LUNDAHL & SEITL
North American Tour 2022
The artists explore how technology connects, and disconnects, us from each other and from other life forms and processes. Visitors enter a realm of virtual reality with sightless goggles and three-dimensional audio as a guide through a choreography of movement and synchronized touch.
A Language of What May Not Be Said
a program of VR artworks by
Swedish duo Lundahl & Seitl presented at
MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA
Swedish House in Washington, D.C.
ONX Studio and Scandinavia House in NYC
with artist talks and a conversation with
Barbara London. September 19 - October 2
(Click locations for event information)
At the advent of the endemic, the artists present two artworks, The Memor and Symphony of a Missing Room, that each in a different way, explore how technology lay the ground for the human umwelt: how it connects and disconnects us from each other and other life-forms and processes. To experience the artworks you will use VR technology, sightless goggles, and three-dimensional sound in headphones, and you will get an instructed choreography of movement and synchronized touch from a guide.
Martina Seitl and Christer Lundahl
A Language of What May Not Be Said is a collaboration with the Consulate General of Sweden in New York and the Embassy of Sweden in Washington D.C. as part of Lundahl & Seitl´s engagement with the MIT ACT program, by invitation from Urbonas Studio, the Onassis Foundation, Swedish House, Scandianvia House. Lundahl & Seitl are supported by Nordisk Kulturfond, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee and the International Program for Visual Artists (iaspis), Stockholm Stad and Kulturrådet Sweden / Swedish Arts Council. Additional support from Streaming Museum and Hyphen Hub.
Lundahl & Seitl in Conversation with Barbara London at Scandinavia House, NYC, October 2, 2022.
Barbara London is a New York-based curator and writer who founded the video-media exhibition and collection programs at The Museum of Modern Art, where she worked between 1973 - 2013.
The Memor (2019-2022) 17:00
from the Eternal Return series
by Lundahl & Seitl and ScanLAB Projects
Medium: XR environment based on stereolithographic resin prints on steel scaffold, terrestrial laser scans, and three-dimensional sound —in friction with—Unseen choreography of movement and touch.
The Memor is a space that evokes the human ability to move beyond the present. The first encounter is with a stromatolite, a fossil that predates the human experience by 3.7 billion years. 3D-printed objects act as triggers in a series of environments: a piano workshop, a benevolent abyss, complex rooms where Virtual Reality can be defined as an ability rather than a form of technology. The capacity of memory allows the human mind to experience music rather than perceiving one tone after another. The Memor is a choreographed room that passes through the visitor’s body like a song.
The installation is accompanied by The Memor by Malin Zimm, a speculative fiction text and an expanded narrative framework. Objects and scenes in the installation thus take on a multitude of experiential modes: physical, virtual, narrative, and emotional. The fiction expands as the art installation evolves, yet its parts can be read and experienced in any order as a non-linear envelope. As a piece of speculative fiction, the text moves from the old world to the new, weaving history and fiction together by picking up facts floating in the tide and finding a new use for them in the narrative. The story contains numerous references to demonstrate the method of “playing” the internet for facts and news, encyclopedic knowledge, and archives. The various references are composed together to form a new interpretation of the events in and around the world as it is presented to our senses.
Eternal Return, 2019 / Lundahl & Seitl and ScanLAB Projects
Max Čelar: VR designer and developer
Malin Zimm: Script collaboration and author of the speculative fiction The Memor – a companion to the exhibition
Rachel Alexander: Dramaturge
Cassie Yukawa-McBurney performed J. S. Bach’s Fugue in A Minor BWV 543 written for the organ, arranged by Liszt for piano
Performers: Pia Nordin, Rachel Alexander, Sara Lindström, Lena Kimming, Helena Lambert, Christine Sollie
Production by Lundahl & Seitl (SWE) and ScanLAB Projects*
Co-production STRP Festival of Art and Technology
Lundahl & Seitl Producer: Emma Ward
*ScanLAB Projects team: Matt Shaw, Soma Sato, Manuela Mesrie, Reuben Carter, Jacques Pillet, Will Trossell, Dorka Makai.
Symphony of a Missing Room (2009-ongoing) by Lundahl & Seitl 17:00
Since its inception in 2009 at the Swedish National Museum in Stockholm, the artwork has been hosted by twentyfold internationally renowned museums and Biennials. Earlier commissions have included Martin-Gropius-Bau, Royal Academy of Arts, Momentum 8 – Tunnel Vision, Centre Pompidou Metz, MMK Frankfurt, S.M.A.K, Bern Biennale and Kochi Muziris Biennale.
Participants wear white goggles that induce a spatial white-out, partly rendering our sensory interface to the world incomplete, and partly enabling a new relationship with the surroundings by blurring the distinction between sensing/reasoning, and body/mind. A guiding hand gradually earns our trust, while a whisper in the ear synchronizes our movement and breathing with the architectural sound in the headphones, closing the sensorial loop between our body and the imagined space through a reversed engineering of the vision.
