Tonight :-)

2061 Inmoral Lidos

Another world is possible

Another error is not possible

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.

The first phase of Synsmaskinen operated between 2014 and 2018.

Led by Frans Jacobi, Åse Løvgren & Benedicte Clementsen.







Grenseløse Navn

Dreams of a Sovereign Citizen


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.

Dark Pools are an emerging format of secret, algorithmic stock trading with an increasing impact on global economics.

Based on the method of 'semantic fields', generated by interviews with experts, Synsmaskinen have created an artwork that ’bounces’ off the opaque surface of the Dark Pools and shapes a bended universe, part fiction, part wild research.

In a year-long artistic investigation of the phenomena of Dark Pools and their principal inaccessibility, Benedicte Clementsen, Frans Jacobi and Discoteca Flaming Star, have produced a pool of texts, that attempts to penetrate the phenomena of the Dark Pools, not by revealing their hidden powers – by the end of the day they are like any stockmarket, just better – but by carving out their liquid desires and by investigating how these structures cast enigmatic shadows unto their surroundings. These are the pools of twisted fantasies that are explored in 2061 INMORAL LIDOS.


University Settlement - The Performance Project

New York City


Grüner Salon / Volksbühne



30.5. & 31.5.2017
Research Pavilion

Giudecca / Venice



Frans Jacobi, Benedicte Clementsen, Wolfgang Mayer, Cristina Gomez Barrio, Discoteca Flaming Star + Robert M Ochshorn, James Galbraith, Miss Sherrie Vine, Sara Pereira, Dagmar Gabler, Anita Di Bianco, Valentina Mayer Gomez, Brett Scott & Super Heavy Metal (Kim Åke Furuhaug)


External links


In the summer of 2014 a series of deep craters were found at Yamal Peninsula at the furthest north of Siberia. Scientist suggest that these enormous holes in the tundra are created by severe explosions of methane gas – as a consequence of increasing temperatures caused by global warming. 

Inherent in the scientific thinking on the methane craters, that is found both on Yamal Peninsula and in the depths of the Barents Sea, exist the suggestion of a so-called climatic feedback-loop – with potential catastrophic consequences for the global climate. The siberian holes in themselves have a visual and aesthetic appeareance that matches these apocalyptic undertones of the scientific discourses.

The area where the craters were found is populated by the nomad-people the Nenets, an ancient shamanistic culture. In the mythology of the Nenets the terms si and nio both indicate a hole or a passage:

The primordial hearth, which was the source of the notions haehae and haeywy, as well as of hae’ (thunder) and hae (deep/whirlpool), was most likely a symbol of some ‘living force’ that filled all space – from the female ‘bottom/low place’ and the male ‘top’ to the very limits of the sky and the waters.

The art-project BURST is a series of contemplations on the methane craters and their possible meaning. By combining scientific discourse, ancient Nenet-mythology and political satire the project explores how the craters can be used as metaphors for the potential passage through the sky and the waters, that is now suggested by both the scientific community and the Pope, as a possible consequence of capitalisms all-encompassing grip of the globe (antropocen).

BURST has been manifested as a film, a performance, a script and a talkshow.

MASKIN documents

Various documents relating to this project can be found here:


The core research-group of BURST has been Frans Jacobi (visual artist) and Åse Løvgren (visual artist.

The film BURST is produced by Frans Jacobi in collaboration with Frederik Jacobi (film-maker), Theis Ørntoft (poet) and Ferdinand Ahm Krag (visual artist).

The performance BURST, based on a script by Frans Jacobi was produced in collaboration with Christina René, Markus Samnell, Gitte Sætre, Hamado Gebremichael, Kristian Gaahl Espedal, Edvard Sundby, Njål Clementsen and Frans Jacobi.

The talkshow CLIMATE CRISIS, METHANE BURSTS AND IMBALANCE took place at Meteor Festival 2015 in Bergen with contributions from: Jacob Lillemose, Karin Andreassen, Hilde Mehti, Signe Lidén, Frans Jacobi, Margrethe K Brekke, John Perlin & Alicia Cohen. Moderators: Pope Francis and Thomas Moore.


burst-a-drama-on-global-heating.pdf (10.29 MB)

GRENSELØSE NAVN investigates a crisis of perception, through a series of symbolic images – the v-shaped formation of a flock of geese, a sunlit plateau in the southern France, a crashed car in a mental asylum.

