WORK 08 / THE SELF / FABLES

FABLES 01/12 Every month, I improvise a fable. Each fable is hand written using a pen and it is 12 A5 pages long. Every evening before falling asleep I write a page of a fable using no punctuation and letting my subconscious write for me as in an automatic writing fashion. Once it is completed, every day I retype one page in my computer resulting in approximately 8,000 characters per fable. I select the main protagonist of each fable on rotation from the following environments: air, tree, earth, grass, river and water. The resulting fables are presented using LED message boards for the duration of 12 minutes. The text of a fable belonging to one of the six environments is associated respectively to the following colour range: red, orange, yellow, green, cyan and purple. Also the LED message boards are presented at various heights according to the environment they represent with the water being far below and the sky far above. In this context it is very unlikely that even a most attentive reader can grasp the content of an entire fable. He or she is more likely to only get some glimpse interplaying with his or her own subconscious (Fig. Screeshot showing part of a fable after it has been digitized. The lower case letters are turned to upper case after the grammar has been corrected. The resulting digital pages containing a fable are also typed on an A5 page layout with 2 cm margins and using 11 points Consolas font).

FABLES 02/12 The writing of fables started following a small tradition to invent a story for my oldest son prior to going to sleep every evening until he turned eight years old. The inventing of bedtime stories has been for me also an attempt to avoid mainstream narrations and provide a moral message to the story. Far from being classic however, the fable I invent in this work have much to tell about my own psychological state and the way my nature reflects the surrounding nature, especially in the wild. It particularly reflects my inner concern for the way nature at large has been treated by modern man. While some of the fables are inspired by animals I show to my kids on televisions, many are inspired by those animals I encounter while largely abandoned part of the alps where I was born and around the Dutch village where I have resettled. In the latter village I have had the possibility to show to my youngest kids many wild and domestic animals spread out in the landscape. I often made it a point of our days spent roaming in the Dutch countryside to go out and let my kids interact with animals (Fig. Selfies showing me holding my youngest kid on one of our daily interactions with the animals living in the near of our house in the Netherlands. In the time we spend in the Italian alps instead the animals are mostly wild and the abandoned region is taken over by previous inhabitants like wolves).

FABLES 03/12 Most of the fables depict a much-altered nature, which on one hand reflects human intervention in the animal world and on the other shows the continuous metamorphosis of these animals into something other and monstrous. I normally terminate each fable with a genial end in which the transformation settles, almost giving a new mythical explanation to a natural phenomenon. In this respect the narration of the fable comes close to the environmentalist message brought forward by Hayao Miyazaki in his animations. To a certain degree the semi-automating writings not only reflects my own natural state in regards to the environment but the resulting stories themselves seems as if they are generated by a grand Artificial Intelligence to which I am connecting to. Most of the fables in turn defy the artificial intelligence created by humans, as if the grand Artificial Intelligence I am channeling with takes a massive revange of the natural catastropheses brought forward by humans increasing automation at the expenses of nature (Fig. Screenshot showing my daughter at the Berlin zoo. While I daily transmit my love for nature to my kids, I also brought them to zoos finding it quite hard to experience the captivity of animals there. In some respect I am most afraid of wild animals when they are in such state of captivity and prefers to see them free and in the distance).

FABLES 04/12 Following is an extract from the improvised fable number 54: "...IN ALL HER ANGER SHE DIRECTED HER GHOST NAVY SLOWLY THROUGH ALL HUMANS DWELLINGS RIDING OVER A MIST OUR VERY PORPOISE WAS ABLE TO PRODUCE THROUGH HER BACK OPENING AND FURTHER INLAND OUR PORPOISE SHE WENT FOLLOWED BY ALL HER SPECTRAL FLEET NOW FLOATING HER WITHOUT SO MUCH PURPOSE THROUGHOUT THE LAND OF THE HUMANS TURNING THEM INTO ZOMBIES NOW ALSO ADVANCING BEYOND OUR PORPOISE WITHOUT ANY PURPOSE AND PROCEEDING LIKE THE BIGGEST OF ARMIES INTO UNKNOWN TERRITORIES...". In many of the fables my inventions are often dictated by a special feature I find in my preliminary research on certain animals like the laziness of sloth. I often also use their names as a starting point. For example I can start a fable by simply narrating about “Two toucans” or a “Jewish starfish”. (Fig. Picture showing the setup I use every morning to digitize at one page of my fable book whilst updating my project. After digitizing a page I strike it with a pen. At times I use a clothespin to keep the page open while rewriting it. Holding the fable book up against my laptop screen enables me to type without loosing sight of what I am typing).

