner
Oddleiv Apneseth, kunstner/fotograf
Mona Nordaas, kunstner/installasjon
Bjørn Follevaag / Gitte Sætre, produsentteam for KORO

08.02. - 30.04.11

Still life er en frysning av et fraflyttet gjenreisningshus som ligger langs riksvei 94 mellom Hammerfest og Alta, i Hanselv, Kvalsund kommune. Huset har blitt fryst inn i is og vil smelte frem i løpet av våren. Still life vitner om levd liv; om folks bosetting og fraflytting. Still life berører også forhold mellom norske og samiske befolkningsgrupper, og den over hundre år gamle fornorsknings-politikken med tvungen integrering og internering hånd i hånd med utfrysning av mennesker og språk. Dette huset ble gjenreist for en sjøsamisk familie.

Gjennom å fryse huset trekker Still life frem historier som fortsatt lever videre, og som noen kjenner godt, andre ikke. Still life betyr ”stille liv”, og er en kjent sjanger innenfor maleriet som gjengir objekter i ro. Prosjektet er en frysning av et øyenblikk, et hjem, en stemning, en følelse, som vitner om folks bosetting, og fraflytting, og om levd liv. Still life berører motsetninger mellom sjøsamiske og reindriftssamiske grupper, mellom norske og samiske befolkningsgrupper, og fornorskningspolitikken.

Når Still life er plassert i Kvalsund, åpner dette opp for en rekke spørsmål utover fraflyttningsproblematikk generelt, og vekker til live sosialt og politisk konfliktstoff som går langt tilbake og strekker seg inn i vår egen tid: brytninger mellom identitet, etnisitet, religion, språk, fornorskning, integrering og assimilering. Folketellinger i Kvalsund bærer vitnesbyrd om en brutal fornorskningspolitikk. Fra og å være en nesten rent sjøsamisk kommune på begynnelsen av 1900-tallet, definerte nesten 90 % av innbyggerne seg som norske etter krigen. Som ledd i denne ”prosessen” internerte den norske stat samiske skoleelever, samtidig som samisk språk ble forbudt i skolen. Likevel: Finnmark er og blir flerkulturelt; her har samisk, norsk, kvensk, finsk, svensk og russisk kultur og språk levd side om side i generasjoner – i tillegg kommer innvandringen til området fra fjernere strøk. Still life som ”stille liv” innehar sin tilsynelatende motsigelsesfylte dobbeltbetydning i ”fortsatt liv”. Mange av dagens flerkulturelle og minoritetsmessige utfordringer er erfaringer som hører med til denne regionens fortid og har skapt dens karakter. Gjennom en frysning av et ”fraflyttet gjenreisningshus” kan nye historier, og ikke minst nye versjoner av ”Historien” komme til syne i nedsmeltningen.

Erlea Maneros Zabala
North American Press Imaginary 2001 - 2004
06.05. - 19.06.11

Erlea Maneros Zabala’s new series ”BRICKS TO A HOUSE / FIGURES TO A PICTURE: North American Press Imaginary 2001 - 2004” is tapping into the core issues of the moment, and she accomplishes this in an intriguing and open-ended manner without any notion of bias. Her exploration and visual articulations communicate ideas about the pressing issues of our times.

Maneros’ research analyses the aesthetics of the war on terror in American journalistic imagery. Her work addresses directly to how abstraction and composition is used as means to communicate power in mass media. The work focuses especially in the American media deliberate and consistent picture editing and alteration, in order to promote a specific public view. She illustrates the processes of how images are composed to convey a certain "truth." Her choice of material and process establish an exciting dialogue with both museological aesthetics and with the news media's forms of presentation.  The deconstructed images are carefully arranged in glass display cases in the exhibition space.
Maneros’ imagery brings up the familiarity of the portrayed violence in paradoxically dignified distant manner. The white grids on black seam to have caught the cutout figures as insect victims in a spider web. At a closer gaze the graphic lines and forms draw the eyes to the matter of factual composition theory captions for optical illusions. The images change as one realizes that what we first acknowledge as journalistic images are rather crafted and composed news media images by the editors.