These images are connected by a collective travelogue, tracing back the trajectory of Antoine Artaud and Felix Guattari. A new free perception, where images emerge as poetic carriers of an alternating vision. From a rational scientific world-view in crisis to a renewed poetic vison, carried by a psychotic sensibility.

With Volve Vokal as the V-shaped procession of geese, a stranded car covered by dust from the experimental mental clinic La Borde (in France, where Guattari was director in the 60ties and 70ties) and an essayistic video, attempting to re-create a visionary poetic psychosis.

Synsmaskinen & Volve Vokal

Film + performance for a stranded car and a choir (total 30 minutes)

Artistic Research Forum: PKU/KMD, Bergen September 2018

Synsmaskinen (Benedicte Clementsen, Kjersti Sundland, Ole Christian Ellestad & Frans Jacobi)

Volve Vokal (all female choir led by Hild C Vang & Thea Sjule)



The film Dignidad/Dignity focuses on “La Dignidad,” a residential building in Mostoles, a suburb of Madrid. The building was constructed during the real-estate boom but never occupied after the property market collapsed following the Spanish financial crisis starting in 2008.

See the film here

Housing activists from Stop Desahucios (Stop Evictions) in Mostoles took over the building in June 2014, and christened it “La Dignidad.” The activists made the decision to take over the building when they realized that more and more people coming to the weekly housing assemblies were either already homeless or were about to be evicted the following week. There are fifty people, individuals, and families, currently living in “La Dignidad,” 18 are children under the ages of 10.

The building “La Dignidad” is part La Obra Social (Social Work), a nation-wide campaign initiated by the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) which targets the hundreds of thousands of empty apartment buildings constructed during the Spanish housing bubble.

Most of the events and encounters portrayed in Dignity/Dignidad occur between Mostoles and Madrid, Spring/Summer 2015, during the post-election environment of new city governments lead by “rebel” mayors, and the Greek bailout referendum. Dull Janiell Hernández, a Cuban filmmaker and one of the occupants of La Dignidad, acts as editor for the film.

The project La Dignidad (Dignity) focuses on the creative strategies of recuperation in times of crisis. Recuperation, in a literal sense, means the recovery or regaining of something. When tackling questions of housing, within the right-to-housing debate, recuperation means to recover something that is rightfully yours: the right to decent housing and a dignified life, the right to housing as a primary necessity and not a commodified good, the right to a community and not a society of individuals, the right to the city as a commons.

La Dignidad (Dignity) looks at La Obra Social, a recuperation campaign currently implemented by the PAH, a right-to-housing movement operating throughout Spain. The PAH, a citizen-led, nonpartisan movement, was established to fill a gap in insufficient measures within government for dealing with the housing crisis and an unfair mortgage system and to make visible the abuses of power by the financial systems.

Within La Obra Social campaign, housing activists target empty apartment buildings which were constructed during the Spanish property bubble (1996-2008) but never lived in. The banks are the current owners of the buildings: they took over possession of the property from bankrupt developers who defaulted on their investment loans. The banks received huge bailouts by the government, while, at the same time, people were being evicted from their homes at unprecedented levels. The activists use these buildings, to relocate families and individuals with housing difficulties. According to the housing activists, if the banks belong to the public, then the houses do as well. These small, but steady acts of resistance challenge the logic of neoliberalism: small, but large, victories which can be easily shared and repeated in other locations.

La Obra Social Manual (The Social Work Manual)
The Obra Social Manual, a 25-page manual of civil disobedience on the tactics of recuperating houses- a direct action how-to. The manual describes the tactics of the Obra Social campaign launched by the PAH in 2012. It offers a step-by-step guide for reinstating the social use of empty housing owned by banks, by putting them in the hands of evicted individuals and families. The Obra Social manual is a model for alternate approaches to living in times of crisis. It provides a step-by-step guide to recuperation: how to find buildings, which buildings to target, the relation between real-estate speculation and eviction, how to enter a building, and how stay once you are inside.

The Obra Social (Social Work) Manual is a translation project initiated by artist Michelle Teran and published by The Journal of Aesthetics& Protest. The English translation accompanies Dignity/Dignidad, a feature-length film about an Obra Social building in Mósteles, Madrid, and the Reclaiming Workshop, both developed in 2016.

The original Spanish version was released by the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) in 2013.
Download English version here.

