Arkadia 02-22 by Espen Sommer Eide is an audiovisual essay based on a series of travels, experiments, collaborations, and performances in the Northern regions of Norway, Finland, and Russia. Recorded with various equipment over the course of 20 years, the historical video and audio material are then re-composed and re-presented with the assistance of various artificial intelligence models.
The work also weaves in a number of audiovisual performances based on local everyday experiences such as cloudberry picking under the watch towers, mosquito meditations along the Pasvik river, coffee fortune telling, and investigating an old 78rpm vinyl record collection found in the attic.
After the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the border between Norway and Russia closed, and travels and cross-border collaborations seized. In this new situation, Arkadia 02-22 also becomes an exploration of how to preserve the potential of these collaborations based on archival material from 20 years of cross-border activities.
Our consciousness and memory piece together a common life-world. Our actions and movements within it make the rhythms of our imaginary home. Repetitions and rituals make us forget where it all started. But we never forget to bring our berry-picking bucket, just in case.