Radikal Unsichtbar / Workshop Hamburg


Architecture, pillars and things are results of human culture and civilisation. How does sound shape knowledge, and how does culture shape sound? How does our physical environment and the things around us influence the way we listen, and is it possible to create sonic architecture and constructions in sound?

You are invited to take part in a 2-day workshop with Copenhagen-based sound artists Ursula Nistrup and Tobias Kirstein exploring architectonic spaces, musical objects and sculptures as an endless source for sound.

Ursula Nistrup describes sound not as a material, but rather as the sculptor’s chisel with which material and spaces can be shaped. This way Ursula shapes her porcelain pillars and sculptures. Grounded in a conceptual minimalist tradition her sculptural and sonic works deal with sound in and of itself, but also as a cultural phenomenon investigating how sound creates worlds, intimate imaginings and expanded spaces.

Through his conceptual performances and installations Tobias Kirstein explores the act of listening and creating sound as an invisible yet very powerful, sometimes aggressive and territorial act.

Hamburg-based Swiss artist Angela Anzi works with sound as an actor in her performative sculptures and installations. Angela will participate in the workshop and will exhibit selected sculptural works in the space of Westwerk.

Radikal Unsichtbar is proud to release a limited edition tape with works by Angela Anzi and Tobias Kirstein specially produced for ACT 8.

Westwerk, Admiralitätstraße 74, Hamburg.

Radikal Unsichtbar – ACT 8 is kindly supported by Hamburg – Ministry of Culture and Media and Danish Art Foundation. A speciel thanks to Westwerk and Boris Vogeler for hosting Radikal Unsichtbar and to Gavin Weiss for mastering the tape release. Radikal Unsichtbar is curated by the Danish sound and performance artist Louise Vind Nielsen since 2015.

Liner notes for G.E.K. – Mahatma

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G.E.K. – Mahatma LP/download 2019

The title “Mahatma” is a reference to the Mahatma Letter and the Russian mystic Madame Blavatsky, whose somewhat dubious legacy nonetheless suggested a connection between philosophy, research and spirituality with side stories of deceit, supernatural elements and a degree of megalomania. The Mahatma Letters supposedly carried messages from the ethereal grand masters and introduced the esoteric and occult from the East in the Western world.

The album is recorded by Maria Bertel and Johannes Lund in their home in Torup and at Mayhem and then processed and mastered by Andreas Pallisgaard.

composed by G.E.K.

performed by
maria bertel: yamaha cs5 & trombone
johannes lund: dark energy II, violin, piano bass, bass drum, baritone saxophone, bells & gongs

recorded in mayhem & torup 2018
mix & master by andreas pallisgaard
text by t.r. kirstein
layout by mads

aether productions 2019

A readymade publication for ‘Reception Desk’ (group show)

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KLD Repro and Sensorisk Verden are very happy to invite you again

Reception Desk is a recurring platform presenting multiples by local artists and musicians

For this event:

Background choreography
World Loop

Breathing Exercises for MacBook Pro
EB & Passive/Agressive

Mind Matter
Sensorisk Verden

Kristian B Johansson
KBJ Publishing
Riso A2 poster

I Me Elvs Love Tender – A disassembled lovesong readymade for the individual.
Tobias R. Kirstein in collaboration with Jeppe Pendrup Jørgensen

Originally printed in Slagtryk february 2017.

Self released Booklet /foldable poster in a limited edition of 70




Listen and or buy the Daimon Fortis track here: https://disformation.bandcamp.com/album/daimon-fortis

Buy the Disformation tracks here: https://disformation.bandcamp.com/

(For optimal sonic pleasure, please use headphones)

Disformation is an experimental music label conceived by Casper Gottlieb and Jesper Bagger Hviid.

“A common element of the musical pieces on these releases is that they are claiming space like an uninvited guest: They occupy your room, leaving no other option but to give in. They demand your attention without ever asking for it, and they don’t complement anything but themselves. An example of this is TR Kirstein’s forthcoming release, “Daimon Fortis”.

