E2-E4: Jesper Olsson ”Maps and Games: Öyvind Fahlström’s Cartographies”
”Maps and Games: Öyvind Fahlström’s Cartographies”
”My approach has been to orchestrate data, so people will — at best — both understand and be outraged”, wrote Öyvind Fahlström in 1973. The different map-works he made during this period combined the ludic variability of the board game, with the pedagogical and political pragmatics of cartography. During this session, we will discuss the map as an aesthetic tool for playing with power relations.
Jesper Olsson, “Games, Maps, Media Ecologies: Entry Points to the Work of Fahlström”.
In this talk I will discuss and explore the concepts of game, map, and media ecology as operative in the poetics and practice of Swedish artist and writer Öyvind Fahlström. More specfically, these will be approached in relation to the ”cybernetification” (Erich Hörl) of postwar culture and society, and the ontological, epistemic, aesthetic, and political implications of this process, as it can be traced in some of Fahlström’s works from the 1950s and 60s.
Jesper Olsson is associate professor in literature and media history at Linköping University, where he leads the research group Literature, Media History, and Information Cultures (LMI) and is the director of the research program The Seed Box: A Mistra-Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory. He is also a literary critic and one of the founders of the journal OEI. His latest book is Spaceship, Time Machine: Öyvind Fahlström’s Ade-Ledic-Nander (2017).
Kim West, ”World Game / World Bank”
This presentation will compare two cartographic devices for playing the world: Buckminster Fuller’s vast, technocratic World Game project (initiated in 1965), which aimed to replace political institutions with interactive statistical analysis and resource management; and Öyvind Fahlström’s subversive 1971 installation World Bank, which provided a critical map of global economic relations, suggesting that we should learn to play with the rules, rather than by them.
E2-E4 is the name of the most common opening move in chess, the one that sets the game in motion. E2-E4 is also the name of a program for theoretical activities, exhibitions, and publications at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm. “Theory” is here conceived not as academic superstructure or epistemic authority, but as orientation, as that first grasp of our own situation, and of its location in a wider system, network, or totality, which may allow us to begin, to go from the disorientation of undefined possibility, to the provisional determination of practice. The program will explore the use values of the exhibition as a critical information system, in the service of education, aesthetic experience, and public dissemination.
The E2-E4 program is created by guest professors Kim West, Lars Bang Larsen, and curator Stefanie Hessler.