Re-seeing

Dear Emke,

Today Trosvikstranda is a labyrinth. Despite the beautiful autumn weather, you feel quite tired when you first begin.

Sitting in the atelier you wonder what it means to re-see and re-imagine a place and how one could do that through other means than the ones of a city planner or a historian? You take a look in a book that tells you that Trosvikstranda was one of the first streets that got an official name and one of the first areas of the western part of town that was populated. In the end of the 18th century a shipyard was founded here.

You close the book and with this in mind you cross the bridge and enter your area. You decide to taste the taste of the place and visit the cake shop for a sugar-free low-carb cupcake with vanilla (the caramel ones are sold out). 

Sweetened by the pitstop you decide to listen to the past while looking at the presence. You find a sound clip of boat building and go for a walk in the area. With the sound in your ears you try to re-imagine the place but the soundscape quickly turns into uninteresting white noise and your re-imagining becomes imagining because what is the woman hiding from the police doing and why is she hiding…? 

You stop walking and (maybe) then something happens between the sound and the space. The place suddenly deepens and a presence of something absent arrives. After a while you change track to a sound clip of playing children with their families and somehow you have the same feeling. The future and the past intertwine with the presence? Or is it just the many hours of research on site that fucks with your brain….?

Before you go, you for some reason want to visit the empty white building again. At the container in front of the entrance door a QR code is placed. You pick up your mobile phone and scan the code. A test page for Norwegian recycling comes up. Dead end. 

A white feather falls in front of you and you look up and suddenly you see all the doves that usually hang out at the open square, sit on the roof. The sun rays make the green/purple spot on their throat shimmer and you find yourself captured by the beauty of the colors. A seagull eases from the roof and then another and it feels like the birds have a secret life up there in the sun.

As you are ready to leave, you notice one dove walking a couple of meters from you. Is it the one with the thin neck that stayed with you the other day when all the others took off? You decide to stand still to see what she will do. Slowly and quite hesitant she walks around you in a circle and you feel part of a choreography you haven’t made. If you move she will fly away but that might also be a part of the dance.

On your way back, you pass the stone sculpture in front of the white building. Micro 80 it says in black granite. You pick up your phone and google Micro 80 Fredrikstad. The white empty building was a software developing company with its heyday in the 90’s. Later the company was acquired by Visma – Europes’ leading software company. It seems like Trosvikstranda was not only first mover on official street names, it was also quite hightech in the 90’s. 

You leave the area with an image from the local newspaper in mind. In ‘city planning language’ this small area with the circumference of a 1000 of your steps is a tenderloin. 

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