News : 2012/08

OCA Semesterplan – Autumn 2012: `The Articulation of Protest´

Published 2012/08/28

From William Bunge’s Fitzgerald: Geography of a Revolution (1971)

Norsk versjon


The Articulation of Protest:
A Programme on Some of the Logistics of Information
and Social Activism Today

Rasmus Fleischer on Friday, 14 September 2012 / 19:00
Alberto Toscano on Friday, 21 September 2012 / 19:00
Live audio streaming

Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Nedre Gate 7
0551 Oslo, Norway l

In his essay ‘What Is the Meaning of Autonomy Today?’, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi uses this question to trace the development of autonomy from the historical movement of Autonomia, elaborating on a state of mind that must take root in any type of self-organisation of cognitive work. Cultural producers use autonomy today to make a claim for deregulation and secure a living in multiple ways, but these strategies often dispute legal procedures. This is specially the case with copyright law, which, according to experts and activists in the field, has become obsolete in relation to contemporary communication platforms.

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway presents ‘The Articulation of Protest’, a programme of two lectures that intends to address this conjuncture. The first lecture, on 14 September, will be presented by the Swedish historian Rasmus Fleischer, co-founder of Piratbyrån (The Bureau of Piracy) and the second on 21 September by social theorist Alberto Toscano, author of Fanaticism: On the Use of an Idea. The lectures will look into strategies that have emerged in recent times through actions and communication, and in dialogue or confrontation with existing legislation, with the aim to secure free circulation of information and knowledge in the face of the state's or capital's attempts to control and to commodify them. In doing so, they will explore individual and collective initiatives and other strategic choices, and discuss them in relation to a history of critical organisation, of free speech and activism.

The lectures will also be made available through radio streaming on OCA's website.

Rasmus Fleischer lecture
Friday, 14 September 2012 / 19:00

In 2009, after months of legal disputes, authorities in Sweden won an injunction against Pirate Bay, the world’s largest BitTorrent file-sharing site, to block users’ access. In response, Pirate Bay wrapped up the code that runs its entire website, and offered it as a free downloadable file for anyone to copy and install on their own servers, making it possible for hundreds of new versions of the site to be set up.

Rasmus Fleischer, one of the founders of Piratbyrån, closely aligned with the Pirate Bay, will speak about political engagement and discuss to what extent speed or, on the contrary, delay might become a resource for a deepened critique of contemporary politics. Fleischer will do so from the perspective of current developments and polemics within ‘social media’, to look at how both enthusiasm and skepticism toward the internet may, in some cases, be part of the same counter-revolutionary coin.

Alberto Toscano lecture
Friday, 21 September 2012 / 19:00

Logistics has been the focus of much recent artistic work that seeks to unsettle consensual perceptions of our world. But, because of logistics’  privileging of invisible circulation over the symbols of power and resistance, an art concerned with it necessarily works against conventional notions of art as protest, dissent or intervention. In his talk, Alberto Toscano will explore this rift between protest and logistics in two ways: the first concerns the aesthetics of information used in the representation of dissent and the mapping of logistics, and the second involves analysing the shift of dissent from a remonstration against authority to a consideration of the way in which logistics tends to sideline the art of protest.

Rasmus Fleischer
Rasmus Fleischer is a Swedish historian, writer and occasional musician. For nearly a decade, he has been lecturing about the crisis of copyright. He was one of the persons behind Piratbyrån (or The Bureau for Piracy), a group which during its existence (2003–09) tried to actively question the basics of ‘intellectual property’ in the intersections of technology, art and politics. He is the author of the books Musikens politiska ekonomi (The Political Economy of Music, 2012), Boken & Biblioteket (The Book and the Library, 2011) and Postdigitala manifestet (The Postdigital Manifesto, 2009), which is also his PhD thesis at the Institute of Contemporary History at Södertörn University, concerning the motivations behind regulation of sound media during the 20th century. As a historian, Rasmus Fleischer is also investigating the transformations of contemporary fascism.

Alberto Toscano
Alberto Toscano is a social theorist, philosopher and a lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. Toscano is the author of Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea (2010) and The Theatre of Production: Philosophy and Individuation Between Kant and Deleuze (2006). He has translated into English several works by Alain Badiou, such as Logics of Worlds (2009), The Century (2007) and Handbook of Inaesthetics (2005), and is co-editor of Alain Badiou’s Theoretical Writings (2004) and On Beckett (2003). He has co-translated and prefaced Éric Alliez’s The Signature of the World (2004) and Antonio Negri’s Political Descartes (2007). He has published several articles on contemporary philosophy, ontology and social theory. He sits on the editorial board of the journal Historical Materialism, and edits the Italian List for Seagull Books. He is currently completing a book on representations of contemporary capital, titled Cartographies of the Absolute (with Jeff Kinkle).