“Daimon Fortis” unfolds as a drone piece that is meandering slowly around itself. Time is vanishing and is blurred out completely. Listening through this release is a highly rewarding experience. Deep square waves are being modulated almost unperceivably into the sonic product of a machine meditating. This confronts us with how passive and relentless machines are. They enforce their own rhythms on us, simply because they are not as flexible as we are. And it is our flexibility which allows us to be overtaken. We cannot communicate with a machine: They do not provide any response or reaction. Consequently, this requires us to adapt, in an act of reverse ergonomics. Machines have become the circumstances under which we change.”

Read an intelligent and interesting text about the project here:


‘World’s last male northern white rhino dies aged 45’ Risoprint


‘World’s last male northern white rhino dies aged 45’

Composite readymade

Risoprint in an edition of 64

Made in collaboration with Kasper Vang


BEERS 8 – 100 mænd på Kro, har fernisering fredag den 13.september kl. 17

Byens Kro, Møntergade 8, København K

Udstillingsperiode: 13.september -31. oktober 2019

Kurateret af Melou Vanggaard & Rikke Benborg

De deltagende kunstnere er:
Morten Skrøder Lund, Tobias R. Kirstein, Christian Schmidt-Rasmussen, Jeppe Kruse, Jasper Sebastian Stürup, Rasmus Danø, Niels Bonde, Søren Hüttel, Nour Fog, Simon Grimm, Henrik Plenge Jacobsen, Jonas Hvid Søndergaard, Anders Bonnesen, Steen Møller Rasmussen, Kaare Sebastian Golles, Hartmut Stockter, Espen Brandt-Møller, Uffe Isolotto/ Age of Aquarius, John Kørner, Manfred Peckl, Dick Nyhuus, Thorgej Steen Hansen, Lars Granaae, Adam Fenton, Jes Wind Andersen, Anders Brinch, Nicky Sparre-Ulrich, Emil Salto, Heine Klausen Kjærgaard, Søren Martinsen, Jacob Borges, Morten Søkilde, Jesper Christiansen, Frodo Mikkelsen, Jesper Fabricius, Ulrik Weck, Thorbjørn Bechmann, Palle Sigsgaard, Martin Askholm, Lars Heiberg, Kristian Sverdrup, Michael Würtz Overbeck, Jenz Møller, Rasmus Styrmer, Andreas Schulenburg, Jesse Jacob Lindkvist, Thomas Bjørkå, Peter Land, Adam James Hommel Varab, Morten Stræde, David Dellagi, Simon Ganshorn, Stefan Rotvit, Honza Hoeck, Claus Handgaard, Michael Mørk, Michael Boelt Fischer, Bjørn Nørgaard, Claus Hugo Nielsen, Svend Sømod, Jon Erik Nyholm, Absalon Kirkeby, Zven Balslev, Bjarne Werner Sørensen, Peter Larsen, Anders Bulow, Christian Flopper Manstrup, Christian Vind, Lars Bent Petersen, Ebbe Stub Wittup, Magnus Clausen, Andreas Schlaegel, Thomas Drachan, Mikkel Olaf Eskildsen, Peter Carlsen, Henrik Manné, Tumi Magnusson, Kaj Nyborg, Kristian Devantiers , Erik Steffensen, Birk Bjørklo, Per Gerhard, Oliver Bak, Johannes Sivertsen, Christian Finne, Jon Stahn, Søren Behncke, Nikolaj Recke, Jesper Aabille, Finn Naur Petersen, Heine Skjerning, Carsten Von Würden, Michael Hansen, Jesper Palm, Jørgen Teik, Thomas Friis-Holm, Kasper Oppen Samuelsen, Christoffer Munch Andersen, Niels Reumert, Svend Danielsen

Topos will perform Variations VII live

TOPOS presents
John Cage’s Variations VII live for the first time in Scandinavia

Joining TOPOS will be a very special guest – the director of the E.A.T. Julie Martin (b. 1938) who co-produced the legendary 9 Evenings in 1966. Variations VII was produced by E.A.T. as part of 9 Evenings

