Landing Sites video documentation

This video documents a part of the Landing Sites project, inspired by the works and lives of the artist/architect duo Arakawa and Gins. The video is by Kathrine Fallmyr and Heidi Jessen. It is from a presentation of the project at Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Dec 2013, where the public experienced two different renditions of explorations of Arakawa and Gins work.
– see Landing sites log book category for all posts on the project.


Landing sites presentation

Welcome to the presentation of the workshop ‘Landing sites – a further field pursuit of new tools for choreography’.

Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th December 2013
18.30 – 20.00 hrs
Stage 5, Oslo National Academy of the Arts
Fossveien 24
N-0051 Oslo
– Free entrance

Landing Sites photo During this event Masters’ students of choreography will use their creative skills to lead you through a presentation of the processes and results of the project ‘Landing sites’; a six week workshop for shaking up the senses to re-orientate the body and its capacity to apprehend and shape the world!

‘Landing sites’ stretches from a physical probing of an avant-garde building in the suburbs Tokyo to experiencing Substitutional Reality at a brain science institute,  finally landing with video experiments in a black box theatre at KhiO. By looking towards other fields and initiating various collaborations with people and places, it aims to find possible tangible tools for choreography for shaping fluid spaces and the creation of events there-in.

Leading the presentation are Solveig Styve Holte, Anne Katherine Fallmyr and Heidi Jessen.

Workshop leader, Amanda Steggell, professor in choreography, Academy of Dance, KhiO.



Landing sites is a three-stage workshop that draws on the ideas of the artist/architect duo Shusaku Arakawa (jp) and Madeleine Gins (usa). It explores how attention operates, while simultaneously mapping the way different scales of attentions situate a body within any given environment. By probing these issues physically in a specially designed architectural surround, one can also become aware of a body’s capacity to co-shape the spaces it inhabits.

Stage one, Tokyo 20th – 28th October 2013
A week’s field trip/residency to the Reversible Destiny Lofts situated in Mitaka, a suburb of Tokyo; a multi-shaped and coloured avant-garde apartment building and a physical iteration of Arakawa and Gins’ ideas.

Applying a perceptual approach to ‘attention’, ‘decision’ and ‘action’ (as proposed by Arakawa and Gins) we explored shifting perceptions of space within a specially designed architectural surround that literally shakes up the senses. Discussions with artists and scientists, film screenings and various excursions to Tokyo augmented the loft investigations. Tormod Carlsen, MA student in theater direction, Academy of Theatre, KhiO joined us for the week.

Other collaborators/participants in Tokyo include;

  • Momoyo Homma, curator and host, Reversible Destiny Lofts, Mitaka
  • Artist and director Miyuki Kawamura and linguist Ryoko Uno present their collaborative work ‘Dancing Self Theory’
  • Prof. Fujii Naotaka, brain scientist and host, Substitutional Reality Laboratory, Riken Brain Science Institute

Stage two, Oslo. 30th October – 8th November 2013
Applying insights and experiences gained from Tokyo we start in an ‘empty’ black box at KhiO, experimenting with constructing environments by mapping video/light onto large surfaces and small objects. To aid experiments artist Hans Christian Gilje held a five day hands-on workshop with Video Projection Tool – a computer programme he created to composite and map video onto three dimensional objects. Gilje explores how ‘audiovisual technology can be used to transform, create, expand, amplify and interpret physical spaces’.

The video workshop was organised in collaboration with Synne Bull, Associate professor, Academy of Fine Art, KhiO. Four BA students in fine art, Ask Vatne Brean, Amelia Beavis-Harrison, Ronny Dahl and Agnieszka Gołaszewska, joined the workshop. To bring together contemporary takes on ‘expanded cinema’ with ‘expanded choreography’ we took part in the ‘Re:placing the Cinematic’ conference at ANX, Oslo, thus adding an extra contextual layer to the workshop.

Stage three. The challenge. 11th November – 6th December
At the time of writing there is a little over two weeks left of this six week workshop, yet there are still many questions to be addressed. For example;

  • Was the search for new tools for choreography successful?
  • If so, what kinds of tools can we speak of?
  • How can the processes and results of a six week experimental artistic investigation  –  a roller coaster ride through diverse fields and practices – be communicated to both a targeted audience and a general public?

