In a site-specific sound installation by composer and sound artist Asbjørn Blokkum Flø, the sounds from café Landmark at Bergen Kunsthall is transported over to the Kunsthalls largest gallery space. The title of the installation refers to the idea of the double-goer, a phenomenon that has a long tradition both in fiction and folklore. In this installation the disorganized, chaotic sound of a social space (Landmark) is transported over to a more contemplative art space. Here the sound of Landmark is presented in processed, analyzed form - as an abstract, timbral shadow version of the "real world".
Over the course of several installations Asbjørn Blokkum Flø has produced an artistic practice where the timbral and existential questions of sound are examined in parallel. The works treat sound both as meaningful communication and purely abstract sound material at the same time, and in his earlier works he has used both specific locations as well as objects from musical history. In Norway Remixed (2002) audio streams from all over Norway was recontextualized through a sound installation at the Oslo Central Station, while Richard Wagner's 15-hour opera Der Ring des Nibelungen was compressed to a one second long elementary particle of musical history in the installation Ragnarok (2011). These works are located within a critical sound art tradition but Flø's work is more often sensual and immediate than cool and theoretical.
The installation's title refers to the idea of the double. From the Nordic folklores notion of the Vardøger to the 1800s authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley, we find this shadowless twin existence that conveys signs and warnings across time and space. Although the double in the first place apparently emerges as a mirror of reality, it may prove to be a messenger of disease, danger or death.
In the installation the term is used to examine social communicational structures, mirrored in the installation disturbing sonic presence. Through the doubles displacement of the sound of the space, the auditory focus shifts, and thus Flø exhibits the hidden sides of the social space. The Double becomes a shadow version of the real world, a place where subconscious structures can emerge.
The sound of the social space may seem chaotic, but there are patterns under the surface; from monologue to dialogue, from chaos to recognizable structures. In Doppelgänger these structures are examined by repositioning them from their original situation into an installation where these patterns and structures are clarified. Meanwhile, the installation also is an examination of the sonic character of the space. The sound of the social space has an intrinsic value as a sonorous experience, beyond language and meaning. This auditory communication works directly and emotionally.
In the installation this sonic dimension is examined through a variety of metal objects. Seven large metal plates fills the space, and are activated by mechanical hammers. These acoustic sound objects are enabled by structures from the adjoining room, and surrounds the listener with a wide range of acoustic metal sounds. It is through these sounds that the installation examines the structures of the social space, and through this shadow version, a different set of potential insights arises.
The exhibition is produced by Bergen Kunsthall and Lydgalleriet in cooperation with Borealis.
Electronics development: Hans Wilmers
Software development: Hans Wilmers, Asbjørn Blokkum Flø
Electronics production: Asbjørn Blokkum Flø, Thom Johansen, Henrik Sundt, Hans Wilmers
Precision mechanics: Tom Ingebricson and Kjeller Modellverksted
Welding and metal work: Jørgen Andersen, Finn Knapper, Dagfinn Langseth and Castor mekaniske verksted
Thanks to: Bergen Kunsthall, Borealis, Yngve Breivik, Magnus Bugge, Armin Bårdseth, Halvard Djupvik, Tor Jørgen van Eijk, Janne Marie Fatland, Fellesverkstedet og Graham Hayward, Emil Kristoffer Gustafsson, Tor Halmrast, Kjell Tore Innervik, Thom Johansen, Lars Kjemphol, Jørgen Larsson, Lydgalleriet, Astrid Midtbø, NOTAM, Jøran Rudi, Ståle Stenslie, Eva Birgitte Storrusten, Henrik Sundt, Erla Silfá Hordvik Thorgrímsdóttir, Anders Tveit, og Hans Wilmers.
Photo: Astrid Fredrickson Midtbø