Dialog mit Erik Åberg
kitchensession #1: Erik Åberg – Improvisation in seiner Küche
anschliessendes Feedbackgespräch ab 11:14
Ergänzend zu dem Austausch in Gesprächsform war es auch dezidiertes Ziel, eine freie performative Session in der jeweiligen Küche allen am Projekt Beteiligten zu teilen.
– “sharing of an object situation“ with you and an object / objects of your choice.
– you are totally free in what you do as long as we can follow it on camera
– It can be a first time encounter with an object, a sharing of something that you have spent a lot of time with previously, a spontaneous idea that you don’t even decide about before you start
– it is up to you
Es gab hierfür bewusst keine weiteren Einschränkungen/Vorgaben. Die kitchensession sollte Werkstatt- bzw. Küchencharakter haben, Raum für (gewagte) Experimente lassen oder auch für Improvisationen, die durchaus auch scheitern konnten…
Transkript des Dialogs mit Erik Åberg
FELIX (QUESTION 1): So, Eric, what led you to juggling?
ERIK: Well, when I was 7 or 8 years old I discovered skateboarding. This is around 1987 or something like that. And, I got really interested in that. And I had a skateboard, and I was doing that – that was my main hobby growing up all the way up until I was 14-15. And somewhere around then, there came a film called „Caught Clean“ by a skateboard company called Invisible Skateboards. Now, I already had learnt hot to juggle some years prior to that. A friend of mine had taught me how to juggle three balls in a cascade. And I just didn’t think there was more to it, I thought that was just the only thing you could do. So I hadn’t given it more thought than that. I knew how to juggle three balls, and that was that. So when this film came that was “ Caught Clean“, they were doing skateboarding and juggling in the same film. So for me I made this connection between juggling and skateboarding – it was these like visual tricks. And in the skateboard you used your feet, but in juggling you used your hands let’s say. So there was a relationship there. It was – to me it was still very, very similar. So, since it was presented in that way in that film, it was very natural for me to just pick it up and start doing it as kind of a continuation of my hobby as a skateboarder. So I started doing that, and then in that film there was many variations and many props – different props were used and very many things that I didn’t know of were used. So, then I got really, really into juggling as well.
I don’t know exactly why I hung on to juggling initially and kind of skateboarding became left behind… I think juggling was a little bit more accessible in terms of you could just have some objects around the house and whenever you wanted you could just go and juggle if you felt like it. Where skateboarding, you had to get out of the house. So there was a little bit of a barrier there. And also juggling is such a nice… it’s such a nice intensity level. You can basically, you can do it as long as you want; you don’t necessarily get tired or sweaty or anything like that. Where skateboarding, it had a limit you know. After a few hours you kind of… you had to take a break – you had to do something else. And juggling you could keep going a little bit more freely, at least. Of course there is juggling that requires a lot of effort too, but you can also just play around with it lot. So, I don’t know exactly why I got more involved with the juggling after a while than the skateboarding. But, that’s one aspect that I thought of that could have led to it.
And then, there came this chance… a friend of mine heard about this circus school that you could go to. And it was a one year course in circus. And I applied for that course and I got in. I didn’t have any idea about, you know, wanting to become a performer or artist or anything like that. I was just interested in juggling. But I got into this school, and then in the school of course you perform what you learn. So, slowly this idea of performance was integrated into the juggling that I was doing. And when the one-year course was over, there was another school with a three-year course. So I applied for that one and I got in there. So the, in total I was in circus school for 4 years. And when I got out of that circus school then I was set on becoming a performer. It wasn’t something that was natural for me, though – performing… it was. I thought it was very difficult and I didn’t have – I don’t have a natural urge to get in front of people and show things, or do things like that. So, I had to find other motivations why to do these performances. But I do think that I was interested in communicating what I was finding with these juggling things. And I was always, from the beginning, mostly interested in kind of the creative aspect of juggling. So, I think that’s the quick summary of how I got there, into it.
FELIX: So basically, you already touched all three levels of the questions. Because you explained like how you, how you kind of discovered it. Or went from the very first initial discovery, through this film then to a deeper exploration of the discipline. And, also what caught you on it…
ERIK: Yeah, I’ll say one more thing though. One thing that was really influential on me early on. Kind of like… because there’s this idea you know; you can be a juggler and you can do creative things. But is there a difference between that and being an artist of juggling. I think that’s a… maybe they’re the same; maybe creative juggling and juggling as an art is the same, and maybe not. That’s perhaps for someone else to decide. But, for me, there was some kind of an awakening when I discovered french artist Yves Klein. You know who he is? Who paints the blue things and who paint the fire, and who drag the women in the paint, and jump from a building… And he did many things that was just – when I discovered him and I was really… kind of immersed into all of his work. Because it was so… yeah, it was so crazy to me like how could you just paint a blue square? I mean, I was really young. I didn’t have that strong connection to anything artistic beforehand. I thought that painting and sculpture and these things were pretty concrete things. You paint something perhaps concrete, or at least with some kind of an idea behind it. But you could just paint one color? That was just nuts to me. And also when you read about him how he early on in his life, he sits down with his friends and they divide the universe between them. And one friend says that he’ll be the master of the word, everything written and everything spoken. And then the other friend, he says he’s the master of… I forget what the other friend – maybe materia is what the other person says. And then Yves Klein he has to decide what he is the master of, and he claims the void; everything that does not exist. And it was just, when you’re led into this territory that your mind has never – has never wandered in, you know… And it was continuously like that for a pretty long period of time with Yves Klein. I remember I saw some exhibition with him in some way – or retrospective of course since he was long gone. But, there was this brochure – the information about the works you were gonna see. And some guy had written it – I don’t know if you’re familiar with this – it just says ‚Preface‘ at the top. And then, there’s no words. There’s just different black boxes the length of words, set out like… it has the structure like a text but it is just words that have been blacked out. There are no words but it still has the structure of a text. So there was stuff like that, that really… I had never thought of creativity or just world exploration in that sense. So that was really, really influential to me; when I kin of started thinking about juggling as an art form rather than just some activity that you were doing. So, I would bring that up too.
CHRIS: Yeah, and I think, Felix, that even though Erik is touching a lot of the things in the second and third question… I think it is cool to just ask them because I think they can go more precisely into that aspect. I think it’s still interesting.
FELIX (QUESTION 2): Why did juggling catch you?
ERIK: I think it was a nice mix between a physical and a intellectual challenge as well as a visual creation. There’s some kind of… there’s a good composition between those three aspects, I think, to juggling. Like there is… something physical is happening and there’s also something intellectual happening. And there is also some kind of visual aspect to it too. That all those three are merged into this one activity of juggling. So I think there’s something there that really got me to stick with it. Something there, yeah.
