If national identity or collective memory is seen as the result of a collection of representations, then it’s never too late to add to and improve on this narrative. I am Queen Mary - is a very good place to start this dialogue. The new, hopefully permanent statue is a monument of a rebel woman that challenges Denmark’s „forgotten“ colonial past (and the first public sculpture of a black woman in Denmark (!) Denmark’s past as a colonial power and slave nation is often overlooked in the narrative the country tells itself and others. Until 100 years ago the caribbean islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix og St. Jan were under danish rule. Mary Thomas was a leader of the ‘Fireburn’ labour revolt on St. Croix. The Fireburn began on October 1, 1878 as an uprising against the contractual servitude that continued to bind workers to the plantation system after the 1848 abolition of slavery in the former Danish West Indies. Created by the artists Danish artist Jeannette Ehlers and Virgin Islands artist La Vaughn Belle - they hope to challenge Denmark’s role in slavery, its colonial past and memorialize those who fought against it. The statue occupies the waterfront by Copenhagen’s West Indian Warehouse that stored sugar, rum and other goods produced in Denmark’s former Caribbean colonies. This temporary sculpture is the first part of an endeavour to raise a permanent bronze monument in the same location. Go visit in Copenhagen or on www.iamqueenmary.com
The morning small cloud
Studio roof top: A sun tracker is an instrument that redirects sunlight onto a fixed point by adjusting a mirror in concert with the ‘movement’ of the sun across the sky. In development at the studio for a number of years, the apparatus belongs to a family of optical devices called heliostats – a word deriving from Greek roots that mean stationary sun. In a sense to track the sun is to track yourself, because the sun tracker locates the centre of your orbital ellipse, giving your position right now and rendering visible your path. The reflexive potential lies in understanding that we are in a way the mirrors, circulating, tracking, spinning in our Keplerian ellipses. You and I are not the centre of the universe, but in fact spinning in altruistic space
Excerpt from Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit - in the new studio book, Open House
Brilliant Noise by the artist duo Semiconductor takes us into the data vaults of solar astronomy. After sifting through hundreds of thousands of computer files, made accessible via open access archives, Semiconductor have brought together some of the sun's finest unseen moments. These images have been kept in their most raw form, revealing the energetic particles and solar wind as a rain of white noise. This grainy black and white quality is routinely cleaned up by NASA, hiding the processes and mechanics in action behind the capturing procedure. Most of the imagery has been collected as single snapshots containing additional information, by satellites orbiting the Earth. They are then reorganised into their spectral groups to create time-lapse sequences. The soundtrack highlights the hidden forces at play upon the solar surface, by directly translating areas of intensity within the image brightness into layers of audio manipulation and radio frequencies
Firewood and battery-powered torches are the primary sources of light among the displaced community in Ethiopia, which prove to be challenging to collect or expensive to maintain. Internally displaced women and girls can be highly vulnerable to risks like gender based violence with displacement camps often located far from major infrastructure such as electricity.
Ader and her daughters say they always put it on when they head out to meet with neighbours after dark. “We have received water, food, and other essential items. Almost as important to us now is this light. It has become a real little sunshine in our house. We use it at night to cook and organize our place. Our house is much brighter. Now we spend hours talking around the light,” the mother said, explaining how the Little Sun has brought the family together around it. “Without this light it was dangerous to walk around outside at night.”
IOM - United Nations Migration Agency teamed up with Little Sun to bring an innovative, environmentally conscious alternative of solar lights to better equip displaced families to overcome such challenges. To date, over 20,000 Little Suns were distributed to internally displaced women in Ethiopia through IOM. The dignity kits accompanied 21,535 emergency shelter and core relief packages distributed by IOM in 2017.
Learn more about the Little Sun Foundation
Reality projector, Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles.
Sound recordings at the studio. This audio library was sent to the musician and sound artist Jónsi, who selected, mixed, and arranged the material in dialogue with Olafur into an ambient soundscape to accompany the artwork Reality projector
Join us this Saturday at 5.30 pm at Ras Hotel, Addis Ababa for Poetry Jazz: Wax and Gold - Live concert in Amharic, English, German. The event is an experimental get-together of acclaimed poets and musicians, joining in an exercise of styles and improvisation. They engage in investigations of the geographical places that are based on a plethora of acoustic sources, ranging from traditional flute playing to the latest urban field recordings. Continual shifts in languages, reiteration, fragmentation, translations and re-translations, as well as changes in metres and rhythms, create awareness of the subtle divergences of meaning that can be attributed to social and cultural influences, while exploring the gains and losses of such unspoken and outspoken interactions. www.soe.tv
Two unthought thoughts at the Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing. The exhibition The unspeakable openness of things opens on Sunday
Your embodied garden, 2013, Master of Nets Garden and the Lion Grove Garden, Suzhou, China.
"What particularly interests me about the scholar’s garden are its various temporal aspects: the creation of the garden, the cycle of changing seasons, but also the visitors’ physical moving-through its convoluted and intricately linked spaces. What I find so inspiring is that these different notions of time passing are taken as explicit co-producers of the garden. When I went into the scholar’s garden, I saw the garden, but I also saw the limits of what I could see; I saw the construction of my own way of seeing things. I used the garden to reflect myself. It was gardening me, so to speak, and it was also gardening Steen’s body. It directed his relatively minimal movements, with me giving choreographic input on an intuitive and emotional level: Steen ‘becoming’ a garden, a tree, or a rock, but also becoming a user of the garden, of its conditions. This meant inversing our perspective, to look at the body as a result of the garden, not the other way around." www.soe.tv