Med Blindpassasjeren inn i Oljealderen og Beyond / With the Free Rider into the Oil Age and Beyond.
The title refers to the plot of the 1970s Norwegian Sci-Fi TV series Blindpassasjer (meaning: stowaway or free rider): After a research project on an unknown red planet, a Norwegian starship is on its way back to headquarters. The crew discovers they have a “biomat’ on board, an artificial human made out of a cloud of programmable molecules. Its mission is to protect the unknown planet’s ecological balance. Both the starship and its headquarters are considered a potential threat.
The video connects clips from the series with footage from the construction of a government building in Oslo in 1958, an architecture meant to express the social democratic ideas of that time. It also weaves in contemporary material from the highly contested tar sand extraction in Canada by Statoil. At the time of the Blindpassasjer series Statoil was funded in Norway as a state owned oil company, based on ideas such as the distribution of wealth and people as the owners of natural resources. The video weaves these various pasts and their ideas of a future into the present and extends them into its own paradoxical future still haunted by the “biomat.”
The “happy ending” of Blindpassasjer’s original plot, where the “biomat” is eliminated, is altered: The starship misses the headquarters on its return and continues into space. This sequence shows the government building today, still covered up after the 22nd July 2011 terrorist bombing.
2014, colour & black/white, 12 min., English and Norwegian with English subtitles, single-channel video installation, sound, artist book.
Eline McGeorge, born in 1970 in Norway, is an artist living and working in London and Oslo. Her work incites theoretical, political, and visual engagements through work processes combining materials and references in collage, montage, drawing, sculpture, animation, text and publications, prints, video and more, most often put together in installation. She is represented by Hollybush Gardens, London.