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Public Art Agency Sweden presents Out of the sky, into the earth

May 19–September 11, 2022

Thoughts of life, caring, and coexistence on a shattered world are inspired by the sky falling to the earth. It is a three-act public art project that the Baltic Art Center and Public Art Agency Sweden are putting on in Visby, Gotland. The Swamp Observatory by Urbonas Studio and Brakfesten/La Grande Bouffe by Anne Duk Hee Jordan and Pauline Doutreluingne, two new commissions focusing on visible and invisible, real and imaginary life forms populating our world, are presented through a living sculpture, an AR experience, and an exhibition.

Edi Muka, curator of PAAS, and Helena Selder, artistic director of BAC, collaborate on the project’s curation.

When and where
The interactive sculptural installation Brakfesten/La Grande Bouffe will be open to the public from May 19–September 11 at Södra Hällarna nature reserve, Visby.

AR experience at the Swamp Observatory: August 27–September 11 in the Visborg field, Visby as well as online

Premiere of the film Brakfesten/La Grande Bouffe and a presentation of the development process of The Swamp Observatory: August 27–September 11 at the Gotland Art Museum, Visby

The Swamp Observatory is a continuation of a concept created by Urbonas Studio (Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas) for New Perspectives Visborg, a development project for the city of Visborg that was carried out in partnership with PAAS, BAC, and Region Gotland. It emphasizes the significance of Gotland’s lost wetlands in the context of climate change based on the plans for the construction of storm-water ponds in northern Visborg. For residents and tourists to observe and envision new species or habitats that the ponds can bring to life, the artists have developed a conceptual framework and a digital tool in the form of an app. The Visborg fields’ future reality is enhanced by fictitious, undiscovered species—or monsters, as the artists prefer to refer to them—that were produced in collaboration with students from the Athene school using the Augmented Reality technology. Conceptually, the environment is made up of five major scenes that each have a subject related to carbon, sulphur, methane, nuclear, or phosphorus. The creatures prowl the scenes in the route of the augmented reality experience. The user or explorer can look for and follow them as they lurk about fictitious ponds, getting lured to learn brief stories and participate in experiences as they develop through sounds and the messages of the monsters.

Brakfesten / La Grande Bouffe by Anne Duk Hee Jordan and Pauline Doutreluingne is an art project in the form of a living sculpture and a film. The study focuses on the Södra Hällarna nature reserve, where elm trees are in danger of going extinct. The artists construct a massive artwork with many components that resemble the pattern the bark beetles leave on the elm tree trunk using branches from debarked elm trees. Insects, beetles, birds, and other creatures feast on the soil-filled “tables” made from hollowed-out trees, which also serve as a buffet for beetles, insects, and other creatures. Unusual items can be seen among them, like a vibrant artwork, a large birdhouse, and a pair of enormous listening horns that resemble moose ears. We’re encouraged to get close so we can use them to sense the environment, hear the noises of the forest, and see the world from the perspective of the other species. 

Read more about the project here.