Erlea Maneros Zabala expresses: ”I want to address the ways in which the aesthetics of these images equated war to beauty. Through these means, war was made parable to the audience. Furthermore war was proposed as a sublime event that could not be questioned.”

In sum, ”BRICKS TO A HOUSE / FIGURES TO A PICTURE: North American Press Imaginary 2001 - 2004” deconstructs documentary and journalistic imagery by explicitly addressing to the media’s usage of visual effects, as colour palette originally from landscape painting from the 19th century, in order to create and aesthetically pleasing picture of the war. The pictures are mainly sampled from two liberal American newspapers, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, which are both aimed at highly educated, and culturally refined readers. Maneros successfully manages to reveal how implications of taste and aesthetics are used to lead us spectators to passively digest war and death in the news along with our own breakfasts.

Project created for Manifesta 8. Exhibtion in cooperation with Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles.

Lida Abdul
"What We Saw Upon Awakening" 2006
16 mm film transferred onto DVD, colour, sound, 6:53

In collaboration with 49 NORD 6 EST FRAC LORRAINE, France

06.05. - 19.06.11

Afghan artist Lida Abdul presents a consistent critique of architecture and the built environment in a body of video, film and performance works that span the last decade. Through her examination of the role of monuments and ruins in contemporary culture, Abdul provides a counter-narrative to dominant preoccupations in the politics and meaning of the built environment. Returning to Afghanistan recently after years spent in the United States and Europe (and as a refugee with no passport), Abdul’s itinerant past and present inform her perceptions of home and place.
Like some of her previous works, the video What we saw upon awakening (2006), produced by Fonds regional d’art contemporain de Lorraine, is strikingly silent. Abdul’s selective and careful use of audio creates a sense of cinematic minimalism. Beyond a minimalism in the formal sense, it is clear that Abdul’s use of silence is a deliberate conceptual strategy, an allusion to the implications and politics of speechlessness, homelessness and dispos-session.

What We Saw Upon Awakening presents a scene of perhaps a dozen young men clad in black pulling on the remains of a bombed-out structure in Kabul, the ruin a legacy of decades of war in the region. Ropes are fastened to the ruin at various points, and the men strain to pull them as if to tear down what remains of the building. The ropes create a complex and resonant image. They literally form a web, with associations of entanglement, and create a similarly biomorphic form like an octopus. Entangled in this web are memories of ruin, collapse, and history.

[Abdul] work consistently in film and video, looking at the built environment as a means to reflect on human existence. There is also a performative aspect to [her] works which questions the traditional, foundational and autonomous object. Architecture becomes a process, rather than an object, which is a sustained implication of Abdul’s work. The burying of the stone in What we saw upon awakening (in a scene we can see men placing a rock in a hole and burying it in the ground), is the burying of the static object of architecture and value in western culture. It is not a rejection of space or buildings in a simple oppositional sense; rather it connects Abdul’s work to a contemporary reading of significant “anti-architec-tural” works.

Like Abdul’s previous video works - such as White House (2005), or Untitled (Tree) (2005) - What We Saw Upon Awakening also reflects on the representation of ruin or the subsequent significance and fate of sites of catastrophe, death and memorial. The video has an ambiguous and poetic sensibility; it is not certain exactly what the goal of the men’s labours is. The images appear as if in a dream, both believable and yet unbelievable. The “pulling” could also read visually as shoring up, or maintaining a structure that is perilously destined to collapse with very little or no human intervention. It is the shell of a former structure, already half disappeared. Could these figures actually be holding up the building, against all odds? The ambiguity of their actions allows viewers to project their own meaning and understanding upon the work.