Designed by Fré Sonneveld at Chasin’ Pigeons.
Producer: Synsmaskinen


MASKIN documents

Various documents relating to this project can be found here:
MASKIN La Dignidad



Michelle Teran
Dull Janiell Hernandez
Stop Desahucios Mostoles
La Dignidad
La Obra Social


External links


Utopian visions, hopes for the future, dreams of solidarity, or of standing alone, withdrawn; organizational principles, creative instituting, formations of tribes and festivities, and the desire for togetherness, especially that which may unsettle or renew the inherent insurrectionary drive at the heart of the imagination.

I dream, I imagine, I work with materials, and I reach out, toward others, and toward potential forms and expressions; I am restless, I am dissatisfied, I am haunted by the not yet, and driven toward a production and poetry that may hint at forms of inhabitation, structures of living, that may already suggest, through its temporary construction and performativity, a future to come.

The project sets out to dialogue with questions of democratic crisis and the realities of loss, disenfranchisement, precarity, and insecurity that shape contemporary life. In response, the project unfolds as a series of Dreams – scenarios, actions, meditations, and material expressions produced on site and in places around the world. Over the course of one-year, I will create a Dream Diary, with each entry constructed around a set of historical and cultural references (of past solidarities and resistances, of cultures of dissidence and hopeful imagining); these will inform the particular presentations and scenarios, while also functioning as raw materials for realizing “anarchic manifestations”.

By physically traveling and working within a range of global locations, confronting situations, collaborating and exchanging with individuals and institutions, I intend to act as a “global citizen”. I will attempt to perform conditions of citizenship by entering these contrasting and complex locations, dreaming aloud and creating situations that may refer us to a notion of “direct relationships” at the heart of anarchic principles. In response to democratic crisis, I’m interested to pose and embody an anarchic theory – a citizenry from below; through self-organization, shared resources, deep care and radical imagining one may realize a citizenry of the anti-political.

Brandon LaBelle , October 2016



Brandon LaBelle
Octavio Camargo
Ybakatu Gallery, Curitiba
Soledad García Saavedra
Errant Sound, Berlin
Evelina Turkovic
Gallery Forum, Zagreb
Jeremy Woodruff
Diego Rotman
Luis Guerra


External links

The ‘crisis of representation’ is growing and the diffuse dialectical confrontation between ‘two models’ of ideology is increasing; the tension on the political level and in the social-sphere is dramatic. Democracy and all its institutions are threatened by new onslaugths of neo-liberal ‘reform’.

The research-project ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE / ANOTHER ERROR IS NOT POSSIBLE uses the current political situation in Brazil – a possible coup d’etat, an opaque impeachment-process, corruption in the highest places and a fierce new, neo-liberal (coup) government - as a dramatic case story.

With a first research-base in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, the project considers the World Social Forum as a model of political representation. World Social Forum was founded in Porto Alegre in 2001 and held its first global summits here. The initial slogan of the forum - ‘Another World is Possible!’ - is twisted into the ambiguous title of the project, that pinpoints the the arguments on both sides of the current ‘state of emergency’ that Brazil seems to be heading into.

In a series of artworks and performative actions the artists participating in ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE / ANOTHER ERROR IS NOT POSSIBLE attempts to visualize and give voice to this deep conflict. What kind of imagination – artistic and political – is needed to challenge a reality of increasing violent, social division?

In Brazil, right now in the mids of this crisis, we see artists and cultural workers unite and acting against the forces of the neo-liberal coup. Artists have occupied Cultural Administrations/Ministeries all over the country and are engaging in the resistant struggles of teachers/students and other repressed groups. All of a sudden art and culture is again part of the struggles for democracy and equal rights; a new artistic and political imaginary emerges.

With ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE / ANOTHER ERROR IS NOT POSSIBLE we try to investigate and infiltrate this new imaginary.

