FRIGID NONSENSE: How Will I See Myself In Norway Once Eskimonika Is Gone?

I have been told, by a Norwegian friend, that Diplom-Is is getting rid of Eskimonika like we are getting rid of Aunt Jemima in the United States. In the past, I squealed in rueful merriment, an oxymoron, upon seeing her…

FRIGID NONSENSE: How Will I See Myself In Norway Once Eskimonika Is Gone?

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I have been told, by a Norwegian friend, that Diplom-Is is getting rid of Eskimonika like we are getting rid of Aunt Jemima in the United States. In the past, I squealed in rueful merriment, an oxymoron, upon seeing her when I visited Oslo, and said, “Ah, finally something that looks like me in Norway.” When one is seen, one becomes actualized. Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian national hero, took naked selfies, cable release enabled, later in his life to send to an American woman he was wooing. As a young man he had been the first recognized man with companions to cross Greenland on skis. The local Inuits thought the activity too inefficient a task to attempt; it was better to travel in their kayaks and umiaks on the water. To Fridtjof Nansen’s credit he acknowledged the superior technology of the local Inuits to survive and travel in the arctic. Thus, he happily missed his boat back to Denmark and overwintered in Greenland to learn from the Inuits. Even though the Norwegian Vikings had first come to Greenland as opposed to the Danish Vikings, their colony had died out and the land was given to Denmark by the Norwegians. Nansen’s way back to Norway would have to go via Danish ship. Those same Danes would have their own explorers that lived and documented the Inuit. From those images and collections of Inuit artifacts that help define the Eskimo in Denmark, the Norwegian dairy co-operative after a visit to Denmark in 1936 created Eskimonika, their soon to be ice cream wielding mascot according to Wikipedia.

This is a nine minute segment from the larger work, Frigid Nonsense (a slip of the eye inspired from a slip of the ear), performed on June 28, 2020. The work alludes to the birth of photography and cinema, and how photography was used by early arctic explorers to fund and metastasize their activities. I accompany the video with live improvised sounds produced on a modular synthesizer. Every live performance is nearly impossible to repeat in exactly the same way as most of the sound generation is done on analogue equipment using electrical current.

The creation of these particular sounds: explicitly using oscillation, the sound waves as it is filtered and attenuated, one can see/hear the experience of making culture and being made by it.

© 2020 KimSu Theiler

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