FABLES 05/12 Wishing to experiment and at least show-case my fable writing after moving to a one room apartment in the Stockholm suburbs in 2012 I began playing prototyping an LED message board. At first I managed to purchase a ready-made LED message board which however did not have enough memory to play all the characters of a fable. I then used it to display only a part of the fable and realize that if I am ever to present the work in such fashion I ought to customize it myself by programming a microprocessor along with LED matrix. In early versions of my website however I was able to simulate the effect by means of a software creating video files of scrolling text. The simulation were however disregarded in order to keep the text more malleable for possible future applications (Fig. Screenshot of the installation I set up in 2016 in my barn in the alps. Here I was interested in the conjunction of the fable with the other works as if the running text functioned as some sort of hallucinatory explanation particularly against the usual utilization of such LED message boards to present plain data such as stock exchange values and adds. In this respect my approach is different from that of earlier contemporary artists such as Jenny Holzer using such medium in more public spaces as a way of making statements; I rather use it as an hallucinating expedient to evoke nature within visitors).

FABLES 06/12 Examples of fables written with air animals: bat, eagle, swallow, magpie, crow, wasp, pigeon, seagull, hobby, starling, lamagar, bowerbird, vulture, albatross, flamingo, skua and puffin. Examples of fables written with tree animals: squirrel, nightingale, owl, woodpecker, lizard, tree-creeper, redbreast robin, cicada, gnat, firefly, lemur, dove, dormouse, chameleon, koala, chipmunk, golden hair monkey, caterpillar, marten, macaque and lyrebird. Examples of fables written with earth animals: unicorn, cougar, cat, pheasant, deer, chamois, hare, mouse, buffalo, fox, mole, langur, scarab, lama, zebra, chimpanzee, armadillo, wolf, badger, ram and dog. Examples of fables written with grass animals: ant, grasshopper, spider, tick, lady bug, python, louse, toad, turtle, blackbird, anda, pheasant,ostrich, tiger, cricket, scorpion, jaguar, panda and wolverine. Examples of fables written with river animals: duck, crocodile, crab, swan, cormorant, pike, rumble fish, scaup, basiliscus, leech, heron, frog, otter, hippo, moorhen, kingfisher, rainbow trout, piranha, lobster and plover. Examples of fable written with water animals: dolphin, salmon, seal, sea horse, salamander, cat fish, water snake, carp, porpoise, sardine, jellyfish, penguin, octopus, clownfish, navel, walrus, krill, urchin and oyster. (Fig. Screenshot of the file I use I to keep track of the animals already adopted in my previous fables).

FABLES 07/12 Getting seldom in touch with exotic animals, I mostly attempt to watch documentaries every time my kids feel like watching TV. In this way I am able to get to know all the many marvelous yet about to be extinct species around the planet. I actively take notes of them on my phone according to the various realms I have set up also mentioning certain features. In some way however myself and the way I live with my kids is rather wild, often enacting a very direct approach with the surrounding nature such as running in the mud and diving in rivers, quite against the strict bourgeoisie education I received but in line with the life of my ancestors in my native highland. Our animal like lives is set against the increasing gentrification of urban spaces. Roaming around in rags we come to disturb the sterility in which the new citizens are sealing themselves into. The very fact that I keep socially unemployed is most vital to maintaining our authentic presence in the community (Fig. Picture showing how towards the evening, after spending the whole day roaming around nature feeding my kids with wild berries I play for them different documentaries. This was also very much the case with my oldest son to whom I transmitted much love for nature eventually opting to abandon the city and ending up to live against her mother's will back in his grandparents farmstead).

FABLES 08/12 The night time writing of the fables has to some extent counterbalance a lot of my other writings. In some of these writings I demonstrate my skill for improvisation which is however a rather oral quality and differ from much of my other writing I do as part of this project. Writing my dreams or my journal or this very book my sentences are drier and more descriptive. Writing my fables I am fully letting go to all the formalities of writings; I just set myself as if in a trance. It is not a stream of consciousness I am referring to here but rather a stream of subconsciousness. Also generally speaking, as many writers like Alberto Moravia, I also prefer the morning work. Right in the morning means writing on a blank paper while in the evening this page is saturated with the events one absorbs during the day. Yet for me the bedtime writing of fables is almost as a starter to all the brain liberating dreaming of the sleep time. It retains an oneiric element like which also reflects the dawn of the world as it is often depicted (Fig. Screenshot showing me in a summer night as a guest of Warwick University. After escaping all the conferencing I had to attend to explore the beautiful surrounding nature, later in the evening I escaped all the social gatherings to take my time to write in my fable-book. At times I write in bed but often I also write on a desk not to disturb for example my girlfriend and kids).

