Ane Hjort Guttu and Sveinung R. Unneland
GHOST IN THE MACHINE
In collaboration with: Susanna Antonsson, Dan Brown, Mari Kvien Brunvoll, Matias Grøttum, Vilde Jensen, Lotte Konow-Lund, Sara Bo Lindberg, Terje Nicolaisen, Maik Riebort, Sarah S., Fergus Tibbs, Marie Vallestad, Katrine Østergaard, Fatou Åsbakk
- When we came to this building, the owner wanted us to have a café and not a communal kitchen. It was even forbidden to cook food inside the school, because of the fire regulations. But with this café we are turned into customers, instead of active subjects. It’s unacceptable.
(from Manifesto, 2020)
Higher education in the Nordic region is fundamentally changing: architecturally, structurally and digitally. These changes are characterised by an increasing degree of control over both students and staff. The transition also includes art education. The traditional, and perhaps romantic idea of the art academy as an autonomous and free space, with large studios adapted to and shaped by the students themselves, no longer exists in practice. Art academies have become departments within larger universities and colleges. Their new buildings are characterised by large, transparent common areas rather than sheltered workplaces. As a result, the students are constantly observing and being observed while working.
Ane Hjort Guttu’s new film Manifesto introduces us to a group of students and staff members from precisely such an institution, reacting against the new educational model. As a self-organised, underground platform, the group constructs new solutions - both physical, administrative, and ideological – aiming to both resist and deal with the environment and the system that has been forced upon them.
Creating space for concentration in the open office landscape, re-establishing financial independence instead of taking the role of consumers, and distributing self-made tools to open windows and doors are among the tasks included in their manifesto.
At the core of the group's underground activity, a kitchen is constructed inside of a movable gallery wall, cleverly hidden from the management. Having the opportunity to cook their own food, share a meal and socialise over dinner is, according to the students, absolutely crucial both for their working conditions and for the community.
Ghost in the Machine consists of an exhibition and event program. The project addresses a paradigm shift in art education. Can we today imagine an art education and artistic practice governed by its own rules and with its own logic? A place where another world is possible?
In the exhibition at Hordaland Kunstsenter, the film Manifesto has its world premiere, along with the mobile, student-built kitchen borrowed from Faculty of Art, Music and Design, UiB. During the exhibition period an extensive series of events, workshops and a seminar will take place in and around this kitchen.
Ane Hjort Guttu (b. 1971) is an artist, writer and curator based in Oslo. She works in a variety of media, but has in recent years mainly concentrated on film and video works, ranging from investigative documentary to poetic fiction. She holds a position as professor at Oslo National Academy of the Arts, department of Fine Art.
Sveinung R. Unneland (b. 1981) lives and works in Bergen. His work consist of painting and sculptures, often assembled in installations. He has organised a number of group exhibitions and has a parallel practice as scenographer in various theatre projects. Rudjord Unneland worked as an assistant professor in the period 2012-18 and is currently an Artistic Research PHD fellow at the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen.
Hordaland Art Centre based in Bergen, Norway was established 1976 as the first artist run art centre in Norway. Its activities are based around the exhibition programme with equal emphasis on seminars, presentations and dialogue. Since 1987 Hordaland Art Centre has hosted a Nordic residency programme, from 2008 also open to international artists, curators, writers and other art professionals.