Alter Modern Times, Ulstrup Castle [DK]

“To understand the present means carrying out a kind of rough-and-ready archaeological investigation of world culture, which proceeds just as well through re-enactments as through the presentation of artefacts – or again, through the technique of mixing.” – N. Bourriaud

Hvorslev Art Association presents: ALTER MODERN TIMES – An audiovisual live performance by Joel Dittrich

With several projectors and speakers; layers of pictures, layers of audio, layers of connotations are re-mediated, re-edited, re-mixed, re-used and misused. It is a journal based work in progress art project (video /sound /graphics /photography), which sprung out of the idea of what energies displacement creates, thoughts on what´s next after postmodernism and a will to explore and invent alternatives to the 9-5-lifestyle. The title is inspired by Nicolas Bourriauds´s book “Altermodern” (Tate Publishing, 2009) and by Charlie Chaplin´s film “Modern Times” (1937).

Ultimately this three month stay in New York City will enlighten me, confuse me, ALTER me – something that I will be able to use as an artist, as a teacher and a disobeying villain.


January to april 2010 I displaced myself from Stockholm to live in an artist loft in Brooklyn, New York. I study (video) art theory at School of Visual Arts, a course called “The Fourth Dimension: Video, Space and The Broken Screen”. I walk the streets, go to different art meetings, nightclubs, stores, tourist attractions, gallerys, museums, home partys, the cinema, etc. I interact with people and ask them why they travel, or more correctly, how they (dis)like NYC. I *save* some of what I think stand out, makes a strong impression, alters me. As this stay is already kind of divergent I felt the urge to also simultaneously go back to my roots in art, which is painting. There for I also take a course at Parsons New School For Design, named Abstracting The Figure – where we draw and paint from nude models.

This citation from the foreword of Altermodern pretty much sums up the base of my project. ”Artists are looking for a new modernity that would be based on translation: What matters today is to translate the cultural values of cultural groups and to connect them to the world network. This ‘reloading process’ of modernism according to the twenty-first-century issues could be called altermodernism, a movement connected to the creolisation of cultures and the fight for autonomy, but also the possibility of producing singularities in a more and more standardized world. /- – -/.” “Under the threat from fundamentalism and consumer-driven uniformisation, menaced by massification and the enforced re-abandonment of individual identity, art today needs to reinvent itself, and on a planetary scale. /- – -/ It is neither a petrified kind of time advancing in loops (postmodernism) nor a linear vision of history (modernism), but a positive experience of disorientation through an art-form exploring all dimensions of the present, tracing lines in all directions of time and space. The artist turns cultural nomad: what remains of the Baudelarian model of modernism is no doubt this flânerie, transformed into a technique for generating creativeness and deriving knowledge.”

This project was made possible by the support from Favrskov Art Committee and the work of Hvorslev Art Association. Camera: Charlotte Antser, edit: Joel Dittrich. Many thanks to, in random order: Marie Marqvard, Jane Susanne Andersen, Lone Christensen, Greta Bay, Vicki Nielsen, Hanne Maagaard Jensen, Lilly Friis, Ejvind Andersen, Thorkild Petersen, Christian Marqvard, Charlotte Antser, Alberto Fernández, Erik Södersten, Fredrik Stjärne, Ricardo Fernandez, Martin Söderblom, Jens Larsson, Gudenådalens Ungdomsskole, Ulstrup Skole, Ulstrup Fonden, Share NYC, O-Space NYC


– Share NYC (Issue Project Room) New York City [US] 21.02 and 16.03 2010
– O-Space (One Arm Red) New York City [US] 04.03 2010
– Hvorslev Art Association (Ulstrup Castle) Aarhus/Ulstrup [DK] 16-17.04 2010
– Volt (Ström i P2/Sveriges Radio, Uppsala Koncert & Kongress) Uppsala [SE] 05.06 2010
– The Impact of Sound and Images in Contemporary Communication (Högskolan Dalarna University) Falun [SE] 11.11 2010
– Fylkingen (New Music and Intermedia Art) Stockholm [SE] 27.12 2010