FELIX: And this is something that you experienced like this throughout the way, or is it something that now looking back to the past you think, ‚that’s what it was‘?
ERIK: Oh, it’s definitely more looking back at what it was. Because I don’t think… it has been very intuitive for me up until probably mid-2000’s… 2005 or 2006. Because throughout circus school I was so occupied. There was so many things happening and I was discovering so many things about art and life, and circus and juggling. I didn’t have too much time to reflect on it. But then once I was, kind of, thrown out into the real world after circus school was finished and there was other things that I had to consider in my life; how to make a living, where are you going to live, what are you going to do, what’s meaningful to you and maybe what you want to do in a longer perspective? Then I started to reflect a little bit on the choices I had been making. And also kind of the events that led up to me being in the situation I was in. So, I think it’s… to answer your question I think that it… from the beginning it was only intuitive, and then slowly, slowly I’ve been trying to untangle how I got here. You know, more and more consciously. I think I act way more consciously today, I think I’m much more able today to think things through consciously and what consequences my shoices are going to have – to think things like that more in advance. While before it was just more of an intuitive journey.
CHRISTOFFER: But when you say intuitive.. because I imagine going into a craft like juggling and circus school you have to… I come from an instrumentalist background – classical, and even if there is an intuition or a natural fascination you still have to it’s not necessarily like a ‚light‘ fascination, is it? Because you have to really invest time. So when you say… I’m just interested to hear, you know, what is it around that fascination that gives that drive – because I imagine you had too… the repetion, the practice, the exploration – it also… there’s some discipline to it, isn’t it?
ERIK: Oh for sure, yeah, I think what you’re saying is really true. And I think that there was a conscious level definetly present throughout the entire journey. It was jsut that the consciousness was just on a super, super specific detail. So, for example, it could be like: I really want to learn this specific techinique, or I really want to create this act, you know – five minutes. Or I want to make this performance. And with those very narrow frameworks, I think, I could muster be conscious about it. But, kind of like the greater scope of ‚What are you doing? Where are you going?‘ – that kind of thing… Because it changed, you know, every year. There were so strong inspirations for me at that time, you know. I was in circus school and I discover something… saw some kind of juggling, circus or performance that I had never had seen before, I had no idea that you could do things like that – then your whole world view kind of shifted. And that doesn’t happen so much when you’re 40 anymore, unfortunately. But anyway, it seemed like it was like that all the time. And also like that, one more thing I’ll say about going to circus school in Stockholm, is that there was no circus around here. There was like one company who did one performance a year or something like that. But, the circus school that I went to – someone in the board or in the lead there had some connection to ‚Dansens Hus‘ [Sweden’s main venue for contemporary dance]- So that venue had some kind of connection with my school, so I had a free pass to that venue. So throughout my first year of going to circus school, I saw all the modern dance shows that there was – that came through Stockholm. And I was really, like… because this was before YouTube and before the internet really – we’re talking 1999. So I was a hardcore archivist of juggling videos, and of skateboarding videos and magic videos. So I had a huge VHS collection and later DVD collection. And I was really religious about seeing as much as I could, and documentation and these things. So when I got that free pass to the dance theatre, I went there… I saw every show, you know. And I had no connection to modern dance, really, before this. And I thought like, growing up in the north of Sweden – theatre and dance, not that I didn’t like them or that I had something against them. It was just completely off the radar of activities that a boy and teenager coudl be occupied with in the north of Sweden. It was just non-existant that I would go into dance. It’s hard to explain maybe, because now the world is so open and so much has shifted. But if someone would have asked me as a teenager if Iwanted to go to some dan ce school, I would just ask if they were out of their mind… it just did not exist. So, in circus school, when I got approached to this modern dance, I really had no conception about it. And in Sweden – I was lucky around that time. I got to see some really fantastic things. I mean, Cullberg – the big Swedish dance company, they played regularly. And they had collaborations with the biggest choreographers; I remember seeing Ohad Naharin and that made a huge impression on me. But as…., Alain Platel, Jerome Vel, like a lot of the things came through here and got to see them early on, without really having a conception of modern dance. So that had a huge… You know, I could have one idea in my mind one day, and then I’de go and see a performance and world view had jsut shifted the next day. So back to your question about being consious – If I was conscious? Yeah sure, but it could shift from the next day to the next day, and then, you know, picking up a book about life work of Yves Klein and then everything just kept tumbling, you know. So that was my experience really for many, many years.
FELIX: So actually, coming back to the question, about being caught by juggling. So from what you are saying, I really have the impression that you had been ‚caught‘ by it. Like, somehow so much… you entered it, you discovered it, you practised and then you somehow you were caught by doing it. From what you are saying and telling, it really sounds like this, that it somehow took over. Of course self-motivated, yes, but also it developed its own dynamic. So…
ERIK: Right. I think there was something intrinsic to juggling that I liked. THere was this concrete relationship between the object and the human being that… There was always that concrete relationship no matter what you applied on it in terms of an idea or context. I do think that that was something that I really appreciated compared to let’s say theatre or dance, that maybe is a little bit more abstract in that sense. I don’t know… it depends on what perspective you look at it from. I had that relationship between the object and the human being – that was at least something that you could always kind of… there was always that bottom line, somehow. And I think that attracted me to juggling.
FELIX: Yeah, I hear you very much. Because there’s something about the concrete in the juggling, which is different to dance and to theatre. There’s something very concrete about the law of gravity, action and re-action with an object, what kind of impulse I’m giving to it and what kind of result my action has. Now I’m anticipating a little bit, which I shouldn’t.
So, I come now to the third question. It’s about… beause the timespan we are talking about is quite big; you mentioned that you started to discover juggling around ’87-’88. You were a skateboarder…
ERIK: I’ll give you a brief timeline. So I learnt how to juggle in 1994. But I did not… So that’s when I learnt how to do a three ball cascade. But it wasn’t untli 1997 or 1998 that I really got immersed into variations and different objects, and the different things you could do with it, really. And then I started circus school in 1999. I graduated in 2003. So I’ve been a professional now for 17 years. This is my 17th year. Yeah, so that’s the brief timeline there for you.
FELIX (THIRD QUESTION): Actually now, it’s a perfect moment for the third question. What made you stay in juggling?
