An attempt at an artist's statement

I know that all contemporary artists need a written introduction to their work, something that provides it with a bit of context and flavour.

At best a narrative that portrays my work as the logical culmination of a personal journey, full of struggle and heroism.

I sit here in front of my screen, trying to make a diverse artistic practice involving installations, video, performance, sculpture and online work out to be a single cohesive body of work.

But below almost each of the words that I slowly type on the keyboard, a squiggly red line appears. It is as if the spell checker is determined to undermine the carefully constructed artistic persona that I am putting together from shows in and outside of institutions and other arts spaces.

It is as if the computer is suggesting a potential drift through my own biography that opens the possibility that I could be writing a far more interesting text about my work than I am right now: a less regulated and smooth narrative of who I am as an artist, led by the associative structure of my spelling checker's software, rather than my own preconceived notions of who I am and what I do.

Kristoffer Ørum - Born 1975, lives and works in Copenhagen.

EDUCATION

  • 2003–2004 Goldsmiths College, University of London - MA Fine Art
  • 1999–2006 – Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi - MA Fine Art

SELECTED POSITIONS

  • 2015 – 2018 Artistic Researcher at Uncertain Archives, Copenhagen University
  • 2015 Akademiraadets repræsentant at Copenhagen Art Council
  • 2012 - 2015 Professor at Funen Academy of Art
  • 2010 - 2013 Member of the board of Overgaden - Institute of Contemporary Art
  • 2011 - 2014 Member of the board of Haandholdt Platform for hand held art

SELECTED PROJECTS

  • 2019
  • The Future-Oracular, SixtyEight Art Institute, Copenhagen, DK
  • 2018
  • Danish Art After the Apocalypse, Double Dagger, DK. Dec.
  • Islands in the Net, Copenhagen, DK. Dec.
  • Moving In a Soft Field, Galleri Image, Aarhus, DK, Aug.
  • Spire Festival,Holbæk, DK, Aug.
  • Shape Report, Beton Space, Copenhagen, DK. Jun.
  • SNN, Aarhus University, Aarhus, DK. Jun.
  • Institutionalised Magic, Spurvelundskolen, Odense, DK. May.
  • Recognised Faces Book, Space Poetry, DK May
  • Feathered Misconceptions, Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket, Copenhagen, DK. Feb.
  • Så Længe Lager Haves, Specta, Copenhagen, DK. Feb.
  • 2017
  • Sucker Trick, Overgaden, Copenhagen, DK. Nov.
  • Islands in the Net, Flux Factory, New York, USA. Okt.
  • Vornoi, Pist Protta #79, DK. Okt.
  • I prefer not to, Meter, Copenhagen, DK. Sep.
  • Captive Raum OPortal, Århus, DK. May.
  • Ambiguous Physiognomies, KUA, Copenhagen, DK. May
  • OuVert, Museion, Copenhagen, DK. Jun.
  • Qua Aqua, Koldinggade 12, Copenhagen, DK. Mar.
  • Wonderful World, Galleri Bo Bjergaard, Copenhagen, DK. Jan.
  • 2016
  • Museum Pist Protta, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, DK, 16 Sep. – 6 Nov.
  • Metamorphoses, Baltimore Convention Center, USA, Oct.
  • Opslag Nedslag, Den Sorte Diamant, Copenhagen, Mar.
  • Invisible Objects, Prince Gallery, Copenhagen, DK. May.
  • Similar Faces, Arts University Bournemouth, UK, Mar.
  • Potential Communities, The Internet, Mar.
  • Data Tounges, Fung Wah Biennale, New York, DK. Mar.
  • Data Kroppe, Danish National Television, DR.dk, DK Feb.
  • 2015
  • Contemporary Danish Art After the Apocalypse, Copenhagen Art Week, Dk, 27 Aug.
  • Captive Portal 3, Copenhagen Art Week, DK.
  • Recognised Faces, The Internet, Jun.
  • Vabenhvile. 100 års forestillinger, Overgaden, Copenhagen, DK, 5 Jun.
  • Potential Communities I, Kulturo, 18 Apr.
  • 4 digital sketches, Din Nye ven, Copenhagen, 9 Apr.
  • Contemporary Danish Art After the Apocalypse, National Museum, Copenhagen, DK, 21 Feb.
Contact studio@oerum.org for more information

