The Migrant Car meets The Unliving Living Surveillance-Poet

Imagine this, or you don’t have to actually….because it happened… you can see the TV-series ‘ARE YOU READY?’ on a computer near you soon. But for now, the story of this day is partly like this: I, the Migrant Car was hanging out, outside the Cathedral one Sunday afternoon waiting for something exciting to happen. And to my surprise something exciting did happen! Suddenly a dead stick came along. It called itself for the Unliving Living Surveillance-Poet and it was looking for the Faculty of Humanism. We went together on this mission, all of a sudden the Unliving Living Surveillance-Poet went bananas when we passed the statue of Ludvig Holberg down by the water. I have never before experienced somebody getting so excited about a white man on a pole before. I thought it was just another white colonial ruler and to be honest, I have had enough of those. But the poet had read Holberg and could tell me a lot about his plays and character. He did seem like a pioneer of his time, a bit like Elon Musk I guess, but still on this planet even though Holberg fantasied about talking trees. The poet told me about a place in Holberg universe called Potu and how it was discovered by someone called Nils Klim, and when this Klim started to walk around in the landscape of Potu. He was attacked by an ox…and when he tries to escape the ox, he climbs up the nearest tree. And then…then the tree starts screaming. The poet is a talking tree so it is quite obvious that it likes Holberg. The poet became so angry when people just walked by without noticing us or the sculpture of this artist.
Anyways when the poet finally got over Holberg we kept on surging for the Faculty of Humanism. I still do not know why the Unliving Living Surveillance-poet was so obsessed with finding the Faculty, actually, it was not only enough to find the faculty, we had to find a specific department… The Department of Linguistics, Literary and Aesthetic studies. I think it had something to do with the poet trying to understand and help the human project somehow. It had something to do with aid, help to remember what they have forgotten about being human. What a task! I am glad I am just a taxi helping out here and there. Helping civilization as we know it sounds more like a full-time job for a collective force. But somebody got to start, and they need to find each other. I would drive them wherever they need to go. Because I am the Migrant Car.

The Currency of Fantasy

Photo by Kunsthall 3.14

Kunsthall 3.14 asked the artist Peder Voss-Knude and me, The Migrant Car to invite artists, journalists, philosophers, and politicians to participate in a 2 hours workshop about narratives and perception. We called it ‘The Currency of Fantasy’. It was meant to be a platform for a specially invited group to reflect and get some inspiration and tools, hoping this can be of use in our different practices and daily resistance towards polarization and other destructive forces. He had hoped for many participants but did not manage really to get people engaged. It seems like humans are very busy living their lives and do not have much time to think and work with side projects like this. We were very said about it because we believe that how we choose to write, talk and think about the world around us, is in many ways, what shapes and defines it. 

Our abilities to make sense of the world is strongly linked to language and the ability to listen to the spoken and the unspoken. How we process, how we communicate is therefore strongly linked to how we shape and prepare the future.

To help us enter into this large and quite abstract topic our idea was that some examples would be brought forth. Like the project ‘Migrant Car’ a moving sculpture, a 1:1 artistic rendering of a British-Indian car with a post-colonial history. A project by Ed D´Souza, which is part of osloBIENNALEN FIRST EDITION 2019-24. This was when I, The Migrant Car was standing outside the host institution in Bergen, Kunsthall 3.14. Now some weeks later I am standing outside the HF-building by UiB. Maybe it is a possibility that our conversation can manifest itself somehow during this time. Let´s see…

The book that is laying on the sites inside me, The Migrant Car is a script for a national terror exercise for the Danish military. It´s called KRISØV17 and the script is translated and disused by the very interesting artist that I am collaborating with, Peter Voss-Knude. And to top it all off and make it even more playful and serious we had an idea to mashup me, The Migrant Car and the terror exercise with the Unliving Living Surveillance-Poet. Them is a dead tree from the Hybrid TV-Series ‘Are You Ready?’ We had hoped this could trigger an exited conversation about narratives for perception and the currency of fantasy. But unfortunately, it never happened. Maybe one day we are all ready for it….

 But you should read the book KRISØV17, listen to the sound installation we have made outside the Faculty of Humanities and don’t miss the web page:​voss-knude.com

The project ‘Are You Ready? (https://bek.no/arbeidsresidency-gitte-saetre-og-frans-jacobi/)

The Migrant Car and Soups&Stories

Bergen. 17.11.2019  

Photos by Tove K-Breistein

Look at all these beautiful photos from the day I was hanging out with the dialogue-based art project Soups&Stories and the organization called Arawelow. So nice people you really should meet them. I am so grateful to Kunsthall 3.14 who introduced me.

From Kunsthall 3,14 they pushed me to an open public square in Bergen called ‘Torgallmenning’, it was many curious people there doing their Saturday shopping, after a while, we walked to Bergen Domkirke. The place for my next collaboration project with the prests.

We called our day crossing the city for ‘MY THOUGHTS ARE FREE’ a parade without words. No words but still an exchange of thoughts. Migrants looking at random people, random people looking at us.