September 3rd in Aarhus, Denmark:

The history of E.A.T. by Julie Martin
During her lecture Martin will be joined by TOPOS for a talk about their collaboration. Location and time: ARoS Art Museum, 4pm

Variations VII live, performed by Jacob Kirkegaard, Tobias R. Kirstein,
Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard and Julie Martin. Location and time:
Den Rå Hal, 7pm. The event is a part of Aarhus Festuge

September 14th in Oslo, Norway:

The history of E.A.T. by Julie Martin
During her lecture Martin will be joined by TOPOS for a talk about their collaboration. Location and time: Kunstnernes Hus, 12:30pm
The event is a part of Ultima Festival

September 19th in Copenhagen, Denmark:

The history of E.A.T.
by Julie Martin
During her lecture Martin will be joined by TOPOS for a talk about their collaboration. Location and time: Copenhagen Contemporary, 7pm

Variations VII
live, performed by Jacob Kirkegaard, Tobias R. Kirstein,
Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard and Julie Martin.
Location and time: Copenhagen Contemporary, 9pm.
Supported by SNYK


TOPOS was founded in 2019 by the three artists and composers, Jacob Kirkegaard, Tobias R. Kirstein and Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard,
to pursue their shared commitment to cross cultural and cross media activities that move beyond the strictures and boundaries of separate fields and disciplines. Its projects and program use various modes of presenting, publishing and releasing contemporary and archival material, generated or discovered by Topos.
Topos is collaborating with Julie Martin, Director of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) to research and publish selected material from the organization’s extensive archive of sound recordings that include performances, interviews and other sound material produced by E.A.T. activities over the past 50 years.

The first releases on Topos are:

Topos 01 John Cage: Variations VII
9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering

Topos 02 Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard – Egis Ce Asc

Topos 03 Tobias R. Kirstein – BEELZEBUB

Topos 04 Jacob Kirkegaard – OPUS MORS


Beelzebub (Topos 03)


On september 3rd this will be released:
Topos 03: T.R.Kirstein – Beelzebub
180 gr. black vinyl. Limited edition of 100.
Text and Sound by TR Kirstein.
Layout by Kasper Vang.
Liner notes by Kasper Opstrup.
“Originally a Philistine god, Beelzebub became a major demon in the Abrahamic religions. In Christianity, he is often portrayed as one of the seven princes of Hell, commonly representing Gluttony. Literally, the name translates according to the Dictionnaire Infernal as “Lord of the Flies” where the zvuv of the name’s Hebrew and Arabic transliterations refers onomatopoetically to the fizzing and droning aural noise of the fly.

Maybe it is these demonic connotations combined with the utter meaninglessness of the fly and its anal-erotic attraction, our fascination with what repels us, that has attracted artists from the Cramps to Yoko Ono to the fly and its maddening triviality. But as they move through our world in negative, flies are not only connected to noise, evil, the formless, and all kinds of rot. They are also a source of healing.”



Endless Spring or how to circumvent change (Copper, voice) by Claus Haxholm & Tobias R. Kirstein


A new sculpture/installation made by Claus Haxholm and me will be presented at Torup Kontemporær Musik Festival  18. 05. 19

Read more here: http://aetherproductions.dk/

Organised and curated by Maria Bertel & Johs Lund.

Is-In-Unsamble (vinyl)

This little wonder of strangeness came my way. A collaborative weird music release on Gilgongo Records. Recorded September 2015 at Smegma’s Studio in Portland, Oregon. Ju Suk Reet Meate & Oblivia (Smegma, The Tenses), Brenna Murphy & Birch Cooper (MSHR), Chiara Giovando (Harrius), Johannes Lund & Tobias Kirstein are the IS IN UNSAMBLE.

new book coming

I am working on a new book on revolutions with illustrations by the great painter Asbjørn Schou. The book will be in english.Revolutionary Flower by Asbjørn Schou


CLICK Festival 2019

I will perform OFFAL at this years Click Festival May 18, along side Beatriz Ferreyra, Phew, Drew McDowall, Resina, Empire Line, Apartment House performing Julius Eastman and many others. Speakers will be Paul B Preciado, Achille Mbembe and Rosi Braidotti.

tobias kirstein 2

Handbook of Aggressive Listening


A book by Claus Haxholm and TR Kirstein on listening aggressively and taking back what is ours.