To address these questions is the final challenge of the workshop. The MA students are currently working through them, conjuring up all their creative abilities as they prepare for the presentation in Stage 5 on the 4th and 5th December 2013.


HC Gilje presents …

Presentation by HC Gilje

Date/time: 5 November 2013, 18.30-19.30 hrs
Oslo National Academy of the Arts
Fossveien 24
N-0051 Oslo

Please join us for HC Gilje’s talk about his work and practice. Gilje is a visiting artist this week for the Landing Sites workshop, the first collaborative workshop between Academy of Fine Art (Synne Bull) and the  Academy of Dance (Amanda Steggell). The talk will be in English and is free and open to the public.
– img: ‘Revolver’, courtesy of HC Gilje

About HC Gilje
HC Gilje works with installations, live performance, set design and single-channel video. Gilje has presented his work through different channels throughout the world: in concert-venues, theatres and cinemas, galleries, festivals, outdoors and through several international dvd releases, including 242.pilots live in Bruxelles on New York label Carpark and Cityscapes on Paris-label Lowave. He was a member of the video-impro trio 242.pilots, and was also the visual motor of dance company Kreutzerkompani.

Since 2006 Gilje has focused on animated light/shadows, projected light objects and projected light spaces. Born 1969 in Kongsberg. Educated at Kunstakademiet in Trondheim 95-99. More about HC Gilje here:


I wanted to do something specific in the space. I wanted to create something, document something and finding tools. I worked inside the yellow cocoon again, because it is not everyday you can be in a yellow space of concrete where even the curtains are yellow and round as well. I played with the eyes in the ceiling and the rods with hooks on each end.


The rods in steel are 60 cm long and the rods in plastic are half the size. The plastic ones are in green, pink and black. First I tried to put all of them, 14 in steel and 14 in plastic, inside the yellow room in some kind of construction, hanging them up in the six eyes in the ceiling. Then after some consultation I hung only the steel ones inside the cocoon. This gave some more space and acoustic. I could see more clearly how they infected each other and the space. I tried to be outside the cocoon while I build and changed the rods and the space. The choreography was simply to test the possibilities in making connections, breaking and making new connections.  Paying attention to the sound the rods made when they hit each other, or when they fell apart and hit the floor. Paying attention to what shape they made; clusters, triangle, square. To see and change them from different angles and see if only changing one rod could infect all the others, set them in motion, or make them swing. I love when they can swing like a hammock construction, and to see how this work gave me something to attend to, paying less attention to everything else quite disturbing in being a body.

Thread of coat hangers

Then I made one long connections with the plastic roods stretching from the cocoon to the other rooms. It was funny to test these possibilities and to feel I had to take some risks where the thread of rods could easily fall apart. The last time I ended up with too few roods, but luckily I found some coat hangers to fasten the thread of rods into the bathroom.

Amanda gave me this great sentence: Awareness – attention- action.

I take with me these tools from this day: analysing my own awareness through the glossary of Arakawa and Gins. Naming my attention, understanding more of what I do/ want to do through naming or recognising it as an immediate or imaginary landing site. Understanding how to work with the dimentional site where my attention comes into action.

A floor safari

Hello earth. Today we have been looking at floors. Strange? Perhaps, but in the Lofts there are different cards with tasks written by Arakawa and Gins. One of these are “Use the floor to chart the intricate set of actions by which you succeed time and again in regaining your balance”.  Difficult task, indeed- and here are some thoughts.

Read More

Being, changing, living

Yesterday I spent two and a half hour on my own in the space. I now try to create language for the experience and link it up to the on-going process of using Arakawa and Gins vocabulary. The space we live in, Kehai Coordinating Unit were my landing site, and inside new landing sites developed. (Landing site: where my attention is drawn)

Arakawa and Gins speak about three different layers in understanding the landing sites: immediately perceived sites, imaginary sites and dimentional sites. Can I use this vocabulary to analyze my experience yesterday in retrospective? Is it possible to say that the immediate site is linked to the question what did you do, that the imaginary site is linked to how did you think/ project/ perceive what you did and can the ‘why did you do that’ be linked to ‘dimensionalising site’?

What did I do? I worked intuitively in the space for two and a half hours, not putting restrictions to where, how long and what to do/ produce. I wanted to investigate being; investigating the immediate interests in the space and at the same time knowing that to find and make new tools for choreography is the headliner for our stay here. In memory of Helen Keller I wanted to work spontaneously.

