Research presentation and artist talk with Sébastien Robert

The Lights Which Can Ben Heard

Research presentation (with sound) followed by a panel talk and Q&A

As part of the Insomnia Festival 20th Edition day program, Sébastien Robert will present his on-going project The Lights Which Can Be Heard, which he recently initiated by spending three weeks on the island of Andøya, recording the sound of the Northern Lights while researching their place in Saami cosmologies. The presentation will be dived in three main sections.

Background & research methodology
The presentation will start with an introduction of Sébastien’s practice, through the lens of two previous projects realised in Cambodia (2018) and Chile (2019) and how his research methodology evolved accordingly. Sébastien will share some thoughts and insights on two interconnected questions that are at the core of his artistic endeavour: how to deal with Indigenous knowledge in a non-extractive way and how to position a practice at the intersection of visual and sound art, technology, scientific and ethnographic research.

The presentation will continue with the reason why Sébastien is currently in Norway: his on-going project The Lights Which Can Be Heard. After introducing his artistic motivations behind this project, Sébastien will share with the audience his main findings and key steps in this research, whether in the form of archived materials, sound recordings from Andøya or written thoughts. Perhaps most importantly, Sébastien will present the difficulties and limits he is encountering in an open and honest conversation with the audience. One of them being the absence of direct dialogue & exchange with the Sami community and researchers so far, which he hopes to trigger through this presentation.

Minerals & future perspectives
Lastly, Sébastien will focus his presentation on what he believes hasn’t been researched yet but which could bring his project altogether: the Saami cosmologies behind (rare-earth minerals) that are currently being extracted from their ancestral lands. The talk will be concluded with some future audio and visual perspectives on this project.

Commissioned by STRP Festival, with the support of Stroom Den Haag, and DICRéAM.

The talk will take place within the new Northern Lights exhibition of Tromsø Museum, in dialogue with local artists/researchers and the audience.

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.

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.

As Above, So Below
A/V live performance in collaboration with Mark IJzerman
Co-produced by LIMA, supported by Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, Valley of the Possible and Crossing Parallels.

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.

Date / Time
Oct 22 | 15:00

Tromsø University Museum
Lars Thøringsvei 10, Tromsø, Norway

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