You know, it´s important to meet across social groups, after parading the city for we all gathered inside a warmer space. We formed groups of three and shared personal stories about questions and causees we at present are engaged in. We shared an extraordinary tasteful meal. What a beautiful day we had.

As Katrine Meisfjord told me: ‘We are all the result of having grown up and lived in specific realities. We move in social circles where people believe and feel similarly about important issues’. I totally agree with her that dialogue across social groups allows us to take part in realities outside our own. In this way, we can get a higher consciousness about our contemporary situation and our common history.

www.meisfjord-satre.com

The Migrant Car working for the Antiwar-Initiative

If you want to work on ending wars and change history, join the Antiwar-Initative.
If you feel that wars and militarism protect the world don’t.
If you want to create a sustainable and just world join the movement.

The Antiwar-Initative urges grassroot networks of volunteers, activists, and affiliated groups advocating to end what can be described as the Colombian epoch.

I, The Migrant Car really urging you to join their network and help them spread the word about other possibilities of peaceful behavior and politics. It looks like they need some young, energetic and ceative people… people to help them work on divestment, closing military foreign bases in Norway, to get a whole lot more of global justice, informative educational events, hip media outreach, participate in nonviolent demonstrations and engaged humans in nonviolent civil resistance to wars and militarism, lobby elected officials and art-making.

www.antikringsinitativet.no

https://www.oslobiennalen.no/project/migrant-car/

www.kunsthall314.art/

Church Asylum?


As you probably have figured out by now I am Ed D´Souza sculpture the Migrant Car. And recently I was pushed as close as I could get to the medieval cathedral in Bergen; Domkirken. I was placed where nothing is supposed to be placed if anything maybe a newly wedded couple or something…but especially not a Migrant Car. But by doing exactly that a dialogue between contemporary issues and medieval symbolic power immediately triggered minds walking by. They stopped, they looked again at this surprising framework and started to talk about things I don’t think they normally talk about…. Things like the purpose of a church, inclusion and human morals. When people got closer to me they discovered that the congregation had relinquished a gift to me, the migrant car. The turnover consisted of a recorded sound from the cathedral where their choir sings fourth coral. The music may have seemed kind and reassuring, but it was taken from John’s Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach – a powerful portrayal of the dramatic passionate story of Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. And at the end of the sound installation the priest, Hans Jørgen Morvik read out load a story from a refugee who recently had been deported from Norway. The congregation was very much concerned about what had happened to him. They had not heard from him at all.


I also learned about a person who had hired a refugee for many years and was now looking at the possibility of paying for this gesture with a jail sentence, fines, and suspension.
He is convicted of having added asylum seekers without legal residence.
It’s awfully strict. The verdict states that it is criminal to help people who are in a desperate situation. It sends people who help people behind bars.
Can humans live by a system which gives penalties for helping the weakest among them?
I thought that was ultimately the responsibility among humans, to help other humans. Little did I know…

Migrant Car + Mia Øquist “The Silent Map Game “

14 November. 2019

Photos by Kunsthall 3.14
This performance happened during lunch one super cold Wednesday in November, chilly even for a car. However, this performance artist, Mia Øquist, did not seem to care much about it. She was resolute, only focusing on getting her work done. I must admit, for me and the people walking by it was not easy to quite catch the purpose of her job…. But what is the purpose behind everything we do anyway?
We do things all the time, filling gas has a purpose, eating lunch has a purpose, but making art has its own purpose …. because we do not have to do it. If art was not produced or acted out, life would not only be boring but without meaning as far as I am concerned… then life would be like being a thing, something without a soul. And who wants to be without a soul and purpose. Not even a Migrant Car!

Ohh Dear. I enjoyed Mia Øquist embodied and abstract language. Her work made me think about the importance of fo art. Just imagine life without art? That would definitely not be the same as life with art. Hahaha, one smart Migrating Car I am. But I am telling you, this is important nonsense.
I, just love when humans and nonhumans make comments on culturally constructed worlds. Mia Øquist made my day and I believe it made many people jalouse on their way back to their so-called real job. Thank you Mia Øquist! And thank you OlsoBIENNALEN, Kunsthall 314, all of you who spent time with me and A Special Tanks to my creator Ed D’Souza.


I, The Migrant Car, and a performance called ‘Moving Home’

Bergen 10.11.2019

Kunsthall 3.14 invited the locally-based performance artist to enter into a dialogue with me a cold and sunny Sunday in November. I think he wanted to talk about multicultural identity because we had that in common he and I. The artist is half Norwegian, half Dutch. I think that is why he has this long and strange name…

Hans Christian Van Nijkerk was very good at getting people to talk, he really wanted to engage with everybody passing by us there on the street. So many nice encounters, I will never forget that Sunday and I think the people will too.