ERIK: Yeah, that’s a fun one. I think that… I thought about that alot. Just like everybody, you have your ups and downs thoughout such a long period. You question yourself. I think the one aspect is you question yourself and your own interest and your motivation to stay with a specific artistic direction – that’s one thing. And then the other thing is the reality of being an artist and functioning in this world in terms of economics. Or just the logistics of being an artist; where are you going to live, what are you going to do? Are you going to have a family? All of that stuff. So it’s kind of those things that constantly interfere with your artistic developmnet, I think. So, in my case specifically, I think that I was good enough at juggling and I was bad enough at many other things. Because I fiddled with a lot of other artistic and creative pursuits. Like a fiddled a little bit with design… I don’t know how much I should bring up about that in this interview. But, I’ve done a little bit of interior design, I designed a bicycle ten years ago… One odd little profession that I’ve had is that I’ve actually been a hand model, quite substantially. If you turn on the TV and you see and advertisement for let’s say a dishwashing soap. There’s the screen and there’s the hand that comes in with the dishwashing soap. Well, that hand is this guy.
FELIX: How did this happen?
ERIK: That was not something I ever tried to achieve. It was completely random. Because I had a lot of freinds that worked in advertising, and they new that I was a juggler and a magician and that I was able with my hands. So whenever there was something that needed to be done… When you shoot an advertisement, you don’t see everything that’s going on. Like for example, maybe the focus of the camera is in a specific spot and there’s a little x mark on the table there. And you have to put the dishwashing soap exactly to that mark so that the logo becomes focused. So you can’t just have any Joe Schmoe do that, because they’re going to put the dishwashing… they’re not going to be able to do it. And then the other thing that might happen in such a setting is that: „Ah no! Actually, could you do it with your left hand because it would look much better if the dishwashing soap came in from this direction.“ So, it was actually a pretty good idea to hire me for those things. And then, the last thing I did was maybe a year and a half ago. I did the sandwhich brand Subway. I did a Subway advert about a year and half ago or something like that.Two years ago? Time goes so fast it’s probably longer. I did a Subway commercial. I hadn’t thought about it, but then I was like; „Oh my gosh, I’ve been doing this for 10 years now.“ It’s not often. It’s like once every year. Sometimes two times. It’s just been this occasional thing that has been happening. But I’m going on a little sidetrack here. But there’s no such profession as being a hand model. I don’t think there’s anybody in Sweden who has that as a regular profession. I don’t think it exits. I don’t have beautiful hands or anything like that. It’s not a thing to pursue, I think, being a hand model. It was just one little side thing that I did. And I also had many different roles in theatre production. Like I have made sets, I’ve been assisting… The only thing I’ve never done in a theatre, is I’ve never sound and I’ve never done light. But I think I’ve done everything else. I’ve even done animals in the theatre. There was one director here in Sweden, really famous directer called… I should remember his name… Lars.. Never mind. He made a couple of performances with horses in the theatre. Like theatre productions, but with horses. So I was a stage manager for a production with 7 big horses. And they had cues where they had to come in at the right moment, so you had all the horses lined up in the back of the theatre. And then letting the horses in at the right moment. So i’ve done some strange things in theatre like that, too. But I don’t think I was good enough in any of these pursuits for me to be snatched up. You know. Let’s say I was a really good theatre director and everybody wanted to hire me, and then my juggling career would have fizzled out. But that was not the case for me. I always came back to juggling. And that was also my main interest. It’s always been the thing that I have been trying to pursue. I never made any effort, really, in any other area. So I think that is why I got stuck with juggling and objects.
FELIX: For the last 23 years, then. Not from learning the cascade, but from 1997 on.
ERIK: Lars Rudolfsson. That’s the name of the director that I should have remembered.
CHRISTOFFER: But aren’t there also… I saw Felix shared some of the work you’ve done. And for me, coming from the outside, you can really see in your ghostkube work, and this box you’ve made to pack down your bike, this mindset of a juggler. This practical aesthetic which, even though you say you’ve moved around, it seems – maybe I’m wrong – but it seems there’s like a similar fascination going through the different things you’ve ventured into. But maybe I’m jumping to conclusions?
ERIK: I think there are many different pursuits. Some of them are connected and some of them are less connected. In 2004 I started a collaboration in a theatre in Stockholm with some other people making performances. So around that time in 2004, I got really interested in theatre production. What’s happening behind when you create a theatrical performance of some sort. And I don’t mean in as a theatre, but as a performance that takes place in a theatre. Not specifically theatre. So anything; circus, dance whatever you have. So I got really interested in that. S I just tried the different things. And it was also out of necessity. Maybe we didn’t have anybody who could be the stage manager. Well I knew the theater, and I knew all the things there. So, ok, can you do it? I’ll give it shot. It was very much like that, in that regard. I also had a bigger awakening around 2007 when I realized this thing about juggling and sculpture, and the relationship between juggling and sculpture. In juggling we use these objects that we take in from the outside, but we don’t have a hand in their creation. And when I realised the potential of an artform where you’re the creator of the form that you then manipulate – that was such a revolutionary thought in my mind, that I really went full force into that as an idea. And that’s around the time when I realised I need to develop my own work. I need to have my own tools and my own tables, saws and drills. All the necessary things that I need for sculpture basically. For the process of a sculpture. And those ideas started to formulate somewhere around 2007 and 2008. So when I started working in the theatre, I also saw the opportunity of practising my skill as a creation of objects and working with wood, working with set design, working with the practical aspects of carpentry and creativity like that. So I really took every chance that I could do at that time.
Also, a little side note, but that also had big consequences on my life around that time, was that another theatre that I worked for – some person there recommended me for … I ended up working in a museum building cabinetry, lighting and things in a museum. Initially I was just supposed to make one lamp. One light fixture in the ceiling. It was supposed to take four days. And this was through my work in the theatre. And after these four days were over. There was this consulting firm there that had a bunch of technicians working in different aspects of the theatre, so they asked: „When you’re done with that lamp, can come work for us?“ So I started working as a museum consultant, you could say. Or sorry, museum contractor is the word. Because everything is outsourced these days. They don’t have technicians on their own anymore. And this contractor that I as working for, they were doing an ambulant exhibition for the Nobel foundation. So for a number of years I tavelled around the world building exhibitions for Nobel in Japan, Korea, Germany a couple of times… So that was for a couple of years I did that. Which is a complete different journey. But it just had a big impact on me, working with my hands in that manner for so many years. Until I eventually could do the sculpture thing for real. I felt like I had a shot. So then I went into that; more and more working in an artist studio, you could say.
FELIX: It seems like quite an organic path. To really come from one setting – through the juggling you discover circus school, through circus school you arrive to a theatre environment. Through the theatre environment you happened to discover different functions of theartistic creation process or also of the stagin proicess. You discovered the building, and then little, by little you come to building yourself. First it was applied to this bigger structure – the museum, but that helped somebody realize his or her ideas. And the samte time you continue artistic research that brings you to the revelation that the moment you start to actually think of and design your own object that this multiply possibility of it. To just take one give object that you did not construct versus that you actually think about an object like you did with the ghostkubes, that then opens up a whole new world.
