Week 2022


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Marte Johnslien “The Materiality of White”, Talk 

The Materiality of White

In this talk, artist/associate professor Marte Johnslien (KhiO) and art historian Ingrid Halland (UiB/AHO) will introduce their research project The Materiality of White which explores how the Norwegian innovation Titanium Dioxide has changed surfaces in art, architecture and design—making the world whiter, brighter and cleaner looking.

The chemical compound titanium dioxide (TiO2) circulates extensively through our material, biological, and economic systems, most of the time completely unnoticeable. It was originally discovered and patented as a white pigment by Norwegian chemists Peder Farup and Gustav Jebsen, and production for the global market began in the mine Titania AS in Sokndal, Norway, and in the factory Kronos Titan AS in Fredrikstad, Norway, in 1916.

Throughout the 20th Century, the material was increasingly used in combination with other colours (as coating for concrete, glazing for ceramics, and additive in plastic) thereby changing the aesthetics of surfaces in art, architecture, and design—its extreme covering ability made surfaces smoother, brighter, and more opaque. After a hundred years of mining, the extraction of TiO2 has left an irreversible change in the local landscape: The environmental trace of mining modernism consists of a vast cut through the surface of the earth and a grey artificial desert of mining waste.  

In this talk, Marte Johnslien and Ingrid Halland will 1) introduce their research project by giving a brief introduction to the history of TiO2, and 2) share experiences about their research collaboration (artistic research and research in the humanities). 

About the presenters

Marte Johnslien is a visual artist and Associate Professor at The Oslo National Academy of the Arts. She works with sculpture, installation art and artist’s books, and she defended her PhD thesis in 2020. Johnslien’s work is included in the collections of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and Lillehammer Art Museum. 

Ingrid Halland is an architectural historian and art critic. She is Associate Professor at The University of Bergen and Associate Professor II at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design where she teaches at the PhD Programme. The book Ung Uro: Unsettling Climates in Nordic Art, Architecture & Design (Cappelen Damm Akademisk) was published in Spring 2021.

Work Group

Objective Enactive
This online lecture-demonstration unfolds the term ´Poetic Materiality´ within the context of designing and choreographing with Somatic Costumes. Through critiquing and applying the somatic practice of Skinner Releasing Technique, the poetics of philosopher Gaston Bachelard and the materiality of anthropologist Tim Ingold, this talk begins to map poetic and material agencies between bodies-costumes within the design-performance encounter.

Artist Talk

Objective Enactive

This talk will focus on the first outcome of Glitsch(ening) Ci(rculari)ty, a tripartite site-specific, where I am pursuing a speculative exploration of the ecology of the city, between the urban and the biological, unfolding its layers and materiality of time. The talk will end in a conversation between fellow researchers and artists in the collaborative project Urban Ecologies, where Glitsch(ening) Ci(rculari)ty, is generated from.


Polyvocal Tongue The presentation will focus on relational ethics and polyvocality in performative text. It will also explore the use of plural languages in a play, looking at how a polylingual praxis can open up new aesthetic potential in playwrighting and in artistic research in general.


TRANSPOSITIONS— JAR, Mette Edvardsen and modular diaries At the start, the idea for an artistic research conversation with Mette Edvardsen did not spring out of the topics shortlisted for the conference—hospitality, vulnerability and care—but a book that she had co-edited, and dropped in my shelf.

Panel Discussion

The Ethics of Vulnerability and Artistic Research

Any ethical framework must take account of the vulnerability of the human condition. This is significant in all creative endeavours – especially in artistic practice and the teaching of it – since the very act of creating something and putting it out into the world is an expression of vulnerability.