For those of you who know me well, you know that I have been talking about bees and honey incessantly the past couple of months (sorry about that, by the way). This is due to my serendipitous encounter with two wonderful artists and cultural entrepeneurs: Marius Presterud and Mikkel Dagestad. Otherwise known as Oslo Apiary. They found me through an article I wrote about psychogeography for the student journal Samfunnsgeografen, a copy of which they found in a café somewhere in Gamle Byen.
We have had many inspiring conversations. I have visited their hives in Sørenga. Sitting in the drizzling rain beneath exhaust towers — while the Flatbread Society made jam and berry pies with locally sourced fruit and berries over an open fire — was a transformative experience. With the fjord at my back and the Opera and the Barcode in the distance, it was the first moment in 2 ½ years in which I thought that I could actually make Oslo my home.
Oslo Apiary came to the Department of Sociology and Human Geography this October for a seminar I give on art and environment in the course Global Environmental Change (taught by Karen O’Brien). While two students silently (and somewhat mysteriously) processed honey, Marius spoke about the history and philosophies of Oslo Apiary and about their various artistic interventions throughout the city of Oslo. Over fresh sourdough bread made by the lovely Milda Jonusaite Nordbø dripping with the honey processed by students, we discussed links between art and environment, nature and culture.
Above photograph by Torstein Throndsen, taken at a seminar in Global Environmental Change at the University of Oslo (2015).
Inspired by honey and Henri Lefebvre, Karen and I have just written this viewpoint piece on the art of urban transformations for the Urban Global Environmental Change (UGEC) blog. Using Lefebvre’s theory of moments as a departure point, we write about how artists create moments full of possibility in the spaces of the city. Such moments of possibility are what we argue to be at the heart of transformation. Have a read!
And then have a listen to The Jesus and Mary Chain for some lo-fi inspiration.