ERIK: Yeah I really think so. It has somehow been organic. It’s been very haphazard, but now looking back I can totally trace some kind of line like that. I’ll say a couple of more things. There’s one reflection that isn’t my own that I’ve had with me for very, very long. And it’s from a musician called Ian Mackaye. He’s of a band called Fugazi if you’ve ever heard of them. Or minor threat, perhaps you’ve heard of them. But anyway, he said about skateboarding – that it’s this incredible thing for young people to be involved with because you continuously practice the process of redefining your environment. The environment and space that you’re in. And when I realized that, that was really early on, that was such a big thought for me. In skateboarding you’re out in the urban landscape and you see a staircase. But as a skateboarder you’re constantly trained to redefine the staircase. It’s not a thing we walk on – it can be this thing, or it can have this application, or this application. And then the handlebar that you’re holding onto to not slip in the staircase, well that could have this application or that application. And the curb that you’re walking on, it could be redefined like this, like this, like this… So it’s this process of redefinition thatø’s continuously present in the mind of a skateboarder. So that’s something that I hear dreally, really early on that’s been present with me throughout my entire arstic career; this idea of redefining the context that you’re in or the context that you’ve been given. If that makes sense.
FELIX: Totally make sense. You’re exactly the second person that has mentioned this quote to me. It was actually Niclas Stureberg who brought this… actually referring to a skateboarder and this idea of redefining in the creative process of ‚Beckett, Beer and Ciigarettes‘ when we were spending lots of time working with defined objects like bottles, crates, chair and a table. He constantly brought up this approach of redifining. And it’s really something that was brought into the creative process of Beckett, Beer and Cigarettes and referring to this skateboarder, but it’s also something that really stuck in my mind in my artistic practice that I continued without Niclase afetrwards. So for me, that’s a very enriching cross connection now that you bring it up in this interview. That’s why I was smiling so much when you mentioned it.
ERIK: Yeah, as far as I know, the origin of that thought is from Ian Mackaye. I think I saw it in a documentary called „Drive“ by a skateboarder called Mike Vallely. That’s the source I think for me. But, nevermind. Niclas and I share many thoughts so I’m not surprised.
CHRISTOFFER: Should we look at the second section?
FELIX: Yes. The juggler. How do you view the drop (QUESTION 4)?
ERIK: Well…I would say I go a little back and forth there in my relationship to it. I think that on the one hand it is really interesting that we have this really clear point of failure that is so present in our artistic activity. So there’s ambivilance there because on the one hand, that can be nice. But it can also be really heavy because it has such a presence. And for me, because of the drop, it really grew when I… .. he said that a drop is a failure of intent. And for me that is much more useful for a juggler to think about it like that. It’s not just like… If I’m manipulating an object and an object falls to the ground; sure, that’s a drop. But if it’s also like… I could also just fumble around and it has the same destructive consequence on my activity. Even if I manage to save the object from going to the ground. So that-s something that’s been with me for a long time. That idea of looking past this perhaps niave idea of a drop as an object goint to the ground. When we fail our objective of the manipulation, I think thats when thsi disturbance occurs. So yeah, that’s a couple of thoughts on that. I don’t know if that answers your question.
FELIX: Yes it does. If I just try to reflect on what I perceived from what you said.
CHRISTOFFER: You mentioned in the beginning of your answer this… The nice part of it is this aspect of a very concrete point of failure.
CHRISTOFFER: And when I hear it, I think – I come more from a dance and performance world, where… Are you talking about the kind of energetic presence of a failure for the audience when you talk about this concrete point of failure. Is it the energetic presence when it’s live, or is it as a gauge when you’re working on it?
ERIK: Well, I think that depends on the perspective. Obiviously from the perspective of the audience maybe there is not that clear… if there is a failure of intent maybe they don’t notice perhaps if it’s subtle. But I think it is still clear internally for the person who’s manipulating the object that ‚that was not supposed to go that way‘. You know… So I think it is a matter of perspective there. Because when there is an object that is being manipulated, if you compare it to you’re taking a step in dance… was the foot supposed to end up exactly like that? Maybe… Maybe this is in my mind, but for me it’s not as concrete as if I’m gonna spin this thing around my thumb like that – I know exactly where the point of failure and point of success… there’s a very clear line inside of me there. That’s clearer than if I’m gonna take a step or if I’m gonna move my arms around in some specific way. ‚Oh oh! I stretched a little bit too far there!‘ – it’s… I don know. There’s more ambivalence. From my perspective there’s more ambivalence there than when there’s a relationship to an object. For good and for bad.
CHRISTOFFER: In what way for good?
ERIK: For clarity perhaps in your own mind. You know when you fail. But there’s less wiggle room in terms of performance perhaps. I don’t know.
FELIX: In a way you have like several levels of how to deal with drops. For me there’s one area is the practice. In the process of learning something, and if you want to acheive more control or mastership of how to deal with an object in a given situation. And then of course, there is the drop within a performance routine. That you have a certain intention of doing several movements one after the other, that then of course the drop brings you out of this planned routine of things. And then also it comes to the point where you have to instnantly deal with the situation of it. Because you are in a live set-up that is then different than a practising set-up.
FELIX: And I also see alot that the drop… Now I’m answering a bit from my perspective. It’s a very challenging process I think to deal with drops. On a psychological level also. Because the ideal of juggling is something like you achieve full mastership of the situation. No matter if it’s deconstructed patterns or something, or if it’s lik something very classical that you want to control five balls in a cascade pattern. But it’s no matter of what you want to achieve I the feeling that this ideal of perfection and control – you have the ideal of perfection and control and then you have the failure which is the drop. So I think they are in constant exchange. Also on a philosophical level it becomes something very important to deal with for me when I look at it. And also like what you mentioned – f.ex. in dance very often the failure is not very recognisable as a failure, than if you have a drop where it is clear that it was not supposed to be. Unless you practice to be so flexible in your intentions that you deviate the moment you drop. Like how you said; we know exactly when something goes wrong. So basically, for me, it’s also about to be able to deviate my intention, the moment it happens, extremely quickly to make it…. to transform it into something else.
ERIK: I think also in terms of dance you can also set it up so that whatever movement that you are creating it’s fine. In improvisation you can move however you want and there is really not any failure involved in that set-up. Whereas in juggling that’s a little bit more difficult. Because, even if I could say I have these objects that I’m manipulating and whatever happens I’m just improvising and whatever happens happens. But if they fall out of my hands and they roll away I still have to deal with the fact that I have to go get them, even if it’s ok in terms of the set-up of my improvisation. But I still feel like there’s still… it’s much harder to escape it conceptually – this failure.