Feathered Misconceptions (2018)

A fifteen minutes long performative lecture at 1800th century building Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket. Commissioned by Ny Carlsberg Fondet for their yearly celebration of their founder. Using video, computer vision and speech recognition it explores the potential of misunderstandings. Drawing connections between petrified wooden Greek architecture, unheroic bodies, feathered architectures and the advanced computer systems that interpret us today. It utilises a range of deliberate linguistic, historical and visual misunderstandings. Performed by lecturer, who is not completely in control of what goes on, weaves a loose narrative.

Wireless Walnut (2018)

An oversized plastic walnut that transmits wireless text. Plug it into A computer. Wait for it to power up. Multiple new Wi-Fi networks appear. Spelling out a series of 31 letter long texts. Visible only through your device's list of wireless networks.

Blindly Listening (2017)

“While you are reading this text, which has been designed to be unreadable by computers, everything that is said in this room is being recorded. A computer transcribes the audio files it has recorded and translates them into Danish, before it uploads the text to meter's homepage. During the exhibition, the carefully worded original English text on the exhibition space's website will be replaced by an unstable bilingual text, one sentence at a time: This text combines the speech recognition software’s interpretation of informal spoken Danish and the formalized English of the global art world, so we get a glimpse of a possible hybrid language capable of connecting local everyday experience with global conversations on art.”

Sucker Trick (2017)

”Sucker Trick” is a collaboration between visual artist Kristoffer Ørum, magician Klaus Mulbjerg, and architect Tomas Skovgaard. The installation is realized as part of Overgaden’s REVISIT-format and enters into a dialogue with the exhibition “EROTIK” which took place at Overgaden in 1989.

In 1866, the French painter Gustave Courbet created the painting “L’Origine du monde”, a close-up of a woman’s genitalia made to order from a Turkish-Egyptian art collector by the name of Halil Bey. At a later date, the painting went into Bey’s collection of erotic art where for more than a century it hung hidden behind a curtain only to be disclosed for selected guests.

Seen from the vantage point of our hypersexualised society, it can be difficult fully to comprehend why this relatively innocent and shapshot-like painting had to be hidden and kept secret at the time. It is slightly easier to imagine how the idea of a veiled image too “strong” to see the light of day can still seem titillating and potentially erotic.

The titillation of an unseen body constitutes a pause on the threshold between what is covered and potentially uncovered. This tension is very close to how magicians work with hiding some acts and exaggerating others in order to give us a sense of something impossible.

A magician works with small and subtle gestures. Bodily hints make up the basis for deception. Hands work together in an experienced fashion. They simulate an oscillation between tension and relaxation when a ball is shifted from one hand to the other. In the onlookers this hint creates the idea of a non-visible object moving from one hand to the other.

The magician’s rhythmic repetition contains a possibility for deception. The hands close around an object again and again and, suddenly, the object has disappeared when the left hand slowly opens for the last time. By a sequence of movements at the same time simple and complicated, the perception apparatus is enticed into seeing something that is not happening. The desire for repetition and the tendency of the human perception apparatus to look for patterns make small differences invisible.

A “Sucker Trick” is a magic trick in which the magician offers false clues in order to hide what he or she is actually doing. Besides its inherent deception, the trick also contains the opportunity to observe the magician’s hands and gestures over time. If you begin to pay close attention, the small hand movements contain a sensual wealth and a minimal drama. A kind of micro Baroque architecture designed to elicit emotional response with the aid of objects, body, and time.

Historically, the Baroque architecture of the 17th century is full of examples of how mergers between art forms such as painting and architecture are used to accomplish maximal illusory effect. But today as well, hundreds of years later, architects still work on hiding or highlighting the elements that make up our built surroundings in order to produce emotions and bodily sensations.

