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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.

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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.
 

Credits

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.

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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.