Anne Haaning

Anne Haaning

Anne Haaning’s practice revolves around an interest in digital ontology and myth.

My ongoing artistic research ties myth and technology together through the proposition that human commitment to the digital is profoundly rooted in the origins of human nature. The backdrop to this technological myth, or mythical technology, is what I’ve labelled Digital Colonialism.

In 2016, I was awarded a research fellowship with The Norwegian Artistic Research Programme, following my MFA in fine art from Goldsmiths. My work has been shown internationally in among other venues: The Jerwood Space and Whitechapel Gallery, London, Taipei Contemporary Art Center, the Islandic Biennial: Sequences Vll, CPH:DOX, Kurtzfilmtage Winterhur, Medrar, Cairo, Nottingham Contemporary, FACT, CCA, Glasgow International and Jeune Creation, Paris. I was awarded the Jerwood/FVU Awards and the Solo Prize at the Spring Exhibition, Charlottenborg Kunsthal in 2014.

Mother of Monsters

HD Video / 06:39 min / 2015

‘Mother of Monsters’ peers into an infinite void of darkness. Quivering eyes observe from this glossy black space just as they do when you swirl down a continual stream of data and selfies—between the unknown territories of islands glowing eerily in the dark. Almost as Marlow traveling up the Congo River deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness itself, spied on from the impenetrable jungle behind thick fog, surrounded by the trembling of distant foreign noises, eerie, alluring and evocative.

Anne Haaning's computer-animated ‘Mother of Monsters’ conjures up a kind of digital myth, and is loosely based on Joseph Conrad's ‘Heart of Darkness’, which is interpreted in subtle hints, while it discreetly satirises the contemporary technological and image-fetishistic media landscape. In her latest work, a rain of computer eyes focuses on a digital culture, where the face is compared with a selfie and where our relationship with our body and the world is undergoing significant changes. ‘Mother of Monsters’ is a neon-lit crystal ball, which gives technology a past – and possibly catches a glimpse of its future.“ (CPH:DOX)

‘Mother of Monsters’ was shortlisted for CPH:DOX and Kurtzfilmtage Winterhur.

v.xx (Dyslexic Odin)

Video / Dimensions variable / 2014

‘v.xx (Dyslexic Odin)’ is a video/installation that cultivates the ephemeral. The video is part of a durational process; throughout the exhibition period this was emphasised by a log of the changes made to the video. The log comprises notes of both technical and personal character, adding up to a confessional document. It both describes the effects desired and the artist’s falling short in realising them through the constant re-evaluation of the work. The title v.xx references the labelling format in digital production, indicating that all versions are equally relevant and that it is in the end the decisions made between them that is important.

Birds are a symbol of transition and wisdom in Norse myth. The video plays on the desire for transition and wisdom inherent in digital culture. By referencing becoming-bird and obtaining the divine ability to fly through an array of digital compositions it renders digital transformation as valid as any other kind.

Originally exhibited as an installation: Stuffed raven, cardboard, pins, hair clips, printer, paper.

KhoiSan Medicine

Video installation / Projection 8:3, headphones / 12:20 min / 2014

“KhoiSan Medicine” is an exploration of contemporary myth through the unlikely pairing of special effects Youtube tutorials and anthropological studies of the KhoiSan – the aboriginal people of Southern Africa. Using fragmentary sound-bites and particle based animation it connects digital production and circulation with ancient beliefs about the spiritual nature of the universe. Here disintegration and physical entropy reigns aided by the resilience and adaptability of technology. It seeks to emphasise the instability of matter and identity in a digital context, and provocatively questions whether this immaterial anarchism might also offer us liberation from the very laws of physics.

Anne Haaning was shortlisted for the Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Awards: 'What Will They See of Me?', 2014. The work was subsequently shortlisted for Selected IV, Videoclub and Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network, Star and Shadow Cinema, Newcastle, CCA, Glasgow, Fabrica, Brighton, FACT, Liverpool, Whitechapel Gallery, London.

“KhoiSan Medicine” was commissioned for the Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Awards: 'What Will They See of Me?' in association with CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow and University of East London, School of Arts and Digital Industries. Film and Video Umbrella is supported by Arts Council England.


Dual screen video installation / 2 spinning chairs, 2 back projection screens / 9:50 min / 2014

The work is a large video installation based on the interaction between two types of memory: the human and the digital. Through the work, the artist strives to create a situation in which the audience is physically and mentally caught in and made unsure of the transition between the subjective memory of human consciousness, and the objective storage of the digital. Materially, “Delete” unites the physical and the virtual, and in this way confronts the viewer with a hybrid form of memory that lies between the human and the digital.

The spinning chairs in the work are intended to provide an interactive counterpart to the traditional benches in exhibitions. For the audience, the chairs function as mobile devices of editing the video material, which incorporates a range of digital representations of the chairs.

These elements are used to bridge the concrete, defined space in which the work is installed with the intangible and infinite universe that unfolds in the projections.

“Delete” was Haaning’s first major solo show. It was installed in Kunsthal Charlottenborg in 2014.

How to Other

Video / 02:59 min / 2013

“How to Other” investigates the underlying structures of digital representation, particularly the paradoxical relation between subject and object – depicted and depiction. By examining the reality and perpetual nature of digital representation it tries to disclose the oscillations between the dead and the living in the virtual sphere. Through ranking contradictory statements – visual as well as audible – alongside each-other the work ultimately takes control over the embedded meanings, and gives way for new precarious and ambiguous readings of the content, similar in kind to the real time editing of our private and public news feeds online.

“How to Other” was awarded The Danish Solo Award in The Spring Exhibition, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, 2013.