An Orchestra of Forces

On the surface of the earth, in a midsize European metropolis, stands a red-brick industrial building – an artist’s studio. Its concrete foundations hold ercely on to the planet, just as the planet holds fiercely on to the studio. Inside, on the ground floor, a stone table supports the weight of a sheet of paper; it feels the weight where the rough-hewn surface makes contact with the page.
The stone has been around for hundreds of years. The paper, much younger, enjoys the cold, solid support, aware that the oor and foundations beneath the table were built upon the very same earth from which the paper, as a sapling, once grew. The paper is mindful of its scarcity as a resource. It is about to engage with a pencil. The pencil gets together with its companion, the hand. It is a listening hand, in uid motion. The movements conjure a hand dance of pushing and being pushed. Sometimes the pencil leads, sometimes the hand. There’s some friction in the interaction.
The weight of the hand and of the pencil travels to the paper, onwards to the table, and further down to the foundations of the building and to the planet. The pencil is conscious of its ability to push the planet.
As the pencil pushes, the planet pushes back. The table readily hosts the downward and upward forces, negotiating. The meeting-up of trajectories gives rise to the drawing. As much as the relationship is vertical at rst glance, there are also sideways connections, and spinning and orbital activity. The drawing is drawing upon and travelling in various dimensions. At this moment, the pencil is catching up with an idea that has come from the future, but has not yet been scribbled down. Time is its companion. The listening hand enjoys the apparently abstract agenda of the pencil; it accepts the unspeakable openness of things. It is too soon, at this point in time, to introduce a subject.
Contribution to Hyperobjects for Artists - a reader, edited by Timothy Morton and Laura Copelin with Peyton Gardner

The speed of your attention, Tanya Bondakdar Gallery, Los Angeles
Photos by Jeff McLane

SOE KITCHEN 101 - a temporary culinary project in Reykjavik - is open until the end of the month. Check out the events programme, workshops, and menues, and book a seat at the long table on the project site.

1m3 light, 1999. How does one visualise the ephemeral? How does one measure the non-visible? My son recently asked me whether he had saved much CO2 from being emitted into the air by using the Little Sun solar lamp I designed. He also wanted to know why, if a tonne of CO2 weighs so much, it does not drop to the ground. And where is it? To him, a tonne is heavy and physical and not an intangible mass distributed in the atmosphere. His questions made me realise how little I myself know about CO2. When I was my son’s age, back in the late seventies, there was no discussion of climate change. Nature was where I spent my summers, in a tent in the Icelandic highlands, a stark contrast to the Copenhagen I lived in. These natural and manmade realms could not be more separate. But today, there is no nature outside of human activity. Our survival and future depend on understanding the effects of CO2 consumption and acting on that understanding.

But what do we understand? What, for instance, is a tonne of CO2? Is it hot or cold, wet or dry? Perhaps it would help to know that one tonne of CO2 could be imagined as a cube the size of a three-storey house, or that, when frozen, it would form a block of dry ice about 0.67 cubic meters in size. But what does that actually tell me if I do not know how much CO2 I produce in a year or on an average day? What does it tell me if I do not sense my interrelationship with planet Earth?

We need science to tell us that the weight of CO2 is based on the atomic mass of the molecules. A scientist can tell me that a tonne of CO2 is equal to the energy expenditure of a house for about a month, a small car driven for two days non-stop, or a 747 flying for less than two minutes; and that because of the greenhouse effect, excessive amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere lead to global warming.

But, for many people, science alone is not enough to compel action. It struck me, when I was looking up this data, that it was familiar, that I had seen it more than once in the media, and I somehow knew most of it. So I asked myself why does knowing not translate into doing when so much is at stake?