FELIX: Because it’s also so much more obvious.
FELIX: Shall we go on?
CHRISTOFFER: Yes – I think we should go on.
FELIX: How do you view time or timing in relation to juggling? (QUESTION 5)
ERIK: So yeah – so that’s been a big thing for me. When I got interested in sculpture and painting it was very much around this idea that juggling is something that exists only in time. There’s no trace of it – once your activity quits it’s over. So the juggling art-product, let’s say, is also over. And I got really interested in this idea, that what if the activity is secondary and the art product is instead the trace of the artistic activity. So in that sense it’s kind of an inverse relationship there. Because in sculpture you do an artistic activity and that results in a sculpture. Whereas in juggling you do the artistic activity and that’s the focus. But when that’s over there’s nothing. In sculpture or painting you have trace there, you have an art product when you’re done with the activity and that stays. So I got interested in that just from the perspective of my own artistic journey. What would that look like if that was me, what if I actually left some kind of concrete, artistic product as a trace of my activity. And that tied in to that thing about creating my own objects. And then, when I started doing that there was another time aspect that came into play. And that was this thing – I created these cubes that you’ve seen both of you. And when I was showing that to people I realized that they… as a performer I came in and I showed them and then I left. Alot of people the felt… I left them with many unanswered questions that was natural to that situation. What is that thing that you had? That question was never answered. And in a normal situation with a juggler that has balls – sure, we might be curious as to what kind of balls they are but it’s not that present. So in my case the people were really curious about what those objects were and they wanted to ask questions. And when they got to ask those questions they wanted to ask more questions about hwo they were made, how I came to the idea and… it had a much longer side story than the juggling that I had benen doing had in terms of the object.
So then I really started to think about my performance from the perspective of time. And I thought about it as in three different states. So you have the first state where you have the normal, difficult situation of a performer who appears on the stage, and then he performs as long as he or she wants to, and then he leaves. So the performer really is the one who controls time in that relationship. And the spectator doesn’t have a say. They can just sit there as long as the performance takes place. And then it’s over. If you instead look at the – so the second situation would then be, if you go into a museum or an art gallery. Then you as a spectator, you’re in control of time. You can go up to a piece of art and you can look at that piece of art for as long as you want to. And you can change perspective, and you can look at it from another side. You can maybe sit down if you want to. You can take a break and you can come back to it. So in that perspective, in that situation, the time relationship is inverted. So instead it is the spectator that is the master of time. Does that make sense to you?
FELIX: Yes. Totally.
ERIK: Yes. And then I came up with… perhaps there’s a third context there. Where the time mastery is shared between the spectator and the artist. And the context that I could think of that matched this the best would be if you have a workshop setting, or a lecture about a specific creation. And maybe there as an artist, maybe I bring a piece of art in and I’d say ‚I have this here, and I want to show you this‘. And maybe I do a little demonstration. And the audience they are still participating in that exchange – they can still ask questions and there is some kind of division there of this time aspect. They can still interfere. I’m not a complete dictator in that relationship. I still have an audience that I have a dialogue with and they can interfere in that relationship. So those are the three states that I’ve been working with the past couple of years in terms of my sculptural work. So I’ve been trying to create artistic product for all three contexts. So I make performances. But I also make exhibitions, and I also make some kind of workshop where the time experience is shared between the spectator and the artist.
CHRISTOFFER: That’s very interesting. It’s almost like… What I’m listening to is you’re generating artistic disciplines. If you understand what I mean?
ERIK: You can elaborate.
CHRISTOFFER: When you have this contrasted view of time concerning the art form. So you take a concrete thing like sculpture and take these parameters, and you fuse them with the parameters of a fleeting act of juggling – and it sounds like something you’re sharing, it’s like you’re generating a new artistic discipline; you come with an object that has a new form, new aesthetic form, and at the same which requires a new practical discipline. I would imagine. So it’s like the artform becomes to my ears, which I think sounds interesting, is like you’re generating as an artform a new artistic discipline.
ERIK: Yes. That’s very much how I saw it too. I was in 2011 I was on a tour on Iceland around the island there. And I forget in which city, but there was one puppeteer on Iceland. A guy called Bernd Ogrodnik. And he had his own little theatre there for puppetry. And adjacent the theatre he had his workshop where he made the puppets. And we came there and I saw this process. And for him it was seamless. There was this seamless practice between the making of these puppets and the performance. And I thought of that from the perspective of a juggler. Let’s say I have the same process, but as the juggler I had this the juggler I had this seamless transition from the making of the object and then the practice with that object. And for me that was really like a new discipline. Like a new art form. And I’ve been thinking alot about that, so two years ago I actually wrote a manifesto. Because I was really inspired by these artistic movements in the beginning of the century; like Dada and Surrealism and De Stijl – it’s Dutch, I’m probably screwing up the pronounciation. But the translation would probably be „the style“. So they all had these manifestos for their new artistic idea. So I was playing around with that as a concept. I could also write an artistic manifesto for juggling, but with this additional object creation merged into one artistic practice. So I have a manifesto like that. I’ve been thinking alot about exactly that what you’re speaking of.
FELIX: It actually seems like, that this topic of time is like a central point in your work, from what I listen from you. Because if you only look at the performative act of juggling. The moment you throw it goes up, it goes down. The moment the activity is over, it’s all gone. There’s something that is transitoral in the action. But the moment you actually create an object which exhibit or which you give to others. Like let it be an audience or in a workshop situation – or even like what you do now with the ghostkubes; that you design an object that you distribute to the world. So basically, for me, it’s an act of empowerment. You empower others to develop their own creativity which then goes beyond your own creativity. So basically, you create something that empowers others to be creative with. For me, that’s very, very strong. Also as an artistic statement. Because you leave your initial discipline very clearly, but still what you created is being nourished out of it.
ERIK: Yes. In terms of that specifically, I thought about it from the perspective of an experience of the audience. That, ok, so how can I maximise this experience in terms of the audience coming into the work that I’ve been doing. So they can see it, they can touch it maybe, they can talk about it, they can ask questions. But if I could also immerse them in the process of building the object, that would be yet one more layer of depth. The way I thought of it at least – in terms of immersing them in the work that I was presenting. So that was very much something I was interested in. How can you share an idea with the maximum depth.
CHRISTOFFER: Nice. Very good – interesting. I think we should move on so we keep on the time track and we don’t have to rush it in the end.
