The 8th Momentum Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art explores “tunnel vision” as a cultural and artistic condition.


8th Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art


June 13 – September 27, 2015

Press Preview: June 12, 2015
Opening: June 13, 2015, at 2pm

Curators: Jonatan Habib Engqvist (SE), Birta Gudjonsdottir (IS), Stefanie Hessler (DE/SE), Toke Lykkeberg (DK)

Today’s networked culture not only generates hyper-connectivity, but it also produces a range of disconnects that allow people and communities to thrive in their own bubbles. Momentum 8 focuses on artists and cultural producers who inhabit worlds of their own logic and follow through on the ideas that emerge within these contexts.

Curatorial Concept

The 8th Momentum takes place in Moss, a small city just outside of Oslo where Edvard Munch withdrew for four years. The relative solitude that he enjoyed there, which helped to cultivate his eclectic and highly personal practice, is not exceptional. Instead, it is exemplary of the geographical and cultural seclusion that has shaped the Nordic mindset.

Some might tend to condemn the notion of tunnel vision as alarmingly asocial, but artists have long celebrated the concept in various disarmingly eccentric ways. Not only addressing phenomena symptomatic of contemporary society and culture, Momentum 8 also draws on the longstanding idea of “a room of one’s own” as an important premise for artistic practice.

Current techno-scientific developments encourage individualism while simultaneously fostering segregated communities into which individuals can delve and disappear. The personalization of the Internet through the abundant use of cookies and matching metadata algorithms generates so-called filter-bubbles and you-loops. User data is collected and deployed in a manner that determines what we find and consequently also what we seek. Our web search queries confirm our respective worldviews. Whereas up until recently the Internet has served as a window to the world, it is now increasingly becoming our own mirror image that is reflected back at us from our screens. This kind of immersion in self-referential loops is echoed in a renewed interest in psychotropic substances within a broad spectrum of society. In contrast to the psychedelic movement of the 1960s, which was concerned with the expansion of consciousness, the four curators of Momentum 8 are interested in the experiences that narrow and hone mental focus. Addressing conspiracy theories, paranoia, and altered states of mind, the exhibition explores what might be called compressed consciousness, a concept that some might describe as incestuous, navel-gazing, or idiosyncratic. However, given the multitasking required by the daily flow of constant data, tunnel vision has the potential to productively narrow this spectrum of information and our access to it.

During Momentum 8, the theme of tunnel vision will unfold as a multisensory experience triggering altered states of mind and physical awareness. The exhibition aims at creating an atmosphere that appeals to all six senses, and which ties the various venues and events together across time and space. The artists of Momentum 8 will present fragrances, sound pieces, 3-D works, apps, music, installations, and performances.


1. Momentum Kunsthall in the historic city center of Moss (It is housed in an old industrial and urban center typical of the region. It is situated by a river and close to a former paper factory that was closed down in 2012)

2. Galleri F 15 at Alby Mansion on the island Jeløy in the Oslo fjord (The gallery occupies a historic mansion house on Alby, which also includes a garden)

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