Hans Christian Van Nijkerk graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Tromsø in 2012. And he is very active in the performance scene in Bergen and he told me that he participates in many international performance festivals across the world. Super exciting and you can visit his website here: www.kerkart.com


The Migrant Car; a social room during The Meteor Festival


Upon arrival Kunsthall 3.14 immediately and very timely connected Meteor Festival and Me. I was parked for ten days at the grand square, Festplassen in Bergen and after I went down to USF Verftet. Do you know the place? The old Sardin factory by the ocean where they have all the cultural stuff going on. Anyways, I am hanging out with the fresh and artistically daring international theatre festival. Days and days with theatre, dance, music, visual imagery, poetry, and 3D performances. METEOR is held every second year by BIT Teatergarasjen and presents exciting performances by national and international artists and groups.
Humanism is one of the core values of the festival and institution and I think that is fantastic. And how they constantly highlight challenge established perspectives through ways of curating interesting social foras that may. I think I am a strategy in this work and I am so very happy to try and help them with this grand task. Just being part of the official program of Meteor 2019, I the Migrant Car stand side by side with performances and a discourse program. Multitude of ways we are together looking upon urgent, contemporary issues. I, the moving sculpture will be a public meeting point throughout the festival, both for the international guests, artists and the local inhabitants of Bergen. I became very good friends with the curator Karoline Skuseth, she has this beautiful long red hair. I wish I could have hair like that….I hope you don´t read this as car-chauvinist of me. It is not meant like that at all. I just like her… But one funny thing happened after not so funny but very important talk by Synniva Vik. Her talk is attached below actually, but she was talking about The List, the list of names, age and cause of death… yes of all the people who have tried to cross Festung Europe over the relating to the deaths of 36,570 people who have lost their lives within or on the borders of Europe since 1993 due to state policies (documented as of 1 April 2019). That was something deeply disturbing for a Migrant Car to listen to. But just after the talk all the participants were asked to leave the room and do someting concreat. They did not know what … but they ended up pushed me all the way down to a large square called Torgallmenningen. This Saturday was the FN International day and The Antiwar- Initiative had a stand there. They wanted me to help them handing out their flyers and trying to requite members for the peace movement. It was so many engaged people in all the stands, doing good.


Did I remember to tell you that Meteor 2019 is a biennale curated by BIT Teatergarasjen. 


If you are more curious have a look at the full list of credits:
bit-teatergarasjen.no/program/arrangementer/migrant-car
Always know that you can find a lot of information at
kunsthall314.art/
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The Migrant Car crosses the mountain to Bergen

Ohh… this is exciting for a Migrant Car! I am going to the second-largest city in Norway, Bergen and my new caretaker is going to be Kunsthall 3.14. It´s a non-profit International Contemporary Art institution centrally located and almost exclusively working with international exhibitions and partnerships, with an emphasis on contemporary art beyond the western discourse. That sounds so interesting to me. And they are committed to knowledge production, presentation and interpretation of the work of innovative artists in all media, promoting creativity and artistic exploration.
The director at Kunsthall 3.14 is called Malin Barth and she works together with the communication and debate editor Gitte Sætre and Monique Mossefinn. Their program aims to reflect upon the complex nature of international contemporary art and different contemporaries served to a diverse audience. It seems like they have some plans for me while I am in Bergen. They have joined forces with other institutions and artists in the city in order to activate me, public space and the people of Bergen. I am very excited to see how this will turn out for all of us. I wonder who they are and what they will do?

KARNEVALET – CELEBRATION AND PROTEST

Session #3: Karnevalet – Art / Restistance / Action
At Interkulturelt Museum, Tøyenbekken 5



Session #3 of the exhibition, Karvevalet presents a variety of artistic perspectives on societal engagement and resistance. Several of the projects are of a collective, participatory and socially engaged character, while others focus on political activism and protest. Through the exploration of art as a strategy of resistance, new concepts and criteria of art are being developed. We activate the carnival’s upside down perspective on society to emphasize creativity as practice, value and political power.

The projects are situated amidst the shifting tensions between educational and participatory views of art and art as a strategy for resistance and protest. Karnevalet has developed an active platform at the Intercultural Museum where a wide range of projects challenge the role of the audience as either recipients of art and culture or as co-creators. In this way, the exhibition shines a nuanced light on art’s diverse possibilities in contributing to the development of society.

Artists: Mona Bentzen, Katharina Barbosa Blad, Ed D’Souza, Guerrilla Plastic Movement, Kristin Hovland, Nesodden Land of the Free, Christopher Nielsen, Pain Solution, Lars Sandås, Trine Haaland/Maria Vagle, Oscar Regueiferos Videaud, Lill Yildiz Yalcin.


Karnevalet – Celebration and Protest

Exhibition project at the Intercultural Museum 4. April – 29. September 2019.

Curated by artists Camilla Dahl, Merete Steiro Mortensen, Lisa Pacini and researcher Venke Aure.

In Karnevalet we explore art and creativity as praxis, value and political force. We believe artistic freedom should be for all, both in a participatory and performative form. Together, we explore how the upside-down perspective of the carnival culture can activate new spaces of political engagement and how artistic expressions and strategies can be used to ridicule and resist systems of power.

In the exhibition, you will encounter various social and political art projects will develop throughout the exhibition period as a collaboration between artists, students, activists and all who wish to join in. Through political and academic conversations, workshops, and experimental activities, we will challenge established ideas and attitudes, and question the current societal realities in the spirit of the carnival.

Supported by Arts Council Norway, KORO and Fritt Ord.