Sound artist in residence at Studio Acusticum

When. September-October 2018 
Where. Studio Acusticum in Piteå
Who. Karl Sjölund (b. 1986) is an artist and musician based in Boden and Stockholm.
Organizers. Studio Acusticum, Luleå Biennial in collaboration with ArtNorth and Region Norrbotten

More info about Sjölund´s artwork and residency in Piteå are available here.

Karl Sjölund, En känsla av krig / A Sense
of War
(Boden, 2018)

Rödbergsfortet is one of the five forts that make up the fortress of Boden, and was the last to be taken out of use. The fort was established south of the city 1903-1908, on Rödberget, and today is classified as a protected building. When the Swedish military shut down Rödbergsfortet in 1997, the State Property Agency took over the management of the facilities. Today, the fort is the only one that can be visited and is maintained by private initiatives and in collaboration with the Defence Museum in Boden. During the Biennial, the fortress will be turned into an exhibition space by artist and musician Karl Sjölund.

The fortresses at Rödberget, Pagla, Mjölsjö, Degerbergs and Gammeläng together constitute the expansive fortification of Boden. Here, the artist and musician Karl Sjölund has created a site-specific installation about waiting for a war that never commences.
Boden is a town, which, in every way, has emerged as an effect of the military strategies of centuries past: should a Russian attack on Sweden occur, it would be necessary to go through Boden (to avoid ending up either at the bay of Botten or lost in unruly mountain terrain), but such an attack never happened, and military-technological development would since render the speculations around which the fortifications at Boden were designed obsolete. Now, most of this vast defence complex is in abandoned. The ramparts, slinging like a river through the forests surrounding the town, are overgrown with moss, fungi and stalactites. And since the obligatory military conscription was discontinued in 2010, the ever-shrinking professional forces have been left to fight the still absent war on their own.
In Sjölund’s work, he examines the tragic logic of war. With video, sound and found objects, he has
constructed an installation throughout the hallways and rooms of the Rödberg fortress. Archive material related to Boden’s military history becomes part of a collage of real and composed soundscapes from the fortifications, and recordings of popular tales of the mountain’s dormant armies and epic expositions. The work is an attempt to reproduce the aspects of war that pertain to the senses; the more abstract or psychoacoustic phenomena, and the fantasies necessary to wage a war: the logic of armour, tinnitus after the detonation of a bomb, the image of the enemy.
This work has been commissioned for the Luleå Biennial 2018.

Thanks to Sally Sundbom, Ralf Adolfsson, Acusticum, Resurscentrum för konst Norrbotten, Norrbottensteatern and Teg Publishing.