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Critique of Lydmur


Steinar Sekkingstad has written a review of the installation “Lydmur” by Maia Urstad for Billedkunst. One of the paragraphs from the review especially grabbed my attention:

I tillegg til å vise til radioen som objekt viser radiolyden også ut over seg selv. Både til konkrete steder i verden der lyden har vært kringkastet og til det mer abstrakte og mystiske ikke-stedet i atmosfæren der radiobølgene til enhver tid befinner seg.

Steinar is talking about “the abstract and mystic Nowhere in atmosphere where radio waves are existing” using the term “Nowhere” in singular form.

To me the works of Maia seems clearly post-modern in the sense that she’s accepting and aknowledging the fact that many different places exists at the same time and that the world is to big and complex for man to develop a universal overview or understanding. This was particularly present in the installation Stasjoner (“Stations”) positioned close to the harbor of Bergen. The port of Bergen was an important part of the hanseatic trade. In earlier eras the fjord out of Bergen was important for trade and exchange with the rest of the world particularly abroad. The radio offers new channels for communications and a new way of reaching out to the rest of the world.

The sounds of her installations are based on clips and montage creating a fragmented complex and multi-layer sound world out of voices languages morse nosie and interference containing more information than you’re able to grasp. Still the expression is not threatening. To me this implies an acceptance that the “chaos” of a globalized world doesn’t have to be threatening but rather present us with as potential for enriching our lives and cultures.


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