Sveinung Rudjord Unneland

Ph.D. in Artistic Research

University of Bergen

Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design

The Art Academy – Department of Contemporary Art


Main supervisor

Eamon O’Kane

/ Co-Supervisor

Ane Hjort Guttu


Artistic reflection and documentation of artistic result submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) in Artistic Research at the University of Bergen. 

Date of public defence: 01.09.2023


In 2018, Kunst- og designhøgskolen i Bergen (KHiB) moved into brand new premises in Møllendalsveien, and at the same time changed its name and organizational affiliation to Kunstakademiet – Institutt for samtidskunst, Fakultet for kunst musikk og design, Universitetet i Bergen. At the same time, Sveinung Unneland began his work on the doctoral project Urgent Affairs, Strange Empathy. In the project, Unneland examines these structural and architectural changes, in parallel with that he explores how we can establish different autonomous spaces and practices within the institutional context as such.


Only by insisting on a radical openness about what art is or can be, is it possible, in my opinion, to maintain a meaningful relationship with the concept of art. An important question then becomes how we (as artists, researchers, and teachers) best cultivate and safeguard this openness, in our own practice and within the institutional framework many of us find ourselves in.[1]


Urgent Affairs, Strange Empathy places itself in an institutional tradition that in Bergen goes back to the self-organized Vestlandets Kunstakademi (1973). Through practical collaborative projects, Unneland explores how this legacy can be continued within today's institutional framework. Parallel to this, he has worked with painting as an integral part of the research project; a personal practice where he can set up models for possible relationships between the fictional and the real, the personal and the common, the inside and the outside.



Sveinung Rudjord Unneland (1981, Farsund) is a visual artist and Ph.D. research fellow at the Art Academy – Institute of contemporary art, at the faculty of art, music and design, University of Bergen. He received his education at the Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen and Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee (2007). Sveinung Rudjord Unneland has worked with Urgent Affairs, Strange Empathy since 2018 under the guidance of Eamon O'Kane and Ane Hjort Guttu.


[1] Quote from Unnelands artistic reflection, 2023.