Further, in What We Saw Upon Awakening, there is this scene where the men have dug a hole in the ground. They place a rock in the hole and bury it. In Islam the body is buried directly into the earth, and this association underscores the memorial nature of the piece. As both a memory and commemoration, the stone signifies more than its literal singularity. While the stone buried naked has Islamic meaning, Abdul’s work references western cultures as well. A stone has an iconic status in western architectural culture, which Abdul sustains her critique of in these new works.

by Anthony Kiendl

Anne Katrine Senstad
Is Her Name Red?
24.06. 14.08.11

"The Pink Project".

- Captain Gerd-Mari Krohn-Kolm
- Cecilie Hafstad Richards + Isabelle
- Nina Lilledal Khan
from "The Norwegians: Volume 2".


"Colour Synesthesia Variation I & II" "Colour Kinethesia"
Music: J G Thirlwell
Video and sound technicians: Manuel Sander, Benny Mouthon, CAS

It is very exciting to present the world of artist Anne Katrine Senstad. Her exhibition provides an extensively glimpse into her visual universe and all it has to offer. She represent the very new generation of self exiled Norwegian artists who is settled in New York - for this group of artists it has become true nature to work internationally. Only within the last couple of years alone she has exhibited in numerous institutions and galleries across 3 continents. She still keeps Norway close at heart in her artistic exploration and as a starting point from where to draw inspiration for investigation of contemporary notions of identity. The motives are endorsed with expectations and contradictions, as well as contrasts and transitions. The work introduces ambiguity on one hand, and intrigue on the other. >>>

Soft Technology
Curated by Hillevi Munthe and co-curated by Hilde Hauan
19.08. 25.09.11

The exhibition comprises artworks that explore the possibilities, limitations and poetry inherent in textile electronics from an artistic point of view. Based on a well known and tactile materiality, textile electronics take the development of electronics two steps forward and five steps back. E-textile is both interactive, or ”living” and ”smart” textiles, and soft and flexible electronics. With stitched sensors, knitted circuits and woven lights, electronic textiles open ”the black box” of advanced technology that we are surrounded by. At the same time the materiality is an unstable element that forces the development of the artworks back to a more elementary level than that of hard electronics.
The Norwegian and International artists featured in the exhibition use smart materials, e-textile, traditional electronics and textile techniques as a starting point for the development of their art. The nine selected artworks have different approaches to the materials and tell different stories, but they are bound together by the search for giving the unstable, unknown and unpredictable form and visuality.

A collection of prototypes and samples from participants in the Soft Technology project is included. The audience will be able to touch, pull, make sounds and experience materials and technologies used in e-textile artworks/products.
The exhibition is curated by Hillevi Munthe and produced by Atelier Nord in collaboration with Stiftelsen 3,14 and Bergen National Academy of the Arts. The project has received support from Nordic Culture Point, Arts Council Norway, The City of Bergen, The Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts and the Austrian Ambassy in Oslo.

A smaller part of the exhibition “Soft Technology: electronic textiles – when the future becomes soft” was shown at SOFT Gallery, Oslo, in March with four e-textile works by Norwegian and international artists and designers.

Kristina Aas (NO) | Berit Greinke (DE/UK) | Hilde Hauan (NO) | Elin Igland (NO) | Kobakant (AT/US/JP) | Astrid Krogh (DK) | Celine Marcq (FR/UK) | Hillevi Munthe (NO) | Ricardo O’Nascimento (BR)
Prototypes and projects in development:
Elin Igland | Amanda Steggell | Syntjuntan

Concerts performed on the work "Pattern Studies of sound No. 1" are played every Saturdays at 2pm during the exhibition period.

