Cecilia Jonsson


Opening Thursday 11 January 2018 at 18:00

Mareograph is a two-part project in Bergen which forms part of the artist Cecilia Jonsson’s exploration of marine environments and how the sea adapts to the various gravitational interactions of the earth, the moon and the sun.

The project is based on the Bergen City Council’s risk assessment of the seriously polluted marine environments in Puddefjorden and Store Lungegårdsvann in Bergen. This risk assessment has shown that the sea bed has a very high content of heavy metals and organic pollutants which now form the basis for the Council’s extensive clean-up work on the sea bed in the fjord.

An analog mareograph (tide-gauge) placed by the fjord registers the tidewater dynamics in rotating stoneware cylinders treated with a layer of sediment isolated out from various parts of the fjord. The cylinders, which are continuously replaced during the exhibition period, will later be dried and fired ceramically, such that the clay with the specific composition of the sediment sinters* and a glaze with a unique appearance is formed.

The first part of the project shows the mareograph station placed on the Årstad quay at the conduit between the inner Puddefjord and the lake Store Lungegårdsvannet in Bergen between 11 and 13 January 2018. The second part of the project is a thematically related seminar and a presentation of the ceramically fired measurement cylinders in April in Bergen.

*Sintering is a process whereby powder or mineral material is hardened into a compacted solid (sinter) by heating to temperatures at which the particles begin to react and melt together. (Source: Store norske leksikon, https://snl.no/sintring. See also Wikipedia: “Sintering”.)

Cecilia Jonsson

Cecilia Jonsson’s works are research-based projects ranging from installation and sculpture to kinetic works. Jonsson explores the connections between organisms and inorganic chemistry as both a method of observation and a medium. Her work is informed by scientific methods and often consists of site-specific, artistic interpretations of phenomena and processes of nature.

The projects are developed as investigations of physical and ideological properties of the raw materials that form the basis of human existence, from origins deep down in the earth through extraction, transformation and global exploitation.

She holds an MA in Fine Art from the Bergen Academy of Art and Design and the Nordic Sound Art programme. Her works have been shown in among other places Science Gallery Melbourne, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, MU Artspace, Eindhoven, Museum of Natural History, Venice and Edifici Disseny Hub Barcelona. In 2014 Jonsson was awarded a prize at the VIDA 16.0 Art and Artificial Life International Awards for her project The Iron Ring. She conducted the 170 m deep drill core project for Dark Ecology 2016 and won the Dutch Bio Art and Design Award the same year. In 2017 Jonsson received an Honorary Mention in the Prix Ars Electronica category Hybrid Art.


Mareograph is new project commissioned by Volt developed in dialogue with the Department of Earth Science and Earth Surface Sediment Laboratory (EARTHLAB) at the University of Bergen and Cowi AS. Volt’s programme in 2018 is funded by the City of Bergen and the Arts Council Norway.

Photo: Bjarte Bjørkum, Thor Brødreskift, Cecilia Jonsson

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