FELIX: How do you use your vision? (QUESTION 6)
ERIK: Right. So, mostly I think I work intuitively in terms of vision. Sometimes I try to zoom in and zoom out from what I’m doing in terms of its position in the world and what’s going on. So for example, I’m having some kind of an artistic activity in my practice and then I try to step back from that and go: „Ok, what of this is relevant in the world around me. Is there something here. And what place does this activity that I’m engaged in – what polace does it have in the bigger context of the world.“ So that’s one concrete exercise that I engage myself in. I’m very immersed in the work, often from a very detailed perspective. You know – some little movement or something fascinated by; cubes that move very detailed. But then I do that exercise – I try to step out and look at what position does this work have to the rest of the world. But it’s also like – I do that, but I’m really careful. Because I try to be honest with myself in the aspect that it really has to interest me on an emotional level. I can’t just work intellectually – I’m not that kind of a person. It has to engage me somehow emtionally, otherwise I know I’m not going to carry on doing it. So there is an emotional connection at the deepest level, but then from that I can try to look out and see others things. Mostly intuitively I would say I use my vision.
FELIX: Now actually, you also, the way how you interpreted vision was very much in relation to you as a artist or practitioner in the world. Actually it was also very related to our very last question. So, there’s also – during the practice itself. If you look at the very concrete action of throwing and catching. Or manipulating objects – there’s also different ways of concretely to use your vision.
ERIK: You mean specifically like looking at things. Is that what you’re talking about?
FELIX: Yes. I mean, bascially it’s touching both. We thought of both; there’s the vision – the eyeview. I don’t know if you have very focused or peripheral view. But also the vision in a metaphorical way. The vision of the development of your practice. So, we are interested in both. And we also do things that it’s both connected. That’s why we also brought it in in a way that could understand it in different modes.
ERIK: Yeah – I’ll say one concrete thing about that. And that is that I’ve been really observing nature and things around me. Movement and visual aspects. And to me, there’s the thing that I’ve been really interested in is when you see something visual, and it somehow becomes more. It’s a little bit like the work with my cubes; when they move they have this organic, animal-like movement that’s additional from just the geometry of cubes. So that’s something that I’ve been really interested in. When we have something that somehow when it moves, or when it appears visually, it becomes more than what it is to begin with, if that makes sense.
CHRISTOFFER: Do you have any reflections on what is it that brings an object to the point where it becomes ‚more‘.
ERIK: Yeah – I’ve been thinking alot about that. Some of my structures, like I have a two dimensional structure that moves very fluidly. It’s almost like… the movement reminds me of a flock of birds or a pool of fish. It becomes this… it’s really something that you could see in nature. And for me, something has happened. If I do this with my hand [moving hand in front of face], then that’s just the movement of my hand to me. But somehow with this geometrical thing, it’s still the movement of the geometrical object, but there’s an additional aspect to it that suddenly appears. And you see that in light phenomena. I was just looking at something the other day that was really crazy. It was a sphere that was rocking back and forth in this really sharp point of light. If you imagine a light source straight down that is a line, and you have a sphere that is slowly coming into that light. First you are going to have the tip of the sphere lighting up, and then more and more and more and more of the sphere. And just created this really odd visual thing that was more than just a square being lit up. I don’t have fully developed language to talk about these things. But I can just say that, when some visual phenomena takes place and it gives more associations than its normal state – something like that.
FELIX: I really can connect to this thought. Because I also know it out of my own work. Because now you were also talking about the vision of the viewer more than… because you have the inside view – you as a practitioner, and you also have the outside view of the audience. And from both you have the potential of imagination that a certain situation is creating. And that’s something very difficult to control. Like what kind of association does a certain image, or a certain movement, or a certain constellation of objects and movement – combination, are able to provoke in the viewer.
ERIK: Yes – right. And also like the other question that comes up there, is how subjective is it? Is there such a thing that speaks to everybody or it only speaks to some people with certain, specific experiences. And that’s something that I also find interesting to think about.
FELIX: Like the ghostkube, for example, for me it has a very strong attraction. Visually it is very attractive and also it’s very.. it’s drawing the vision of the viewer towards it. Because it’s really absorbing the viewer when you see it – also when showing it to friends and colleagues, the very first reaction was always one of being amazed of what they see. Really discovering something which is very new to them, but still it seems very familiar at the same time. The potential that the viewer can connect to it, even if it’s on a subconscious level.
ERIK: Yeah. There is something there that is extremely hard to put into words. But the subjectivity of that is definetly interesting. Like, does that happen to everybody, or is that just… like that sphere I was talking about that was swinging in the light and I see that and the electricity in my mind starts sparkling. But does that happen to everybody? I don’t know. And with the ghostkubes I certainly manage to hit some kind of commonality in the collective consciousness of many people since it has gotten such a wide spread. But I can’t say that it is universal. For sure there’s gonna be someone that you would show that to them and they would just keep walking, you know? A super interesting example of that, is I’m sure you’ve seen these things when they take really, really famous classical musicians and they put them on the street. Have you seen these things?
ERIK: And people just walk past, you know. This is the most famous violinist in the entire world that plays for sold out opera houses internationally, and then you put him on a subway station and people just keep walking. I find that really, really fascinating; this subjectivity. And also context of how these abstract suggestive art activites are presented.
CHRISTOFFER: When you’re talking about this, what you talked about – especially with fusing sculpting and practice. For me it makes a lot of sense when I watched the videos of the ghostkube. For me this was really, really fascinating as well. But looking at it, you see a pattern you have created. It’s synthetic. And it has repetition – geometrical repetition. And usually what I would expect if it moves, it would also have a mechanical quality. But the quality of the movements is rounded, its organic, it completely defies my expectation. And that kind of – mentally is a big switch. And at least for me, it at once opens up and you get this mental short circuit, and then you also go ‚what is this?‘ and all these associations come. But I also feel when I’m watching it outside, that I have no idea what the level of physical craft from your side has to be to manipulate them in that fashion. But there is a feeling that you also have to have some certain practice involved. Which really also fuses into it. It makes really, really sense when you talk about observing forms in nature visually and fusing that into it – that’s the feeling I got anyway. That these geometrical patterns, I would expect them to behave mechanically, but they’re not behaving mechanically when I see them. It’s like an organism.
ERIK: Yeah. That’s great. I wrote down two things here when I hear you speak. And the first thing is that it’s something that defies the expected movement. And the second thing is that, when the movement is not what the static form suggests. Maybe there’s something there. I’ll have to think about that more. But that was good.
FELIX: This relation with the expectation. There’s actually connected to the redefinition that you mentioned before.
ERIK: That’s true.
FELIX: Because if you, if you have a known object which is connected to a certain functionality. And also to a certain expectation, like Chris he mentioned, that the moment go away from the expectation and the moment you go away from the functionality, then you enter new territory.
ERIK: Yeah – when you go away from the expected functionality, then you’re in some other nice.
