Olle Essvik

contact: olle.essvik@gmail.com

The webpage is closed and will be back during autumn 2015.
Below is a temporary webpage.
I am also working with books and running a experimental publishing house, rojal.se.

Artist statement:
Olle Essvik is an artist working and living in Gothenburg. Essvik works with themes relating to the digital, and technology in a human context, touching on notions of everyday life, repetition and time. These themes are treated in personal, existential works playfully utilizing the very methods of technology to counteract our technological addictions. Personal reflections on technological interactions, everyday existence and loneliness takes on a literary form where programming, text and storytelling are central components. The outcome could be a book, a publication, or a sculpture in which traditional materials and techniques like wood and bookbinding converge with programming and code. In the spring of 2015 he has been working on the project Virtuella utopier (”Virtual Utopias”), resulting in two books on digital dreams and utopias. Essvik completed his MFA in 2006 and is currently teaching Visual arts at the University of Gothenburg (HDK).

upcoming and news 2015:
Virtuella utopier Göteborg och Malmö konsthall (2 books and presentation) maj 2015
Skövde konsthall juni 2015
Nordlit augusti 2015 (performance)
Media Archaeology and Artistic Practice Linköping september 2015 (talk)
Pecha Kucha (talk)
Rojal Institue of arts (http://www.kkh.se/sv/event/oppen-forelasning-med-olle-essvik/)(artisttalk)
Growing with Design, Child Culture Conference (workshop)
Stockholms konstnärliga högskola oktober (talk/workshop)

Parse Bienalle nov 2015 (performance)




The Enemies of Books/ The death of dr Sarolea 2015:

... I download the book from the Internet, https://books.google.com, Enemies of books, written by William Blades, published in 1881. A book on the decay of books. The enemies of the physical book – fire, water, gas, the bookworm, dirt, bigotry etc. A digitized book with no identity. Black letters on a white background. I buy a copy of the book from 1881. A yellowed, and stained copy. The book bears traces of a former owner, one Dr. Sarolea. Newspaper cuttings on his death and his extensive book collection. I compare the two texts, the original and the digitized copy. Using my computer I create a tool for binding books. I combine and modify traditional tools that have been used for hundreds of years and print out the components on a 3D-printer. The next day I print out another copy of the digitized book, and using the 3D-printed tool I make an exact replica of the book from 1881, in its original design. I construct a manual describing the process and upload the files to the Internet.

This is a description of a project which I begun in 2014 as an artistic development project financed by the University of Gothenburg. A project exploring digitization, human traces and the unique copy, and at the same time an act of resistance against digitization and technology. The outcome of the project was a book, presented together with the tool used to produce it.

See webpage for more info




Art and Game Obstruction (2015):


Virtuela utopier (2015):

A collaboration with Joel Nordqvist. An artist-book about the virtual as utopia.


A replica of a scene (2014):

In the 19th century, before the invention of photography, dioramas were a
common feature in museums. The word means "through that which is seen",
and the purpose was to present the museum visitors with three dimensional
scenes from a world or a context which they could not visit in real life. The
scenes were meant to intrigue, inform, create a sense of mystery around the
unknown, and represent important events from world history. The camera
shrank the world. We have seen its every corner a thousand times. The exhibition consists of 5 dioramas. They can be seen as still images of
scenes from our own time, as cameras that have preserved one single subject –
built in, singled out and unique. The boxes can only be experienced on location
and the scenes are brought to life only when a viewer peers into the box. The
image knows when it is being watched. The boxes combine contemporary techniques like programming with older
techniques like book binding and mechanics. Reflecting their contents, the
boxes are sculptures in their own right. The project stems from an interest in how we percieve and experience visual
imagery today. The artist have selected 5 scenes of personal importance,
dealing with themes like time, repetition, sadness and closure.







