Andreas Gedin

Sweden (residence) °2005
en

Andreas Gedin (Sweden), artist and PH.D in Fine arts, works and lives in Stockholm, Sweden. He has made several exhibitions nationally and internationally since the early 1990:s. His works combines an interest for ideas, communication, logistics, text and power relations. Often his works interferes with given rules. The works can be presented in small actions, videos, text, photography or whatever suites the art works best. 

The PhD I Hear Voices In Everything! – Step by Step is a collection of essays on artistic and curatorial practice, deriving primarily from the work of Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975) on dialogism. Seen in the light of Bakhtin’s philosophy, might these activities perhaps not merely overlap with each other but be understood as one and the same? Taken together, the text plus a number of artworks and three exhibitions constitute a dissertation in Fine Arts. The art works and exhibitions are a blend of curatorial work, artistic creation and essayistic excursion. A wide range of issues is addressed, through assertions and philosophical speculations. But the work is grounded throughout in the writer’s own artistic practice and that of others. There are a number of different voices interspersed in the text. Quotations, oral commentaries, emails and fictional characters interrupt, add and delete. The intention is that the reader, too, should be drawn into this polyphonic chorus of voices.

 

However, the ‘artistic’ in its totality is not to be found in the thing, and not in the psyche of the creative artist or the psyche of the perceiver taken in isolation, for the ‘artistic’ embraces all three of these elements. It is a special form of interrelationship between creator and perceiver, which is fixed in the artistic work. Mikhail Bakhtin

 

”I Hear Voices in Everything, Step by Step”, English version 2014 http://konst.gu.se/digitalAssets/1484/1484393_i_hear_voices.pdf, Swedish, original version 2011, "Jag hör röster överallt, Step by Step”,  https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/25451    

comments

Exposition: Under the Mirroring Surface (27/11/2017) by Adam Kraft
Andreas Gedin 02/02/2018 at 15:27

On Under the Mirroring Surface by Adam Berglund. Peer review, Andreas Gedin.

 

In general

First I would like to tell that I find this extensive research project in Fine arts rich and stimulating. The projects pronounced purpose is to challenge and question the use and ownership of cities. I understand it as a singular huge project or artwork in time and space, though it consists of different, differently entitled art works. The relevance of the project is both to be found in Berglund’s discussion about it, but there are also (not discussed) poetic values as well as playful aspects in the way that it deals with secret unauthorised events like children’s games: looking for secret places, building huts in the woods etc. (Think also about Jules Verne!) Maybe this aspect could be developed further under the sympathetic, political and artistic “production of imagination“, a main focus of Berglund’s project. (Which echoes “All Power to the Imagination”, from the streets in Paris May 1968.)

 

The project has a political purpose, but it is also political by making projects that are not aimed for an economical art market. But they obviously aim for a symbolic art market, they are to be subjects for research and to be exposed and discussed, like here, right now. But, what is, by the way, the political consequence of this economical circumstance? Here we find one of many “paradoxes”, as Berglund puts it, or rather contradictions, as I would like to put it. In this approach I agree, in my review, with the use of deconstruction: to lay bare contradiction without denying the function and relevance of the project as a whole. Anyhow, the awareness of these kinds of paradoxes, or contradictions, is a very good starting point for serious research.

 

Method

The artistic method seems to be both a strength and something to look closer into. The strength is that it has been developed and tested during years and that it works very well. But it could also be fruitful to reflect upon the fact that a method, which works, can hinder an artist to try new methods.

 

Potentials

The art projects exposed are obviously already fully developed, but the essay seems to be an early version, in this research project. But the projects could be further worked on in any case; post-production is still an open possibility. Berglund points out the importance of imagination in different ways, and in my imagination I see the possibility of a more extensive narration, a film for example. It could be a mix of fiction, essay and documentary. Except for existing documents from the projects the narration of them is of great importance, something Berglund is fully aware of. But what differs literature from, in this case, documents of artistic actions, is of course the performance and the concrete results: something actually took place, as opposed to the fiction of fiction. A film or any kind of a more open narration could also include and embrace aspects like the “paradoxes”, political complexity, humour, poetic values etc. that is not fully developed in the current presentation. It would for example be very interesting to see the “paradoxes” really scrutinized. It is probably a painful task, if performed honestly, but also very fruitful because an effort like this has a potential to deepen the research and could develop the projects political, ethical and esthetical potentials.

 

I will not discuss if these projects really would liberate people and change “current conditions”, or not. The relation between art and political action is to complex, and general. But as a researcher Berglund have to contemplate how he will label his work. And this question connects to the concept ‘de-imagineering’. It seems like the concept is tried out, maybe for the first time, in this essay. Fair enough. And an answer to the following question might help to develop the concept: What differs ‘de-imagineering’ from ‘‘re-imagineering’?

 

Where are we?

