Emerging Ideas

Tor-Finn Malum Fitje: Phonautograph (2015)

Tor-Finn Malum Fitje is a Norwegian artist based in Stockholm, Sweden. His projects are typically manifested through narratives in video and sound, although textual production is likewise an evident aspect of this process. His activity borders scientific research, a position strongly reflected in the finished artworks. Questions regarding the nature of sensory and linguistic reproductions, of metaphors and cognition, of myth and physical theory, and of poetry and the natural sciences, are reoccurring subjects of interest.

Phonautograph is a film reflecting on the human compulsion to visualize and articulate sound. Its tale traces the history of capturing, preserving and reproducing acoustic signals, juxtaposing early sound recordings with contemporary binaural experiments. It follows the mythical quest for the “HAARP” sound, and examines the concept of musical harmony. It presents Chladni’s efforts to picture sound through cymatic figures, and Pythagoras’ laws of the strings. It considers the power of glossolalia in religious awakening and dwells on the childlike belief of the seashell as a sound portal. Essentially, Phonautograph is a film about sound, celebrating the limitations that this implies, emphasizing the re in representation.

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Filmform – The Art Film & Video Archive

Featured voices

Florence Nightingale – 1890

King George VI – 1938

Alfred Tennyson – 1890

Alessandro Moreschi – 1901

Alexander Graham Bell – 1906

Gertrud Stein – 1934

Jacob Bronowski – 1973

William Gladstone –1888

Virginia Woolf – 1934

Dylan Thomas – 1952

Gerald Heard – 1956

Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville – 1860


Tor-Finn Malum Fitje is a Norwegian artist based in Stockholm, Sweden. He grew up in Bergen, where he studied Film Production and earned a specialized Bachelor Degree in Directing. After graduating, he attended Bergen Academy of Art and Design, later completing his Bachelor in Fine Arts at Konstfack College of Arts in Stockholm. Malum Fitje is currently pursuing a Master in Fine Arts at The Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, graduating in the spring of 2016.

His artistic research has lead to a conception that what is often referred to as binary oppositions; the so-called hard and soft sciences, representing “The Brain” and “The Heart”, generally have more in common than what any of the concerned parts want to acknowledge.

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