CONVERSATIONS WITH A TRILOBITE

By Liv Bugge and Sara Orning  

PHOTO CREDITS:

Child:  Image courtesy/Photo credit: Liv Bugge

Stone in hand: Image courtesy/Photo credit: Hans Arne Nakrem, Museum of Natural History, Oslo

Man with two parts of trilobite: Image courtesy/Photo credit: The Museum of University and Science History, Oslo

The following extract is based on a series of group discussions held by the artist Liv Bugge where methods derived from animal communication is tested in a telepathic conversation with a fossil trilobite. Trilobites were in their time one of the largest groups of animals on the planet and is among the most common fossils in Norway, and it is especially common in the Oslo area.

A couple of people from the Monster Network were invited to take part in such a conversation as part of Liv Bugge’s artistic research project. The session involved a group meditation, then individual conversations between the participants and the trilobite, followed by a group discussion. The conversation is an exercise in non-linear ways of relating to historical existences and concepts of time, as well as using the body as an image producing apparatus. By engaging in conversation with a fossil that is dated several hundred million years back in time, the exercise is partly about letting the fossil stay in the now. The image of the fossil as governed resource is challenged by the image of the fossil subject, felt and experienced by the participant’s own body.

The extract is taken from the artwork Instructions to make use of an already present itch, which was on view in the exhibition What remains at Fotogalleriet, Møllergata 34, Oslo in March 2017.

If you are interested to take part in similar activities, please contact LivBugg@khio.no


Some of the questions we agreed upon asking the trilobite included:

– do you feel presence? Our presence?

– in which time do you exist?

– do you have feelings? Can you feel things?

– what about your transformation from lived life to your current form?

– EARTH

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Christmas, White as Bone

By Line Henriksen

               The snow rises and falls out there, on the frozen ice,

It’ll be a white Christmas, and we’re all packing our bags.

                gathering and dispersing like shattered teeth stirred by

                the wind.

In the kitchen, father is preparing the roast, and gran is stirring spices into the glögg.

                It pulls up shadows,

I set the table, and my siblings decorate the tree.

                a sense of depth in the veils of white.

“I see them now,” sister whispers, sitting in the windowsill, her red bows wilting at the sight. We pause at doors and windows and see them too,

                The snow peels back, revealing bones and tattered

                cloth whipping around slow feet, steering towards the

                well-lit windows that shine like guiding stars.

and suddenly everyone moves faster than before. The table is set in no time, the last bits of clothes packed, the candles lit by trembling hands, and in a flitter of scarves and coats, we depart just in time.

                The guests are here.

We watch from the car as every window fills with them, warm light spilling out on the snow from between withered ribs and cracked skulls. Torsos sway stiffly, and legs kick upwards in dance, knocking grins from gnarled shoulders. As we drive off, we hear the beating of music, and the tapping of hardened feet.

I fear them, the bone-white Christmases when the lake freezes over, and the dead come back to claim the house for a night.


First published here.

About the author:

Line Henriksen has a PhD in Gender Studies, and has written articles and book-chapters on the subjects of monsters, hauntology, creepypasta, and ethics. Her fiction has appeared in, among others, Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix, freeze frame fiction, and Pankhearst: Wherever You Roam. You can visit her here, or tweet her pictures of puppies at @_linehenriksen_

Væsner. Episode 13: The Lot

”You do know that if the jobseeker’s allowance doesn’t work out, they’ll put you on integration benefits, right?” Lakse grins through the meatball sandwich.

“Yes, I’m aware of that, thank you.”

“Even though you’re a Danish citizen.”

“I know.”

“Bloody foreigners, the lot.” Lakse picks out a bit of meatball from between his teeth, grins at me and puts it back into his mouth.

“The lot,” he says.

I’m not always sure what to make of the things Lakse says.


We bring episodes of the blog-series Væsner every week. For previous episodes, follow the tag ‘væsner’. Join the Monster Network on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.

‘Væsner’ is written by Anne Nielsen. You can follow the True & Accurate Accounts of her experiences with Copenhagen Gate Services, strange weather and dancing shadows on her blog and on Twitter.