CHRISTOFFER: Yeah, that’s really magical.
FELIX: It’s a bit like when Jürg [Müller] starts to swing the tubes.
FELIX: He’s also… the functionality that we are used is wind is passing through. But he’s taking this so much away from the expectation and enters a new world. Shall we go on to the practioner? Because if we look at time we have not so much time left.
CHRISTOFFER: Yes – I think it’s good now, to go on to the last three questions.
FELIX: Otherwise we also loose concentration. But you are still keeping up everybody?
FELIX: In your processes, how do you explore an object? (QUESTION 7)
ERIK: Yeah – that’s something that has evolved quite a bit. It used to be very much about anatomic and spacial exploration that I did in the studio. I had the object, and you know; ‚What can I do with it?‘, ‚Where can I put it?‘, ‚What can I do in terms of this body that I’m equipped with?‘. But after I started working with sculpture, it usually starts with some kind of observation first that then leads to some kind of thing that I want to build. And then, when I build that thing, then I go into the studio and I test it on the floor. What happens then is that usually I come up with modifications. ‚Oh, this didn’t work‘, ‚this thing should be bigger‘, ‚this should be…‘ etc., so it’s very circular. It goes between these states of observing, then building, then trying it, and then you go back to building some more, etc.. So it’s very much like that, the exploration right now.
FELIX: It’s like two different kind of paths; one is related to the object that you take as it is. Like you have this spoon and you explore, but you don’t change, you don’t modify. And versus the other mode of exploration which is more the one of a builder, a constructor. You become the architect or designer of the object which is then more like kind of developmnet process.
ERIK: Yeah, I saw it like this. I saw that in the process of the juggler the artistic idea is always applied on a preexisting object. Whereas the process I was looking for was the inverse. I wanted the artistic idea to come first, and that the artistic idea shaped the object. So I wanted that switch, if that makes sense to you.
FELIX: Yes, very much.
CHRISTOFFER: When you’re going through, maybe especially with the object process, what mode gauging your direction… How do you gauge your direction.
ERIK: Since I’ve been working with these really, really long term perspectives I don’t really mind going into a project that’s gonna last for several years. I think I’ve been very… In terms of the base, foundational practice that I am in I think I am really, really naive in terms of time. I just go in and then I work. And it can take as long time as it needs to take. And then I try to adjust my life outside of that, to accommodate the practice. But then of course, every once in a while, you run into real concrete applications of your work; yu have to make a performance, or you have to make a lecture, or you have to do something, right? So then, when those things appear, then I try to accommodate, because of course I need to work, I can’t just be in the studio. But I’ve been pretty hard in terms of what I do. I’ve been pretty, like… ok this is what I do and that’s what matters and I’m gonna run that until I can’t do it anymore, and that’s gonna be the end of it. I very seldomly set up realistic time frames like: ‚I’m gonna work on this for two months, and then I’m gonna finish it‘. I haven’t been working much like that.
CHRISTOFFER: What I thought – my question, I was maybe to unclear. When say you’re working with a specific object, and you’re going in this loop you talked about; you’ve built it, you put it on the floor and you start seeing what you can do… and what I was interested in to hear a little about, is how do you measure or internally see: ‚Ok – this is working, this is the right direction‘, what’s your measurement internally.
ERIK: Yeah – I see what you’re saying. It has to evoke some kind of emotion in me when I see it and when I do it. Ok, this is something… And again, it’s another one of those areas that’s really, really difficult to put into words. But maybe it’s back to that, what we said in the previous question. Maybe it’s again this thing that it defies the expectation, also in me. I don’t know – it’s emotional, that’s all I can say. Sometimes I show to people. If I have some kind of emotional intuition, I might show some fellow artist or someone I know, I can show them; ‚look, I’m working on this – what do you think about this?‘ Sometimes they can give me feedback. Sometimes I show something – I make a performance, even if the material isn’t 100% finished I still make the performance and you show it to an audience, usually a lot of things become clear to you. That director I spoke about earlier, Lars Rudolfsson, he used to say that one performance is worth 10 rehearsals. Now it sounds like he has been very influential on my aristic practice, he has not. He’s very… he is just something that came to my mind. But that’s definetely true for me – you perform something and you usually get a lot of ideas of how to adjust and how to continue doing something.
FELIX: There’s something about feedback that is being created, or the echo. No matter if it’s an exchange with the audience or if it is an exchange to yourself within explorative process. From what you’re saying for me it seems like you have the wish to put yourself in an environment where what you are creating is recreating a certain effect on you. Either on what you percieve when you watch it or on your emotions, that also something is coming back. And, either alone in a workshop situation, like rehearsal space or atelie, or in the exchange with the colleagues or regular viewers. For me it sounds like there is the necessity of an echo.
ERIK: Yeah. It’s true. But I had one concrete idea that I worked with in the past, with the cube specifically. I had this one concrete idea, and that was that I wanted to create something that my body could step inside. That was one idea that I had, that I thought would be effective in terms of stage. It would bring me to another space somehow. So that’s how this, maybe you’ve seen this cube folds over my face for example. And there’s another one where I can actually step inside and it becomes like a little room where I can situate myself. So that was one concrete idea that I worked with. How can created some kind of sculpture that physically encapsules my body in some way. But I would say that that’s something out of the ordinary. Usually it’s more it’s much more intuitively and emotionally when I search for things. But that was a very concrete idea that I worked with.
CHRISTOFFER: Nice. Should we move on, Felix?
FELIX: Yes, let’s move on. How do you understand and view the development of your craft and art in the long term? (QUESTION 8)
ERIK: Ok. So, in terms of my own practice there’s been a very clear development that goes from the exploration of existing techniques. So in my case there was a technique in juggling called head roll. When you have a ball here, and you roll it from temple to temple. So that was one technique that I did not invent, but that I explored very much in the beginning. And I had a lot of findings when I did that. The next step for me, was then to instead create the technique myself. And then develop that in the same way as I had developed the head roll technique. So I searched for a long time for some kind of fundamental baseline technique that I could explore like a vocabulary. And then I eventually I found, I don’t know if you’ve seen me ever do this, but I have a technique with juggling clubs where I have a club underneath my chin like this, and it goes over my shoulder, and then I could swing it so that it swings under my chin u to the other shoulder. And I have hundreds of variations of that. So that was the next step in the development; that instead of exploring an existing technique, I invented the embryo of the technique and then explored that as a technique. And the next step in the development was to do the same thing, but to create an object. And it wasn’t a technique that was the thing that I developed, but it was the object. So it goes from exploring an existing technique with an existing object, to exploring a new technique but with an existing object, because obviously I did not invent the juggling club – that was pre-existing. And then the third step in the development was to develop a new object and then of course automatically then a new technique. And that’s the cubes. So that’s been very much the development over a long span of time for me. I started with the headrolls around 2000. And the chin swing is around 2006, and then the ghostkubes is around 2010. Yeah then after that, I don’t really know… Since I wrote that manifesto I would still like to try a couple of proof of concepts. Create something in the sense of that idea. Create a new object and then create a new technique – can that be a working way of an artistic practice that can be repeated over and over again. And what kind of artistic results does a practice like that give.
