Kunsthall Trondheim
Past exhibition

Jenna Sutela

Jenna Sutela: I Magma (2019). Image courtesy Moderna Museet, Stockholm / Prallan Allsten

Jenna Sutela’s exhibition NO NO NSE NSE at Kunsthall Trondheim, which will travel in a modified version to Oslo Kunstforening, is the artist’s first major solo show at an international institution. Through Sutela’s latest series of works, including newly commissioned photograms developed specifically for this occasion, the exhibition explores artificial intelligence and in particular the relation between randomness and control in organic and inorganic systems.

Science fiction is a recurring theme in Sutela’s work. So is the quest to go beyond the limits of human-created language, both by delving into artificial intelligence and machine learning, and by turning towards technologies as shamanistic devices or possible mediums to channel alien semantics.

Sutela’s work urges us to consider other, nonhuman, species as intelligent beings, such as the Physarum polycephalum slime mould. An organism without a brain or a heart, it is nonetheless able to learn and is used, among others, to study complex human infrastructures such as the Tokyo railway network. Sutela proposes her collaboration with slime moulds as a model against anthropocentric hierarchies, to point instead to decentralised intelligence and a deep connectivity of consciousness and the material world—both living and non-living.

Her latest projects look in particular into non-deterministic models of computers and algorithms. Sutela experiments both with inserting fermenting foods into the “guts” of a computer to generate unforeseeable reactions, and with the random bubbles of lava lamps, which have lately been used to encrypt data.

For her exhibition at Kunsthall Trondheim, Sutela produced new photograms of lava lamps she created in the shape of her own head, pointing to psychedelic technologies and neuroplasticity. In Sutela’s work, technologies transcend physical and immaterial boundaries. The exhibition NO NO NSE NSE invites viewers to approach machines not as models or expansions of the human mind, but on their very own terms.


I Magma App (2019). Mobile app. Co-commissioned by Serpentine Galleries and Moderna Museet, 2019.

The publication Jenna Sutela – NO NO NSE NSE is published by Kunsthall Trondheim, Serpentine Galleries and Koenig Books.

Thank you for the generous support to:
Exhibition: Frame Contemporary Art Finland, Lademoen Kunstnerverksteder, Moderna Museet and Oslo Kunstforening
Publication: Finsk-Norsk Kulturinstitutt, Kulturrådet and Oslo Kunstforening

Thank you also to:
Anna Katharina Scheidegger, Berlin Art Glas, Black Shuck, Brittany Nelson, Fotoimport, Koenig Books, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Le Fresnoy, Trondheim RAMM, Yokoland