Foley Sound: Martin Langenbach
Supported by: Statens Kunstfond, Ernst B. Sund Fonden, Grosserer L. F. Foghts Fond & KrogagerFonden
https://overgaden.org/en/udstilling/revisit-erotik/

Islands In the Net (2017)

This site-specific exhibition event taking place in selected self-storage facilities in Long Island City and in Flux Factory’s gallery is a major Flux Factory show occurring throughout October, organised by a team of international curators.Passcodes and map with addresses and further logistics were available as an auto-generated reply to emails sent to: selfstorageshownyc@gmail.com

Islands In the Net is the start of a new series of work in the format of reports such as Phaidon’s Global Art Gallery Report or the TEFAF art market report. Its point of departure is the metaphor of art as a world.

Although the art critic Arthur C. Danto is said to have invented the concept of an art world as late as in the mid 1960s, today it is difficult to talk about what happens on the art scene without using the term. The metaphor has become so pervasive that the audacity of the original attempt to bring together all of the people, objects and ideas of art in a single world has been all but lost to us.

If you take the idea literally, the art world can at times feel like an elitist planetary body, closed in on itself and removed from the rest of society. An insular geography shaped by its own particular climate of information and physical flows, inscrutable to the outside world. A somewhat self-absorbed cultural terrain that is continually discovered, conquered, colonised and fought over, just as history tells us the earth has been. This is how I think the art world often represents itself as a narrative.

But it is also possible to understand the idea of an art world less cynically: To take the planetary metaphor at face value, stand back and admire all that constitutes the art world. Just as countless astronauts have talked of the fragility of Earth floating alone in the vacuum of space, the American astronomer Carl Sagan, responding to NASA’s famous blue marble image of the earth, might well have said,

“There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of an art world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the multi-coloured dot, the only home we've ever known.”

Just as the ever-progressing curves of the stock market seem to promise unlimited growth, the image of a planet also conjures up a vision of co-dependent structures that depend on each other for nourishment and support.

It goes without saying that sentimentalising our depictions of the art world will not solve the structural problems of the art world, but perhaps a shift in focus, however slight, might provide us with new ways of understanding its fragile and interconnected ecosystem.

www.self-storagenyc.org

Vornoi (2017)

If you watch movies or television, sooner or later you are bound to see images of something shattering or exploding. For example, realistic images of satisfyingly angular chunks of material sailing through the air in slow motion. These are the results of 3D renderings which are believable enough to be taken for real phenomena, not simulations of the physical properties of materials.

The shapes of these shards, which might seem random, are based on the Voronoi diagrams. A mathematical concept that has helped shape public spaces in our cities since the British physician John Snow used the diagram in 1854 to map the Golden Square Cholera Outbreak. Today, this type of diagram is used extensively to design the built environments that we inhabit, converting curved shapes that are too expensive and difficult to build into affordable and easy to produce straight-edged shapes.

Today most humans live their lives inside cityscapes that are increasingly designed by software that represents the manmade and natural world with as few polygons as possible. The world around us is increasingly imagined and visualised as paper thin hollow surfaces that break down into polygons when they shatter. Perhaps in time we will come to think of the sight of things that do not break into satisfyingly angular chunks as errors of our perceptual apparatus. Just as rounded irregularly shaped objects may come to be seen as Imperfections to be removed from the polygonal environments that we seem intent on imagining and building for ourselves.

Ambivalent Physiognomy (2017)

Ambivalent Physiognomy (2017) A live facial-tracking lecture, about among other things my russian heritage, Putin’s totalitarian nose, the TV show Lie To Me, poisoned knowledge, triangulation and emotional datasets.

“The more I look at my face, the weirder it looks to me, and the less I can recognise it as an image of myself. But fortunately, I use Google all the time, and there is a sort of comfort in knowing that I have left a data imprint on their servers. It is as if the fact that I can be found via Google’s search engines makes me more real and makes me feel tethered to some sort of communal social reality. It is as if I matter a little more because I have been observed, logged and registered, even if it is only by Google’s search-engine robots and not humans.

