Smokes | 2014

By admin, January 26, 2015

Installation, Hopstreet Gallery, Sint-Jorisstraat 109 Rue Saint-Georges B-1050 Brussels

Description: A “multi-fingered” object, reminiscent of a sea life plant or a musical instrument, stands on a pedestal 155 cm from the wall. 170 cm In front of the pedestal is a video projector that projects a white image with shadows of smokes so it looks as if the smokes are coming out of the fingers in the shadows behind. It plays with the experience and makes us think that the smokes really came out of the “fingers”. The smokes sometimes pop, change shape, and then pop back. There is a sound that accompanies the installation, fitted to the animations.

Dimensions: Variable

In a series of works, I have been working on creating Pseudo-Instruments. They are objects that pretend to be musical instruments but they do not produce any sound. Take a guitar, for example: when the strings of the guitars are stroked, they release vibrations that make us hear sound. Or when we blow air into a trumpet and hear a sound, traveling out into the room. These are original direct “cause and effect” instruments. The synthesizer was initially meant to be an instrument like the guitar or the trumpet, but it creates fake guitar- or trumpet sounds with electronic components and sends the sounds through wires to a loudspeaker. Later, the synthesizer became an instrument of its own genre- an electronic instrument. The Pseudo Instrument does not produce real sounds like a guitar or a trumpet, and it also has no electronic components that are able to make electronic sounds. It simply pretends to be a musical instrument by sending out signifiers of physical movements in shapes of smokes resembling the air coming out of the trumpet. The movement of the smokes is related to the physical movement of the air coming out of the trumpet, traveling out into the room. But why making this pseudo-instrument? Well, it is a performer, with a high emphasis on the visual appearance, which is something that a guitar, a trumpet, or a synthesizer does not do. The pseudo instrument uses video images as part of the musical experience. The smoke could also be read as notations that move in time over the screen. The sudden change of the smoke into a line or a cube is the virtual possibility of a single tone to change as it travels through air. Usually a tone stays the same, but within the virtual space of the video installation, I try to make a single note change as it travels. It is simply a fantasy about music; I am trying to explore areas of music that perhaps were not important yesterday, but might be important in the future, or are already important today. Usage of media equipment, like computers, smart phones, the internet etc, has changed the way we experience music. These new forms of equipment are as radical to musical experience as the electronic musical equipment, recording techniques, multi track recorders and computers. The computerized media that we use for communication in daily life is changing the music, not only sound wise but also the over all experience, which is more visual as well.

Photo by: © hv-studio. Courtesy of the artist and Hopstreet gallery, Brussels

Bonsai | 2014

By admin, January 8, 2015

Installation, Hopstreet Gallery, Sint-Jorisstraat 109 Rue Saint-Georges B-1050 Brussels

Description: A bonsai tree stands 60 cm away from the wall and the video projector, which, situated 80 cm from the tree, projects a video onto the tree and the wall behind. In the video there is a colorful sky image that colors the tree and the wall behind. Every now and then, firework-like balls fly out of the tree as if the tree were shooting them out. The balls fly in articulated paths through the air and explode with popping sounds. From each exploded ball there is smoke that flies across the sky and slowly evaporates.

Dimensions: With 92 cm, depth: 140 cm, height: 90 cm (variable)

The idea is that the tree, as a living being, performs some sort of a musical act by throwing out these firework-like balls that give sounds when they explode. The tree can be seen as a musical instrument, a musical performer, and as a part of the score of its own music as well. The visual side also plays a similar role to that of a music video for a pop song. The bonsai is at once the musical score, the sound of the music, the performer, the video, and the concert.

Bonsai 2014 from Egill's Studio on Vimeo.

Steinkugel | 2014

By admin, May 22, 2014

Permanent selv-generative video installation, projected onto a three-dimensional concrete sculpture
Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin

1. prize in a restricted artist contest in 2013, arranged by The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) and Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin



Kaskade | 2014

By admin, May 22, 2014

Permanent site-specific light art installation on front facade of Kunstmuseum Ahlen
Ahlen – Westfalen, Germany

Dimensions: 15 m wide and 20 m tall. Mast with projector: 11 meters high. Distance from Mast to roof: 19 meters.

1. prize in a restricted artist contest in August 2013, arranged by the Theodor F.-Leifeld-Foundation in occasion of Kunstmuseum Ahlen’s 20th birthday. The project is part of HELLWEG – ein LICHTWEG and was generously financed by the Art and Culture Programme of the Land North-Rhine Westphalia as well as the Theodor F. Leifeld-Foundation.

