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Distributed Futures

Alternative Circuits for Alternative Films?
Tuesday 20.04.21

Welcome to this online panel discussion, taking place as part of the project Mapping Distribution: New Norwegian Initiatives. The participants are Lene Berg (artist and filmmaker), Mariken Halle (filmmaker), Silja Espolin Johnson (Head of Kunstnernes Hus Kino), Nicolas Siepen (artist, filmmaker and theoretician) and Anne Lajla Utsi (managing director for the International Sámi Film Institute). The discussion will be led by Mike Sperlinger.

The panel will discuss the radical changes taking place in the fields of visual art and film due to digitalization and the current pandemic. Against this background, is an alternative system for distributing artist films and independent films possible?


Lene Berg is an artist and filmmaker. Her practise includes film, photography, collage and text-based works. She frequently explores iconic, art historical concepts, where her works interface visual and political history. Essential to her work are the relationships between art and propaganda and the representation of truth and fiction. Lene Berg was educated as a film director at the Dramatiska Institutet in Stockholm. She has produced a number of short films as well as mixed-media artworks and installations for galleries, museums, and public spaces. Most recently Berg directed three feature-length films, the award-winning Kopfkino (2013), GOMP: Tales of Surveillance in Norway 1948−1989 (2014) and False Belief (2019). Berg is one of the initiators of Filmbyrået Jack, a new agency for distribution of artist- and independent films.

Mariken Halle is educated at Nordland Kunst- og Filmfagskole and Valand Academy in Gothenburg. Among her films Kanskje i morgen (2011), Verden venter (2014), Lgh+bil+allt jag har och äger (2014) and Vi er her nå (2020). Her practise includes writing and moving image - based installation work. She has co-founded two artist-driven production companies Vapen och Dramatik and Alternativet Produksjon and is one of the iniatiors of Filmbyrået Jack.

Silja Espolin Johnson is Head of Kunstnernes Hus Kino in Oslo since its establishment in 2016. She studied at The European Film College (Ebeltoft, DK), The Norwegian Film School (Lillehammer) and holds a Master in Aesthetics from the University of Oslo. She has a background as an independent film producer.

Nicolas Siepen is a Berlin based artist, filmmaker and theoretician. He writes frequently on post-Structuralism, Marxism and current questions of new forms of capitalism and left politics. He is co-founder of the bookstore and publishing house b_books which publishes books on art, performance, urbanism, queer theory, film studies, activism and politics. As an artist he has participated in various international exhibitions and film festivals, among them Berlinale and Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen. Between 2009 and 2016 he was Professor of visual arts at the Academy of Contemporary Arts in Tromsø, Norway. He currently collaborates with the art space Vierte Welt in Berlin on the Project Gesellschaften and is permanent member of the Performing Arts Forum (PAF) in France.

Anne Lajla Utsi is based in the Sámi village Kautokeino in Northern Norway, where she has served as managing director for the International Sami Film Institute (ISFI), of which she was one of the founders, since 2009. Utsi has guided a new generation of Sami filmmakers and initiated several international collaborations between indigenous filmmakers such as the Indigenous Film Circle, Arctic Film Circle, Arctic Chills as well as the establishment of Arctic Indigenous Film fund. She has a background as a documentary filmmaker.

Mike Sperlinger is a writer and curator, and currently Professor of Writing and Theory at the Oslo Academy of Fine Art. Previously he was Assistant Director of LUX, a London-based organisation for artists working with the moving image. He is co-founder of PRISMS, a new organisation for the moving image in Norway, and currently producing a new film project with the artist Ed Atkins. Mike Sperlinger will host the panel discussion.

Read more about Mapping Distributionhere.

See also