Mårten Spångberg

How can we outside the centres of the world deal with the world differently? Not playing golf at Mar-a-Lago, not forbidding literature in our libraries for kids, not repress equal rights for all humans, not catering for the already rich… This is where the project is interested in technology, not being fascinated by AI, Reddit threads, deepfake, TikTok optimisation or similar but instead, how can contemporary technology and technologies of the future not only run the errands of venture capitalism, the populist right, colonial practices and homogenised individualism but also allow us to practice our lives in collaboration with the planet and all its inhabitants differently.

Samantha Letourneau

We are more connected than ever through the internet. Checking our phones every 10 minutes , we are “switched on” ! Six hours of phone usage in a single day. We are talking all the time, but rarely talking , we engage with technology , but we have dis-engaged with each other, with ourselves and nature. Can technology assist in building interconnectedness? Not as a substitute, but as a way of building perspective, knowledge, and connection.

Residency Background: At the height of the pandemic, funded by BC Arts Council and Made In BC, Crimson Coast Dance embarked on a project that explored the ways in which Nanaimo artists have the opportunity to be centered in international exchange directly due to the opportunities brought forward by the pandemic.  That is, online exchange.  We introduced artists, supported their pairing and then their creative exchange.  Exchange of process with no outcome required.  Physical boundaries were transcended producing a translocal experience that has inspired a phase 2 extension of ‘Whatever Happened to We’, practically named The Nordic/Nanaimo exchange.  Again, artists are paired to produce a work that will live online and may – or may not – be used within a hybrid performance experience for the public.  This phase is funded by Canada Council for the Arts – Digital Now.

The Digital Now program intends to fund Canadian Artists, especially through the pandemic, to learn digital opportunities for expression of their artistic visions and to present their work on line.  (Our Nordic cohort has been funded outside of the Digital Now program.)Aside from bringing a creative project to form, through distance and shared creative process, the artists are challenged to engage the public and draw them into their own experience of possibilities through a residency format of process meetings. The two artists represented here are Samantha Letourneau and Mårten Spångberg What follows is their project.


Technology has transformed how we live, work, and communicate. Still, it has also brought new challenges related to its impact on society, relations and life, forcing the world to reconsider the meaning of previously understood ideas such as intelligence, free will, power, value and personhood. Tools such as generative artificial intelligence are infiltrating our lives to the point of wresting control of innately human, spiritual, mental and physical ways of being. Algorithmic systems of oppression that further marginalise underrepresented communities reiterate the urgent need to build tangible alternatives that centre on care, community and solidarity through forms of embodiment that to a large extent have been lost.

Taking Gilbert Simondon’s manifestation “technical mentality” as a place of departure, this research-intense project aims to construct tools for thinking, practice and exchange. Technology is here understood as the relations between living, non-living intelligences,  bodies and matter beyond the nature/culture divide, forming a different practical landscape, in which thinking and change emerge in the middle and the surroundings. Taking a collaborative approach to practice and research, the project seeks to generate inspiration, critical navigation, and community across the arts. Technology, in particular in relation to the internet, is not primarily a matter of devices and computational power but functions as forceful capacities regarding how we conduct life and create relationships with the world. Today we can no longer approach the internet as a saviour, the starting point of a new more livable and democratic world, on the contrary, the homogenization of resources and power of decision-making has brought us into a state of powerlessness and resignation.

This project aims to look at how technology operates in the world, inventing and collecting alternative approaches through social, knowledge-producing or ecological contexts. Interdisciplinary artists Samantha Letourneau and Mårten Spångberg direct a project that through an expanded understanding of aesthetic practice will grow into a decentralized mycelium-like organism with an internet-accessible afterlife.

Click on images below to explore the work.

Things they Don’t in Florida created by Mårten Spångberg

The relations between created by Samantha Letourneau

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