waiting for the summer: newsletter may 2015

While we are waiting for summer to arrive here in Norway I thought it was time with a little update from me. A few big projects have occupied me the last months, and now I am busy preparing the coming half year.

my second solo show at Wood Street Galleries with the installations flimmer, revolver and spin

Wood Street Galleries consists of two floors of about 175 m2 (1800 square ft) each.

On one floor I created a new installation, flimmer: light and wind passes through a volume of black strips suspended from the ceiling in the white gallery room.
flimmer

video documentation of flimmer:

On the other floor the walls where painted black, and I created two rooms with half-transparent walls to contain the installations revolver and spin.
revolver-woodstreet-newsletter

spin-newsletter

Video documentation of revolver and spin at Wood Street Galleries:

The exhibition opened on April 24th and closes on June 21st.
http://woodstreetgalleries.org/

junction: light-motion installation under King Williams Bridge, Adelaide

junction

I was invited to be part of the Blinc program of Adelaide Festival of the Arts which opened end of february. I selected my location because of the beautiful arches of the underpass of the bridge and used that as the departure point for this site-specific installation. You can read more about the project in the link below, which also contains a video documentation and some more images.

https://hcgilje.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/junction-light-motion-installation-under-king-william-bridge-for-the-adelaide-festival-of-the-arts/

 

video of the installation kile(wedge) presented at Solund Light Art Festival in november 2014

the video wasn´t ready for the previous newsletter, so here it is:

(I am planning to show something at this year´s festival as well!)

 

upcoming this summer: Maja Ratkje + HC Gilje at Kongsberg Jazzfestival, July 3rd

It´s been a while since our last performance together, and this one is a bit special to me as it is the first time I show work in my city of birth, Kongsberg.
http://kongsbergjazz.no/

video excerpt from our performance at the Sonica festival in Glascow 2013:

 

upcoming this summer: light-motion installation at SALT, Sandhornøy, opening August 21st

SALT-newsletter

This is something I am quite excited about: I am making a light-motion installation for a 140m (450 ft) long fish rack designed by Finnish architect Sami Rintala placed on a white sand beach on the beautiful island of Sandhornøy in the north of Norway.

http://www.salted.no/

 

The fall

confirmed activities for the fall includes participation at the Norwegian Sculpture Biennale, two solo shows in Norway, as well as a project for Dark Ecology.

PS
I mentioned a book release in the last newsletter, this is put on hold for a while. If anybody knows about an interesting art book publisher please let me know.

 

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junction: light motion installation under King William Bridge for the Adelaide Festival of the Arts

junction

photos by Paul Armour. For larger versions (and a few more images) go to the junction album on flickr.

I was commissioned to make a new installation as part of the blinc program for the Adelaide Festival of the Arts which took place end of february / beginning of march 2015. Blinc, curated by Craig Morrison and Joel Cockrill, was a series of outdoor projection and light-based art works, including works by Squidsoup and Bordos Artworks among others.

I chose my location based on some images Joel sent me, and I immediately got drawn to the beautiful arches of the pedestrian walkway / bike path underneath the King William Bridge, situated in Elders Park in the center of Adelaide.

elderpark-adelaide

The underpass is about 40 m (130 ft) long and 9 m (30 ft) wide with 9 arches. I wanted to work with the space in a similar way to what I did with trace at LIAF and Todays Art, constructing a grid of LED lines that animates and activates the structures of the space, in this case mainly the arches.

The unusual thing about this project for me was that it was a site-specific project where I didn´t have the possibillity to go there myself. I selected the location based on photos and created the setup based on drawings and an idea of how I wanted it to look. I prepared a detailed manual for the construction of the installation and the festival crew did a good job with the remote install.

This was obviously not an ideal situation, as for this type of work I am really interested in a more direct dialogue with the space, leaving room for improvisation and adjustements, and I quite enjoy the manual labour involved in building up installations. Also, not having been there myself makes the project less real somehow, especially since I like to emphasize the physical experience of my installations. That being said I was extremely lucky to get in touch with Paul Armour based in Adelaide who did a great job documenting the installation under difficult conditions. It gave me a chance to experience my own work the way most people do, through images and video published online.

One thing I discovered watching the video documentation was the fantastic soundtrack created by the cars passing over the bridge which I think worked really well with the motion of the light pulses.

revolver

Revolver is a new work by HC Gilje, commissioned by Sonic Acts and developed for The Dark Universe exhibition at NASA, Amsterdam. It evolved from Gilje’s earlier light installation 7 Cirkler (ZKM, 2012).
It is a structure of light animations using three circles of LED-lights. Combined together this produces complex patterns of light and shadow on the walls in the exhibition space.