English text below.

T. R. Kirstein / Claus Haxholm: Handbook of Aggressive Listening 120 s / DKK 300
Forlaget Forlag 2018. ISBN 978-87-970809-0-0

Edition of 150

Get it here: forlagetforlag@gmail.com or at bladr , Insula and Rumsti Pumpsti

Håndbog i aggressiv lytning

Udgivelsen er kunstbog, lydafspiller, kulturkritik og håndbog i ét. Bogen dokumenterer Haxholm og Kirsteins kunstneriske bestræbelser, der siden 2011 har involveret fysisk krævende performances indenfor galleriets fire hvide vægge, usynlige interventioner i det offentlige rum, tilsyneladende absurde skulpturelle handlinger, workshops, teoretiske og poetiske tekster der omhandler lytning, miljøer, påvirkning og muligheder.

En på mange måder frit flydende kunstpraksis som på samme tid er præget af jord under neglene og er teoretisk velinformeret fra mange forskellige felter som for eksempel science fiction, spionlitteratur, terrorforskning, kunstfilosofi, politisk teori og arkitekturteori.

Handbook of Aggressive Listening er både en dokumentation af deres fælles værker, en instruktionsbog til læseren og en videreudvikling af tankerne som de forskellige værker har fostret. Bogen er således ikke retrospektiv, men snarere en invitation til videre refleksion og handling – en håndbog som giver mulighed for forandring.

Indlagt i håndbogen er en tonegenerator, som spiller en tone på 10 kHz. Bogen skaber derved mulighed for den læsende for at etablere en sonisk intervention med omgivelserne, det nære territorium som vi hele tiden er i dialog med.

Bogens tekster er forfattet af Haxholm og Kirstein samt af forsker og lektor i performance-design og audiovisuel kultur, Ulrik Schmidt.

Handbook of Aggressive Listening er kommet til verden i tæt samarbejde med forsker Rasmus Holmboe, bogtilrettelægger Anders Busk, trykt på Eksskolens Trykkeri og støttet af Statens Kunstfond.

Bogen danner udgangspunkt i løbet af 2019 for en række samtaler, hvor forskere og kunstnere inviteres til at snakke i forlængelse af de tanker som præsenteres i bogen. Arrangeret i samarbejde med The Lake Radio.


In English:

Handbook of Aggressive Listening

This publication is an art book, a sound emitter, a cultural critic and a manual for actions.

The book documents the artistic endeavours of Haxholm and Kirstein, who since 2011 has manifested itself in physically demanding performances within the four white walls of the gallery, invisible interventions in the public space, sculptural actions, workshops, theoretical and poetic texts on the act of listening, ambience, influence and possibilities. In many ways a free flowing artistic praxis that has both dirt under the nails and is theoretically informed from many different fields of knowledge such as science fiction, spy novels, research on terror, the philosophy of art, political theory and architectural theory.

Handbook of Aggressive Listening is both a documentation of their collaborative works, a manual for the reader and a further development of the thoughts that the works have created. Thus the book is not a retrospective best of, but rather an invitation for further reflection and action – a handbook that gives the possibility of change.

The book contains a tone generator, that emits a 10.000 hz tone. This gives the reader the possibility to create a sonic intervention in her close environment – the intimate territory that we on so many levels are in a constant dialogue with.

The texts are written by Haxholm and Kirstein, and by researcher and associate professor in performance design and audiovisual culture, Ulrik Schmidt.

Handbook of Aggressive Listening was made in close collaboration with researcher Rasmus Holmboe, art director Anders Busk, printed at Eksskolens Trykkeri and supported by The Danish Arts Council.

The book will be the stepping stone for a number of dialogues with artists and researchers in the near future. Arranged in cooperation with The Lake Radio.