Rainbow, a digital artwork, is now available on the Acute Art App

SOE KITCHEN 101, Reykjavik. Feature produced by Deutsche Welle/Kirsten Schumann

At the recent Pathway to Paris in San Francisco, Olafur capped off the Global Climate Action Summit by leading the audience in creating a Little Sunrise using 2,400 Little Sun solar lamps. After the performance, the lamps were sent, with the help of the Upaya Zen Center and Everest Awakening, to communities living in high-altitude, remote areas of Nepal without access to electricity. Founded by Rebecca Foon and Jesse Paris Smith, and organised in partnership with and the United Nations Development Programme, Pathway to Paris brings together musicians, artists, activists, academics, mayors, and innovators to help raise consciousness of the urgency of climate action and of solutions for turning the Paris Agreement into action.
Send a Little Sun lamp to someone in urgent need of energy:

Herb picking workshop with Björk Bjarnadottir, SOE KITCHEN 101, Reykjavik. Check out the event programme here
Video by Timothee Lambrecq

The speed of your attention, Tanya Bondakdar Gallery, Los Angeles
Photos by Jeff McLane

I’m extremely excited to share with you the new design of SOE.TV. Conceived with my studio team, this platform is a transmitter of concrete and abstract ideas, of topics that are relevant to my artistic practice and to issues central to the work of Studio Olafur Eliasson. SOE.TV is starting out locally, focusing on what I know well, but in the near future I hope that it will outgrow me, becoming a go-to platform that intertlaces culture and society. I’m positive that this clear, bold site, designed and developed by Alan Woo, will speak to art world and non–art audiences alike

Kødbyens Fiskebar from Copenhagen will be guests at SOE KITCHEN 101 this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Restauranteur Anders Selmer along with head chef Jamie Lee and chefs Victor Villatte and Søren Sørensen will be bringing some of Copenhagen’s vibrant culinary spirit to Marshall House, sharing their love for fresh fish and creating a special dinner menu for dinner guests on three evenings. Having been sommelier and restaurant manager at Noma for many years, Anders pioneered in Copenhagen’s meatpacking district by opening one of the first restaurants there in 2009. Dinner reservations are encouraged, but walk-ins are also welcome. To make a reservation email

The kind host, 2018 - part of The speed of your attention, opening tomorrow at Tanya Bondakdar's new gallery space in Los Angeles

Tonight: Join us on the Pathway To Paris in San Francisco. You can also follow a live-stream of Olafur's performance via Instagram

Every Thursday is Music For Diners night at SOE KITCHEN 101 - Tonight's line-up consists of musicians Ólöf Arnalds, Skúli Sverrisson, and Arnljótur Sigurðsson. See full event programme here: SOE KITCHEN 101

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - visiting people who use their Little Sun on a daily basis instead of expensive and unhealthy kerosene. Get your own hand held solar power station here:

Why art has the power to change to world. Read full statement via Instagram

Weather the weather, Ordrupgaard, Denmark. Photo: Maria Sattrup. via Instagram

We're very excited to share our radically re-designed video platform: SOE.TV – created by designer and developer Alan Woo in collaboration with the studio. Reaching out to a global audience, SOE.TV offers glimpses into the experiment-based, research-driven work at the studio and the activities of SOE Kitchen, as well as documentation of Eliasson’s artworks, architectural projects, and exhibitions. SOE.TV also includes rich archival footage from workshops, events, and symposia hosted by the studio and IFREX, the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments). As the platform grows, it will expand to host films by a range of artists, thinkers, filmmakers, researchers, and more.

Happy Ethiopian New Year! We are celebrating with these lovely memories from this year’s poetry jazz collaboration. Read World Literature Today and find more contributions and poems.

Poetry Jazz: Wax and Gold is an experimental get-together of acclaimed poets and musicians, joining in an exercise of styles and improvisation. They engage in investigations of 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 – find out more here: Institut for Spatial Experiments

On the occasion of the Global Climate Action Summit taking place in San Francisco from Wednesday - Little Sun friends and partners Rebecca Foon and Jessie Paris Smith are hosting another Pathway To Paris concert, and Olafur and Little Sun will be there alongside a great line up of musicians and activists

Spencer Tunick's Bodø Bodyscape installation, with Little Sun Diamonds, part of Bodø Biennale, Norway