Professional Experimental

Fylkingen is a venue for experimental media and sound art in Stockholm since 1933. I was introduced to this venue by chance, and I went for my first visit yesterday. What surprised me was not the performance per se, but the history and the current condition of this space, or rather, the composition of the audience in this venue.

Located inside a factory building, Fylkingen has all the qualities to be a perfect performance venue with its spatial condition and stage set. It is the most professional staged experimental performance place I have ever encountered. The projector, lighting, sound system and etc. are in good condition, and it certainly implies how established the operation is.

Two artists were presented last night. One Swede just had her sound/visual work screening, and Lisa Dillan from Norway did a live sound performance. Dillan’s performance is not striking in terms of idea, since she just experiments sound by instrumentalizing her body or other objects in the case. Her technique was good, but I couldn’t see much further beyond. The video then, was not so impressive either. I could only say that I have seen better performance also better sound video elsewhere.
Yet, what amazes me is that the venue is run with membership. A member told me that they could just book a time, and then set up an open event there by themselves. The maturity of the grassrooted system shocks me, and what takes me into another layer of thoughts is that the majority of audience last night is actually composed by people in their 40s. It says a lot about the long history of underground and experimental art in Stockholm, and this art scene has been interweaven in to their cultural horizon for such long period of time. This aspect suddenly makes me feel so small and humble, for it is really a confrontation with the avant-garde art history. This place is run by fucking professional people, professionally experimental, if I look into the names…
My understanding of avant-garde art hits on a hard rock…

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2 responses to “Professional Experimental

  1. My understanding of avant-garde art hits on a hard rock…?

    I still don’t understand why…because it is old?
    by the way i should tell you ,a extreme noise performance of Zbigniew Karkowsky (a sweden musician….) well underground in paris,all the participants are above 30,some even 50s,so i can see also from their outlook 30 years ago they may listen to industrial music.
    then jap noise in the 80s ,and goes more or less electro in 90s…..
    they are more or less (old) gothic people,more or less punk-industrial…

  2. not because it is old, but the way it is so systematic established.
    the sound art scene i see here so far is not any sort of underground activities. it was rooted in the avant-garde movement, but the social democratic practice is so strong within the local political climate and history, that people who do experimental art are more or less into this systematic way of thinking. it feels to me more like they enter a post-underground age where there is no need for rebellion. it’s a safe, equal, caring and established environment for contemporary art practice and experiement. i was mentioning this membership system in this context due to this reason. because people here are so into it, you get your number tag while queuing for bank, for pharmacy, for even buying your drinks in the state-controlled alcohol shops (which they call ‘system bureau’) and booking a noise performance…

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