Posts Tagged ‘Villa Otium’

the Villa O

вилла отиум

Villa O.

No measure of capital before the Villa O.

Art & Light combined with Reflection

— objects of a time-space experience as potent emotional markers.
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lightslighting light villa otiumlighting

– Oslo Epilogue

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window 17 window 16 window 16 window 10 window 14 window 12 window 15window window 14 window 12 window 9 window 8 window 16 window 10 window 6 window 5Transportation by rail to the airport.
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villa o
Actually, Timothy Moore, American Embassy diplomat here in Oslo, has compiled, edited, and co-authored on behalf of the United States government, a fabulous treatment of Villa Otium, titled elegantly as such. I had a chance to strum through its pages while at the reception, and even capture a few photographs of some of its contents. 

pages pages paege pageyIt is a collection of essays by architects on the Villa and historical treatments of its purchase at the turn of the 20th century.

A book genuinely to be admired.

Congratulations to Tim, the Embassy Staff, and of course, to the wonderful hosts of Villa O., The Honorable Mr. and Mrs. Barry White.






February 13-14, Dinner at the United States Embassy, Oslo, Norway

A return to Villa O…

invite also

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– Staging of Verification

I have been testing out novel ways for establishing authenticity in fieldwork, while at the same time, creating distance from the economy of signs around which I identify objects of study.

Establishing authenticity is a crucial feature in anthropology and typically requires photographs of the anthropologist positioned among a group of informants. The image of “being there” in the field creates an aura of linking the anthropologist’s body to site locations and thus knowledge. There is an ethical dimension to establishing authenticity. “Being there” demonstrates an ability for taking on the subject position of the field, that is, the consciousness and ethics of those among whom an anthropologist is living.

Nevertheless, the display of this kind of subject positioning, in certain cases, embraces the very assertions of power through identification with the aesthetics of elite settings that, I argue, are the basis of observation in my work. That is to say, positioning myself in the traditional manner by which anthropologists establish their legitimacy could result in my enchantment by forms of power which serve as the objects of my curiosity and analysis. scandal series For the reason suggested above, I am exploring the possibility of creating distance between myself and my objects of study, while at the same time, establishing my authenticity of “being there” in novel ways.

This image above is my first attempt at creating this novel approach to establishing authenticity. Here, the anthropologist appears passed out on the floor whilst participants to a reception at the US Ambassador’s residence in Oslo continue conversing as if nothing significant is taking place.

Link to:

Sensational Series No. 2

I am grateful to Mona Anita Olsen, Trina Halfhide, and Tore Hansen for assisting me in staging this setting. I thought quite a bit about it before hand and knew that Mona and Trina would be perfect subjects in this unorthodox staging of verification. Having Tore involved to take the photo was serendipity welcomed.

As you can see from images below, on display during the evening was an aesthetics of state power which included conspicuous images that represent executive power, for example, photographic displays of Hillary Clinton.hillary
Another fabulous image for asserting state authority is the American Eagle Crest, printed directly onto to the plate, thereby, serving as a reminder that the state is both inviting and creating the conditions of welfare, by placing food on the guest’s plate, the basis of bare life.

I am grateful to Trina for pointing the crest out to me.
the crest

In this image, the Ambassador is flanked by members of staff (and former staff) attending that evening. It is a form of staging that asserts a relationship among proximity and serendipity, that continually reasserts the supportive function of assistants and personnel.

Concentric circle alignment asserts an image of agreement and therefore disperses this agreement outward (what popular culture refers to as “staying on message”). Ambassador Barry White

The Villa Otium, literally translated, “a place of rest and relaxation in retirement” is another visible signature that encases the small details (photos, crests) within a spatially bounded setting of grandeur. villa otium

Finally, this image of Trina, Mona and Tore, or variations on this image, labeled “honesty” when posted on facebook by Mona, is a great title, not only for what it conveys at the level of immediacy of friendship but also that honesty takes place and can take place within the confines of the social physics of state power, indicating conflicting, complacent, resistant, and complementary dimensions of necessary ritualistic re-affirmations of the state, creating the sense that authority is –and indeed it is, established naturally. young and restless

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1/20: Just leaving Tromsø, heading down to Oslo and looking over a map, wondering what is the best route to the Ambassador’s Residence. We may walk or take a taxi, depending. I will be with Kaare Hague, former Norwegian Consular General to Russia, who is a mentor on my research and for whom I thought the invite might be of interest.


Upcoming on January 21 :

A reception at the American Ambassador’s home on Monday 21 January at 6PM in Oslo. Ambassador Barry White wants to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The actual ceremony is in Washington DC that same day at noon (6 hours behind Oslo time). I think the Ambassador’s plan is to invite a few folks over for drinks and to watch the ceremony on television.

It should be fun. If you would like to attend, please let me know sooner than later, so that I can arrange an rsvp —  security is tight. I can swing by and pick you up around 5:30PM — or if you prefer, we could meet directly at the embassy.

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