The Leap


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The Leap (1999) – mating modern technology with our cultural heritage, this installation carries out a new interpretation of Norwegian national symbols:

  • Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt
  • Edvard Grieg’s music to the play
  • The Norwegian mountain wilds

In the installation these functions as condensed symbols of our cultural heritage.

The Leap is an interactive, multi-medial installation which uses true-time media in order to artistically reinterpret and re-structure one of the most central dramas within Norwegian literature, namely Ibsen’s Peer Gynt. The objective of this installation is to create a significant, distinctive and autonomous work of art through strong medial experiences.

The Leap commentates, through Peer Gynt, the influence by technology upon the Norwegian national character. The story about the buckriding describes how Peer tried to master reality by lying. The simulation of reality by technology is a modern parallel to this. Through an active participation in the virtual world of The Leap the users will take Peers identity – and thereby become a “liar”.
The Leap uses romantic effects like “true to nature” computer-simulations, intense projections and re-combined sound-compositions. The installation seeks to seduce the participant in an ironical rehabilitation of the idyllic nationalism as this can be experienced at the turn of the millennium. Through a fine balance between overwhelming perceptual impressions and a deconstruction of the Gesamtkunst artwork Peer Gynt (Ibsen’s book and Grieg’s music) the installation function, in its Gyntian fragments, as a mirror on reality.

The work Peer Gynt was written according to the literary epoch “poetic realism”. This period sought to see what is great in the small. The installation The Leap transforms this story to “virtual realism” (Michael Heim, VR theorist) by discussing the relation between virtual realities and our need for contact with the primary or “real” reality.

Installation. There are four parts in the installations technological construction:

  1. Simulator: A buck-simulator (a cyberbuck – a hybrid of reindeer and machine) allows the user of this installation to ride and navigate freely through a virtual reality simulation of Besseggen (the original place where the buck-riding took place).
  2. Text: An interactive “poetry-generator” projects recombined sentences and sections of the text. The combination of the words are generated by the riding of the buck.
  3. Sound: An interactive sound installation with eight channels recombines Grieg’s music Peer Gynt in true-time. The sound that can be heard is a combination of true-time composition and true-time sound-engineering based on structures and sound-material from Grieg’s music to Peer Gynt. As a whole it will mediate parts of Grieg’s basic compository ideas, but transformed by electro-acoustic techniques. The composition is conducted by the textgenerator and the movements of the simulator.
  4. Nature: A video projection of the mountain wilds around and from Besseggen in Jotunheimen. The meta-information consists for the most part of webpages and pictures related to the Norwegian national romanticism; information which evade reality in a Gyntian manner.

These four parts are tied together as a whole through a computer network. The parts stand in a dynamic relation to each other, i.e. they influence each other mutually either via user guided interfaces or as a consequence of the dramaturgy of the installation.

Project team:  Stahl Stenslie , Asbjørn Flø, Karl Anders Øygard, Knut Mork Skagen, Lars Nilsson, Einar Øverenget, Stian Haugli.

Link to the soundtracks from The Leap
Link to the video

To read the full description as PDF follow this link

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