What is the

When we started to work as a trio in 2018, there was a sense of something linking our practices, but it was difficult to locate this something. We entered a dialogue of finding common ground and planning something tangible. We circulated around the questions of public space, listening, stories, participation and building something concrete.

In 2019 we collaborated in a project of building a community house in Sletteløkka, a multicultural suburb in Oslo. Meanwhile we were planning a mobile device for collecting stories in public places: we imagined a vehicle vaguely resembling a barrel organ grinded at a fairground during the 19th century. In our imagina- tion the operational logic of an organ would be reversed - instead of playing tunes we would gather sounds and stories. We were especially interested in the mindscapes that are linked to and create places. Memories, dreams or thoughts that exist under the surface of a material site. This did not yet concretize in Sletteløkka, but we did tap into a sort of social place-making.
When the pandemic changed the circumstances of artistic work and research this year, also these ideas of place, locality and human encounters were Ohaltered. We could no longer gather together to build a device, with which we would enter site. Through some steps we ended up reversing the idea. Since we cannot share an actual place, we cannot all be here, maybe we can address this inablility. For this, we started to use a term borrowed from a Finnish phenomenologist and a scholar of aesthetics, Harri Mäcklin: the elsewhere.

Mäcklin uses Martin Heidegger’s work as his theoretical stepping stone as he sets out to describe and con- ceptualize the experience of immersion enabled by an art work. He suggests that an art experience modifies our sense of place: when immersing, the way we are here is transformed and the here is not here anymore. In Mäcklin’s terms, it is elsewhere. While we did not venture deeper into phenomenology, this concept seemed to fit our dialogues and ideas well. Hence the title of our small experiment, which is not built from wood and electronics, as we planned, but from words and internet-mediated services.