The iteration of Symphony of a Missing Room showing at MIT emerged from the latest public showing of the work at Temple of Alternative Histories at Kassel Stadtteater, in conjunction with Documenta Fifteen. Building from an internal exercise on how to become a river, of shaping and being shaped by different topographies, the work echoes natural processes in a practice of extending one's sensory experience into one’s surroundings and merging with it through the relationship.
In Symphony of a Missing Room, the value of agency and guidance is constantly negotiated in a dance of listening, adapting, and responding, not only to the immediate movement of your unseen guide but also to the objects and events from the past that have been integrated into the works’ choreographic score. As triggers for future experiences, these objects and events are now surfacing and played out horizontally in the present relationship and friction between visual and auditory organs and the nerves of the skin between the two bodies temporarily becoming the artwork.
A multitude of ideas, experiences, thoughts, and reflections echoes inside the Symphony as an endless conversation between presences and absences.
The Mnemosyne Revolution and Symphony of a Missing Room (2016) at ‘An Imagined Museum’, Centre Pompidou, Metz
Lundahl & Seitl developed Amissing Room - a version of Symphony of a Missing Room, for 2 people using a mobile phone and an app in a domestic setting during the pandemic lockdown in 2020.
Experience Amissing Room, in permanent residence here -- StreamingMuseum.org/lundahl-seitl
Read more about the history of Symphony of a Missing Room and Amissing Room.
Left: The Royal Academy of Arts, London Right: Acropolis Museum, Athens
Lundahl & Seitl: ‘Symphony – Tunnel Vision,’ 2015 at Momentum 8 – Tunnel Vision, 2015. Nordic Biennale of Contemporary Art, Momentum Kunsthall and Galleri F 15, Moss, Norway // Courtesy of the artist
Symphony – Mnemosyne Revolution was exhibited 100 days at the 2nd Kochi Muziris Biennale: ‘forming in the pupil of an eye’, India, 2016-2017, curated by Sudarshan Shetty. Collection of the artists. The image is showing the ‘The Sea of Pain’ by Raul Zurita. The Chilean poet dedicates this work to Galip Kurdi the brother of Alan Kurdi, the three year-old boy who was washed ashore a beach on the second of September 2015, his image becomes synonymous with the Syrian refugee crisis. Image Courtesy Kochi Muziris Foundation
Christer Lundahl & Martina Seitl. Photo: Sergei Munchin
Lundahl & Seitl formed in 2003 as continuous research into the question of how we perceive reality and negotiate its various forms. The virtual experience in their works is created with peculiar objects such as sightless goggles or methods of choreographed touch through reverse engineering visual stimuli. Through a heuristic relationship to process, and created in collaboration between disciplines, the duo has developed an art form and method containing staging, choreographed movement, instructions, sculpture, spatial sound, and augmented and virtual reality.
Their works and projects have been exhibited in museums and institutions such as the Gropius-Bau / Berliner Festspiele, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kunstmuseum Bonn (DE), Tate Britain (UK), Royal Academy of Art (UK), 66th Avignon Festival (FR), Centre Pompidou Metz (FR), 8th Momentum Biennale (NO), and the Kochi Muziris Biennale (IN) The duo is the recipient of a number of awards including an STRP ACT Award, the Stockholm Art Prize, Birgit Cullberg Stipend, IASPIS Grant holder, Montblanc Young Directors Award, Edstrandska Stipend for Contemporary Art, and Sven Harrys Art Prize Stipend and shortlisted for the Lumen Prize.
Lundahl & Seitl are supported by Nordisk Kulturfond, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee and the International Program for Visual Artists (iaspis), Stockholm Stad and Kulturrådet Sweden / Swedish Arts Council. Our thanks to Streaming Museum and Hyphen Hub for their support in kind.
ScanLAB Projects is a pioneering creative practice.
We digitise the world, transforming temporary moments and spaces into compelling experiences, images and film. We design online environments, immersive installations and objects. We use our craft as a way to bear witness to the world - collaborating with musicians, dancers, researchers and scientists on evocative and meaningful stories.
Our primary medium is 3D scanning, a form of machine vision that we believe is the future of photography. As the electronic eyes for billions of mobile phones and driverless vehicles 3D scanners are the cartographers of the future. By critically observing places and events through the eyes of these machines our work hopes to glance at the future we will all inhabit.
ScanLAB’s award-winning work has featured on the BBC, Arte, National Geographic, The Guardian and The New York Times and been exhibited internationally including at LACMA, The Louisianna, The New Museum NYC, SXSW, CPH:DOX, STRP, the Royal Academy and The Barbican.