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Video as moving wall paper

November 15, 2009

This week two days were spent participating at a staff seminar at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts on the subject of research in the arts. As part of the seminar we visited Vestlandets kunstindustrimuseum to see the exhibition “Vær så god sitt” (“Please be seated”), an exhibition of current Norwegian funiture design.

The exhibition is well worth seeing, but the part that really caught my attention was the design of the exhibition space itself. Along the walls slowly drifting video patterns became a moving wall paper, a visual analogy of the ambient music of Brian Eno, a visual musique d’ameublement. The video never forced itself on me, but the slow drift quietly invited a slowing down, creating a space for thinking. The video was accompanied by occasional ambient sound, blending in with the background noise from the streets outside the building.

Chairs and sofas in a museum could easily end up being objects in a contextual void, detatched from their usual environments. Sound and video invited me as visiter to imagine the spaces where the funiture might belong, while also hinting at how sound and video might be embedded in interior design and architecture.