 

 

Væsner. Episode 12: Strangers

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In my first blog-post, I decided to write about three things:

  • Copenhagen
  • Being unemployed
  • The weather

I also decided not to write about one thing:

  • Strange letters.

So far I’ve managed to write about what I was not supposed to write about + a bit on the weather. Perhaps because the subjects of Copenhagen and unemployment make me feel somewhat … I don’t know. Homeless, perhaps? Frustrated? Alienated?

I’m definitely an alien now. As is Copenhagen.


We bring episodes of the blog-series Væsner every week. For previous episodes, follow the tag ‘væsner’. Join the Monster Network on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.

‘Væsner’ is written by Anne Nielsen. You can follow the True & Accurate Accounts of her experiences with Copenhagen Gate Services, strange weather and dancing shadows on her blog and on Twitter.

 

 

Væsner. Episode 11: Noise

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It seems as if the small street where I live has grown noisier while I was gone. Maybe it’s just that I’m still attuned to the silence of the summer cottage, but it sounds as if heaps of metal and rubbish are pushed by a strong wind up and down, up and down the street all night. The gate to the yard is right underneath my bedroom, and it quivers and roars as if drunken people hammer and kick at the old wood all night. It’s an old gate and it’s a noisy one, nothing new there. It’s just never been this bad before. Is this the summer-party-high season? I’m too old to know. I’m also too old to stay awake all night, listening to bellows from the yard and the jangles of rubbish from the street. I need sleep. I need quiet.

I need to not be thinking about bloody gates.


We bring episodes of the blog-series Væsner every week. For previous episodes, follow the tag ‘væsner’. Join the Monster Network on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.

‘Væsner’ is written by Anne Nielsen. You can follow the True & Accurate Accounts of her experiences with Copenhagen Gate Services, strange weather and dancing shadows on her blog and on Twitter.

 

 

Væsner. Episode 10: Oven III

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Posted on August 3, 2016

“What kind of pizza did you have?”

“What? When?”

“That night with the oven-letter. What kind of pizza was it? The pizza-burger-pepperoni one?”

“Narh, vegetarian. Didn’t get to make it, though.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know. This whole letter thing freaked me out a bit.”

“How’s that an excuse for not making pizza! I once found a handful of hair in the oven. Roots and all. Still made the pizza. Topping is topping, you know?”

“Hair …”

“At least with the letter, it’d still be vegetarian.”

 


We bring episodes of the blog-series Væsner every week. For previous episodes, follow the tag ‘væsner’. Join the Monster Network on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.

‘Væsner’ is written by Anne Nielsen. You can follow the True & Accurate Accounts of her experiences with Copenhagen Gate Services, strange weather and dancing shadows on her blog and on Twitter.

 

 

Væsner. Interlude: Worse Things + Here be Monsters

We’ve chosen to jump to the most recent episodes of ‘Væsner’ this week, thereby disturbing the chronology a bit. It feels more timely this way.

Væsner – An Interlude:

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Worse Things

Stay safe. And bring the revolution.

Here be Monsters

Anne Nielsen?

ja-jeg-er-her

“Yes, I’m here.”

Wait.

No.

No, I’m not here. Not at all. This past month has been surreal to say the least and has proved to me that there are things going on that I cannot possibly understand nor even imagine. Monsters and The Digging Dead, otherworlds and portals and void-seas and a rabid tangerine in a White House. I’m not here. I’m not here at all. I’m somewhere else, and I’ve no idea where that is. Until I have a slightly firmer grip on my new reality, I’ll keep the updates waiting a little longer. I need some time to mourn the loss of a world I thought I knew and a future I’ve been taking for granted.

Stay safe out there, people. If nothing else, here be monsters.

 


We bring episodes of the blog-series Væsner every week. For previous episodes, follow the tag ‘væsner’. Join the Monster Network on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.

‘Væsner’ is written by Anne Nielsen. You can follow the True & Accurate Accounts of her experiences with Copenhagen Gate Services, strange weather and void seas on her blog and on Twitter.

