Nordic Embassies, Felleshus / transmediale 2012 text-sound salon

27.01.2012 17:00
Festival edition: 
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Pär Thörn, photo by Jens Bengtsson
Pär Thörn, photo by Jens Bengtsson

A noisy warm-up for transmediale 2012: in/compatible presented at the Nordic Embassies’ Felleshus by artistic director Kristoffer Gansing and exhibition curator Jacob Lillemose. The first part will be a performative reading by noted Swedish author Pär Thörn.The second half of the evening features a new performance by Thörn in collaboration with Danish sound artist TR Kirstein (also part of the transmediale exhibition) :The Last Idiot Has Not Been Born. | Date: 27 January 17:00 – 19:00, Address: The Nordic Embassies, Felleshuset, Rauchstr. 1, 10787 Berlin

An event by the Swedish and Danish Embassies in Berlin

Free entry. RSVP by emailing


At the Nordic Embassies, Felleshus


Presented by Kristoffer Gansing (se) and Jacob Lillemose (dk)
Supported and hosted by Swedish Embassy and Danish Embassy, Berlin
Artists: Pär Thörn (se) & Tobias R. Kirstein (dk) with additional participation by The Culture Lab of Medea, Collaborative Media Initiative at Malmö University, Sweden. (Erling Björgvinsson, Scott Meadows, Marcus Ghaly and Baris Serim)


A poetic, absurd and occasionally noisy warm-up for transmediale 2012 in/compatible presented at the Nordic Embassies’ Felleshus by the artistic director Kristoffer Gansing and Jacob Lillemose, curator of the transmediale exhibition Dark Drives. Uneasy Energies in Technological Times.


The first part of the programme will consist of a performative reading by Pär Thörn, whose procedural and humorous prose recalls the Swedish "concrete" poetry of Åke Hodell and Öyvind Fahlström, extending their 1960s intermedia approach to our contemporary networked cultural situations. Thörn has been labelled "Sweden's currently most important writer" by the Swedish media and in 2005 he was awarded the Åke Hodell scholarship by the association Fylkingen for "a socially engaged and original art, where the unexpected and uncompromising stand side by side with the innovative use of both old and new technologies".


Pär will read a selection of his work in English.


In the second half of the evening, we will be treated to a new performance by Pär Thörn in collaboration with Danish sound artist TR Kirstein: The Last Idiot Has Not Been Born. Kirstein, who is part of this year's transmediale exhibition, is known for his work as a drummer and composer from a host of collaborative artistic projects, with among others The Light People (with Sune TB Nielsen, Toke Tietze Mortensen), CM von Hausswolff and Leif Elggren. Kirstein works with a diverse range of material – from computer created sinus tones to the sound of the raw power of electricity in open tape recorders.


As a bonus, the project I am | A Twitter Poem by Pär Thörn will run as an installation throughout the evening.



Detailed Programme

17:00 Welcome and introduction. Kristoffer Gansing, Jacob Lillemose.


17:20 Reading with Pär Thörn

Pär reads from a selection of his work in English.
+ Bonus Presentation by I am | A Twitter Poem by Pär Thörn

in collaboration with The Culture Lab – Medea, a research centre for collaborative media at Malmö University, Sweden.


18:00 The Last Idiot has not been born

mixed media performance by TR Kirstein & Pär Thörn.

The Last Idiot has not been born is a performance with sugar, voices, sounds and energy. The material energies set in motion are based in fluid sugar, electric equipment, record players, old tape recorders and chalk. The performers negotiate with the room, material, energy and sound. They try to construct a radically new and incompatible situation. Machines are used as containers for sugar (energy), bodies are used as vehicles and sounds are used as tools for transcendence. In terms of genre it moves freely between electroacoustic improvisation, sound poetry and actionism. The performance can be seen as a global victory for stupidity.


19:00 End



Felleshus is Danish meaning "house for everyone" and is a public space for cultural events, communally run by the five Nordic Embassies. Held in the venue are Nordic exhibitions, readings, concerts, film screenings, talks, panel discussions and conferences. There are also information centres on the Nordic countries and a public canteen.


Date: Friday 27 January, 17:00 – 19:00,                                                                 

Cost: free
Address: The Nordic Embassies, Felleshuset, / Felleshus der Nordischen Botschaften, Rauchstr. 1, 10787 Berlin /


I am | A Twitter Poem by Pär Thörn

As Pär Thörn explains I am is a list poem using the anaphora "I am." I used google to construct list poems before in a similar way but in those works I worked with the printed page and fixed results. Here the poem is constantly changing; the text is constructed with instant search results from Twitter. The editorial process is done automatically by a filter written into the program.


The "I" that speaks in this poem is identical with every person that will use the phrase "I am" on Twitter in the future. The poem is thereby not connected to a certain place, but the current lingua franca English.


My work as an author is of more conceptual nature. It is hard to tell what the text of the poem actually consists of: Is it the concept, the phrase, the code, the result?


I am was developed as a collaboration between Swedish poet Pär Thörn and the Malmö University Interaction Design Masters program. Scott Meadows developed the I am web application while Marcus Ghaly and Baris Serim created I am installed, an interactive art installation piece displayed at Galleri 21 in Malmö, Sweden. I am uses the Twitter Search API, jQuery and custom filtering functions to display the poem as you see it on the home page.


The project was enabled by a partnership between Mediaverkstaden, Malmö, the literary magazine Pequod and the Culture Lab, (aka Living Lab – The Stage), at the research center Medea Collaborative Media Initiative at Malmö University. Medea researches on cultural production, Internet of things and social sustainability through reflective hands-on interventions and experiments that address issues relating to new publics, new media and democracy. The Culture Lab, run by Erling Björgvinsson, works with connecting cultural actors with media competences, researchers and students with the aim of experimenting with narrativity and  intermediality as well as alternative forms of distribution.


(Image: Pär Thörn, photo by Jens Bengtsson / TR Kirstein, photo by Mia Aalund Kirkegaard & Jacob Kirk)




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