A swedish explorer in Finland (2009)

"In this exhibition Olle has been working with a project as a Swedish explorer in Finland. The exhibition is humoristic and in forms of texts, objects, films and images that he has been collecting while exploring Finland. The projects has been ongoing, on and off for a couple of years. Residencies in Åbo and Helsinki has made it possible for Olle to study Finland closer. The time has now come to show the result of his explores and adventures to the people of Finland.

Olle is interested in the romantic idea of exploring that under earlier decades was surrounded by myths and adventures. What could such a travel be like in 2010? Can a place be unique and unexplored in a world where different levels of communication makes societies develop in the same direction and brings us closer. What is left to explore?" http://www.galleriahuuto.net/?p=4245&lang=en







sunclock 2005

This is a lamp that follows the light of the sun. The light bulb (electricity) is programmed to follow the sun. When the sun rises in the morning the lamp starts to omit light, intensifying every second, shining brightest in middle of the day. After this the light begins to fade with the sun, appearing dimmest at sunset. You can`t see the light changing beacuse it omnit light in a very slow movement, but it changes all the time as the sun moves in the sky. A digital sun.




Endgame 2011

”Endgame” is violent and dark, but the soundtrack, consisting of 1910s marching music, and the atmosphere is so absurd and exaggerated that only comedy remains.








waiting for 2010:

“Waiting for” can be described as a theatrical play with a number of set instructions constantly repeated, but each time in a different order. The piece consists of a programmed and interactive animation sequence shown online and resembling a computer game, but where the concept has been expanded and the actual game element has been left out. Rather it can be seen as a play that you control with the computer keyboard. There is no beginning and no end and the variables change, making every act different from the last.

The title refers to the Samuel Becket play Waiting For Godot. Of central importance in the play are the repeated elements in the two acts and the waiting for Godot, who never shows up. A play where practically nothing happens and where the hopeless and futile waiting is a key element in the plot.




Dipylon 2.0

In Athens, Greece around 760-750 BC, ancient Greek vase painters decorated their vases with precise geometric patterns. The outcome was the so called "Dipylon vases". The scenes depicted on the vases were abstract renditions of figures and their surroundings painted in a collage like manner. The motifs typically related the more dramatic aspects of life in ancient Greece, with warriors, chariots, battle-, deaths-, and burial scenes. The painted vases were placed in the Dipylon cemetery and used as gravestones to mark the place and the life of the deceased. It is from this use that the vases got their name.

Dipylon 2.0 uses a computer program that downloads search terms used by people searching the Internet for war related topics. For example; "military", "Bush", "firearms", "Hitler", "demonstration" or "death". Once the computer program has collected the search terms they are added to a database. The computer program then randomly selects three of the terms and a web-program searches the Internet for pictures that are tagged with these terms. The pictures are then assembled in a collage-like pattern and placed within the outlines of a fold-up box of the kind that is used to contain everyday products in i.e. supermarkets. The box is then ready to be printed, cut out and folded by the viewer. In this manner a new box is created every 30 seconds using three different search terms. The computer program will constantly update and create new collages as time goes on.

These boxes can be seen as a modern digital version of the Dipylon vase. Both the Dipylon vase and Dipylon 2.0 have a collage of pictures that depicts war and death from real life scenes. The information updates and repeats itself with content as a mantra with pictures and words related to war…

The work in itself is a comment on our life, where we are constantly surrounded by massive amounts of data, information and images and where information is updated over and over again and forever changing. It is also a comment on our wars that keep going on, and on the imagery that keeps being generated by the wars.

Read more here:




Dreamers of the world unite.. (2006)

Welcome to experience an artwork that takes place inside your dreams… Here is a website broadcasting sounds with the intention of influencing the contents of your dreams. The project is based on sleep- and dream-research, indicating that external stimuli like sound, smell and touch can be experienced also during sleep. Our dreams are shaped by an inner world, as well as by experiences that we have had during the day and the external stimuli we are exposed to during sleep. While dreaming we get in contact with sub- and pre-conscious layers of our soul. Using sound you can influence your dreams.

Welcome to take part in this artwork that takes place in your bedroom and where the stage is your dream…