poweRPlay presents a series of interrelated video works examining societal and emotional dynamics within an urban context. Control, safety, anxiety, comfort and movement are all closely examined. In this four-part video series, Screen, Kulturhuset’s online platform for video art, hosts the work of four artists: Rebecka Bebben Andersson, Ben Rivers, Liva Isakson, and Sean Dockray.

poweRPlay is curated by Sally Müller and Heather Jones in close connection with the physical exhibition poweRPlay curated by Masters candidates of Stockholm University’s Curating Art Program, hosted in Kulturhuset’s Lilla Galleriet. In addition to the individually presented works, each video is paired with a short interview, text, or narrative by artists and other related practitioners. Through the content of the presented works and the intertwining and revelatory nature of the texts, poweRPlay aims to explore the complex relationships between societies and the physical environments they inhabit.

More about the videos:
Video animation Nolli I, from Rebecka Bebben Andersson presents a map of Stockholm slowly blackening over in accordance with the reduction in personal feelings of safety and ease of mobility in the city from morning to night. The video is accompanied by a written response to the work from fellow artist Liva Isaksson.

We The People, a 16mm film by Ben Rivers, explores the strange and strained relationships between social anxiety, historical resonance, and present reality. Berlin-based artist and writer Nicholas Houde has responded to the video with a short text pointing to the resonance of the past and its ability to effect our current environment and states of being.

Video work by Stockholm-based artist Liva Isakson shows a meditative loop of a hand slowly tightening and releasing a plastic bag over the camera lens and thus, the viewer. This short video work is both suffocating and soothing, and points towards the possible effects of a strictly controlled society. The work is presented alongside a short dialogue between Isaksson and participating artist Rebecka Bebben Andersson.

Ameising I, by Sean Dockray makes visible the paths of Argentenian ants over time, as they follow each other, stray off track, and create new lines of travel through a blank space. The similarities between “wild” and human cities and societal formations are highlighted with a text by biologist Didrik Vanhoenacker.