MÔNOSIS/MONOSIS (How We Live Together) 2020, is part 2 of Anne Katrine Senstad's
short film series that explores French philosopher Roland Barthes's 1977 lecture series
How To Live Together.

Anne Katrine Senstad, MÔNOSIS/MONOSIS (How We Live Together)
11.21 min. Actor, Bill Sage. Sound, JG Thirlwell.

“MÔNOSIS/MONOSIS features acclaimed actor
Bill Sage who performs throughout the 4-part
film series How We Live Together, that examines
our contemporary human experiences of isolation and societal displacement in relation to French philosopher Roland Barthes’s 1977 lecture
series, How To Live Together, on idiorrythmic
living formats."


"The first film in the series, UTOPIE/UTOPIA, is featured in Centerpoint Now, a publication marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations."

- Anne Katrine Senstad

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Roland Barthes's series of lectures explores solitude and the degree of contact necessary for individuals to exist and create at their own pace—the concept of "idiorrhythmy," a productive form of living together in which one recognizes and respects the individual rhythms of the other. 

In exploring concepts of idiorrhythmic living formats, Senstad invites acclaimed actor Bill Sage to reinterpret four select chapters of Roland Barthes's prolific book How To Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces. Barthes's pedagogical methods for philosophical and literary responses to idiorrythmic living formats in review of the pivotally critical worldview of the 1968-1977 era, are in Senstad’s short films re-contextualized into our contemporary human experiences in a changing world.

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The 4-chapter short film series premiered with UTOPIE/UTOPIA, the first in the series, as part of Senstad's exhibition How We Live Together at Yi Gallery in New York during the pandemic of 2020, and Streaming Museum's online exhibition Arts New Natures: Digital Dynamics in Contemporary Nordic Art, supported by Nordisk Kultur Fond and Nordic Council of Ministeries. MÔNOSIS/MONOSIS is the second short film collaboration in the series, and continues to include audio management by composer JG Thirlwell. The How We Live Together film series is supported in part by NBK Vederlags Fond Norway.


As creative producers actively reshaping and exploring new systems for expression and cultural agency through the pandemic, Senstad and Sage are, through their collaboration, simultaneously responding to the current human experiences of solitude, isolation, and as citizens witnessing societal and political deconstruction. The assemblage vignette styled short films journey through a personal and intimate landscape that unfolds Barthes's philosophical novelistic lectures in preparation for his class of university students. Sage’s immersive reading performance invites us all into the experience of the internal dialogue and narrative examinations on idiorrhythmy, community and individuality, public space and value systems, as a method of understanding our new futures as a unified human experience.

In his chapter on the human monastic state, MÔNOSIS/MONOSIS, Barthes contemplates the isolated self and seeks to identify the problem of separation of our true state of internal unity as a form of idiorrhythmic Living-Together. Within societal structures, he discusses the tactful distanced cohabitation as a form of displacement and separation, where the individual searches for state of peaceful tolerance that is considered a place of unity. Sage creates a rich texture of spirit and authenticity, embodying the internal conversation and experience of the human enterprise transmitted through Sage’s character—a navigational journey through a meditative analysis as understanding our sense of current conditions, time and place. 


The title of Senstad's research project and exhibition, How We Live Together determines an action in how we want to shape our common future, re-authoring Barthes's university lectures titled How To Live Together, which present sets of contemplative possibilities organized after literary and fantasmatic methods—the academic observational criteria. In activating the title through the actor’s voice and delivery, Sage transmits the experience and embodiment of our inner dialogue and relation to the self. In the postmodern society that evolved after Barthes's 1977 social philosophies, the disenfranchisement of societal and spiritual value has escalated to the critical crescendo we are now living within, globally manifested in illness of the human soul and body, isolation, and displacement.


Another French philosopher, Baudrillard, spoke about a societal simulacra and the postmodern living mode that removed the individual from any form of natural self and common value or ethical system. In popular culture this loss of human spirit exchanged with an inner void and robotic existence, is further professed in Baudrillard’s statements about the film American Psycho, finally disclosing the true postmodern human. In the iconic business card scene, Bill Sage's character, in the assembly of Wall Street'ers identify their sole value represented in a symbol of patriarchy, capitalism, spectacle and expendable identities. 

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Anne Katrine Senstad is an interdisciplinary Norwegian artist whose practice lies in the intersections of light sculpture, installation, immersive environments, photography, video, land and site-specific art. Notable exhibitions include Radical Light (2020) at Kai Art Center, Estonia, a monumental light environment accompanied by JG Thirlwell’s sound composition; He Xiangning Art Museum in Shenzhen, China, 55th and 56th Venice Biennales and Bruges Art and Architecture Triennale. Her video work has been shown worldwide at Centre Pompidou, Haus Der Kultur Der Welt, The Canadian Museum of Nature, MOMA Ukraine, Dallas Aurora, Eva Peron Museum, Oslo Screen Festival, Patioo Monoroom and K4 Gallery. She will open Radical Light II at Seinäjoki Kunsthall in Finland June 16th , 2021 with sound by JG Thirlwell. annesenstad.com

Bill Sage has appeared in over 120 films, theatre and TV productions. Selected films include American Psycho, Boiler Room, Mysterious Skin, We Are What We Are, and numerous films with long time collaborator, film director Hal Hartley including the upcoming film Where to Land. TV series include Law & Order, Boardwalk Empire, Numb3rs, CSI, Hap & Leonard, Nurse Jackie, Orange is the New Black. Throughout his career, Mr. Sage has been a champion for diversity and equality in the film industry. He has made a point of working with female Directors, Writers and Producers such as Mary Harron, Lisa Cholodenko, Mira Nair, and Amy Berg to name a few. Mr. Sage is a graduate of SUNY Purchase and a proud member of the Purchase Mafia. He continues to be a driving force in the world of film and high end television.  IMDB page

JG Thirlwell is a composer/producer/performer based in Brooklyn, NY. He has released over thirty albums and creates the musical score for the Emmy-winning FX show Archer, and Adult Swim / Cartoon Network show The Venture Bros. JG has also created several motion picture scores. foetus.org