• Process
  • Video installations

All Digressions Aside – production

All Digressions Aside (ADA) is a project that aims to share stories, time and landscapes between Kirkenes and Nikel. It will be first shown during Barents Spektakel 2016, a border crossing festival. Ada attempts to build a contemplative relationship between neighbouring cities Kirkenes(Norway) and Nikel(Russia). It aims to share experiences and local narratives in order to establish a closeness between both communities. A live stream of the cityscape and accompanying stories of one town will be shown inside of the tent located in the neighbouring town. Upon entering a tent in one city you also simultaneously enter the constructed space of the other city. You will only get access to the story line if the tent on the other side of the border is inhabited. The exchange is interdependent: The flow of the stories is determined by the average temperature inside the partner tent. There is a bonfire inside each tent, which the visitors will have to keep on going, if they want to keep the space warm. The structure is designed in collaboration with Bergen-based architect, Cristian Stefanescu. All software and hardware development is developed by Sindre Sørensen. ADA aims to create a contemporary meeting place based on traditional means: it aims to offer a layered perspective on both towns on each side of the border. The structure has taken form inspired by northern structures such as a yurt, laavo or gapahuk. I collected stories through conversations with locals during three residency periods in the past two years. The project is supported by Kulturrådet, Bergen Kommune and Norsk Billedkunst.

25 Jan 2016: Today Cristian Stefanescu (architect), Eirik Aakhus (carpenter) and I arrived in freezing cold Kirkenes. It was -26 degree Celsius today. We have two weeks before the opening of Barents Spektakel 2016. Cristian and Eirik have to cut and prepare all wood parts for both tent frames in just a matter of days, I with generous help from Kim Stenersen a local who I had gotten to know the during past visits will help me cut, and sew each flank of both tent structures. In upcoming days Sindre Sorensen (IT-developer) and I have to install camera’s and test the software for the narrative text.  Pikene’s crew will help us with getting branches and deerskin for the tent floor and prepare for the firewood… I’m excited to be here and to be able to deal with things hands on, rather then worrying about them at a distance. Pikene’s crew has been fantastic and welcomed us with a lunch at the office. We are staying in a cosy apartment, which will be turned into a sewing studio / meeting space. So far so good. The herb books I’ve been working on with Karin Danielsen had arrived and the off set prints looked very nice. The 100 meters of cotton we had ordered from London was waiting for us in the office. The wooden beams were already at the ‘pumphuset’ (our temporary fantastic spacious working space). Tonight we discussed how to stretch the canvas, and we had a meeting with Kim about how to sew the canvas. All in all a very successful first day. I was so excited, I forgot to properly document the day. Below some shots of the ‘pumphuset’, Our meeting with Kim, the herb book, and some loose sketching of how to attach the canvas to frame.


Here are some new architectural drawings by Cristian of the frame structure we are working on. It will be sturdier then I had imagined, but at least it won’t fly away by storm.



26 Jan 2016: Today Cristian and Eirik worked at the ‘Pumphuset’ making the lower wooden frame part of the Kirkenes structure. Unfortunately I have no picture of that. They also had a trip to the construction supply store, to check out what we could use for final details. I spend the day, putting up one of the raspberry pi camera on its chosen location overlooking Kirkenes main square and preparing one of the cotton canvas flanks which will be stretched on the frame. It took a good eight hours to get one side ready. The first one was a bit puzzling and since my measuring skill and sewing skill are amateurish, it was a lot of trial and error. We are a bit behind ideal production schedule, but tomorrow there’ll be a small catch up effort.

27 Jan 2017: Cristian and Eirik continued building the lower elements of the base and wall frame structure. I spend most of the days measuring of the sides of the walls onto the cotton. Then Kim came over and we managed to sew three more canvas panels sides for the tent. Mostly because she is three times as fast as me. Sindre arrived with two huge electronic equipment luggage around noon. He was testing the text and software for most of the afternoon and we were all working together in the evening. From my part this day couldn’t have gone better…

 28 jan 2016: Today Sindre and I went to test the mobile connections on both locations (one for the camera and one for the tent) in Kirkenes. I measured raindeer skins and tried to get birch branches which will be laid on the floor under the raindeer skins to isolate from the cold. Cristian and Eirik more or less finished the base and wall structure. In the evening we went to test stretch one of the canvas panels on one of the sides. It looked pretty neat although there is room for improvement. We are thinking about ways of getting the canvas more tight…

29-30th Jan 2016: Some pictures of continued construction phase… Not much news to report. But below you can follow the progress.

31 Jan 2016: We drove around to search for where we could find stones to go around the fire…The Nikel camera was installed and tested. The roof of the frame structure went on. The canvas panels of base and frame were finished. We drove around to search for stones which will go around the fire… Things are moving along, but not as fast as we had planned for.



2 Febr. 2016: Hooray! The first tent frame structure is finished, we measured the canvas pieces fro the roof straight on the structure to be sure that’ll get it right. In between things Sindre and I check the live streams fairly regularly…

 3 Febr. 2016: The second structure is going up. I went to collect stones for the fireplace in the evening, but didn’t take pictures.

4 Febr. 2016: The second roof is going up. Cornelius and Roman (from Pikene) are driving over some parts of the structure across the border, and it passed. Lucky – uff. My days are occupied with continued measuring and sewing canvas pieces as well as organizing small things.


 5-6 Febr. 2016: We fitted all canvas panels onto the structure. Decided that we don’t have time to use the elaborate canvas panel system for the next one, since it require much sewing time as well as construction time. Instead we will use staples for the Nikel tent, and there will be a wooden frame list above the canvas again. I also sorted many reindeer skins, which will be used as isolation carpet for people to sit on. We decided on the what kind of entrance we will have to the tent.

 7 Febr. 2016: The Kirkenes structure is on site. Today we are driving to Nikel to install the twin tent, test camera’s and so on. The last stretch..

8-10 Febr 2016: Update of what happened in Nikel follows later, but below already the images. We had to jump many huddles and are near exhaustion. But still have to finish the Kirkenes tent tonight.

10-11 febr. 2016: Hooray, Hooray! After a full on 17 hour straight today (and on average 12 hour days for the past fourteen days) and one meal during the whole day both structures are up, the live stream videos and software are stable. The only thing that still did not function as it should is  the suction in the structures, which creates for an smoky inner habitat. However, we are exhausted – we hope to resolve it still coming days. My fantastic team has been really coming through. Wonderful Roman came after his one extra long day, to help us out for a few hours, which really made my day.