Material Fatigue

Material Fatigue is an autonomous branch of the Norbergfestival 2017 programme: a set of actions and exhibited works curated by Frida Sandström (SE) and Aleksei Borisionok (BY). With a focus on interdisciplinary performance practices, Material Fatigue arches across and beyond the festival – day and night, on and off-site, in found rooms and on the stages. The start of the programme is marked on July 19 at Abrahamsgården in central Norberg, to further expand there and on-site during the festival dates.

Material Fatigue – an eventual negotiation

An event contains two constitutive powers: one disruptive and the other repetitive. While repetition has accumulation and excess of the homogeneous as a consequence, the very notion of the event contains a disruptive force. Between participating agents, it interferes with all assumptions of temporality. In the meeting, it breaks, leaks and transforms. The tension between repetition and breakage could be illustrated with the notion of material fatigue. In material science, this is the weakening of a material caused by repeatedly applied loads. It is the progressive and localized structural damage occurring when a material is subjected to cyclic loading, charged without agency for movement. Specific devices can be used to redistribute the pressure by displacing the repeated load. In a festive temporality, this inherent pressure is redistributed as a compressed moment of intensity shared between participants. Thus, another form of fatigue is enabled within an apart-together sensation of presence, where the loading also provides an agency for movement. We cannot fully know what shape objects and obstacles will have, as they shift the rhythm of the event.

In times of raging deregulation and political uncertainty, where is disruption located? In political terms, this can be translated into boycott, strike or exile, all rather effective tools of political and social struggle. Still, we wonder if the gesture of refusal is an inherent part of the event? As Athena Athanasiou puts it: “engaged praxis is always that which opens the political to the incomplete, unforeseeable, and co-existential historicity of surprising itself.” For Material Fatigue, we approach in what ways continuity is broken, deformed and transformed into “performance fictions” – a notion introduced by David Burrows. Looking back into its own spectacle, Material Fatigue exceeds the very semantics of a social gathering. Invited artists are all working with discontinuity, corrupted transference or disturbed and redistributed events – such as alternative measurements of time, inappropriate lectures, dance celebrations, or voice and movement torn beyond the limit of a communicated identity. Breaking with its forecasting, this event deregulates its own logics. Exhausting this very time, it redistributes its effect, elsewhere. Duration isn’t singular as Lisa Robertson once wrote. We say it is disorganizing. This is a Post Party Syndrome. What’s next?  

Participating artists

The programme starts at Galleri Norberg in central Norberg  with the exhibited works of Susanna Jablonski, which are later accompanied in a set of sound interventions by Julia Giertz, Patrik Patsy Lassbo and Folke Rabe.

At the festival site, video works of Annika Eriksson, Kajsa Dahlberg and Oleksiy Radynski provide reflections on communal utopias, torn down by post-Fordist mechanisms. Next to Iris Smeds aka Vaska Fimpen‘s imploded imaginarium and Cara Tolmie’s looped identity of the diva, Stina Nyberg’s movement workshop enables a re-training of whatever a political agency might be. As Kasia Wolinska and Ashiq Khondker puts the very meeting of living bodies into practice, Dinis Machado questions the space of the very body itself as autonomous. Exhausting the materiality of the architecture, KP Transmission elasticises our sense of hearing, while Olia Sosnovskaya lectures on the affective moment of a celebration and it’s role as a collective and disruptive force in a contemporary political landscape. The artistic interventions will be accompanied by two set of artist talks on related topics.

Cara Tolmie (UK)
Olia Sosnovskaya (BY)
Dinis Machado (PT)
Kasia Wolinska (PL) with Ashiq Khondker

Iris Smeds aka Vaska Fimpen (SE)
KP Transmission (RU)

Stina Nyberg (SE)

Kajsa Dahlberg (SE)
Oleksiy Radynski (UA)

Installed works
Annika Eriksson (SE)
Susanna Jablonski (SE) – Abrahamsgården, 19-30 July

in collaboration with Audiorama:
Folke Rabe (SE) – Abrahamsgården, 27 July
Patrik Patsy Lassbo (SE) – Abrahamsgården, 28 July
Julia Giertz (SE) – Abrahamsgården, 29 July


Material Fatigue is part of the two year project The Glossary of the Event, supported by artistic research and development funding from the Royal Institute of Art.