Norway artists’ naked flash-mob stunt backfires

A Norwegian artist who called on his local village to stand naked on a beach to greet Norwegian TV's touring 'Summer Boat' failed to draw a single other participant.

Norway artists’ naked flash-mob stunt backfires
Olaf Karlsen advertising his art work. Photo: Olaf Carlsen
Olaf Karlsen put out an announcement in the local Lister24 newspaper calling on the people of Kviljoodden to join him on the beach for the passing of the Sommerbåten, or Summer Boat, which state broadcaster NRK has hired to travel around the coast of Norway this summer. 
He named the naked group performance Strandfolket, or The Beach People. But in the end, he stood on the beach alone. 
“I was pissed off. I called everyone a coward on Saturday. I feel a bit dejected,”  he told local Lister24 newspaper. “When things like this happen you don’t feel like thinking creatively or doing anything special at all. Even though I am angry and disappointed, I am through feeling depressed. I will continue, new ideas will come.”    
Karlsen has compared his art to that of the contemporary American photographer Spencer Tunick, who is well-known for convincing large groups, sometimes comprising thousands of people, to pose naked in different locations around the world.
“The American artist Spencer Tunick travels the world with stunts like this,”  Karlsen said. “He gets thousands of people to lie down naked, and they do it almost on top of each other. They are there for him in big cities. I wonder if he could get people to line up here.” 
Karlsen is not the only Norwegian artist to fail at a naked art stunt recently. A video featuring contemporary artist Hilde Krohn Huse, who was left hanging in a tree after an installation went awry went viral last month, bringing her fleeting international fame. 


Norway digitally freezes national treasures and stores them in Arctic archive

Norway’s National Museum has preserved some of the country’s most treasured artefacts digitally and stored them in a former mine on Arctic archipelago Svalbard.

Norway digitally freezes national treasures and stores them in Arctic archive
Photo: Bartek Luks on Unsplash

The Arctic World Archive was originally constructed in 2017 to “protect the world’s most important cultural relics”, the National Museum said on its website.

The data preservation facility is located on the island of Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard archipelago, not far from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

The National Museum has now placed its entire collection of around 400,000 items as digital copies on plastic film rolls, which are to be stored at the Longyearbyen site.

“The dry, cold and low-oxygen air gives optimal conditions for storing digital archives and the film rolls will have a lifetime of around 1,000 years in the archive,” the museum writes. Emissions emitted by the archive are low due to its low energy consumption.

Offline storage of the archives also insures them against cyber attacks, the museum said.

In addition to all data from the National Museum collection database, high-resolution digital images of works by selected artists are included in the archive.

Works to be stored include ‘The Scream’ by Edvard Munch, ‘Winter Night in the Mountains’ by Harald Sohlberg, the Baldishol Tapestry and Queen Maud’s ball dress.

“At the National Museum we have works from antiquity until today. We work with the same perspective on the future. The collection is not only ours, but also belongs to the generations after us,” National Museum director Karin Hindsbo said via the museum’s website.

“By storing a copy of the entire collection in the Arctic World Archive, we are making sure the art will be safe for many centuries,” Hindsbo added.

In addition to the Norwegian artefacts, organisations from 15 other countries are represented in the archive, including national museums in Mexico, Brazil and India; the Vatican library, Sweden’s Moderna Museet and Unicef.

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