Space as situation

- reflection note 2 at the end of the semester abroad at Master Art and Public Space

In a talk with Doreen Massey at the „Institut für Raumexperimente“ in Berlin 2013  she describes her key to perception of space, not as a absolute defined space, but a space that is consisting out of different surfaces. She depicts the main image when perceiving space as this multitude of stories, historicities, textures, lifes as them constructing a surface like the letter T. The „trunk“ of the T therefore would be the individual story, and the _ on top of the „trunk“ builds the surface we create our world, our stories, our life on.


Furthermore Doreen Massey says „space isn’t a dead surface, it is stories in different levels, this is a conceptual space.“

I remember a situation in London this September on my way back home to Oslo. After a few days in a small gallery in east London, Hoxton; long and tiring days of performing various times; being with old friends and colleagues; feelings extremely privileged to be in that position to make a show abroad, I was sitting in a bus on my way from Battersea to Liverpool Street Station to catch my train to the Airport. The bus drive was about half an hour long. It was calm on the streets, the few silent hours of a day, at 4am. Until I realized how busy it was on the bus and at the bus stations. The busses driving towards the Centre were almost crowded with mainly People of Color. I was listening, observing and assuming, that most of the people were on their way to follow precariously paid jobs, invisible jobs, that are done in the centre of London before and after the nine to five schedule. There were we, sitting in the Bus and I got so aware of these different T’s. During my exchange Studies in London a few years ago, that is what I occupied myself a lot with, to sit in a bus and listen, observe, think and imagine these T’s, although I thought of these different realities that clash in a bus more as layers.

But they don’t really clash, do they? We T’s don’t react, there is no echo, no reaction when you walk across. But an echo would be so important to actually orientate in this world of T’s.

The masters of orientation are probably bats. On the basis of the impact of their cries and screams and the waves echoing back, they orientate themselves through our and their world. The echoing sound waves measure the distance of the bat‘s body to all objects in the environment. With each cry, the body puts itself in relation to the world, in a logical, measurable, mathematical way. I imagine busy streets on which all people scream to put themselves in relation to the world. We relate to each other through our shouts, through our cries. Screams consisting of sounds instead of words, so the scream materializes into a kind of folding rule. All those screams moving in this flippant: z





      Z                               Zickzack folding. At some point these long, skinny zickzack arms collapse unintentionally under heavier weight. All screams and cries, if loud or silent, floating around us and relocating us to the world, looking for an echo. Imagine, whenever you feel lost, you become a bat. Anything you would have to do is a scream or a cry and to wait for the echo. Cry out loud or silent, and hear or see what comes back to you. I will cry and scream back from anywhere. At some point our echoes will meet each other and zickzack together.

(Ode to Scream and Cry, 2022, printed on Silk-Satin)

The text is written by me and printed on a silk-satin for a show that is opening next week in Hamburg. Space is a possibility to live in relation and to relate. The Echo became this tangible reaction.

Space is a structuring and structured element in which we live, work, sleep, walk and experience (ourselves). Therefore, as „it matters what thoughts think thoughts, (…), It matters what stories make worlds, what worlds make stories.” (Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene by Donna J. Haraway, 2016), it matters what structures structure. And as long as there is a monetary interest, any structure acts in favor for some, and will cause injustice for others.

The way we are is a result of Inter-relations, that include the history and ongoing life.
Now towards the end of my stay in Oslo I would like to reflect upon what actually space means and is to me, if that relation of thinking about space had changed during my stay. I honestly expected to dig into these differentiations a bit deeper together :)

The word space derives from the French word éspace, which derives from latin spatium. The word Spatium comes from proto-indo European language (s)peh .Spatium, as well as *(s)peh₂, mean to stretch, to pull, to draw. (

That is how I would further approach space, as something that is connected to an action. Space that happens, that consists, that is been allowed and made through action, through pulling, stretching drawing.
Space is that situation that results out of all possible inter-relations, out of all these T’s.

I want to work on that notion of space as a construct and bring forward the relatability and relatedness to space. If we look at space as a situation, we can actually think about space and actually change spatialities.

Through my Videowork „Figures for Thoughts“ that I am showing at the Respepjongalleri in our semester review exhibition short precise perfect I am laying out different approaches to space in different layers. Through the chapters I am trying to differentiate the different fields of research that I encountered in this work. With directing every of the four sides of the physical screen frame, the space around the work is addressed and taken into consideration. The viewer move alongside the subtitles that direct them to move in 360° around the screen. My intention is to also open up conversations in-between my work and the others displayed in the Gallery. The narration in the video is non- linear and follows only itself. How to not approach space as something in-between walls, enabled with money, but as something more existential and relating to our lives?

I honestly have to say at the end of this reflection note, that this note is not sufficient. I found myself in a confusion and felt unable to actually contextualize right now this confusion and reflect in a sustainable way upon my thoughts this semester. I had many attempts to put this together, and struggled with a feeling of pretentiousness that I thought I had to bring in here to reflect and contextualize.

I feel I am on a way, but at this point it is hard to articulate what defines this way and what I pick up from the side paths.