Carl-Erik Engqvist

Carl-Erik EnqvistArtistic leader
E-mail:  carl-erik.engqvist@humlab.umu.se
+46 90 786 80 02
Website: www.visionaryexistence.com

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Story:

If we sneak along the less obvious alleys of technology we may find something that surprisingly shades the rational mind. That inherent in scientific progress and grandiose technological development, steam as well as positron, lays myth, magic and mysticism. Not as traces of superstition or half-remembered religious rules of moral conduct, but embedded deeply in the flesh of steel, plastic and atomism; an inseparable marriage of human thought.

This is not a crack in the system. Neither is it shards to be collected and discarded. It is a reminder that there is no rational thoughts without feelings and no feelings without some rationality. In other words, we can take a step further and propose; there is no science without a little faith. To pose the opposite would be to deny that which makes us human. But being so, as an ironic twist, also makes us more susceptible to dogmatic systems when confronted by the complexity of an ideologic terrain.

But there are maps indicating where the monsters dwell. Crystal clearly devised by scholars such as Erik Davis and Mary Midgley and more murkier ones, usually by artists. This is not an indication of quality but rather in its creators ability to travel within the contemporary symbolic universe and utterly immerse in its murky depths...and in some cases lose all traces of objectivity.

Down the more murkier roads we may find Carl-Erik Engqvist. Appropriating the role of a scientific preacher or a corporate shaman Engqvist engages himself with investigations concerning the potential of virtual realities, bio-, nano- and robot technology. Combining his background of theology with artistic ideas revolving around technological development, corporate structures and scientific breakthroughs Engqvist tries to create hybrids and symbiotic states that represents contemporary and future uses of the concept of the sacred but also the spiritual realm in itself.

A pluralistic concept of reality demands a flexibility of mind, medium and body. Much like a free roaming RPG in the style of the different Eldar Scrolls, where the character defines and develops itself through a series of choices inherent in the freedom of gameplay(leveling up being just as easy when collecting herbs as in banging in bandits heads), an artistic praxis may sidestep the line of established methods in its actual function as an artist. Interesting results are in any way not a guarantee, so the choice matters only in making one.

Currently Engqvist is working as an Artistic Project Leader at HUMlab, an interdisciplinary digital humanities laboratory placed in Umeå, in the north of Sweden, where he has been based since 2009, when he graduated from the Umeå Academy of Fine Arts. In the context of the lab Engqvist has been offered a diversity of perspectives of the digital as well as a wide range of different collaborations with technicians and academia alike. Within the lab Engqvist is occupied with a wide range of activities; ranging from education, projects to changing the physical environment(reality) in itself.