For more information on the programme, please contact OCA’s press officer Maria Moseng at

This event is made possible with the kind support of Istituto Italiano di Cultura Oslo.

From William Bunge’s Fitzgerald: Geography of a Revolution (1971)

From William Bunge’s Fitzgerald: Geography of a Revolution (1971)


Issa Samb and Koyo Kouoh in a discussion at the Munch Studio

Published 2012/08/23

Issa Samb, Untitled, 1990. Ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Elizabeth Harney


Issa Samb and Koyo Kouoh in a discussion at the Munch Studio in Ekely

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 / 19:00

Jarlsborgveien 14,
0379 Oslo, Norway
Map to the Munch Studio l

OCA would like to announce a performative discussion at the Munch Studio at Ekely in Oslo between ISP resident Issa Samb and curator Koyo Kouoh on Tuesday, 28 August at 19:00. Issa Samb is a Dakar-based artist and author whose work is currently featured in dOCUMENTA (13). Samb will engage in an informal discussion with Koyo Kouoh, a curator and the director of Raw Material Company in Dakar, Senegal, that will, at the same time, create a performative action.

This event introduces Issa Samb’s participation in OCA’s International Studio Programme and his stay at Edvard Munch's Estate and Studio during his OCA residency. His presence in Oslo will prepare a project to be realised at OCA in autumn and winter of 2012. This event is the second in a series of programme activities OCA is developing in the next months in relation to art, society and politics in contemporary Africa, exploring dialogues initiated during the symposium 'Condition Report', organised by Raw Material Company in Dakar in January 2012.  

Please join us for this gathering, during which the Munch Studio will be open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Issa Samb

Issa Samb was born in 1945 in Senegal and lives in Dakar. In 1973–74 he founded, together with a group of artists, writers, film-makers, performance artists and musicians, the Laboratoire Agit-Art, whose aim was to transform the nature of artistic practice from a formalist, object-bound sensibility to practices based on experimentation and agitation, process rather than product, ephemerality rather than permanence. With a focus on the contingent character of actions, the Laboratoire was informed by a critique of institutional power. Samb also co-founded the Gallery TENQ – Village des Arts in Dakar. He is the author of numerous plays, poems and essays. A retrospective of his work was held at the National Art Gallery, Dakar in 2010. His work has been included in exhibitions such as dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012), the Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain, Dak’Art, Dakar (2008) or ‘Seven Stories of Modern Art in Africa’, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (1995).

Koyo Kouoh
Koyo Kouoh is a Cameroonian-born independent exhibition maker and cultural producer educated in Banking Administration and Cultural Management in Switzerland and France. She is the founder and artistic director of Raw Material Company, a center for art, knowledge and society in Dakar. Kouoh has served as agent to Carolyn Christov-Barkagiev’s dOCUMENTA (13). Specialising in photography, video and art in the public space, she has curated numerous exhibitions internationally and written extensively on contemporary African art. Besides a sustained theoretical and exhibition programme at Raw Material Company, she maintains a dynamic curatorial activity beyond the African borders. Recent exhibitions include 'Chronicle of a Revolt: Photographs of a Season of Protest' first shown at Raw Material Company (2012) and upcoming at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany; 'Hypocrisy: The Site Specificity of Morality' (co-curated with Stina Hoegkvist) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo (2009). In collaboration with Anne-Marie Bouttiaux and David Adjaye, she curated the contemporary section of 'GEO-graphics: A Map of African Art Past and Present' at Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Belgium (2010). She co-curated 'Make Yourself at Home', an exhibition and community programme in collaboration with Charlotte Bagger-Brandt for Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark (2010). Kouoh was also associate curator of SUD, Salon Urbain de Douala, Cameroon (2010).

The Studio in Ekely was purchased by Edvard Munch in 1916, and he lived and worked there until his death in 1944. In the 1950s seventeen buildings were constructed, establishing an artists' colony in the area, but the Studio remained and it is currently rented by OCA for the purpose of housing artists within its ISP Programme. Former residents include Lawrence Weiner, Amar Kanwar, Alice Creischer, Enrico David, Trisha Donnelly and Peter Watkins.