But even when googling my own name, I see things come up that I don’t remember. Events and news where the name Kristoffer Ørum pops up. Awards for having the most beautiful truck in Denmark that I don’t remember winning, and comments on Facebook that I don’t remember writing: stuff from the life of another Kristoffer Ørum whose life is tied to me, not by his face but by a shared name. I haven’t been able to find any images of this other Kristoffer online, only lots of images of shiny trucks, but at least, I’ve seen from his Facebook profile that he was born in the same year as I was, 1975, and even in the same month, February.”

Beets (2017)

1: "Two texts airbrushed directly onto the wall using beetroot juice, for the show Qua Aqua at Koldinggade 12 in Copenhagen.

In the bottom drawer of my fridge are a few beetroots that have been left there for so long that they have begun to leak red liquid.

The liquid stains my hands when I reach into the vegetable drawer.

The rose coloured spots on my hands spread the beetroot taste to objects and architecture, as the house begins to smell like freshly ploughed earth."

2: " If you lick the walls of a freshly painted room you may notice a familiar aftertaste.

The taste of the titanium pigment which is also used as a whitening agent in milk and sugar.

It is also used in moisturisers to preserve ageing skin and to draw the white lines that mark when one is out of bounds."

Bulge(2017)

Wirelessly transmitted text animation, accompanied by placement of walnuts in public space for Captive Raum OPortal.

I am walking through a familiar part of town, but something feels different today.

I notice a walnut resting on top of some kind of electrical box.

Without much thought I walk over to the electrical box, and reach out to touch the surface of the nut. I wonder briefly why someone would have left it here, as I put it into my trouser pocket. I look up and around, but there is no walnut tree in sight.

In the darkness of my pocket there is now an even deeper darkness inside the hollow walnut. The shell feels dry and industrially smooth against the skin of my fingers. A finger traces the circumference of the small ridge that runs all the way around the walnut fusing its two parts into one.

I glance around and see several other carefully placed walnuts, as I begin to wonder what this subcultural sign system that I have stumbled upon might mean.

For a while I stand passively on the street corner wondering what kind of activities might have resulted in so many walnuts being left behind. I try to remain inconspicuous, as I peer at the people moving past, wondering how many of them are quietly carrying walnuts in their pockets or bags. I see the telling bulge of a walnut in someone’s back pocket and I ask myself how far this pattern of walnuts might stretch.

The moment passes and I begin to make my way home, to dream of a temporary community of people bound together by walnuts. I imagine a quiet and unspoken agreement among the people who have noticed the same pattern. Each of them with a walnut in their possession, rubbing against their keys or mobile devices in the dark. Walnuts taking shape and shaping their lives ever so slightly, causing minute changes in their everyday trajectories and gestures.

An unacknowledged community of commuters who connect to the same Wi-Fi network in a bus or train: For a brief moment in time they are in sync, share a common frequency, and move to the same rhythm. They form a temporary institution established within the larger institutional framework of public transport. A short lived algae bloom in the sea of society, the beginning of a new religion or an intense and all-consuming hobby network.

Perched (2017)

Wirelessly transmitted text animation, accompanied by placement of walnuts in public space for Captive Raum OPortal.

I see walnuts discreetly perched on the edge of trashcans. I notice them carefully arranged on horizontal surfaces along the road. I see them arranged in small circles on the granite stone seating just there. I sit down next to the walnuts, careful not to knock them over, and deep below the stone, sand, rocks and mineral fragments compress uneventfully under the additional weight of my body.

I study the red granite, knowing that it is a natural source of radiation and is used to fashion Curling stones out of. I recognise the warm reddish hue intermingled with black, grey and beige grains from other polished stone surfaces in public spaces. The closer I study the way in which the stone’s texture is simultaneously uniform and varied, the less familiar and recognisable it becomes.

