28 January 2024

NO. 3, JANUARY 2024: 'Byens bilde' by Christiania Friatlet Klubb

No. 3, January 2024

The text is one of two texts from UKS Forum No. 3, January 2024.
Find the other text here: B for by by Victoria Durnak.




Byens bilde
by Christiania Friatlet Klubb

This text is written on an iPhone gasping on the last few percentages of its battery bar. In the reflection of the screen i glipse my tired face overly focusing on finding the right letters by the tips of my cold fingers. Im currently deleting unintenional autocorrections and pre-programmed emojis trying to get the hang of it, without feeling like the middle aged hermit I’m about to become.

As treacherous as this situation might seem already several other deadlines are approaching simultaneously: we are out of food here, the weather is about to turn havoc, and UKS -the institution paying for our ten days long bicycle trip in the mountains – is beginning to get restive. I don’t know if Im at work, or on vacation. We promised to hand over an English version of our initial Norwegian scree before summer. But that was also before we realized translating it would be just another one of our nonsensical exercises – severe even, to our English readers. Unfortunately Its atmosphere, and out-of-doors language borrowed from remote areas of Gudbrandsdalen doesnt really play well here in the real world of newsletters.

So, I find myself sitting here in the tent in Jotunheimen like a fumbling troll (a real one not the online version). The whole group have always been unprofessional that way. Stumbling with words, visual codes and languages, obsessing with irrelevant details, seeking safe haven in private jokes and references. Ending up working around the clock even though we insisted not to. Among us we have talked about it as a so called “yrkesskade” – an artists’ work hasard. On the positive side it gave us some sort of freedom to explore and observe. On the negative, it made us seem unavailable and off point. But maybe that was always the point. Are we even artists anymore? I dont know, and listening to them talking by the campfire: I dont think Andreas og Henning knows either. Even though they normally do live in a city.

Recent statistics show that Norwegian artists have been through a peculiar change of modus operandi since the early 2000s. It appears we spend less time on our art production, and more time on art related administrative tasks – such as applications for funding, reports, administration, teaching and writing. In the same period our income has supposedly increased. It all makes sense when you think about it –and I bet our predesessors warned us- in our oil drenched finance economy it’s easier making a living doing professional administration of our leisure activities, than actually doing work. Writing about art is easier than making it. Trust my words.

Image gallery by Christiania Friatlet Klubb. Click the image and swipe to see more

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