Sébastien Robert

Sébastien Robert (1993, FR) is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher who recently graduated with honours from the ArtScience (MA) at the Royal Conservatory (KC) of The Hague. He develops a practice at the intersection of visual and sound art, technology, scientific and ethnographic research. Most of his projects revolve around a research cycle You’re no Bird of Paradise, through which he explores endangered indigenous rituals, music and cosmologies. These centuries-old cultures and advanced knowledge of the world are under threat due to complex and intertwined technological, societal and ecological issues.

Beyond simple documentation, yet not an ambitious ethnographic archiving project, he aims to translate these immaterial resources into long-lasting tangible works of art made of materials that echo the traditions of the communities encountered and the geospecifcities of the territories explored. In contrast to the current recordings mediums
(f.e vinyl, tape, digital fles), whose format is standardised and whose lifespan is limited, Sébastien develops alternative ways to preserve part of their heritage by bringing different physical and time scales to our perceptions.

Months-long of remote work punctuated with in-situ field research give birth to singular artistic projects, whether in the form of installation, performance or artworks, refined in their use of materials and technology. Through his work and research, Sébastien searches for possibilities to create an engaged and expanding artistic dialogue between indigenous perspective and technology questioning our perception of our environment and highlighting the epistemological diversity of the world we inhabit.

Sebastien’s work has recently been exhibited at 5020 (Salzburg, AT), MU ArtSpace (Eindhoven, NL) and Global Seed Vault (Svalbard, NO) and has performed at various internationally recognised festivals such as Rewire (The Hague, NL), Organik (Hualien, TW) and Mirage (Lyon, FR).

At Insomnia, Sebastien will join us in an artistic and methodological presentation and talk at the Tromsø Museum, where he will discuss some of his research methods, and preliminary thoughts around his current research project in Sápmi titled THE LIGHTS WHICH CAN BE HEARD.

Because of its symbolism in Sámi culture, the northern lights will be the central focus for initiating this artistic dialogue between indigenous knowledge and technology, which has the ultimate goal of materialising part of the Sami intangible heritage into that medium.

Sébastien Robert is presented in collaboration with Sonar Sónar Barcelona and the We Are Europe program - exploring the cultural transformations shaping the Europe of tomorrow. Supported by Creative Europe.