The International Studio Programme invites international artists and curators to a stay in Oslo, independently or in connection with research in Norway. The programme comprises three studios located in Grünerløkka, Oslo.

The event is supported by O3–funds as underwritten by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for enhancing collaboration in the contemporary art field with professional artists in countries designated by the MFA. The purpose of the O3–funds as allocated to OCA is to further develop cooperation and professional networking between OCA and the constituency of artists, independent cultural producers, and organisations that are located in designated countries. This includes but is not limited to 'professional research visits by cultural producers, artists, and curators', 'short-term residencies for cultural producers and artists', 'seminars, conferences, art projects, workshops that focus on the further development of professional exchange and networking between and among countries', and 'project development on an international scale'.

For more information, please contact OCA’s press officer Maria Moseng at


Morten Norbye Halvorsen in the Mindaugas Triennial, Vilnius

Published 2012/08/16

Neringa Restaurant, Vilnius, Lithuania


Rockmore: a music recital by Morten Norbye Halvorsen
as part of the Mindaugas Triennial – the 11th Baltic Triennial of International Art, Vilnius, Lithuania

Curators: Defne Ayas and Benjamin Cook

31 August, 15:00
Neringa Restaurant, Gedimino ave. 23, Vilnius

Triennale Period: 24 August–29 September 2012
Opening Reception: 24 August, 18:00

The Mindaugas Triennial, according to curators Defne Ayas (director of Witte de With, Rotterdam, the Netherlands) and Benjamin Cook (director of LUX, London, UK), aims to 'counter the tendency of biennials to be pluralist, all-encompassing multi-platforms'. The curators have chosen 'to present the contributions of the artists through a radically minimised vessel – a single human being. Mindaugas, who has one of the most common Lithuanian names (literally 'much fame' or 'one who has many ideas'), is the medium through which the artists will channel their works. He will appear each day throughout the Triennial, animated by different instructions, scripts, scenarios, and scores by the participating artists to be played out in the city of Vilnius or nearby surrounding areas'.
Morten Norbye Halvorsen participates in this exhibition in collaboration with Valentinas Klimašauskas, in a music recital entitled Rockmore. According to the artist, 'this recital can be seen as a radio play, a life-recording studio, sound exhibition, an audio guide to the CAC, Vilnius, Triennial, or Timbuktu. Using the idea that the practice of listening is less linear and more ghostly than the practice of seeing, by amplifying slips of the ear, uncertainty, non-objectivity, and real-time performativity as typical qualities of sound, the Rockmore recital will try to evoke "imaginary" or "listenary" experiences'.

For press enquiries and more information on this exhibition, please contact Renata Dubinskaitė.

About the artist
Morten Norbye Halvorsen (b.1980 in Stavanger, Norway, lives and works in London, UK) is a graduate of Falmouth College of Arts, Cornwall, UK and The Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, Norway. Among his recent exhibitions and performances are 'The Museum Problem', Frutta Gallery, Rome, Italy (2012); 'Run, comrade, the old world is behind you', Kunsthall Oslo (2011); 'A clock that runs on mud', Galeria Stereo, Poznan, Poland (2011); 'More or Less, A Few Pocket Universes', Gallery Augusta (HIAP), Helsinki, Finland (2011); 'Champagne Polka', Gaudel de Stampa, Paris, France (2011); 'Token Took', Chert gallery, Berlin, Germany (2011); 'Clifford Irving Show', Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp, Belgium (2010); 'Repetition Island', Centre Pompidou, Paris (2010); 'Paper Exhibition', Artist Space, New York, NY, USA (2009) and 'Clifford Irving Show', New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA, USA (2008).

OCA Support
Morten Norbye Halvorsen's participation in the Mindaugas Triennial is supported by OCA's International Support Programme.


Upcoming publication in October 2012: `The State of Things'

Published 2012/08/02

The State of Things brings together essays by Franco Berardi, Leo Bersani, Judith Butler, T.J. Clark, Jan Egeland, Fawaz A. Gerges, Jacques Rancière, Saskia Sassen, Vandana Shiva and Eyal Weizman as commissioned by OCA as part of Norway's official representation in the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale. The State of Things aims to tackle the 'state of things' today, drawing from the speakers' fields of activity and research, and from what they consider the intellectual and political priorities of today. The overall programme took its cue from the Nansen Passport, created by Norwegian diplomat and explorer Fridtjof Nansen at the end of World War I in an attempt to enable refugees to move across borders in search of political and intellectual shelter.

Click here to learn more about the publication.

Click here to access `The State of Things' video archive.