Main contributors: Thomas Kilpper, Grupo Etcetera (Federico Zukerfeld & Loreto Garin Guzman), Frans Jacobi


MASKIN documents

Various documents relating to this project can be found here:



Thomas Kilpper
Grupo Etcetera (Federico Zukerfeld & Loreto Garin Guzman)
Cleyton Nascimento
Frans Jacobi
Andressa Cantergiani
Gabrielle Tesche
Sara Winckelmann
Pedro Ferraz
Isabel Waquil
Galeria Peninsula
Vila Flores
Goethe Institute Porto Alegre


full film available at:

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



Divine Comedy

Zagreb / The Hobo Subject
Event: October 27, 2016 / 17:00 – 22:00
Exhibition: October 28 – November 7, 2016
Gallery Forum
Teslina 16, Zagreb

You've paid the going wages, that's what kept us on the bum.
You say you've done your duty, you chin-whiskered son of a gun.
We have sent your kids to college, but still you rave and shout.
And call us tramps and hoboes, and pesky go-abouts.
But now the long wintry breezes are a-shaking our poor frames,
And the long drawn days of hunger try to drive us boes insane.
It is driving us to action-we are organized today;
Us pesky tramps and hoboes are coming back to stay.


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)


The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is used as the structural device of 2-year seminar/reading-group/drawing/script-writing-circle in collaboration between KHiB, Art Department and Department of Teatervitenskap, UiB. DIVINE COMEDY is organised by professors Frans Jacobi and Hilde Hauan, KHiB, professor Knut Ove Arntzen, UiB.

Is our new version of the comedy also divine? Can sin/redemption be applied to contemporary politics? Is optimism possible in the late stages of capitalism? Or are we ’all fucked’ – to qoute the american climate scientist Jason Box.

We read the Divine Comedy and through artistic media we transform the text into a tale of contemporary political crisis. This new 'storyboard' will constitute the script for a so-called 'mysteriespill' performed at a number of 'simultan-scener' in the public space of Bergen. The transformation process will be informed by and corresponding with other events in SYNSMASKINEN. The group of students and teachers taking part in DIVINE COMEDY will gather for cirka 2 work-sessions each semester.


The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri was written in 1320. It is a long poem, a narrative in verses; pointed to as the first novel in litterature. It is a selfbiography in the sense that Dante himself is the main figure in a fantastic narrative about the ’afterlife’ – the passage from the living to the dead. The allegorical world of The Divine Comedy consists of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. Each of these areas are sub-divided into an intricate architechture of terraces and landscapes. Led by the poet Virgil, Dante passes through the 9 circles of Hell, the 7 mountain terraces of Purgatory and the 10 heavens of Paradise. The Divine Comedy is an account of this travel, and a moral tale of politics and love.


Mystery plays (from the Latin "misterium" meaning "occupation") are among the earliest formally developed theatre-formats in medieval Europe. Medieval mystery plays focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableaux with accompanying antiphonal song. Oftentimes they were performed together in cycles which could last for days. The name derives from mystery used in its sense of miracle.


Simultanteater is a medieval form of theater, often connected to Mysteriespil. A story was presented, not on one stage, but on a series of stages simultaniously. The audience organised the narrative by walking from one stage to another. The structure could be frontal – the stages was set up as a line - or ’in the round’, spread out over a square. In the english version the various stages was mounted on waggons driving around the cityscape.


the first year of Divine Comedy, contained 3 gatherings:


October 16.-18. 2015 at USF, Verfet
Synsmaskinen: BURST was presented as part of Meteor Festival. A 3-day program of talks, film and performance took us into the machinery of the climate crisis. Participants in DIVINE COMEDY followed these presentations and an initial introduction meeting took place.


November 16.-19. at KHiB, Bergen
A 4 day working session and exhibition in collaboration with artist Christian Finne.


Lecture: Knut-Ove Arntzen: Scenic reception of Divina Comedie in the context of Thomas Aquinas and the theatre of the middle ages.


Reading, dicussing, drawing; transforming the verses of The Divine Comedy into the contemporary. Where is the entrance to Contemporary Hell? What is the modern version of the river Acheron and Charon’s ferry? And how can we describe Limbo – the mental state of the first circle of hell – today?


Februar 15.-20. at KHiB, Bergen
A 5 day working session and exhibition in collaboration with artist Britta Marakatt Labba


Gunnar Danbolt, professor emeritus: Dante’s HELL as it appears in the history of art.
Britta Marakatt Labba, sami artist: On Sami mythology and everyday life in narrative embroidery.
Knut-Ove Arntzen: Divina Comedia and the baroque Stage Machine in perspective of the scenic landscape.

MASKIN documents


Various documents relating to this project can be found here:
MASKIN Divine Comedy

Ingrid Skåland Eriksen: Anger, Greed & Resentment, embroidery 2016