Incubation Highway is a virtual exhibition launched September 25th, 17:00 CET, featuring works by Monika Grabuschnigg, Andreas Ervik and Marius Presterud.

Taking place inside a Tesla-machine, the exhibition looks at the idea of life being lived entangled in and meshed with other things. Or rather, things enlivened by these livings. It explores the idea of the car as oikos (ecology/home) and inspects identity as a continuous fluctuating between hosting life and being a guest in it.

Resonating this theme, the exhibition will burrow itself into the car sales forum of the commercial platform, while being further distributed via the online art platform Cosmos Carl - Platform Parasite. 

Incubation Highway was supported by the Federal State Goverment of Vorarlberg, Austria and UKS - Young Artists‘ Society, Oslo.

Installation views: Incubation Highway, 2020, Oslo, Norway.
Works by Monika Grabuschnigg, Marius Presterud & Andreas Ervik. Images by Siv Dolmen.

Roughly one hundred and fifty years ago, de Bary (1831-1888) introduced into German the word “symbiose” to refer to unfriendly as well as friendly associations of different creatures, and so included forms of parasitism. Arbitrary, the larger associate is called the host, though in some symbiosis it is not easy to say which creature is hosting which.

The post-humanist Timothy Morton has called our age the time of hyperobjects, a moment during which we discover ourselves on the inside of some objects bigger than us; Earth, global warming, radiation, evolution. Reminding us what the ‘eco’ in ecology originally stands for: oikos/home.

Incubation Highway explores the idea of the Tesla-machine as exactly that, a home to things. It inspects identity as a continuous fluctuating between hosting life and being a passenger. It is a notion that rids us of preconceptions about self and other, about who is in charge and how change occurs.

Hosting becomes a designated title and site based on others needs. The host can be the gut, a tooth cavity, the patterns of a car tire, a garage, a website, the UN, a seafloor chimney. Viruses, bacteria, energy drinks, etc permanently colonize hosts, adding their genes to the mesh.

Living inside something entails a different strategy for the guest. It starts caring for the wellbeing of its host - I wash my car, I vacuum it, I restock its fluids. No longer the immaculate, libertarian subject - cape flapping in the wind, walking atop the water - I’m undressed, dependency dirtied, wading nakedly through the oily, rich, primal ooze.

In suite with dehorned rhinos and destarred Mercedes, humans too are discrowned, and our status redistributed. In the same way electric cars parasite our dying sun, Norwegians brace the snow with their fate inseparable from the battery life of their car. The headlights, once willing doe eyes, now small red backlights, glaring at us in contempt. Once in lead position, now stuck in the round-about. This is life on the road, continuously on the move, as hunter and as prey.

- Marius Presterud, 2020

Exhibition text.

Artist text contribution by Andreas Ervik.

© Monika Grabuschnigg