Elsewhere website


“[…]In the vicinity of the work we were suddenly somewhere else than where we usually tend to be.”

Martin Heidegger: The Origin of the Work of Art

"[…] instead of approaching our encounters with art in terms of aesthetic experiences, this encounter is better understood by way of the place that the work opens up. I will call this place the elsewhere."

Harri Mäcklin: Going Elsewhere – a phenomenology of aesthetic immersion

"[…]to describe how the work taps into the constitution of the there, where my existence takes place – or, in other words, changes the way I occupy my there by transforming it into the elsewhere.

Harri Mäcklin: Going Elsewhere – a phenomenology of aesthetic immersion

“This is why it is not possible to say where the spiritual place is situated; it is not situated, it is, rather, that which situates, it is situative.”

Henry Corbin: Mundus Imaginalis or the Imaginary and the Imaginal

What is this?

This is an apparatus designed to address the issue of a shared place in these times of distance and displacement. It aims to take sensible slices of multiple places and compose them into a site somewhere else.

How to use it?

The website will guide you through the following steps.

1. Sense where you are. Listen to what you hear there.

2. Describe in (a maximum of hundred) words these sensations of the place. Type these word in.

3. Read aloud what you wrote and record your reading into the site. This reading while be added to the composition of elsewhere.

4. Enter the elsewhere by listening.

What is the elsewhere?

When we started to work as a trio in 2018, there was a sense of something linking our practices, but it was difficult to locate this something. We entered a dialogue of finding common ground and planning something tangible. We circulated around the questions of public space, listening, stories, participation and building something concrete.

In 2019 we collaborated in a project of building a community house in Sletteløkka, a multicultural suburb in Oslo. Meanwhile we were planning a mobile device for collecting stories in public places: we imagined a vehicle vaguely resembling a barrel organ grinded at a fairground during the 19th century. In our imagination the operational logic of an organ would be reversed - instead of playing tunes we would gather sounds and stories. We were especially interested in the mindscapes that are linked to and create places. Memories, dreams or thoughts that exist under the surface of a material site. This did not yet concretize in Sletteløkka, but we did tap into a sort of social place-making.

When the pandemic changed the circumstances of artistic work and research this year, also these ideas of place, locality and human encounters were altered. We could no longer gather together to build a device, with which we would enter site. Through some steps we ended up reversing the idea. Since we cannot share an actual place, we cannot all be here, maybe we can address this inablility. For this, we started to use a term borrowed from a Finnish phenomenologist and a scholar of aesthetics, Harri Mäcklin: the elsewhere.

Mäcklin uses Martin Heidegger’s work as his theoretical stepping stone as he sets out to describe and conceptualize the experience of immersion enabled by an art work. He suggests that an art experience modifies our sense of place: when immersing, the way we are here is transformed and the here is not here anymore. In Mäcklin’s terms, it is elsewhere. While we did not venture deeper into phenomenology, this concept seemed to fit our dialogues and ideas well. Hence the title of our small experiment, which is not built from wood and electronics, as we planned, but from words and internet-mediated services.