FELIX: Did you publish the manifesto somewhere, or is it more like existing in your notebook and conversations?
ERIK: The manifesto is more or less finished. I could send it to you. I haven’t published it anywhere. I’m probably gonna make a couple of small changes, but I could send it to you if you want to read it.
FELIX: Yes. Especially after this conversation it would be enriching. I can keep it confidential – it’s not about this. Just to… I’m also feeling how we enter into your world and how you connect…
ERIK: Right. I have shown it to several people, so it’s not a secret. It’s just that it’s still kind of a work in progress. But I think I’m going to publish it within the coming year or something like that. And also like, I also want to say a sidenote to it also. It’s very much like a case study – like what happens if you write a manifesto? I don’t know how serious I am about starting a new artform. It’s more that I made that observation that this is kind of like… it’s a new type of artistic practice for my own sake that I haven’t seen explained in a concrete manner. Because there’s definetely been other artists that have created objects that they have manipulated. For example Jürg [Müller] with the tubes. So I can’t claim that I’ve invented that as a concept, but I haven’t seen it writtenj down. So perhaps that could further the conversation if I did publish it.
FELIX: We are of course then, very curious about what comes seven years after the ghostkubes… Shall we get to the final question?
FELIX: How do you see your art in relation to the surrounding world and/or society? (QUESTION 9)
ERIK: Well… I see it as… from the perspective of the individual I think that creativity is really, really important because it has this aspect of freedom. If you imagine a free individual in society, if they don’t have creativity, they don’t have access to any creativity, it doesn’t matter how free they are; they will never be able to utilize that freedom. Because there’s no way to navigate if you don’t have any creativity. So I do think that my work has been… I think about that alot as like… and again back to that example we spoke about earlier, this redefinition of context and redefinition of objects and redefinition of movement and redefinition of nature, perhaps. In a way I think I’m producing case studies in creative thought. And I do also think that there is something about this ability to grasp something that is beyond intellectual thought. And I do think that that’s very much where artists and artistic work is located. There are areas of human consciousness that we can’t access intellectually, we can’t talk about them – or we can’t yet, I should say. We can’t yet talk about them, and we can’t yet articulate them. But I think that artistic activity has the ability to grasp further than intellectual thought in that regard. And I also think that my work is very much a pursuit of that. Grasping beyond intellectual thought.
FELIX: There is also something very essential. For me, the ghostkubes they have this power that they evoke something which is in the unspoken. So it goes beyond… on an experience level it goes beyond something that you necessarily can grasp with words or with our rationality, which makes it also accessible across different cultures for example.
CHRISTOFFER: There’s also something interesting you said there, because you said not yet, with relation to language. And I think this is important, because like Felix says, it evokes something which is unspoken of in my mind. But also the interesting thing is, how can I understand it. Looking forward. And that could be – you can’t say it’s not gonna be partially language based, or if it will stay an aesthetic. That’s what makes it interesting in a way – this emotional pursuit. That you see it, there’s something really new here, I don’t grasp it, I can only understand it in my gut. But I really want to get to know it deeper. And what are my tools as an audience or as a participant if it’s a craft I can inherit. Which I think is interesting. That you kind of… working with the crafts that are inheritable it gives another set of tools to the audience to pursue that initial wonder. It’s interesting.
FELIX: And in a way by creating the ghostkubes, and by giving them out to the world. In a way it’s like creating a seed for something that can develop its own dynamic. Once it’s out you don’t know how it will develop, right? Like, what other creative minds will do with it. It’s like giving something to… giving birth to something that then develops its own life and dynamic. I’m very curious how this will be once they are completely out.
CHRISTOFFER: It reminds me of another thing as well, which I always found fascinating. I had an interest many years ago in Wittgenstein. I don’t know if you’re familiar with his…
ERIK: Not too much, no.
CHRISTOFFER: No. He kind of starts his career, shortly said, of philosophy with trying to define parameters of language. So very positivistic. But ends up, his late stage philosophy, which is much more interesting, kind of, gives up. You can only say so much – to put it very, very simple; you can only say so much with words which kind of questions an absolutist positivist approach to anything. And later I read an Indian philosopher, Buddhist, called Nagarjuna from the 9th century. Alot of, like Zen buddhism, comes out of his revelations. And it was basically like reading late Wittgenstein all over again. A lot of the same conclusions about language, the borders of language and… But when I’m listening to you what I find interesting is; because when you think of them, it’s so easy to think: ‚Ok, any language has a border and you can’t go beyond that‘. But at the same time giving that statement you’re setting up a static border. So, maybe it’s more interesting to say that yes, it has borders and we can’t say anything about it, but at the same time we can’t say how elastic those borders are. We can’t say if they’ve changed between Nagarjuna and Wittgenstein. Because they are finite, but in what way they are finite is impossible to say. I was just thinking about this because you said that, and for me it really opened up for me, ‚as of yet‘. Language can’t say it ‚as of yet‘. We tend to say language can only say this much, or music has this sphere, and of course they do, but are they static, you know? Not necessarily. And how does our pursuit work into those borderlines. Yeah – it was just a thought.
ERIK: Yeah, it’s interesting to think about. Because it’s also juggling and object stuff; we haven’t spoken too much about it yet, perhaps. I think language has potential to develop… language and the words we use to describe also needs to become anchored in the collective consciousness by the people that use the language, I think.
FELIX: For me it is very inspiring. I would not have thought to come to conversation that is so multi-layered in this set-up. I don’t know if to continue or if this is the conclusion for now. Somehow it feels like that it’s somehow a conclusion. A conclusion that makes us curious about the further development. Because at the same time it’s the first encounter and maybe it’s a starting point for something new. Which doesn’t have to be, but could be. But for me it has been very intense and thank you very much for giving us such an insight in your world, and also for just jumping on the kitchen sessions like this and being up for it. It’s a big gift. Thanks Erik.
ERIK: No problem, it’s been great. I had a lot of things – the more you speak about things the more they become clearer. That’s how you become more articulated about what it is that you’re thinking and what you’re doing. This is the way to do that, I think.
CHRISTOFFER: Yeah, it’s been really… very interesting and very enriching.