We” are in cities in Western Europe. Maybe there would be other different and important angels of the rights to the city if some projects were to take place elsewhere in the world. No surprises. But is this a problem?

 

Experiments & Failures

This safe position of the researcher, included in the “we”, also highlights the fact that when these activities are to be inscribed in a research context, and that the outcome seems to be known when the “research” begins. For example: 1. the artist plan to build a hut in a non-space. 2. the artist builds a hut in a non-space 3. The result is contemplated and told to the artistic research community. Or, in what way have failing relevance in this research project? I am not totally convinced that these projects are “experiments”, as said. It would be interesting to know more about experiments and failures; it would also help to focus more on the process (not only on the actual making). Again, the “paradoxes” can be here used to take the research process further and deeper.

 

Who are we?

The identity of “we”/“our” in the text seems to be taken for granted. For example: ”a space where we can challenge the preconceptions of what is possible”, “our own power”. As a reader I am included and addressed as if I agree with the political analysis, and hence with the art project. Maybe I do not? This also indicates that the analysis of the power structures in the society/cities might not be fully developed. Who is, for example, the artist? Personally I would avoid identity politics in this discussion, but it would be interesting to try to imagine groups of people who find themselves neither being a part of this “we”, or as included in the neo-liberal politics which seems to be the target of the project. This remark leads to another important question: if there is no defined “we” understood as a large group of people, you end up in an individualistic strategy. Even if this individualism is to be spelled “anarchism”, there is an important question to bring up, and that is: could Berglund’s’ projects be regarded as a kind of privatisation of the common? To put it bluntly: can he be regarded as a singular/private/artist/entrepreneur who privatize the common to enrich his symbolic capital? And if so, what does it mean in the long run?

 

References

Berglund’s exposition share a weakness common in Artistic research, namely extensive references to other artistic works. The Situationists are present, and it would be interesting to learn more about the relevance of them, or the lack of it. When it comes to their concept ‘Récuperation;’ “the activity of society as it attempts to obtain possession of what negates it”, I would like to add a Marcuses concept of ‘repressive tolerance’, in short that the state for example allow attacks at the state in order to disarm these activists, because it would strengthen them if they were fought. Further, the kind of secret mission Berglund works with is not unique but belongs to an existing genre, or genres, like private planting, hacktivism of fashion, etc. I also come to think of the – often photo based – genre of “non-space” (“Non –lieux”). Another important specific reference to art works is Western (2002) by Hans Schabus, a video documentation of him rowing his sailing boat ”Forlorn” through the Viennese sewer system, a video very close to the one presented here, but with a bit different concept.

 

Design and ease of use?

I did not find any reasonable way to print the project from the website except for as one long page with a stripe of diminutive text. The video was easy to access. It would have been interesting to see more documentation of the projects, and also reactions on them in media, if there has been any.

 


Exposition: The Entanglement of Arts and Sciences. On the Transaction Costs of Transdisciplinary Research Settings (01/01/2011) by Martin Tröndle
Andreas Gedin 28/11/2011 at 12:41

Transdisciplinary research seems to be an important area for artistic research in the future. In this case it is valuable to learn about the experiences from the collaborations. The writers try to pin point both the problems and what was gained from the project, while also giving some further advice for the future. Also the idea to write together in a group seems relevant.

 

The question of practise as research is as a whole a crucial and complicated one. Therefore it is difficult to judge. The main task for the artists in this project is to illustrate empirical data. Artistic means are used. But it is difficult to say to what extend it is artistic research in the meaning research through practice. Maybe it is more relevant to talk about collaborative research through the means of art.

 

In the research process it becomes evident for the researchers that translation or interpretation have influence on the understanding of data through images, sound etc. This is of course very important, but not new knowledge if you go to artistic practise, hermeneutics, semiotics, sociology, psychology etc. But what is important is that this was pointed out in this specific project. In this sense is a valuable example or experiment.

 

Some conventions or ”truisms” are taken for granted. Examples: ‘While artistic images enable the most ambiguous interpretations possible’, I wouldn’t take this for granted. ‘Transdisciplinary research projects are also risky – due to the fact that the process is highly unpredictable and that they thus can fail.’ This goes for all, or most research projects.

 

I do think that it is an interesting essay pointing out the importance of the artistic presentation of an empirical research project. It is more of a study of good and bad aspects of transdisciplinary collaboration. The artists did also have impact on ‘the physiological tracking and mapping as a pioneering research practise’ It would be interesting to learn more about the ‘psychogeographical effect of the museum and its objects on the museum visitors’ experience’.

 

I do miss important references to other art projects and to the whole genre of interactive electronic art.

 

In general I find the parts of the essay relating to actual experiences the most interesting. For example the passage ‘Materiality’ and also the ideas of how to organize this kind of collaborations in the future are valuable. As a whole this is actually more of a study of collaboration than research through the practise of art. And the experiences from this are useful, for example the idea of a scientific curator something seems to be very valuable and should be developed further!


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