SYNSMASKINEN is an artistic research conglomerate based at the Institute of Art at the University of Bergen.

Synsmaskinen proposes a multifaceted inquiry into contemporary crises. 

Through a variety of interrelated artistic projects, a politically-charged horizon

comes into focus: apocalyptic abysses, systemic entanglements, and hyper-complex realities.

Tonight :-)


À la recherche de l’information perdue 

a lecture performance by Cornelia Sollfrank

In her text assemblage the artist takes us on an adventurous trip into the realm of zeros and ones, of data and pure information, of ciphers, signifiers and figures. On the other side of reality we encounter suspected heroes, leaks and phreaks, engineers of escape who control our secret desires. Rape can be performed in many ways. In a state of total transparency: what shall we eat, when society feeds upon the repressed? Knowing yourself means knowing what to look for. 

The Mall, St. James's, London SW1Y 5AH, UK
Saturday, 18th of November 2017, 5.30pm (part of the post-cyber live programme starting at 4pm)

Produced as a commission by Synsmaskinen / Unrest* – a lecture- and interview-series investigating the flux between art and politics, initiated by artists Brandon LaBelle and Frans Jacobi at Bergen Academy of Art & Design, KHiB.
Sound design: Malte Steiner


A financial crisis task force entertainment operation featuring

Discoteca Flaming Star, Frans Jacobi, Benedicte Clementsen
with special guests: Brett Scott, Super Heavy Metal



Research Pavilion

Sala del Camino,  Giudecca



Ferdinand A KragFrederik Jacobi

Theis Ørntoft & Frans Jacobi

full film available at:


A financial crisis task force entertainment operation featuring Discoteca Flaming Star, Frans Jacobi, Benedicte Clementsen with special guests: Brett Scott and Super Heavy Metal

30.5.2017 Research Pavilion, Sala del Camino,  Giudecca, Venice

TONIGHT :-) SYNSMASKINEN was the inaguration of SYNSMASKINEN, a new performance-group and research-project established by the artist Frans Jacobi, professor of performance and timebased art at Bergen Academy of Art and Design, KHiB.

TONIGHT :-) SYNSMASKINEN took place as a conglomerate of events at Rom8 in Bergen 23.-30.5.2014

TONIGHT :-) was a cover-version of the play TONIGHT:-), originally done in 1994 by the Norwegian theater-group BAKTRUPPEN in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin and Bergen. By starting out with selecting a work by BAKTRUPPEN, the project SYNSMASKINEN connected to a specific Bergen tradition of group-performance. 

TONIGHT:-) was described as a hyper textual lecture on industry, technology, time and memory on 350m2 synthetic carpets. It now came alive again as a hyper textual seminar on abstract machines on 106m2 genuine carpets. The new version was an attempt at establishing the play as an abstract machine in itself.

This first project constituted the method of SYNSMASKINEN: A group of artists and thinkers are invited to collaborate on establishing an abstract machine. This machine treats the contents at hand and produces a new performance. TONIGHT:-) was a collective machine including various text-passages, a lecture, live internet commentary feed, sound and movement.

In the original play two words were circulated throughout the performance as headlines: MINDSCAPE and FREUDLAND. These two headlines mark the territory: The public collectivity of the internet and the collective subconscious of the participants. In between these two – and in both – TONIGHT:-) develops as a “mixing of different kinds of identities in this mindscape that happens to be situated in Freudland, or the ‘land of metaphorical psychoanalysis’.

MINDSCAPE: when you get your mindbox fixed on deathscape you should not be interactive.

This first version of SYNSMASKINEN consisted of a group of artists and thinkers who each added their functions to the overall machine of TONIGHT:-) :

Swedish artist Kerstin Juhlin installed 106m2 carpets and produced a diagrammatic hyper-script of TONIGHT:-). Austrian writer Gerald Raunig gave the lecture ‘A Thousand Machines’. Norwegian poet Terje Dragseth read and sang from his machinic book ‘Bella Blu’. Norwegian artist-duo Undersentralen aka Kjersti Sundland/Anne Bang Steinsvik improvised sound & video as interruptions and associations together with drummer Kjell-Olav Jørgensen. Artists Cornelia Sollfrank and Joe Coghill added hyper-critical comments and machine sounds live from Dundee in dialogue with artist Amber Ablett, situated in Rom8. Jone Slettebak, Irene Steinsland, Sigrid Fivelstad and Frans Jacobi read original and transmuted texts from Baktruppen, while simultanious translating text into machinic movement. Cecilia Gelin opened the performance as Frans Jacobi: the Artist/Researcher. Frans Jacobi mixed the drinks in the break. 

The following week Rom8 served as the open research-lab of SYNSMASKINEN. 

24.5. at 16.30:  IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE? 
– an introduction by Frans Jacobi

– a dialogue between Margrethe K Brekke and Frans Jacobi set adrift by the film THE SOUND OF PLANTS FIGHTING FOR LIFE by Frederik & Frans Jacobi. 

28.5. at 16.30:  UNDERSENTRALEN
aka Kjersti Sundland/Anne Bang Steinsvik
– digging deeper into Tonight’s footage. 

29.5. at 16.30:  INTRODUCING GOLD MAN 
– performance by Frans Jacobi

30.5. at 16.30:  THE LITTLE BEARS  
– another cover version of another play by Baktruppen (1987).
Performed at Café Opera – as was the original in 1987 - by
Jone Slettebak, Irene Steinsland, Sigrid Fivelstad
and Frans Jacobi.




Kerstin Juhlin, Gerald Raunig, Terje Dragseth, Undersentralen aka Kjersti Sundland/Anne Bang Steinsvik, Kjell-Olav Jørgensen, Cornelia Sollfrank, Joe Coghill, Amber Ablett, Jone Slettebak, Irene Steinsland, Sigrid Fivelstad, Cecilia Gelin, Margrethe K Brekke and Frans Jacobi.


Lecture given by Ronald D Laing (1927-1989) and Leo Matos February 10 1982 as a St Görans Lecture in Stockholm. Introduction by Prof Lennart Westerberg. Laing speaks of Galileo and Bruno: a precise description of the crisis of perception. (scroll to 21:30 for Laing speaking)


UM OUTRO ERRO NAO E POSSIVEL another error is not possible

Etcetera with Cleyton Nascimento, Andressa Cantergiani & Frans Jacobi

performance, Porto Alegre, Brazil 8.7.2016

Thomas Kilpper with Gabrielle TescheSara WinckelmannPedro Ferraz,
woodcut at Vila Flores, Porto Alegre, Brazil 2016

see documentary here



Dignidad / Dignity is a film by Michelle Teran about strategies of recuperation in times of crisis.

Recuperation, in a literal sense, means the recovery or regaining of something.

The film focuses on “La Dignidad,” a residential building in Mostoles, a suburb of Madrid. 

See the film here


Thomas KilpperVila Flores Porto Alegre, Brazil 2016

see documentary here