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Atli Bollason (IS)

The icelandic artist Atli Bollason. The icelandic artist Atli Bollason participates from August to October in Nordic Leipzig. | Foto: Íris Dögg Einarsdóttir Atli Bollason (b. 1985 in Reykjavík) holds an MA in English Literature from Concordia University, Montréal and a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Iceland.

Every new media technology claims to carry its message objectively. But this is wishful thinking. Technological fingerprints are everywhere, not only in the literal distortions of colour and motion we observe, for instance, in different video formats but in the cultural and historical connotations that come with such distortions. As Marshall McLuhan so pointedly observed, “the medium is the message,” every new medium introduces a new sort of syntax and the effects of new media on human sensory capacities and our symbolic order override the actual content they relay.
In an attempt to foreground these effects, his art is often made up of modulated video noise (static, snow). Noise is a message without content, so it turns the viewer’s attention to the limitations and fingerprints of media technologies. Such limitations can nevertheless be creative avenues to follow; a blizzard of black and white can become a source of all sorts of colours and shapes.
  • Atli Bollason's artwork 'Truflað Landslag-12'. Photo: Owen Fiene
    Truflað Landslag-12
  • Atli Bollason's artwork 'TV Wall'. Photo: Atli Bollason
    TV Wall
  • Atli Bollason: Unfiled Show 18 Photo: Owen Fiene
    Unfiled Show 18
  • Unfiled Show 23 Photo: Owen Fiene
    Unfiled Show 23
Furthermore, creative uses of outdated technologies fascinate Atli Bollason because – once obsolete – they are free from their intended purpose. They become a site of play, experimentation and beauty, paying no service to the economy. Therein lies radical potential: by rejecting the value system of capital we can attempt to create meaning or affect from that which is worthless.
Atli Bollason