As a I keep looking, the grain patterns in the stone begin to resemble patterns found on the walnuts perched on top of it. I look away. I look up and see animals, faces and objects in the cloud formations visible above nearby buildings, before I close my eyes.

Eyes closed, I hear someone ride past on a worn bicycle. It squeaks, creaks, clicks, whirs, ticks and clunks past, as its sounds merge into a voice. A voice that speaks of a future city whose constituent parts are no longer held in place by authority: A bureaucratic body whose internal systems have stopped performing their designated tasks and begun to turn into something new. But before I manage to hear what this new body might be, the bike turns a corner and its voice falls silent.

I open my eyes and look once more at the walnuts that cluster in places untouched by municipal street sweepers. The walnuts are like barnacles that form around imperfections in the hull of a boat. They come to rest in the in-between spaces where motorised sweepers cannot reach. They settle in parts of the cityscape that are in permanent dispute between private property holders, and the park or street sweeper departments of the municipality.

I have begun picking up some of the walnuts that I come across. I keep them in the side pocket of my windbreaker. I have begun to think that the walnut pattern might have been there all along. That the pattern was just too subtle for me to notice before I started looking for it. Now there are more walnuts in my pockets than I can comfortably carry, and I have begun to look for a place that fits the pattern where I can unload them.

Fondling (2017)

I walk along the street, one hand in my pocket fondling the smooth surface of a walnut, as I notice walnuts placed on handrails, ledges and windowsills along the road. I don't see any walnut trees around, so I wonder where they came from.

I have carried around a walnut in my trouser pocket ever since a doctor described an unidentified lump in my chest as being the size of a walnut.

When she compared the cancerous growth in my chest to a walnut, it was probably just an attempt at making something abstract easier to imagine. Imbuing the amorphous foreign body inside my body with a sense of tactility and identity. But to me her metaphor was a slip of the tongue that made something that otherwise escaped me physical and touchable.

Even now, months after the walnut has been surgically removed, and the areas where it grew have been irradiated and poisoned, a single walnut remains in my left trouser pocket. There I fondle it absentmindedly, imagining powdery white spots of mildew spreading from the walnut’s surface to my body.

In such moments I increasingly Identify with the walnut, remembering with sympathy the parts of my own biology that for a time refused to serve the greater purposes of my body. In my mind I see black fungal fruiting bodies bloom on the surface of white mildew growths that cover the walnut inside of me. My tongue crinkles dryly as I exhale, trying to spread the unruly spores of a metaphorical walnut to the discarded matter in public space.

Captive Raum OPortal (2017)

The Captive Raum OPortal will broadcast at three locations in central Aarhus during the summer of 2017. During this period passers-by will be able to connect to open wireless networks broadcasting more than thirty video, sound and text based art works that together form an invisible and fluctuating mass of alternate readings of these local micro-cityscapes. A stone bench by a confusing intersection, an inaccessible WW II bunker covered in grass and a park with the outline of a demolished church and views of the harbour’s new buildings.

Captive Raum OPortal takes place in areas of the city that exhibit a lack of clearly defined purpose. Its territory is that of the pockets of unregulated space that remain, even in highly regulated cities such as Aarhus. Due to a combination of accidents, oversights, conflicting bureaucratic agendas and dubious design choices, these locations have not been completely integrated into the productive logic of the surrounding city. Free of the agendas of regulation that seek to encourage certain behaviours and abolish others, their extent and functions remain difficult to define, and leaves them ripe for reinterpretation and “misuse”.

Captive Raum OPortal is located in the “cracks” formed by these physical spaces and the similarly porous wireless landscapes of Aarhus. These haphazard, overlooked and unregulated parts of the city resemble the unintended, invisible and largely unregulated multi-layered landscape of electromagnetic currents broadcast by wireless networks in the same public space. Most of these wireless networks have been set up for private content and are meant to be accessed only by a limited number of people, often within a specific building. However in reality, their powerful broadcasts spread their content far outside of the confines of building and into the public sphere where the form an unruly wireless landscape ripe for reinterpretation and “misuse”.

