The Wild Living @ Kunsternes Hus, Oslo


The Wild Living Marine Resources Belong to Society as a Whole is a series of interdisciplinary events at Kunstnernes Hus, organized by Geir Tore Holm, Søssa Jørgensen and Randi Nygård, as part of Ensayo#4.

THE WILD LIVING: Tuesday 27.8. at 19.00, Frognerelva, Oslo

Twilight walk and talks along Frognerelva with Geir Tore Holm, Søssa Jørgensen, Randi Nygård, microbiologist Laurent Fontaine and angler Lars Nilssen: Microbiologist Laurent Fontaine and angler Lars Nilssen joined us at a walk along Frognerelva, from the tunnels under the traffic at Majorstua, through the park and down into the wilder Frogner valley. We looked for fish in the wild and urban waters, which are teeming with life, learned about microorganisms and listened to the water in a hydrophone. In the end we sat still for a while and listened to life changing in the blue hour, also called the silent hour or the hour of the tusser (small underground trolls). Traditionally people in the Norwegian countryside would sit still and listen to the changes in the hour of darkening (skumringstimen) before lights were turned on and the cores resumed.

Tuesday 03.09.19 at 18.00, Kunstnernes Hus Kino

Lecture by Arne Johan Vetlesen, professor of philosophy at the University of Oslo.

Film screening of Bodil Furu’s Alnaelva 1 (2012).

Arne Johan Vetlesen (Professor of philosophy at the University of Oslo) presented some thoughts from his new book «Cosmologies of the Anthropocene: Pansychism, Animism, and the Limits of Posthumanism» (Routledge, 2019), where he engages with the classic philosophical question of mind and matter and considers a radical alternative cosmology: animism understood as panpsychism in practice. In panpsychism consciousness is not separated from matter, but rather seen as a fundamental part of the physical world.

After the talk we screened «Alnaelva I» (2012, HD video, 13 minutes) which is a film by Norwegian artist Bodil Furu, consisting of a series of field recordings made along the river Alna from a district called Ammerud to the Oslofjord. Its richly-detailed, monumental cinematic scenes and precisely captured location sound brought an intense and poetic attention to parts of the city which pass mostly unseen and unremarked. In the end we discussed the ethical consequences of a panpsychist worldview and what an animistic practice can be in our societies today.


The events have been named after section 2 of the Norwegian Marine Resources Act and will be based on the legal text, divided according to its wording. The words are starting points for walks, film screenings, lectures and discussions.

The project relates to the law not only with the usual legal definitions but also with a more poetic and fundamental approach. It examines different ideas about the environment and our role in nature, our management of natural resources, responsibilities, views on nature, language and values. It seeks to present alternative views and experiences. We need to better understand ourselves as integrated parts of both the natural cycles and societal structures and we need to see nature as part of society to find new and better ways of organizing our communities.

Derrida writes, in “The Animal That Therefore I Am”, that thinking about the animal, if there is such a possibility, must derive from poetry. So, if we want to see plants and animals as part of our society and democracy, and ourselves as part of nature, then it can not happen only with our rationality, but also in emotional, poetic and intuitive ways.

The project is supported by Fritt Ord and Arts Council Norway.

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