What became my landing sites? I started in the open room with the bamboo mat, stretching, moving, seeing, I had an idea that I wanted to move. I climbed up and sat and laid in the hammock under the ceiling, finding new places for it and I found some grapes that where hanging from one of the eyes. I spent time inside the yellow cocoon, receiving support at different parts of my body, finding the hooks at the end of rods and making new connections, I moved this outside in the big space. I read and organised the 32 instruction cards from Arakawa and Gins for inhabiting the lofts and then I understood that I had too little time.



Why? Tuesday evening we say the documentary  “Children who won´t die”, a documentary of the work of Arakawa and Gins made by a filmmaker who lived in the Redestiny Lofts in four years with his family.

To live and work in these spaces has been very inspiring in many different ways. The space doesn´t need me to exist. I am not sure if I am the one choosing landing sites or if it is the way the space is constructed that gives my attention direction.

In august I saw the performance “You” of Lisa Østberg and Kim Hiortøy at Black Box Theatre in Oslo. To be here reminds me of the performance and I can try to sum it up in the senctence: To play is existential.

When I am in the spaces I often try to excuse my being and amusement with: now I´m not using or producing anything. To not produce more than being can be ambivalent to me. But as long as I am not using anything either, it feels more okay.

The space serves me possibilities for changing them and creating new possibilities of existing. This is not easy to write but I feel alive and at the same time “landed” here.

How? There is a tendency of thinking that easy makes you happy, to not make an effort makes you happy. To be here brings me into being- an active state of recognising that I am alive. The house serves a sense that thinking, building, changing, perceiving through my body is important. I can transform. I can be four years old. I can climb. I can receive support different parts under my feet, back, neck, hands at the same time. The spaces receives me differently than the flat floor, right angle walls and chairs I amused to. To move makes you alive- I think. This place forces the body and the mind into moving. Things aren´t as they seem to be or as you used to.


This place forces intelligence, whole hearted, body and mind. I need less sleep here. I feel vital. I am 30 min outside the city center of Tokyo (!), we spend a lot of time her but I still want to stay. There is so much to attend to. The small doors – imagining that I am Alice in Wonderland. The hooks and ropes that I can move around in the “eyes” of the ceiling. I can be the mountain climber, the monk, the monkey, the philosopher, researcher, architect, stage designer, composer, blind and deaf, the human.

What is a tool?

Now I want to divorce with formats for performance and performativity. The expanding choreography; about how we live and interact is feeling much more important and relevant that to make an other show. I want to build instruments that you can´t play without moving through-, and infecting the space around you and I want to change, and be changed in places like this.



A performance that made me believe in performance!

– reflections on my visit to Riken Brain Science Research Institute.

I expected that the experience of having my senses hijacked and experiencing virtual reality would create a sense of unease and fear in me. But the experience I had at Riken Brain Science Institute made me feel quite the opposite. I felt exited and inspired, a sensation that reminded me about one of my first theatre experiences as a child. I was fascinated and completely into a fictional world, but at the same reminded of how this world was created. In the play between my until now known world and the world that was opened by the hijacking of my senses, possibilities of multiple realities arose.  And with that the recognition of how reality is a belief and a perspective.

For someone who has not experienced the about 10 min. performance of Ph. D Naotaka Fujii and his staff at the Riken Brain Science Institute it can be hard to understand what the experience could be like. I will not reveal all the secrets, in case you might be lucky to try this yourself. But, basically they use a technique where you see the world through video glasses and earphones. What is shown and heard is a mix between the real surroundings and pre-recorded material. The illusion dimension is highlighted by that the “actors” were wearing the same cloths/costumes in both realities. The scenario that unfolded was a scenario where they revealed the secrets of the technology. At the same time, I was unable to tell if this was a recorded reality or happening in real time. A “lie” or “truth” . This play between recorded reality and real time was experienced through the same mediums; the glasses and the earphones. This made touch, smell and taste the only senses I could use to separate the “real” realities from each other.

This inability to “understand” dragged me into, or you may even say left me in the hands of, the performance of Ph. D. Fujii and his staff. The here and now performance of the team made me want to go into a possible other reality. It was a strong reminder on how performance it self could be used as a tool to drag you into other worlds and possibilities.