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Ørjan Amundsen 


Ørjan Amundsen is a Norwegian artist and musician. His practice involves mainly video, text and music and central to his artistic method is appropriation. In his works he explores how digital media, information technologies and montage techniques shape contemporary perceptions and world views. 


Amundsen holds a BFA from Tromsø Art Academy and an MFA from the Art Academy in Trondheim. Amundsen has previously exhibited and screened works at Kunstnernes Hus Kino, Oslo; Coast Contemporary, Trondheim; Arctic Moving Image & Film Festival, Harstad; Whitechapel Gallery, London and recently had a solo exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall. 


Stills from Destiny, 2023

Destiny (2023) Three channel video installation with sound, 13:32 min. 

Destiny is a three part installation in which mythology, technology, facts and speculation are woven together. The work is inspired by the Norse mythological deities the Norns, an all-knowing and all seeing trio responsible for shaping the course of human destinies. In Destiny, these goddesses of fate are given a modern incarnation in the form of predictive technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning; a newer form of predictive power that analyses, learns, and makes predictions based on historical data patterns. Three female protagonists, storytellers and seers, recite one text that are constantly moving in time – from the beginning of the universe, to an imagined future with terraformed moons, sentient space ships, planet sized computers, and also the end of the universe. The screens are showing a flux of abstracted commercials juxtaposed with spectacular nature footage, portraying a never ending transformation of the elements, for instance from magma to steel to smart phones or electric cars.


The installation was shown as a solo exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall, 2023. 

Voices: Bobby Yu Shuk Pui, Sahar Seyedian Choubi and Lesia Vasylchenko. 

3D design: Pål Gumpen.  


Stills from Not Actual Gameplay, 2023.

Not Actual Gameplay (2023) Single channel 4K video with sound, 17:39 min.

The work is an open ended, poetic and speculative unfolding of our contemporary technoscientific media-saturated world told through the use of appropriated material from a variety of sources. Using the sun and light as a metaphor of knowledge and truth as a starting point, the work reveals a world full of seduction, violence, desire, acceleration, disruption, communication or the lack of it. Through four chapters the work portrays the creation and the subsequent destruction of the world caused by the sun exploding and implodes into a black hole where everything disappears. 


The work comprised a solo exhibition at Galleri K4 (Oslo) in 2023. 

Stills from What the Rocks Knows, 2023.

What the Rocks Knows (2023) Single channel 4K video with sound, 9:13 min.  

The video work What the Rocks Knows depicts a series of thousand year old stone churches, ruins of churches and pre-historic human made stone formations and stone carvings. The work is an exploration of the deep history of the rocks these constructions and carvings consists of. It’s attempting to trace their movements from creation and forming, to its present state as church walls or integral parts of architectures with presumed ritual and ceremonial purpose used by our ancestors. In What the Rocks Knows the rocks itself becomes witnesses of lost histories, beliefs and ideas, while also representing a limit of our understanding – a knowledge that evades us, and that fundamentally points to a time before and after human life. 


What the Rocks Knows was shown at the biennale MOMENTUM 12 (Moss) Norway. 

Still Is, 2022

Is (2022) Single channel 4K video with sound, 19:29 min.

Is consists of appropriated and manipulated nature documentaries from the Arctic and Antarctic which is juxtaposed with a poetic text based on the novel The Ice Palace by a Norwegian author Tarjei Vesaas (1963). This short poetic novel is about a deep and profound befriending of two 11 year old girls and their subsequent separation after one of the girls freezes to death inside a labyrinthic ice structure naturally made by a waterfall. Is mirrors and accentuates Vesaas's unique sparse, figurative, and fragmentary style, and captures the original text’s existential unease where guilt, loss and the fragility of human connections are explored. Nature plays a central, captivating, mysterious, and perhaps terrifying role in this work, that evoke the current existential threat of human made climate change and collective feelings of loss, guilt and powerlessness. The video is accompanied by music that transforms from ambient soundscapes to drum based melodic techno music – a soundtrack that reflects the cold and icy landscapes in its precision and clarity alluding to the geometric crystalline structure of ice. 


Shown at Kunstnernes Hus Kino (Oslo) as a part of a group exhibition curated by Breton Cassette

Stills from Cactus Land Remade – A Martian Gothic, 2019.

Cactus Land Remade – A Martian Gothic (2019) Single channel HD video with sound 26:56 min. 

Through appropriated material from video games, films, music videos, commercials and more, Cactus Land Remade – A Martian Gothic tells a story about human colonisation of Mars. The allure of Mars has for a long time been a central theme in myths and in fiction, as well as conspiracies and in recent years it has become the focus of a new space race. Countries like the U.S, China, Russia and India are contenders alongside private companies such as SpaceX, Boeing and Blue Origin. Mars has in a sense become the first step of the utopian dream of colonizing space, or a second Earth when our planet no longer can sustain humans. The video work that is divided into seven songs or chapters, reveals anxieties and contradictions of our time, with an unfolding environmental crisis on one side, and the desire and obsession to colonise a barren and inhospitable planet like Mars, on the other.


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