Description: The piece was chosen from a line of proposals for illuminating the buildings of the Kunstmuseum Ahlen. The work is turned on every day at dusk and goes on until about 01:00 AM after midnight. The idea comes from the original roof, as it is very inviting to project on it. The lines are created in a 3D program and are mapped onto the center building of the museum to run smoothly over the roof. These lines are some of the simplest forms that one can project onto an object or a place to both emphasize and alter it. They somehow display the roofs in a clear manner and draw forth their shapes, but at the same time create something new within them, as the curved shapes of the center building form a perfect platform on which the lines can play and form a sort of waterfall of light. The general nature of the piece is rather reduced to give space to other things in the environment, yet still draws quite a bit of attention as a result of its location at the beginning of the city’s main pedestrian shopping street. To break up the minimal flow of lines, once a day, a small girl with a big yellow miner’s helmet appears in the projection and walks and jumps around on the roofs, fixing them with a large hammer, riding a bike, kicking a football, or just looking around. Her existence is inspired by the legendary computer game MarioBros and the barrel-shaped roofs that resemble levels in old computer games. She is also a little bit like the CooCoo of a CooCoo Clock, appearing only scarcely, although on fixed hours, for the children not to get disappointed by missing out.

Kaskade Short film 720 from Egill's Studio on Vimeo.

Photos: Hubert Kamper

Out of Shoes Humans Grow | 2014

By admin, May 14, 2014

Installation, Gallerie Anhava, Helsinki
Description: Single-channel video projection, cowboy boots and sound

Egill Sæbjörnsson Out of Shoes Humans Grow Short Docu 2014 from Egill's Studio on Vimeo.


The Picture Draws Us | 2014

By admin, May 14, 2014

Installation, Gallerie Anhava, Helsinki
Description: Single-channel video projection, pencil




The Book | 2009

By admin, August 29, 2013

Semi monographic book with special chapters on various themes in the works of Egill Sæbjörnsson
Various authors
Published by Argobooks, Berlin


Stones According to Egill Sæbjörnsson | 2012

By admin, August 28, 2013

Book published by Revolver Publishing
The book is based on Sæbjörnsson´s exhibition The Egg or The Hen, Us or Them, in Künstlerhaus Bremen 2011

From a conversation between Egill Sæbjörnsson and Jane Bannett:

1. Can we say that art is its own species, which might have co-existed with humankind
just like the dog was bred from the wolf?

JANE BENNETT: I like the idea of art as a species, or, even better, art as a “vital force” that joins up with different earthly bodies at different times and places. So, art would have an existence that retains a moment of independence from the artist. Art as a force that sometimes joins up with the “creative genius” of, say, a da Vinci, but other times with the striped bodies of zebras, or the graceful curve of a plant stem as it reaches for the sun, or the striated layers of granite.
It’s also interesting to note that some people today challenge the idea that humans domesticated the wolf to produce the dog. They contend instead that it was the wolf, hanging around human rubbish sites, who altered his/her own behaviour (pace, taste) to become a dog. Some of these dogs liked to herd and thus helped to make possible a human economy of livestock. Based on this view, it was the wolf-dog that induced the human-animal to settle down and become agricultural. I suppose one could say, analogously, that art lured the artist into being.

2. Is art older than art history indicates? Is there art without humankind? Are worms artists? Are minerals artists?

JANE BENNETT:  The question “Are worms (or minerals) artists?” loses some of its sense once art is understood to be a lively, active force in the world, rather than a technique invented and deployed by people. It makes more sense to say that worms and minerals and people can sometimes be co-actants with the force of art.

3. Could it be that art is partly controlling humans? Is the oil on the canvas controlling the artist just as much as the artist is controlling the oil?

JANE BENNETT: Yes, it seems clear that when different combinations of materialities engage with each other (the oil, the artist-body, the canvas, the movements and sounds of each, etc.) the agency is distributed across the assemblage that forms. No one element is in “control”, or if it is, it does not reign for long. I don’t know if the oil exerts more or less power over the resultant “work of art” than the artist does. It’s probably impossible to discern exactly the distribution of agency at work in any given instance. But it seems most reasonable to identify the collective, the assemblage, as the real locus of agency, rather than any individuated element therein.

Inside Out | 2011

By admin, August 28, 2013

Installation, Hopstreet, Brussels
Description: Animation projected onto wood boards and stone plates

On The Beach | 2012

By admin, August 28, 2013

Five theater performance scenes in On the Beach by Robert Wilson, Jerome Robbins Theater, New York
Together with Marcia Moraes, Robert Wilson, Philipp Glass, Hrafnhildur Árnadóttir aka Shoplifter, Gabriela Geluda and Jon Morris.

Inspired by the seminal opera Einstein on the Beach, which was originally created in 1976 by Robert Wilson and Philip Glass, and in celebration of its 35th anniversary, Robert Wilson selected five teams of emerging artists to re-interpret sections of this 20th century masterpiece. The scenes were inspired by five different sections of Einstein on the Beach. Four scenes and the Knee Plays are the sources of inspiration for this work. On The Beach celebrates a new generation of artists and their reactions to an opera that is widely recognized as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century. Egill and Marcia used animation and  installations with objects, working with singers, dancers, choreographers, rappel technique and actors to create the five Knee scenes.

On the Beach - from Egill's Studio on Vimeo.

Scene 1

Scene 2

Scene 3

Scene 4

Scene 5