Smari Runar Robertsson

Smári Róbertsson (b. Vestmannaeyjabær, Iceland. 1992) graduated with a BFA from Gerrit Rietveld Academie (2015) and an MA from the Sandberg Institute (2017) in Amsterdam. He lives and works in Amsterdam.

My work consists of installations, writing and music. I often work with sitespecific phenomena or basic architectural features emphasized with audio, video, text or objects. Through my installations and writing I investigates subjects of time, identity and the hermeneutics of experience. How we account for our current self, situation and surrounding, the sort of pareidolia we experience when making justifications for randomness in our past and immediate experience.

In a recent show at Kunstverein on Hazenstraat I opened two hatches from the floorboards of the space and placed a pair of studio monitors underneath. From an iPod shuffle I played a playlist of around 1500 audio files of me reading individual words from an essay I wrote, ‘The period is a hole that the sentence falls into after it is read.’ The words are then either in the left or right ear of the stereo, played on shuffle and continuous repeat from either one of the half open hatches. On the floor between the hatches I placed a metronome that slid into and out of a whale’s inner ear bone that was propped up next to it on a stick, in another room I placed the other inner ear along with a few copies of the essay.

I’m interested in things that are shaped by their own autonomy and the incidental processes of their existence. As a writer and a musician I’m fascinated by the autonomy of triggerable things. How meaning and intent is attributed to both the written and the read. How the momentary authorship of individual expression expands outward towards interpretation. How the act of strumming an instrument instigates a contained event of selfauthorship that expands outward. While I’m usually focused on composition and process, immediacy and spontaneity has a growing importance in my work, that the viewer in some way finds the work in a state of unfolding, growing or self-reflection.

For the last two years I’ve had an ongoing collection of lost license plates from Icelandic mountain roads. Each plate that comes loose and falls onto the road usually sits there for some time gradually pressing deeper and deeper into the gravel, drinking in more and more of the topographic information of its exact positions. The collection is now on display at Het Nieuwe Instituut as apart of the exhibition Finders Keepers – the life of things.

Read, see and hear of his work here >