Resisting Nature

The Aesthetics of a Fading Division


A one-day symposium at The Art Academy in Bergen (KMD / UiB)

13th of November. 10:00.

By: Matter, Gesture and Soul

A project supported by Norwegian Artistic Research Program (NARP) and KMD/UiB


Welcome to this one-day symposium at The Art Academy in Bergen (UiB). 

The topic is our past, present, and future relationship to nature seen from the perspectives of Art and Archaeology. 

Keynote: The Sublime in the Anthropocene by Nicolas Bourriaud.

The approaches will be multi-disciplinary, with a special emphasis on Ochre, a natural compound used by humans for at least 200 000 years.


Nicolas Bourriaud (F) 

The sublime in the Anthropocene

Cyril de Commarque (F)

Signs in nature, from memories to future, a relation to the surrounding

Heidi Gustafsen (US)

What does ochre want from us?

Marte Johnslien (N)

TiO2: The Materiality of White

Elizabeth Velliky (US)

Ochre lifeworlds: perspectives from archaeology and deep time


Nicolas Bourriaud

Nicolas Bourriaud, born in 1965, is a curator and writer. He is the founder of Radicants; Paris.
Bourriaud was the director of Montpellier Contemporain (MoCo), an institution he created, gathering the La Panacée art centre, the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and the MoCo Museum, from 2016 to 2021. He was the director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris from 2011 to 2015. From 2010 to 2011, he headed the studies department at the Ministry of Culture in France. He was Gulbenkian Curator for Contemporary Art at Tate Britain in London from 2007 to 2010 and founder advisor for the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in Kyiv. He also founded and co-directed the Palais de Tokyo, Paris between 1999 and 2006.

He has written numerous influential books like Relational Aesthetics from 2002, Postproduction, Altermodern and The Radicant from 2009 and now his latest book Inclusions from 2022 which happens to be one of the important inspirations for this symposium.


Cyril de Commarque

Cyril de Commarque (b.1970, France) lives and works in Rome, after different years of activity in London and Berlin. Cyril de Commarque has had numerous exhibitions and an acclaimed sound performance in London for which he built a 25-meter-long polished/mirrored boat sculpture entitled Fluxland, which navigated along the river Thames hosting conferences and events on board. Artificialis was his last show in London, Saatchi gallery, in 2019. His works have been subject to numerous solo shows and featured in prominent group shows, including the Macro Museum, The Foundation Louis Vuitton, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini during the Venice Biennial.


Heidi Gustafsen

Heidi Gustafson is an artist and ochre specialist based in the rainy, volcanic North Cascades of rural northern Washington, USA. Her highly collaborative and intuitive projects include an ochre sanctuary with over 600 earth pigments from around Earth. Called the “woman archiving the world’s ochers” by the New York Times, and the “ochre whisperer” in American Craft, her work has been featured in several books and publications including The Dark Mountain ProjectColossal, Kinfolk, Das Kunstmagazin, China Life Magazine, True Colors: World Masters of Natural Dyes and Pigment and many others. She’s the author of Book of Earth: A Guide to Ochre, Pigment, and Raw Color (Abrams, 2023).

Graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art's event-based sculpture department, studied forensic science at the University of Baltimore and holds an MA in Philosophy and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Website: / Instagram: @heidilynnheidilynn.


Marte Johnslien

Marte Johnslien (1977) is a visual artist and researcher who lives and works in Oslo, Norway. She is an associate professor in Ceramic Art at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, department of Art and Craft, and holds a PhD in artistic research. She is the PI of the research project TiO2: The Materiality of White (MoW), and Co-PI of TiO2: How Norway Made the World Whiter (NorWhite), in collaboration with art and architecture historian Ingrid Halland (UiB).


Dr Elizabeth (Beth) Velliky

Postdoctoral Fellow in archaeology at the University of Bergen SFF Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE) in Bergen, Norway. She holds a dual doctorate in Archaeology from the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia, and the University of Tübingen in Tübingen, Germany. Her research focus is to combine methods and perspectives from archaeology, anthropology, geology, chemistry, contemporary art and ethnography to study the relationship between mineral pigment use and early human cultural evolution, expression and symbolism. She has applied her research perspectives to sites in Canada, Germany, eSwatini, and South Africa, where her current work focuses on the mineral pigment assemblages from Blombos and Klipdrift caves and how these behaviours impacted and shaped the culture and society of the earliest humans in Africa, and how these evolved over time. Aside from mineral pigments, she also engages in rock art, personal ornaments, raw material acquisition and transportation, and symbolic behaviours more generally. She has worked on sites in the USA, Canada, Germany, Israel, Oman, eSwatini, South Africa, and Norway.