lightweight luggage for transitioning

lightweight luggage for transitioning

This is an artistic video research on how thoughts can help to transition our state of being.

I experiment with condensing textual information to open different possibilities of cognitive interpretation. By deliberately inviting coincidence in the process of aligning spoken word with moving images, multilayered and unpredictable meanings emerge.

The five-part video compilation ‘lightweight luggage for transitioning’ was realized in the framework of ‘Tracing the Spirit’, the 70th anniversary project of the Nordic Summer University (NSU). Since 1950, this nomadic and grassroots democratic academic institution has been committed to cross-disciplinary research and critical thinking, inspired by the 19th century Danish public reformer N.F.S. Grundtvig, who developed a social philosophy of ‘people’s high schools’ (folkehøjskole), based on the idea of lifelong learning. ‘Tracing the Spirit’ was part-funded by The Nordics, a joint branding project by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Winding back through NSU’s archive of keynote speeches, I looked for thoughts that give direction, hope and momentum for an emancipatory transitioning towards humane earthly survival. During the 2019 Summer Meeting in Roosta, Estonia, I also talked with longstanding, returning and new members of the NSU about the role that this self-organized institution can play in this process. The audio recordings of these conversations and a condensed reading of a keynote lecture formed the base on which I edited video observations of special everyday situations in the anthropocene.

In the first two videos, I listen to returning and first time visitors tracing their impressions of the Nordic Summer University.

The third video is based on a lunch conversation I had with Naomi Scheman (from which I deleted my parts of the conversation). The video I chose to accompany this talk shows a fresh water source in Latvia, near the house of Inta Balode. The mixed in video footage of tadpoles nibbing at human hands and feet was contributed by Vineta Gailite, whom I also met in the Nordic Summer University.

Looking into the archive, I singled out a keynote speech that the German Sociologist Hartmut Rosa held in 2007, which was published by NSU Press in 2010: “Alienation and Acceleration. Towards a Critical Theory of late-modern temporality”.

In the audio part of the video digestion of theory “being a_part”, I summarize the book by editing, and read out the parts that seemed most significant to me at this moment. Sometimes I read while typing, copying the text, slowing down and shifting to another form of under-standing. What is the speed of digesting other people´s written and spoken thoughts? Meanwhile, the video of “being a part” shows movement in an (organical and animal-friendly) cow stable, with one special guest appearance towards the end.

The fifth and yet unpublished video in this series is a video meditation based on a conversation I had with Hartmut Rosa, just after I showed him my video digestion of this book.