Big Science, Small Country, 2020digitalized 8mm film, stereo sound.
Steel, concrete, granite, quartz, slate, till, polyester, pigment, taxidermied snowy owl
Sound: Robin Rådenman
8mm film: Karl-Erik Thörnqvist
In the installation Big Science, Small Country, Thörnqvist revisits the evacuation route his grandfather helped construct as part of the Esrange Space Center in the 1960s. North of Övre Soppero, o the E45 motorway, this gravel road extends even further into remoteness towards “Crash-zone B”, the area where possible space debris was intended to crash, disregarding the Sami villages located there for the winter.
Through his grandfather’s gaze, Thörnqvist portrays an infrastructural project implicated both in the arms race of the Cold War, and in the wider project of earthly as well as planetary expansion. The work asks questions about the existential consequences that follow in the wake of technological progress.
In 1970, the first Chinese satellite Dong Fang Hong I passed over Norrbotten. One of its tasks was to broadcast the national anthem with the same name (The East is Red). For the work Big science small country, Robin Rådenman has produced and fed a software system with the satellite transmission and based on the results composed a new piece of music. The original notes remain but are fragmented and out of line, randomly falling into a kind of artificial improvisation.
The work is produced in collaboration with the Resource Centre for Art and Swedish Lapland AiR.
Photo: Thomas Hämén
Karin Bähler Lavér
Resurscentrum för konst
Swedish Lapland A.I.R.