ACCUMULATIONS

ACCUMULATIONS
In a few words
ACCUMULATIONS is a multi screen installation based around different concepts of energy. A system of animation loops are displayed simultaneously on up to fifteen different screens
Originally screened as a single video, each scene is now presented on its own, encouraging the audience to compare the different forms, structures and rhythms. This way, the animated movements within each image becomes constant, rather than being subject to a conventional narrative structure, making it easier to observe each element independently or as part of a larger context.
Notions of energy
I wanted to take the notion of energy – which today is very much an ambiguous term which lends itself to science and faith, fact and fiction, appearing in discourse and depictions of everything from chemistry and biology to religion and pop culture – and pull it in all sorts of directions. The goal is not to narrow it down or attempt to define the term, but rather retain its ambiguity, by imagining a system of images and symbols that evoke different ideas and ideal. My approach is pretending that everything is connected – much in the way the written language can be express different ideas – thus amplifying the ambiguity. I am interested in the notion of energy as an abstract entity, seemingly meaningless on its own, while also reasonably flexible, informed by all sorts of assumptions and theories, Depending on the context, it might be concrete, spiritual, unpredictable or straightforward. While the forms themselves might not be immediately recognizable, the movement is based on observation of natural processes.
When and Where
Since 2014 the project has travelled through Europe, from Lithuania to Italy, evolving and mutating over time. Different animation loops are selected for each exhibition context.

A new version is planned for 2021.
ESSAY: Accumulations
By Inger Marie Hahn Møller, MA in art history
When entering Norwegian artist Petter Solberg’s ongoing, huge and mutating multi screen installation ACCUMULATIONS we are completely surrounded and immersed into this vast and fluctuating space of pulsating images. We are so to speak in the images.
The flickering flood of images and music that encompass us in its sensory multiplicity brings us at first reminiscences to something primeval, to the beginning of life and the origins of everything.  The vibrating tonality in our ears and the organic micro-macro vegetating flow of visuality also resembles at some points the very first scribbles of humanity deep down in some ritual cave thousands of years ago. We both intuitively recognise some vague elements that we feel attached too, a sense of familiar primeval imagery, but at the same time we feel disorientated in a state of visual ambiguity because our well know common register of pictures (figurative as well as abstract) seems broken into this jumble of tangling moving pictures.
This feeling of being in the image, in a cave or an organism of imagery and sound, may best be interpreted as an extension of art historian Rosalind Krauss’ famous theory about Sculpture in the Expanded Field, only here in Solberg’s work it’s rather both an expanded field of sculpture and painting with no beginning and no end. In Passages in Modern Sculpture Krauss explains her theory about a phenomenological approach in art towards a direct engagement of the body of the viewer in the piece of art. From merely a visual spectator we are now physically present in the art work. In the context of Solberg’s works at Ritual Spaces it seems relevant also to integrate the Rites of Passages from classic anthropology. A rite of passage is a ritual marking a person’s transition from one state to another. When entering ACCUMULATIONS we are in a passage – away from normality outside. In anthropology the classic rites of passages are described through different stages: The first being seperation from normalised identity and habitual thinking through physical and symbolic means. The next being “betwixt and between”, a state of liminality where the subject is overwhelmed by ambiguity and disorientation, not having acquired a new identity of their own yet.

This is what we feel when entering ACCUMULATIONS. We are in a rite of passage, being deprived of all wellknown and safe imagery on our way to a new identity of visuality and conception of the world around us, away from our rooted stereotypes and routine thinking. ACCUMULATIONS is just as much a transition into ourselves as it is a physical walk through a contemporary art space.
By incorporating the ritualistic and psychoanalytic aspect in our interpretation of Solberg, the critical thinking of Georges Bataille and his formulation of the formless and the base materialism adds another level. The term informe is approximated as an expression of the indefinite and the formless, as something with the potential of creating productive disorder in the defined. Amongst others, Rosalind Krauss and Julia Kristeva has brought Bataille’s informe into our understanding of art as a ritualistic passage that productively brings bewilderment, formlessness, and chaotic destabilisation into body and mind of the engaged viewer. This is what Solberg does: He creates a productive disorder in the defined and brings us to sense anew.
Here are a few GIFs that was made to promote the project. Unlike the actual animation loops, the GIF images contain only a few frames each in order to reduce file size.
Poster from a 2015 solo exhibition
Check back later this year for animation stills and videos for the new version of ACCUMULATIONS (to be exhibited in 2021)