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The Square | Sold out!

Anders Eiebakke in conversation with Lene Berg
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Welcome to a special screening of visual artist Anders Eiebakke's new film The Square.

Eiebakke will join in conversation with artist and filmmaker Lene Berg after the screening.

On filmen

The film, which is based on actual events, is the diary of a middle-aged man who is involuntarily drawn into a web of surveillance, infiltration and paranoia in a city that physically resembles Oslo, but could be anywhere in Western Europe. Beginning production in 2018, the film is an artistic investigation of the police’s intelligence work against activist communities in Oslo, which has, among other things, resulted in the artist’s expulsion from Oslo city center during the work on the film.

Consisting of historical material, own material filmed from the ground and self-produced drones, drawings, animations and 3D models, the film provides insight into how cities in Western Europe are increasingly characterized by the production of images that the public does not have access to, but which is used to map and regulate the public spaces in which we move.

Eiebakke says:
“The film compares the Norwegian police’s more primitive strategies from my youth with today’s use of surveillance technology and covert agents of influence. There are almost no riots in Oslo’s city centre or periphery anymore. But do the methods the police use against activist communities withstand the light of day? Has a toxic culture developed in the police where ‘the end sanctifies the means’, and where civil society’s formation of free speech and opinion is influenced by them, in contrary to the notion of democratic ideals the police are supposed to protect?”

The film documents how the programme which the police themselves describe as “the dialogue police” is in reality an intelligence unit that weaponises “dialogue” as a method to gather information, and at the same time gain influence in activist communities. In this way, activists become informants without even being aware of it, and the police make use of spies and surveillance technology that continuously map them and the networks they are part of. The film documents how political surveillance and influence work takes place as a masked effort against “civil disorder”, and a threat to democracy that concerns us all.

Read interview with Eiebakke in Kunstkritikk.

About the artist

Anders Eiebakke (b.1970) first showed how civil society can use technology reserved for authorities when he flew his self-produced drones from Morocco over the border fence of the Spanish exclave of Melilla in North Africa. As an artist, has been operating his own drones, usually inspired by birds, since 2007 and his works reflect his political background from the radical left.

Eiebakke’s pioneering artistic work with drones was shown at the European biennial Manifesta in 2010, and he has since challenged the understanding of legislation and power relations in technology with and delivered a decoration to the Norwegian Data Protection Authority based on drone technology in 2016. In 2018, he created an extensive, performative work based on on historical studies at PAM 18 in Munich where, among other things, he developed a robot peace dove that paid tribute to the German revolution in 1918.

In 2020, Eiebakke produced the video suite ‘The Park’ for Fotogalleriet as part of the discursive artistic programme ‘Lets Talk About Images 2.1.0’, which reflected on the muddled history of the monumental Vigeland Park’s and connected this to modern-day conspiracy theories and a fictional(?) pandemic. ‘The Square’ is the artist’s first independent film produced for viewing outside a biennale or exhibition space format.

See also