The project is the result of a temporary symbiosis between the two exhibition platforms Captive Portal and ORAUM that both operate in territories at the margins of the established art world, spreading a culturally transmitted virus that has made room for parts of human culture that would otherwise be considered useless, if not downright harmful.

To view the ongoing projects, find a location on the map at cp.oerum.org and go there. Bring a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop along and log on the open Wi-Fi network ’Captive Raum OPortal’ to gain access. If you try to access a site, such as http://artweekend.dk/ you will be redirected to content from Captive Raum OPortal. Please note that trying to access secure website whose address starts with https:// will not take you to Captive Raum OPortal.

Participants are Xenia Xamanek Lopez, Kristoffer Ørum, Sophia Ioannou Gjerding, Jesper Carlsen, Mathias Tornvig Christensen, Gitte Broeng, Lars Hemmingsen Nørgaard, Mark Tholander, Tine Adler Jørgensen, Kasper A. Holm, Sigrid Lerche & Claus Haxholm.

Supported by: Aarhus Kommunes Kulturudviklingspulje

http://captiveraumoportal.dk/

Wireless Tounges (2016)

Acrylic composite material, acrylic paint, steel, plastic, wireless router and LAN cable A Rye bread cast in Jesmonite, and painted to look like the real thing, rests in bread container mounted on the wall. An antenna, mounted on the side of the bread, broadcast an open wireless network called “Wireless Tongues”. But as you log on it is as though parts of the Internet have begun to speak in tongues: You watch websites change before your eyes, and you might begin to think about how human senses relate to the internet. How human bodies and behaviours make up most of what is often referred to as data on the Internet. The Algorithms of “Digital Tongues” form linguistic and visual images that related data to physical experience of the world, rather than the prevailing depersonalised ideas of data. “Wireless Tounges” is a part of the project “Invisible Objects” that through video, performance and sculpture seeks to create a fictitious subculture.

Hello Citizen (2016)

Polymer clay, acrylic paint, steel sink and wireless router An aluminium sink filled with yellow pasta cast in fimo clay and mounted on the wall. In the middle of the pasta an antenna sticks out, broadcasting an open wireless network called “Hello Citizen”. No matter what website the someone connected might try to access, the network redirects all traffic to a single web page. A website that contains a winding, propagandistic message from an unidentified wireless subculture. A mixture of one of the manifesto of the historical avantgrades, and the bombastic rhetoric of hacktivist groups such as Anonymous. The text encourages subversive and disruptive use of wireless networks in public space, creating the spectre of a omni precent fictional subculture. “Hello Citizen “ is a part of the project “Invisible Objects” that through video, performance and sculpture seeks to create a fictitious subculture.

The Copenhagen Incident (2016)

Acrylic composite material, acrylic paint, steel, bamboo wood, plastic and wireless router. A watermelon cast in Jesmonite, and airbrushed to look like the real thing, rests on a circular wooden board mounted on the wall. An antenna, mounted on the side of the melon, broadcast an open wireless network called “The Copenhagen Incident”. No matter what website the someone connected to the network might try to access, the network redirects all traffic to a single web page. A website that contains what appears to be an old newspaper clipping. An article with the headline “Danish Authorities Disrupt Networked Space with Bulldozers”, from a 1974 edition of New York Times. The article is a rewritten version of an article published 1974 detailing a crackdown on non-conformist artist in Moscow. Creating a plausible, but counterfactual historical background of wireless dissent in Copenhagen. “Copenhagen Incident” is a part of the project “Invisible Objects” that through video, performance and sculpture seeks to create a fictitious subculture.

The Culture (2016)

Birch wood, wireless router, paint and power supply A modified chair from Ikea containing a wireless router. This router broadcasts an open wireless network called “Hello Citizen”. No matter what website the someone connected might try to access, the network redirects all traffic to a single web page. A website that contains what appears to be a Wikipedia entry about a wireless subculture. Text and images on the website change over time creating an unstable narrative of a fictional subculture. “The Culture” is a part of the project “Invisible Objects” that through video, performance and sculpture seeks to create a fictitious subculture.