31.08.11 17:00
Book lauching of "Den Temporære Ambassaden" by Anders Rubing.
In cooperation with KHiB (Bergen National Academy of the Arts). More information

Chen Chieh-jen
special screenings

Fredag 1. april 2011, 18:00 - 21:00
Søndag 3. april 2011, 17:00 - 20:00
- The Route
- LINGCHI - Echoes of a Historical Photograph
- Military Court and Prison
- Bade Area


Wong Chung-yu

Real time digital media work

07.10. – 13.11.2011

Spiritual Water 2

Memory of Star 1


Wong Chung Yu’s technique of inserting a sense of time into the medium of painting is his quest of exploring identity and belonging within a Chinese contemporary context. Wong is renown for his fusion of digital media with Chinese traditional ink painting to create his art. With new ideas and new techniques he reworks and modernizes long standing art forms—a quite thorough modernization of Chinese ink paintings. His theory is to utilize all available digital technologies to modernize the ink painting, and thereby revive aspects of traditional art in our time. Wong feels that since an artist absorbs the atmosphere of his era, it stands to reason that when he exhales, it will be in the voice of that same era.

Wong’s artwork is demonstrated through a real-time computer process, an approach which in itself is a breakthrough. “Real-time” here means “using a computer during the exhibition to instantly calculate and show results, thereby directly involving the computer in artwork display.” This technique has revolutionized two art terms: “random” and “interaction”. Since Wong’s visual effect is randomly created, the imagery of his painting cannot be predicted.

In this exhibition, for example Wong’s Spiritual Water 2 is a work capable of producing unlimited waterfall types by means of a computer process which randomly determines the shade or width of the waterfall, as well as the flow of the water. The shape of waterfalls varies in every scene, which is a way to pursue the goal of “enduring beauty” in the manner of ink art. “Interaction” means that the artwork may change its appearance in response to movement from the audience. Wong believes that generally speaking, art is a one-sided creation. “Interaction”, can therefore be regarded as a unique digital media idiom. By means of “interaction”, the audience is able to create virtual images or sound, and combine them with a real ink painting. In this manner, the audience is enabled to play a major role in the outcome of the ink painting.

"Memory of Star" is also combining random animation run in real time by computer. The random animated graphics moves on top of images of two ink painting. In “Metropolis” Wong also attempt to incorporate a metropolitan and futuristic characteristic into the traditional subject matter and medium of ink art. He is inspired by landscape painting, but when combined with his metropolitan imagination it results in unique scenery.

Wong Chung Yu received his Master degree of Computer Science and later pursued a Master of Art degree in Digital Arts in London with scholarship. It is close to 10 years now since he created his first digital art work.  He is today a lecturer teaching multimedia design at the Polytechnic University and a member of the Hong Kong Union of Visual Artists. He has recently exhibited at The Hong Kong Museum of Art and Song Zhuang Art Museum in Beijing and is now actual at Hanart TZ Gallery in Hong Kong.

Susan Derges

Mercury is placed at the vertex of a speaker cone, producing photograms resonant of shell patterns.

07.10. – 13.11.2011

Hermetica 1993, Beta SP video
A droplet of mercury lying in the bottom of an upturned speaker cone, which reflects the lens of the recording video camera, is subjected to a sweep of sine waves. The sound disrupts the spherical form of the mercury droplet into ordered shapes of increasingly complex geometrical structures until it passes beyond the range of response of the mercury and the camera ‘eye’ re-emerges on the surface of the droplet.


is an international event for artists and developers working with free/libre and open source technologies & art. Part workshop, part festival, it is organised in Bergen, Norway, and involves participants from more than a dozen countries exchanging ideas, coding, presenting art and software projects.
The festival program is made up of presentations, hands-on workshops, audiovisual performances, exhibitions and specially curated events – all on the topic of free technology and art.
The main festival exhibition is held at Stiftelsen 3,14.

The 9th edition of the Piksel Festival takes place on November 17th-20th 2011. The festival subtitle re:public connects to various strategies for rethinking and redefining public space, both as a concrete physical space, and in a larger social and political context.

18.11.2011 – 08.01.2012

Works by Chen Chieh-jen

André S. Marandon
Close Encounters 2011

1., 2., 3. april

André S Marandon
"Aqua Caelum"

(‘himmelvann’) >>>
10. - 12. november 2012