Snertitaug / A Twitch and a Tug


A photosynthetic installation.
Exhibited as a solo exhibition at the Reykjavík Art Museum, 2022.

The solar panels generate electricity for the two LED screens in the installation and the amount of energy available determines how the video is displayed. On the screen walnuts and potatos roll in and out as if rolling through the space itself, catching speed and brightness with increased sunlight. In prime conditions, a new video sequence is unlocked and the walnut and potato sprout joyfully on the screen. Metal cast branches carry the electricity from one part of the installation to the other while real potatos and walnuts sprout and grow slowly over the duration of the exhibition.

Materials: 4x 180W solar panels, 80m of electrical wire, aluminium casts, batteries, charge controller, 2x transparent LED screens, video controller, 2-channel video, Mac Mini, potato sprouts, walnut sprouts, water, plastic bottles, metal shelves, glass.

Exhibition text:
Á. Birna’s work takes place on a wide material scale: flyspeck particles, kilometers of electrical wiring, a line dance between the tangible and the intangible. Here, in Hall D, she presents a work that can best be described as a photosynthetic installation. Solar cells collect energy to power the video work. Light conditions and the rising sun affect how the work appears to us from one day to another. Metal sculptures in the form of organic branches carry power cords that transfer the energy from one place to another. A sprouting walnut begets green twigs. The focus is on the energy’s flow and its journey, and a light is shone on the coexistence of nature and technology, the organic and the digital. Nothing happens in a vacuum and everything depends on everything else. The activity lives in particles, waves and other energy between and beyond the worlds.


Text by curator Edda Halldórsdóttir.
Photos by Vigfús Birgisson and Ignas van Rijckevorsel.
3-D rendering by Ignas van Rijckevorsel.
Programming by Halldór Reynir Tryggvason.