Jonas Ohlsson
“Visual Viking Blood Reunion Tour While Sound of Music...Come!”
03. 11. 2004 - 21. 11. 2004
My first obligation to myself must be to try to fall in love with the making of art.
To create a flow that feels, at the same time exiting, relaxed and focused.
The process is as important as the end result. There is a theory for learning saying
“You like what you’re good at”. That is probably true, but it sounds very predetermined, conservative and status quo. Another idea that I like better is, “You will become good
at what you like”. That has always been the case for me. If I can create a passion and an upwards going energy spiral, I can walk around with the energy of a speed freak, trying to develop myself and my art. Joy can be revolutionary if you can combine it with a certain discipline and a critical eye. (Beware of the Sunday painter fun, which just isn’t enough).
“Boredom is contra revolutionary”, Guy Debord said. Which I think is true...YES!!!!

When people tried to create artificial intelligence in robots, they realized how complex
we really are as human beings. We can teach a computer to play chess because the rules are logical and comparatively easy, but it is very hard to teach a computer to recognize that a
bottle that is turned upside down is still a bottle. Humans take in enormous amounts of information through our senses. When you read this, your body (I call it body =senses + brain, for a lack of better word), will know if you are sitting comfortable or not. It will have noticed all the people surrounding you, if it is warm inside or not, the weather, the light a.s.o.a.s.o....
Your body will register million of things around you, but only a small percentage will enter your consciousness. For instance, if I now ask you, what color is the wall? By me guiding you to that point you can bring that info up to a conscious level. ”The wall is red” (or whatever).
BUT, it is not as if this info hasn’t been registered in your “body” already. Your body knew what colour it was, but “you” were not consciously aware of it until you focused upon it.
My point is, this is the reason why the flow is so important for me. If I work with intuition instead of only logic, I work with a much precise tool than logic. The intuition is “hooked up” to this enormous pool of information. When I work with intuition, I can work at maximum capacity as a human being.

SEEING REALITY MODELS (and drawing)...
One of the thrills with making drawings is that you’re playing with your own perception. The information that reaches our consciousness is already heavily processed. In the case of seeing(by our eyes and brain).When for instance we watch a drawing of an “three dimensional cube ”it is of course not a three dimensional cube .It is a two dimensional collection of lines, but we can NEVER see it as only lines, our mind always presents it as a “3-D” cube.
We are constantly being presented with models of reality through our senses that are, if not lies, at least heavily modified versions of “reality”. Maybe (some) hallucinations that people experience (through drugs ,psychosis or fevers or whatever)are not distortions of reality, but pure unmodified visual input, that the senses and the brain were too tired to make “reality” out of. Through drawing I can play with my inner- and outer worlds.

ESTETHICS (I like it, when you don’t like it)...
I was always very interested in the ideas hidden in estethics. If Punk was about anarchy and freedom, why did they always play guitar, bass and drums and why did they all sound like the
Rolling Stones? I expected much more from anarchy...
I found freedom and openness in the experimental music scene, Throbbing Gristle, Z’ev, E.Neubauten, Faust, Test Department a.s.o. That led to other sub cultural discoveries such as Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Art Brut, Situationism, Fluxus, the Beatniks...
I had an enormous hunger for subcultures, and their “techniques of liberation and revolt”...I was very interested in movements when I was young. I studied manifestos like a first time voter studies party programs. Things change and a lot of those beautiful manifestos were very naive but I still believe in the power of art to change things. Art is still about making fantasies become flesh.

I am interested in the question how well form can carry moral or political intent.
You can put an “I dislike Shell” sticker on anything, but can you actually make art or music that has a radical or political form. Graffiti, R.A.F., Arte Povera, Oyvind Fahlstrom, and
Minimalism have all claimed to work with political forms, or struggled to find it. And although making art might not be as immediate as bombing someone. It still has an indirect effect on the world. You are playing with ideas and attitudes. Those ideas and fantasies will (or at least CAN) become a part of the reality of tomorrow. So in that sense the stakes are pretty high. Making art can carry a lot of weight, and an almost a moral responsibility. Even if you only end up doing things about escapism or creating mental spheres of freedom and anarchy (Marquise de Sade, Tom of Finland, Jean Dubuffet, and Robert Crumb), the responsibility is there and I like it!
It is a challenge for me to make art that can deal with political issues but still be vibrating, free, sexy and open, and that tries to avoid the pitfalls of political art from the 60’s and the 70’s.
To not be so certain of who’s right and who’s wrong. Not only nag, complain, point fingers and be negative. But also question yourself, and still try to realize a kind of free flowing, openness (something that is critical but is more interested in saying yes than no...without
losing the edge?!)

Another term that relates to my way of making art is “exformation”.
Exformation would be all the brushstrokes that you were doing in a painting but that you decided NOT to keep. Exformation can hang over a painting like a shadow. Mondrian made tons of paintings of landscapes before he could arrive at the simple lines and colors he did later in his life. All those old paintings are still “in the new paintings”, so to speak, as a choice that he could have done but decided NOT to do! That is the “Exformation” of his later paintings.
The black lines, the red, the blue and yellow then being the “Information”. The border between exformation and information is not so clear in my work. I use a lot of “leftovers” in my installations and what is important and not so important is usually mixed up together, and even if it is not totally up to the viewer himself to decide what is what. I guess you do need some energy to be able to “read” my installations since they are quite information packed.
Sometimes you might have an object playing the leading role and a sound playing supporting actress, while an attention grabbing text might just work as a background.

As a small boy I could sit at my grandmother’s piano playing melodies.
I was fascinated by the power that the melodies held over me.
I seemed to always know which note I was looking for.
I could sit for half an hour looking for the right note on the piano to complete a certain sequence of notes. Until I found it plank, plink, plink ...plonka! I have realized that the reason why we are so sensitive to melodies, harmonies, timbre and pitch and why people can cry when they hear instrumental music pieces, is our strong connection with language. Language carries words with it, directed towards the logical mind. The rest of language is like a wave of sound washing over us. We listen much more to the tone, silences, loudness, melody pattern, rhythm of the voice than the actual words. What interests me with when I am making music is trying to build snippets of quality time that you can share with people. I was talking before about the possibilities of intuition. With music you must sometimes be firm and logical, otherwise you might be dragged down by your intuition and end up creating soft melodies,
nice harmonies and bouncy rhythms, the “body” loves sweet stuff like that. With music your conscious mind (the chess me) can sometimes bring on the revolution. I am looking for a mix between pieces of sounds that are directed towards the intellect and sounds that are emotional and everything in between... I try to mix sound so that you can float (or jump) between different emotional states. I kind of working like an engineer of moods.
In everything that I do, I have become more and more interested in the “space” between things. The invisible lines and connections between sounds, objects, rhythms, colours, words or what ever I choose to use.

My art might also be about...

“Das Gesamtkunstwerk”
“Synasthesia, here I come...”
“Honesty and truth, my guiding light...”
“Blut und ehr...”
“The human condition...”
“An upper-middle-class hero is something to be...”
“Love me gender...”
“Injustice makes me horny...”
“You walrus hurt the one you love...”
“My desire to exhibit is stronger than my shows”
“Nordic light...Melancholy”
“Over out...Copy...Roger”

Jonas Ohlsson

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 Hverfisgata 42 - 101 Reykjavik - Iceland sími: 696 2209 kob@this.is