 

 

Væsner. Episode 9: Oven II

”Well, you ARE a bit absent-minded from time to time …”

Lakse thinks I put the letter in the oven by mistake before leaving for the summer cottage. He’s probably right, but – I mean, surely I’d remember another one of these letters, right?

Right?

The paper is black with a white bar and black circle in the top right corner. ‘Gate’ the logo says, just like the last one.

I still can’t see any writing.

 


We bring episodes of the blog-series Væsner every week. For previous episodes, follow the tag ‘væsner’. Join the Monster Network on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.

‘Væsner’ is written by Anne Nielsen. You can follow the True & Accurate Accounts of her experiences with Copenhagen Gate Services, strange weather and dancing shadows on her blog and on Twitter.

 

 

Væsner. Episode 7: Google II

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Google II

I Googled ’Gatekeepers’ Union’, but they don’t seem to have a website. The only thing I found was a mention of gatekeepers on allefagforeninger.dk, which lists all Danish unions. The suggestions they had for gatekeepers did not include the Gatekeepers’ Union, though, only the usual ones like 3F, Krifa, MA, etc.

Fagforeninger

As a gatekeeper, you will usually be working as a guard or in the areas of security and surveillance. Similar jobs include store detective, doorkeeper and night porter.

These are all jobs I’ve never had. Unless of course they mean ‘gatekeeper’ as a metaphor. A figure of speech.

Concepts really should organize.

 


We bring episodes of the blog-series Væsner every week. For previous episodes, follow the tag ‘væsner’. Join the Monster Network on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.

‘Væsner’ is written by Anne Nielsen. You can follow the True & Accurate Accounts of her experiences with Copenhagen Gate Services, strange weather and dancing shadows on her blog and on Twitter.

 

 

Væsner. Episode 5: A Call + Episode 6: The Gatekeepers’ Union

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A Call

Posted on July 29, 2016

“Hi, yes, my name is Anne Nielsen. I’m calling because I’ve just got back after having been out of town for about a week, and I can see that I’ve got a letter from you. Or I’ve got a letter. Which might be from you. Well, it’s from a union, anyway. Can you perhaps check if you’ve sent me any letters recently? No, I’m not a member, that’s what the letter’s about – that I need to re-register with the Union, quick? … Yeah, well, that’s the thing – it says Gatekeeper’s Union, but you’re the only union I’ve ever been a member of, so I thought that perhaps it was a sub-division or … No? Okay, alright. Do you know about any Gatekeepers’ Unions? Alright, okay, thanks anyway.”

“By the way, is it stormy where you are just now …?”

 

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The Gatekeepers’ Union

I’ve received a letter from the Union. Not the Union I used to be a member of – I know, because I phoned them – but the Gatekeepers’ Union. It says:

Dear Gatekeeper 75803002,

You have recently been contacted by Copenhagen Gate Services concerning the reopening of the Gate of Amager. Before returning to your duties, we strongly recommend that you renew your membership of the Gatekeepers’ Union. In these times of crisis, the Inter-D roads in general & the inroads & outroads of Copenhagen & its harbours in particular are under much pressure. This means that the tasks of Gatekeepers continue to expand & we do our utmost to make sure that you can perform your duties with little to no risks to health, life and sanity.

Enclosed is a membership-application form and a return envelope. Please fill out & send us your membership-application as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

With the best intentions,

T. Pultervold

Counsellor

The Gatekeepers’ Union

Printing press number: 75- 04380- 37285899659-0 – Toben Pultervold – 9

I don’t know what a ‘printing press number’ is, and the address on the return envelope makes little sense:

Understreet, Belowwater

hush, hush

say it again

Att. T. Pultervold

No idea.

 

 


We bring episodes of the blog-series Væsner every week. For previous episodes, follow the tag ‘væsner’. Join the Monster Network on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.

‘Væsner’ is written by Anne Nielsen. You can follow the True & Accurate Accounts of her experiences with Copenhagen Gate Services, strange weather and dancing shadows on her blog and on Twitter.