Jakob Oredsson

Scenography as Symbiosis

Østfold University College, Norwegian Theatre Academy

Scenography as Symbiosis imagines an ontology of scenography through and within an artistic practice, meaning contemplating how scenography comes into being through realizing works of scenography in three diverse contexts. The approach is explicitly ontological and insists that exploring how scenography exists as research can only be done through artistic practice.


As one entry into exploring Scenography as Symbiosis an understanding of scenography as environment described is embraced. One of the propositions of the research is that it appears that scenography exists, as a kind of friction within binaries such as scene-stage, onstage-offstage, auditorium-stage, architecture-theatre. Scenography as Symbiosis emphasizes these as fundamentally ambiguous, through accepting a contradictory state of being two, or many, things at the same time, queering binaries such as, foreground-background, inside-outside, active-passive, present-absent, real-imagined.


Through the project, scenography is examined with influence by Graham Harman’s writings on symbiosis with a view from within the philosophical school Object Oriented Ontology (OOO). Harman describes Lynn Margulis’ theories on biological symbiosis, through which a distinction is made between moments of gradual change and moments of symbiosis between distinct beings, which leads to a new being. With the OOO view symbiosis is biographical as well as biological, it is not only biological objects which can enter into symbiosis, but any other objects as well. Embracing this understanding of symbiosis, scenography may be imagined as existing as new objects appearing through biographical symbiosis between already existing objects, further interweaving with and being existing environment described.

Jakob Oredsson is an artist, architect and scenographer, currently Artistic Research Fellow at Norwegian Theatre Academy (NTA), Østfold University College (HiØ), with the project Scenography as Symbiosis, 2020-2023, which seeks to outline an ontology of scenography, exploring how scenography exists. After receiving a BA in scenography from NTA, Jakob studied architecture at The Cooper Union and Pratt Institute in New York and received an MA in Architecture from The Royal Academy in Copenhagen.


Oredsson has realized works internationally in public, gallery and theatre contexts, through a variety of mediums. Works which endeavor to engage existing environment in its very form, seeking to queer binaries such as art-context, form-content, active-passive and culture-nature, accentuating ambiguity and embracing flat ontology.




Artistic Research Spring Forum 2023

A presentation of the artistic research project Scenography as Symbiosis, with a focus on the latest project realized as part of it, Symbiotic Stories (Alby Always Already). An attempt to explore different possibilities of sharing the research through four practices currently termed: Descriptions (Documentations)Routines (Recordings)Recipes (Repetitions) and Reflections (Regardings).