Ingerid S. Straume, Ingjald Pilskog, Randi Nygård

What We Have in Common

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)
Campus Bergen, Kronstad, Inndalsveien 28, 5063 Bergen


At 15:30

Language: This event will be in Norwegian.

What makes a society a society? And why has it become so difficult for people in the West to think in societal terms, often struggling to relate to ideas and practices that exist and have meaning on a collective level? The prevailing notion is that the individual represents freedom, while community somehow restrains us. In this presentation, Ingerid Straume will question this concept from an environmental perspective and address the need to organise our society in a more sustainable way.

The presentation will be followed by a conversation between Ingerid Straume, Ingjald Pilskog and artist Randi Nygård.

The event is part of Skog vil seia samfunn (Forest Means Society), Nygård’s long-term project for Volt, which will be installed in the Kronstad area of Bergen near the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. Skog vil seia samfunn is inspired by a method developed by Japanese ecologist and botanist Akira Miyawa, whereby various native tree species are planted close together to create mini forests in urban spaces. These forests then purify the air, reduce noise, bind carbon and attract numerous animals and insects. Also known as ‘pocket forests’, they serve as micro-habitats that are considered to be particularly rich in species.

Drawing inspiration from the variety of lifeforms these ‘pocket forests’ contain, Nygård will create a series of small sculptures that highlight how animals and plants help to shape public spaces, in cities as well as in the countryside. During the course of Skog vil seia samfunn, a number of public events will be held relating to themes from the project, featuring people from a number of different fields, including art, biology, cultural science and philosophy.

Photo: Randi Nygård

Ingerid S. Straume

Ingerid S. Straume is professor of education at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. She has written numerous books and articles on topics relating to sustainability, environmental politics, social change and educational theory. She is currently interested in theorising what is common in a society characterised by ideas that inhibit, rather than promote, political freedom.

Ingjald Pilskog

Ingjald Pilskog is associate professor of natural sciences on the teacher training programme at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. He is a board member at Bergen Society for the Advancement of Science, which aims to disseminate research findings, and is also associated with the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, where he works on the communication of climate research. Pilskog has a co-supervised PhD in theoretical nuclear physics and physical chemistry from the University of Bergen and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6. Since completing his PhD, Pilskog has held two postdoctoral positions: one in theoretical geophysics and one in biogeochemistry.

Randi Nygård

Randi Nygård is an artist based in Oslo. She has a master’s degree from Trondheim Academy of Fine Art and has participated in numerous exhibitions, including: Chilean Pavilion, Venice Biennale; Contemporary Art Centre, Thessaloniki; Kunstverein Springhornhof; and New Museum, New York. Nygård is part of several collaborative projects such as Ensayos, Meander and Paviljong Våtmark. In 2023, Nygård received a ten-year Government Grant for Artists.

Skog vil seia samfunn is a collaboration with the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, and is supported by City of Bergen’s council for art in public spaces and Public Art Norway. Volt’s 2024 programme is supported by City of Bergen and Arts and Culture Norway.

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