FABLES 09/12 Without intending to do so, when I decided to build a 7.2 by 7.2 by 7.2 meters open air museum in my native mountains I did not realize how many bird lives and possibly other animal lives I would have saved. This iron box museum is in fact located on a very mouth of the alps through which thousands of birds migrate every year and in which hundreds are killed. After a violent opposition from the local hunters I have stood my ground and the cube has been installed. I have therefore contributed to disrupt the more or less illegal extermination of animal creatures occurring without any of the local authorities intervention. The latter authorities do not wish to loose any of the hunters precious votes and hunters are terrified by the idea of being spotted by tourists who could intrude themselves in the abandoned alps a terrain they treat as their exclusive hunting reservoir. Interestingly however the museum came to resemble a giant version of a hunting blind. To these days it is called by locals a “casotto” (Fig. Screenshot of the article reproposed by the main Italian animal right association. The very fact that the iron cube has many small perforation almost act as as a safe cage from where to repair from all the shooting of hunters standing just hundred meters away. Legally these hunters are now not allowed to shoot in the direction of the installation).

FABLES 10/12 I have been brought up by my mother and her new husband completely detached from a direct connection with nature. It was particularly difficult for me as a kid after spending childhood in the alps. As a teenager I grew a stark transcendentalist will to be back in nature and eventually fulfilled by moving to Sweden. It was then that I got in touch with my actual biological father living in Canada; I discover he had a great sensibility for nature and for cultures like that of first nations. He felt most angry about the rise of political ideologies corrupting such natural environments. While I had to learn to deal with the wild, my father has been an example of a person loving animals more than humans and desiring to be in the wild despite his rheumatisms. Living for a while in an Indian reservoir he managed to befriend with wolves and later put his life at risk crossing the Yellowstone national park in winter time. While feeling at first shocked about my father's ideas, I slowly saw in me the attempt to regain a state of lost wilderness beyond all the gender, diversity and other trendy ideologies so much enraging him. I understood I am also somewhat a European first nation. ( Fig. Photo of my father with a raccoon. It was one of the first photos I received of him after twenty years apart. It immediately showed his deep true love for animals in his life of a lonely maverick).

FABLES 11/12 In this part of the project then I become myself the very altered creature that is so much reflected in my fables, a creature which cannot find peace but is forced to constantly move around in search for an environment that sooner or later humans with their physical as well as ideological interventions will come to destroy. In practice I want to preserve my wild spirit and the fables becomes as some sort of mantras invoking somewhat a revenge by mother nature against those who keep on interfering with it. As I have given up my quest to search for such a wild space, I began laying my focus mostly on the education of my offspring. My intention has been that of enabling them to be in a land free of the brutal individuals I had discovered in the attempt to get back to my native alps. Equally my wish has been to let them aware of the danger of so-called environmentalists who with their extreme visions of an uncontaminated nature hinder humans spontaneous relationship with it (Fig. Screenshot showing me with my oldest son now living in his own farm with his own forest. After giving so much love to it I abandoned after my father-in-law decided to clear cut it. Perhaps the sensitivity I have so carefully transmitted to my kids will enable them to concretely take care of their natural resources. With constant love I have taken care of them and taught them to take care of nature and their nature).

FABLES 12/12 In an ideal exhibition, this work is to be displayed by 72 6 by 1 meter LED message boards. These message boards are then to act as the railings where of the 12 corridors enabling visitors to walk the 6 levels of the exhibit, each level representing one of the six natural domains in which the fables are set. In this case the fables taking place in the air are at the very top and the fables taking place in water are at the very bottom with all the other natural domains respectively in the in between levels. The text of a fable is to then circulate throughout a level going from the corridor to the left to the screens positioned on the corridors to the right until the fable ends and a new one immediately follows. These various levels comes to represent some sort of Dante Alighieri's circles of hell. In addition they transform the actual resulting building into a Noah's like ark with actual animals stowed in it. These animal fables do in fact retain the more or less human enhanced catastrophic mutation of the natural world. The work in itself as the whole project at large foresees a deluge-like moment which will reshape the face of the earth (Fig. Rendering in which the location of the 72 message boards has been red highlighted. Not only the moving of the fable text left to right follows the left to right movement of the above painted tapestry; it resembles somewhat a brain at work as might be seen from the inside).