Revolver and 7 cirkler have several things in common: light animations moving on the inside of circles suspended from the ceiling, casting shadows of the circles onto the surrounding walls. They both use white, red and blue, and they both exploit the effect of complementary colours that appear in the shadows.
They are put together quite differently though. 7 cirkler is a composition clearly connected to the music of Else Marie Pade: The light moves upwards in the circles with alternating white and blue circles and descend with alternating white and red circles.
Revolver consists of three circles which are spaced as tightly together as possible to achieve a very narrow band of colors on the walls. They are hung at eye-height with the idea that people will first discover what is going on on the walls rather than look at the lights. The walls are a much more integrated part of the work in revolver, as the shape is designed to work with the projections from the circles.

The biggest difference is the structure and relation of light and sound. 7 cirkler was a composed piece. I think of revolver more as a audiovisual-spatial drone, an endless loopmachine: It is basically the layering of simple loops resulting in a more complex structure.
Loops of lights and sound are brought into the exhibition space, where they are tuned and mixed in the physical space. So it is the interference of sound and light waves, together with the physical construction of the circles and surrounding walls that creates the mix. This means I have a vague idea of what might happen when I start setting up the installation, but it´s really working in the space (experimenting with speed, width and color of light) that determines how the installation turns out.

The combined movement of light and sound creates a space that revolves around you. In much of my work I seek through repetitive slow movements to create something that resonates with the body, establishing a correspondence between mind and the physical space through the body.

Voice 2012

Seven years after our previous collaboration, Maja Ratkje and I got together for a performance in Johanneskirken in Bergen for Festspillene i Bergen this May. I created a setup using LED modules normally used in outdoor video walls which I placed in an arc behind Maja. The arc functioned both as a canvas for low resolution patterns but also a powerful light source affecting the whole church giving me an opportunity to modify the whole space by improvising with these screens.

We have been invited to perform at the Bozar Electronic Arts Festival on september 22nd  (Bozar, Brussels) and later at the Kontraste Festival in Krems in october.

Johanneskirken has probably never looked cooler from the outside:

a very short glimpse of what you might experience:

The full-length performance at the Kontraste Festival in October 2012:

7 cirkler

Last year I was asked by curator Morten Søndergaard if I wanted to contribute to  “Unheard Avangarde” which was to be a section in the big sound art exhibition at ZKM (which opened end of March 2012). The idea was to combine contemporary artists with works by pioneer composers of electronic music in Scandinavia. I was initially reluctant, but after hearing the music I was sold. I was asked to work with the composition 7 cirkler by the Danish composer Else Marie Pade, which she made in 1959. She was inspired from visiting the planetarium at the Brussels World Expo in 1958, and using tone generators and tape she created a system of building up layers (circles) of sound and then reversing the process and end up with just one circle again. Here is a diagram showing how she constructed the composition:

I was interested in making a similar structure with circles of light animations combining into more complex light-shadow patterns.

The installation is on display until January 2013 at ZKM

in transit

My new light installation created for the 3rd floor of Woodstreet Galleries. It´s a 15m (50 ft) animated light installation running through the whole space.

portrait by Joey Kennedy. Copyright All rights reserved by joeykennedyphotography

multimorf 3: a composition for trombone and waterfall

I just finished a new collaboration with composer Knut Vaage, Multimorf 3, a composition for waterfall and trombone.

The image above is a snapshot from each of the nine sections of the piece.

The trombone plays together with recordings of waterfall and layered trombone overtones (also combined with live processing of the trombone).
The composition has an open form:
Vaage has together with sound designer Thorolf Thuestad created nine morphed backgrounds of waterfall recordings and trombone overtones. The trombone player, John Arild Suther, chooses how long each morph section should be played and in which order they should be played, as well as which sections of the composed score he wants to play within each section. This opens for very different performances based on the same material.

The video is conceived in a similar way to the morph backgrounds. The material is based on waterfall recordings and generated material, and each of the nine sections can be viewed as individial motion paintings. My intention was not to create something that followed the music directly, but to create a visual component that responded to the energy contained in a waterfall and to reflect the individual qualities of the nine sections. Since the length and order of each section can vary for each performance, I wanted each section to focus on layers instead of creating linear trajectories: If you see thirty seconds or four minutes of a section you will get more or less the same visual content, it is the combination and length of the different sections that create the linear dynamic of the piece.

The trombone player controls both the playback of video and sound backgrounds, using midi foot pedals, making it relatively easy to tour with the piece without involving too many people.

Multimorf 3 premiered on August 12th at Baroniet in Rosendal (probably one of the most beautiful places in Norway). We played outside in the courtyard of the Manor from 1665 to an enthusiastic audience.

It will also be performed at Bergen Architechture School on September 1st (together with multimorf 2), and at Integra in Copenhagen October 1st.