Alexander Rishaug

Transmission of the Unforeseen

Date: 03.11 – 10.12.23
Location: Atelier Nord, Olaf Ryes plass 2 (entrance from Sofienberggata).
Opening hours: Thursday and Friday 15:00-18:00, Saturday and Sunday 12:00-17:00.

Welcome to the exhibition opening on Thursday, 02.11.23, starting at 19:00.

In many parts of the world, including Norway, there is a pronounced political desire to transform old industrial communities into players in a decentralized and global market economy. This is intended to create much-needed jobs and counteract stagnation and depopulation.

In his exhibition Transmission of the Unforeseen at Atelier Nord, Alexander Rishaug examines the influence of speculative dynamics in the global financial markets on the Norwegian landscape. From 2018 to 2021, Rishaug made several sound recordings throughout Norway, focusing on sound ecology, landscape utilization, and geopolitical processes. In 2019, he visited the now-closed Bitcoin factory, Kryptovault, in Dale, Hordaland. At that time, the factory consisted of 2,000 servers with plans to expand to 50,000. However, in 2022, the owner decided to relocate the business to Northern Norway due to high electricity prices and the declining value of crypto currency.

The audio recordings from the Bitcoin factory are played through an installation consisting of a group of satellite dishes, similar to those still found on many rural house walls. They are remnants of one-way broadcasting that has now been replaced by decentralized networks and the internet. Alongside this mentioned media technological development, the relationship between geographical centers and peripheries has become more challenging to define than before. Perhaps this change has influenced how society at large envisions consumption, resource management, and nature. Rishaug is interested in exploring what active listening can tell us about humanity’s place in the world, our relationship to history, and possible future scenarios. Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening method, where listening is an inherently empathetic and healing action towards the world, is an important source of inspiration.

Alexander Rishaug (b. 1974, Oslo) is an artist and composer based in Oslo, known for his experimental approach at the intersection of art, research, and music. Rishaug received his education from Nordland Art and Film School in Kabelvåg (1991-1993), NTNU, the Academy of Fine Art in Trondheim (1996-2000), and recently completed a multi-year PhD fellowship in the Program for Artistic Research (PKU) at the Academy of Fine Art, UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Recent exhibitions include Conversations with Land at Lydgalleriet in Bergen and Midtfjellet Wind Park in Fitjar (2023); Dissolving Topographies, Tromsø Kunstforening (2021); In(side) the closet, In The Closet Gallery, Tromsø (2020). In 2020, Rishaug released a double LP record featuring sound recordings from the Høyblokka in the government quarter, Y–(59°54’54.76”N 10°44’46.03”E), as part of the Oslo Biennial.

Curated by Ida Lykken Ghosh and created with support from the Arts Council Norway and The Municipality of Oslo. Thanks to Kyrre Heldal Karlsen for lighting design, C.Nilsen Møbelverksted for carpentry and Anna Näumann for assistance.