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Toril Johannessen

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Nonlocality

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Nonlocality

Installation view, Lautom Contemporary, Oslo.

 

Press relase

The exhibition Nonlocality, which is actually two exhibitions, one in Oslo and one in Düsseldorf, revolves
around how time and place are variables that change according to technological and scientific developments.
Conflicting ways of understanding the world and duality are underlying themes, and the two shows are twin
exhibitions running parallel to each other.

The work Mean Time, 2011 is controlled by a computer which continuously retrieves information about
traffic on the Internet and the speed of the dials is determined by the global Internet activity. When the activity
on the Internet is high, the clocks go faster, when the activity is lower, they go slower. The clocks will
therefore be guided by human activity, and not be defined by an ”invisible hand” or fluctuations in crystals
or atoms.

The clocks are railway station clocks with two clock faces. Efforts to synchronize and standardize, not to
mention establishing a global time is historically linked to the development of the railway network by the
end of the 1800s, a process that is also related to the unfolding of capitalism and ideas of progress. As the
railroad was responsible for an altered temporality for over a hundred years ago, from several local to one
global time divided into time zones, the Internet is about to change our perception of time - both the time
we use working in front of our computers and how humans in different places are connected day and night
in a new time zone.

Parhelia/Bilocation , 2011 is a picture with two fronts showing a photograph of a double sun. In the photo,
a crystal is placed on the sun, a double-edge calcite, which polarizes the light and thus creates a double
image. Bilocation is a term used for people or things that have the ability to be in two different places
simultaneously. Parhelion is a meteorological phenomenon that makes you see double or multiple suns in
the sky. A series of spectacular parhelia in Rome in the summer of 1629 made the French philosopher René
Descartes interrupt his work with metaphysics and go on to study natural phenomena, which led him to
write the natural philosophical work ”The World”. With this he set out to explain nothing less than all natural
phenomena and the basis for all physics.

In the two charts Synchronicity in Psychology, 2011 and Synchronization in Technology, 2011, the terms
synchronicity and synchronization are set up against each other. Synchronization means creating concurrency,
while synchronicity is the psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s concept of meaningful coincidence, a theory
that there exists a non-causal but meaningful connection between events in the outer reality that seems to
coincide with already existing inner feelings. Communication technologies are changing how we experience
time and place, and perhaps also changing our relationship to what is random and what is meaningful,
perhaps they even amplify a sense of synchronicity and of being in several places simultaneously through
the countless random links that bind us together. The graphs show statistics on how often these concepts
have been used in two journals of technology and psychology since the 50th century.

The last work in the show is a dream Toril Johannessen had a while back, presented as a title on the list of
works. This work exemplifies how Toril Johannessen tries to understand the world and its phenomena, it is
not just an intellectual exercise for her, it is integral to her as a person. Her means to investigate the world
around her is by looking at science through artistic explorations, maybe because art allows more mystical
investigations. Like the double-edge calcite allows us to see something in a different way, art allows her to
look at science and the world through a different set of eyes, and maybe get another understanding of the
world than what science can give us