Gustav Hellberg

WIEL Videoproduktion

The last year I have been working with a series of objects and installations where sensors monitor various changes caused by human activities in the artwork’s near surroundings. I have used sensors that read light, temperature, humidity and CO2 to mimic photosynthetic organisms. In other works I have also used sensors measuring radiation and sound. In this first phase of the project the data produced by the sensors have been used to control light. The artworks change their visual appearance according to what data the sensors deliver.

The concept in these works has been to create machines which interact with their surroundings like organisms. Depending on changes in for instance light or CO2 levels the works alter their appearances or activities.

One example is the artwork XYZ. It was commissioned for the Uppsala Biomedical Center, Uppsala University, Sweden. XYZ has been an opportunity to develop sensor-controlled technology to be used in my art practice. In the process of creating the technical units for XYZ I gained access to technology to connect with my public space projects.

9 Evenings Revisited

When I was given the opportunity to participate in the art and science project 9 Evenings Revisited I contacted my old and close friend Anders Ledberg, who is a neuroscientist.  Although we have known each other for many years, we cannot really communicate the core subject of our respective works to each other. We share similar difficulties in our specific fields, which we also discuss a lot. When we sat down, a year ago, to see if we could find a common ground to work from it was the difficulty of communication in general that unveiled itself as a suitable, if not obvious, topic. A year later we have started an endeavor into the unknown. We have different approaches. Our main divergence is what and how one can present a project that is neither aesthetic nor scientific. Ledberg brought an unsolved experiment about synchronization in nerve cells to my attention and I think we’ve found something which we playfully can work with. I do personally think that play is the way through this project. Play doesn’t mean that we leave serious thought behind. At this point in the project it opens up doors to creativity and thought. I believe that with this spirit we can honor the original 9 Evenings concept, to bring different thought processing traditions together with an aim to gain new or different knowledge.