Espen Sommer Eide – artist/composer
Initiated by Nicholas H. Møllerhaug and Espen Sommer Eide in 2002, Rural Readers is a webbased project located somewhere between art, philosophy and literature. This website presents a growing archive of texts, images, sounds and other ways of documenting or ”reading” a place or a landscape. The concept ”rural reading” is a matter of interpretation, consisting at any time of whatever the participants choose to put in it or produce within it. It is based on reading in a specific sense – not as a passive receptivity, but rather as an active process requireing imagination, knowledge, idiosyncratic experiences and happy coincidences. Rural Readers may refer both to the inhabitants in any particular local area, and to the expedition-members trying to describe their unique way of reading.
Funded by Kulturnett.no, the first Rural Readers expedition was gathered and set out towards Sør-Varanger municipality in Finnmark, Norway in the hot summer of 2002. The participants were Espen Sommer Eide – philosopher, Kristin Taarnesvik – photographic artist and Monika Sandnesmo – cultural analyst. In january 2003 an exhibition-version of ”Reading Finnmark” was shown at the Grenseland-museum in Kirkenes. This was part of the "migration" exhibition opened by the six prime ministers of the barents-region (Norway, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark). It will move on to be shown in all the barents-region countries throughout 2003. The exhibition-version substantiate the journey itself and some of the impressions and ideas collected.