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.
People ask: What is Rural Reading Room? One cannot discuss trivialities. Open reflection can lead to unknown chemical reactions. Art in the periphery serves local, regional, national or geopolitical goals. Local art is by definition somewhere else. It has to generate, whether it is increased tourism, border problematics, indigenous people issues, arctic oil drilling or ecological growth. The local artist is the useful, well paid idiot. The local has to be something other than itself: art as an interesting project or future prospect. Local history is history without development. The local is unique without being interesting.
It is not easy running the Rural Reading Room. It is also difficult to pronounce. Trying to keep warm, we were forced to burn the table earlier this week. The table has been with us since the beginning, as a site for activities and conversations. Now it needs to be restored. Either we buy a prefabricated, boring table. Or, we try to rebuild the leftovers at the risk of an ugly result.
Rural Reading Room is Espen Sommer Eide, Kristin Tårnesvik, Hilde M. Methi, Morten Torgersrud
Time and place: LM1, Le Maires vei 1 (outdoors), Kirkenes, Norway. Friday 28th of November, 6-7 pm.
For more than five decades, British buildings in Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) were left to rot as authorities wrestled with the uncomfortable legacy of British rule. The communist-controlled city government lacked both the resources and the inclination to preserve what many saw as a glorification of colonialism, and the city's magnificent architectural gems crumbled and decayed. For many of the hundreds of old heritage buildings it is too late. Along the Hugli river row upon row of derelict mansions and warehouses are being reclaimed by nature and has become a stunning labyrinth of colonial ruin. It is just too late to save them all, with the enormous amount of bureaucracy and corruption in the city administration not helping either.
But in the centre around BBD Bagh (Dalhousie square) one building have been saved last minute from demolition. The 178-year old building, constructed in Italian Renaissance style called "the Currency Building", the former reserve bank of India. Ten years ago, under the orders of the central government, a demolition team moved in at the dead of night and began work. By morning they had brought down two massive dome ceilings and were starting on the exterior. But after a public outcry work was halted, and now a major restoration project has begun.
Now, in this building, during the period 10.-15. December 2011, Verdenteatret built their installation and performance "and all the questionmarks started to sing". In order to overcome the limitations of the gaping hole in the domed ceiling a new temporary roof had to be built using bamboo and linen.
An old photoalbum shows "before and after" shots of the building during the restoration work.
I mange borgalege heimar på tjuetalet sa man at Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon var som å ha ein hest i bokhylla. Lærmengda i permane tilsvara ein heil hingst. Det megalomane 24 bind store norsk-danske leksikon. Trykt av ein dedikert dansk boktrykkar – Isaac Salmonsen og hans namnlause bror. Tusenvis av artiklar om for lengst utdøydde dyr, ideologiar og mennesketypar.
Desse artiklane blei arkiverte live av Nicholas H. Møllerhaug & Espen Sommer Eide (aka Pilota – som tidlegare drifta Trollofonen, Klubb Pilota, Rural Readers m.m.) på Landmark 30.04.2011 – ved å bruke eit nytt digitaliseringssystem. Spesialutvikla for anledninga. Arkivmaterialet blei umiddelbart bli kommentert live av to legendariske sjangersprengande songarar: Jaap Blonk og Attila Csihar.
What do people in the Barents Region have in common - other than the notion of living on the periphery? What happens now when the region experiences a potential change from periphery to center? Why is everybody speaking English to each other? Is the opening of the first IKEA store in the region a major event in the history of the Barents?
USB is a performance that investigates these and other questions; questions dealing with local, global and northern identity, the power of definition, borders, similarities and differences in the Arctic, and the love of IKEA.
Welcome to the brave new world of the United States of Barents!
Amund Sjølie Sveen is an artist and percussionist from northern Norway who developed USB (United States of Barents) originally after taking part in the artistic research project Connection Barents in June 2006. USB was premiered in the Barents Spektakel-festival, in Kirkenes, January 2007. An Internet version of the USB presentation was made especially for this Region in focus.
This time next year, Kentucky based physicist and futurist Brooks Agnew hopes to board the commercially owned Russian icebreaker Yamal in the port of Murmansk, and to sail into the polar sea just beyond Canada's Arctic islands...
Mr. Agnew is the latest in a long line of people to peddle the nutty, yet persistent, theory that humans live on the surface of a hollow planet, in which two undiscovered openings, near the North and South poles, connect the outer Earth with an interior realm...
While he insists the journey has a genuine scientific purpose, Mr. Agnew also says the expedition will include several experts in meditation, mythology and UFOs, as well as a team of documentary filmmakers...
If the polar opening isn't there, the voyage "will still make an outstanding documentary," he promises.
Some news of the existence of the legendary dr. Guberman recently caught our attention. Here is a picture of dr. Guberman by the Superdeep hole in Kola. He has just drilled the first hole of what was to become the deepest man-made hole in the world (12262 meters). Also included is a letter from the doctor with an original Superdeep stamp. As the research director of the Barents Institute, Urban Wråkberg notes: "dr. Guberman is for the underworld, what Juri Gagarin is for space".