Drink Society (2016)

Acrylic composite material, acrylic paint, steel, refrigerator door and wireless router. A Milk Carton cast in Jesmonite, and painted to look like the real thing, rests in refrigerator door mounted on the wall. On the side of the Carton an antenna sticks out, periodically broadcasting hundreds of wireless networks. Each of the networks has a name different name such as “We Drink Society”, “We Eat Society” or “We are an all-consuming hobby”. Together the text fragment form a poetic mass of invisible masse of text written in the wireless spectrum.

Invisible Objects (2016)

Mp4 file (1080p), PU foam, electronic components, flat screen television and customised USB stick. “Invisible Objects” is a series of video interviews with members of this fictitious subculture. A fictional subculture that combines strategies from live role players and hacktivists. “Invisible Objects” endeavours to demonstrate that the ubiquitous digital infrastructures are not the result of uncontrollable natural forces. They are not a form of invisible magic that we can not possibly understand, or challenge. We are not powerless against the invisible structures that increasingly pervades our digitised lives. We can act by misusing and modifying the visible objects and invisible elements of an increasingly digital everyday life.

Recognised Faces (2015-ongoing)

Recognised Faces is an internet application that generates a daily image of a face from images found via google’s lists of top search terms. Facial features in the found images are identified, using facial recognition technologies usually reserved for mass surveillance, before being combined into an image of a new face. After being generated these faces are used as the personal avatar of Kristoffer Ørum on his website, on various social networks and anywhere else his image might be indexed and scanned for facial features by intelligence agencies, commercial agents or other interested parties.

By constructing new faces from parts of the most looked upon images on the internet Recognised Faces creates a snapshot of the flow of data collection and facial recognition that happens daily on the internet, thus utilising facial recognition to generate phantom faces that reflect how computers perceive us as vaguely recognisable patterns in an ocean of data. When these phantom images are fed back into the internet, they may help to destabilise the NSA’s or google’s images of who Kristoffer Ørum is ever so slightly.

The glitchy faces that emerge from the computer’s dispassionate gaze clearly differ from how faces appear to a more human gaze. They may appear somewhat monstrous and weird, but for the most part they remain strangely reminiscent of the beauty ideals that dominate mainstream media as well as most of the internet. What to human eyes might appear to be errors and distortions reveals traces of the statistical mode of perception that is really at work here - illustrating shortcomings of much reviled surveillance technology while providing us with a mechanical mode of observation that just might reveal things about our species that our own perception is unable to show us.

https://recognisedfaces.tumblr.com/about
http://recognisedfaces.oerum.org/

A Body Has Many Members (2015)

”A Body Has Many Members” is a public commission for the UCC (University College Capital) Campus Nordsjælland commissioned by the Danish Agency for Culture and the UCC. It consists of over 30 screens scaGered across all parts of the campus that show a real time visualisation of the College’s institutional infrastructure. On these screens the invisible flows of economy, knowledge and power are made visible in a visual language akin to computer games, or scientific visualisations. Individual members of staff and students appear as avatars The project proposes a new visual metaphor through which to consider the institution: as an organic and ever-changing organism, defined not by its physical dimensions but rather by the activities that happen within, and around it. By visualising data drawn from lesson plans, evaluation structures as well as economic data this installation focuses aRention on Campus Nordsjælland, its situation within society and the individuals that make up the institution.

”A Body Has Many Members” addresses the ancient metaphors of the human body that continue to shape the social and political imagination today. Since time immemorial the human body has been used as a metaphor for social and political relations. Today we still refer to the ‘head of state’ often without recognizing or acknowledging the metaphor and its embedded ideology and social norms. This project hopes to leave these ancient bodily metaphors behind in order to adopt metaphors that are more in line with what constitutes a body in present-day science and an institution in contemporary society.