Cecilia Jonsson

Mareograph II

Bergen Public Library
Strømgaten 6, Bergen Map

Opening 19 April 2018 at 16:00

The opening is following after the public seminar on the art project and Bergens local seabed and its environmental poisons at the library from 13:00–16:00.

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.

In the project Mareograph Jonsson has used sediment samples from the sea bed in Puddefjorden and Store Lungegårdsvann, and applied it as a coating to clay formed into cylinders. These were placed one by one in her self-made analogue tidal gauge, which stood on the Årstad quay at the passage between Puddefjorden and Store Lungegårdsvann for a few days in January this year.

The tidal water was registered in the analogue gauge by the movements of a needle in the sediment cylinders, which were replaced when the water was at its lowest, once each night and once each afternoon. The six cylinders with sediments have subsequently been dried and ceramically fired in a reduction fire to 1300 degrees Celsius, and will be shown in a display case in the Local History section of the Bergen Public Library. The colour spectra in the incised cylinders come from various types of heavy metals, minerals and organic contaminants deposited in the sediments and the ways in which they have reacted to the high temperatures of the ceramic firing.

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 art project by Cecilia Jonsson commissioned by Volt developed in dialogue with the Department of Earth Science and Earth Surface Sediment Laboratory (EARTHLAB) at the Universitety of Bergen and Cowi AS. Special thanks to Elisa Helland-Hansen. Volt’s programme in 2018 is funded by the City of Bergen and the Arts Council Norway.

Photo: Bjarte Bjørkum, Cecilia Jonsson

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