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Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

2007-02-03

The research fellowship is coming to an end. The final exhibition Cubic Second was exhibited in November. The written documentation and reflection on the artistic process has to be completed over the weekend. Last Wednesday officially was the last day as an employee at Bergen National Academy of the Arts. Thursday was official the first day back as an employee at BEK after a three year leave. Yesterday afternoon when trying to get into the studio at the art academy the key card was rejected.

I recently heard the alpine skier Kjetil Aamodt saying that the virtue of throwing in the towel at the right moment is highly over-estimated. I have been a bit surprised at not being more sentimental about ending the fellowship and leave KHIB. I have had a ball for the last three years and KHIB has been the best place imaginable to work high tempo ambitious friendly focused and fantastic colleagues both academic and administrative. I am grateful for having been allowed to work the way I have for the last three years.

I am also looking forward to returning to BEK. I believe we have a lot of potential for interesting work and projects in the future. I hope that we will be able to dedicate ourselves to ambitious larger-scale projects. I knwo from beforehand that one easily gets sucked into assisting in an endless stream of smaller projects putting out one fire after the other . I hope that we will be able to adopt the idea of art-based research and development as a model for our work at BEK and direct energy and time towards activity that moves us forward not only jumping sideways. The financial state is a lot better than it was at the time I left as we managed to secure governmental support. 2004 was the first year a budget in balance could be set up at the start of the year. This will free up much more time for actual art-related work for me than in 2002 and 2003.000 Those two years fund-raising and securing the future of BEK was the main concern and very time and energy consuming.

A few weeks ago I had a meeting with Paula (dean of Department for fine arts) Nina (headmaster) Johan (director) Astrid (headmaster of information) and Grethe Bjørndahl (coordinator for the fellowship program) to discuss the practicalities of remaining tasks.

The public discussion of the project with the committee the last strand of the evaluation process is scheduled for March 9 starting at 13.30. The procedure of that is as follows: I first give a 45 min. presentation of the project. After a 15 min. break there is a conversation/discussion between me and the committee lasting for about one hour. At the end questions from the audience is permitted for about 15 min.

At the meeting I expressed that I hoped to be able to spend more (informal) time with the committee after the public conversation. When they were in Bergen in November I was not permitted to spend time with them apart from briefly meeting them as they arrived. On one hand I understand the concern for not permitting anything to potentially compromise the integrity and objectivity of the work of the committee. On the other hand frankly I am much less concerned about the formal evaluation and the outcome of it than the possibility for a good exchange with some very qualified persons that has been spending quite a bit of time investigating my work. The formal qualification aspect of the program was always second priority for me much less important than the development and quality of the actual artistic work and my own artistic development. (I probably should add that the framework of the fellowship program and the trust shown by my supervisors have so far never created any conflicts between these two concerns.)

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