Sound for reading


cmvh_trk_photo Geraldine Hudson

Duoshow with Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Tobias Kirstein and a projection of his danish translation of William S. Burroughs’s novel ‘Cities of the Red Night’ for the audience to read aloud during the concert, at Mayhem, Copenhagen, november 2018.

Photo by Geraldine Hudson.

Force Majeure


Force Majeure, tekster af Zven Balslev, Jonas Okholm Jensen, T.R. Kirstein, Illustreret af Zven Balslev, 40 sider, begrænset oplag, ude på CULT PUMP.

The wind sighs, whispers, whistles, howls, talks and listens… a music for long before or after there are no ears, minds and bodies. Sound performance with Ursula Nistrup at SOUND FORMS Symposium, Koncertkirken, Copenhagen, October 13, 2018.

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A live sound performance based on recordings of hollow bodies, natural or man made with sound and visual artist Ursula Nistrup.

Sound Forms is a 3-day experiential symposium of talks, sound walks, workshops and sound-based art that aims to engage people in concepts in Sound Studies, with an emphasis on sonic perception, Acoustic Ecology and listening practices.

Participants include artists and researchers from Denmark and abroad who have contributed significantly to the field of Sound Studies.

Read more here (pdf)

PRIVAT! exhibited at Archive Gallery


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Idea and photo by TR Kirstein & Ruben Kirstein

Image modification and text (in swedish) by Marja-Leena Sillanpää

Very honoured to be part of the online exhibition Archive Gallery curated by Marja-Leena Sillanpää. Read more about PRIVAT!, the gallery and her here.


Den Yttersta Dagen / interview 2018


Den svenske konceptkunstner, digter og musiker Pär Thörn skriver: “Den yttersta dagen är ute nu. Det är mitt nya fanzine. I det första numret finns en lång intervju med den danska ljudkonstnären Tobias Kirstein, en mycket kort drömd intervju med den tjeckiska prosaisten Franz Kafka, en novell, två nya dikter och en rapport från en spelning på Teatr Kantor. Tidningen har limmad rygg och är 56 sidor tjock. Upplagan är begränsad till 133 exemplar.  Numret är slutsålt!”


Der findes ikke løsninger, kun beslutninger. (2018)



Det er åbent, hvad Der findes ikke løsninger, kun beslutninger handler om. Det er der plads til, at læseren selv kan finde ud af. Fra forlagets side kan siges, at den for os bl.a. handler om, hvordan handlinger, perspektiver og opfindelser skaber nye måder at tænke på, handle på, opfinde på, have med tingene at gøre på.

Ting hænger sammen, og T.R. Kirsteins bog er et bidrag til vores kosmologi. Blandt midlerne er syntaks og kollektiv hukommelse og -glemsel.

Hvad der imidlertid er helt klart, helt fast, er hvad bogen handler med. Den gør noget med gentagelser og navne. Strukturen er enkel, for igen og igen stiller bogen det samme spørgsmål: Hvad ville X gøre? Men den er ikke rigid, der varieres over den: Hvad ville X, som …, og som …, gøre? En struktur og et indhold, der trækker tråde til konceptuel poesi, selvhjælpslitteratur, idehistorie og kulturelle guidebøger.

Forlaget OVO


Dreamlover (2018)

IMG_2071Dreamlover  /Video loop with sound

A few seconds from a TV-occurrence April 17, 1982.

A clip from the beginning of a live saturday night TV-show – aired on the only TV-channel in Denmark, the national broadcasting agency, DR – enacting how the atom cloud would wander from the nuclear power plant Barsebäck across the sound and over Denmark. The camera pans over the studio audience while the sound of sirens are played to them.

Exhibited at KOLONIEN II ( 17.08.18 – 03.09.18 ) / Curated by Marie Braad Larsen


Gallus (2018)

gallus plakat

En kollaborativ udstilling med lyd, maleri, skulptur og publikation af Rasmus Rosengaard (f. 1979) og Tobias R. Kirstein (f. 1972) som vil tage udgangspunkt i gallusblækkets herkomst og kemiske såvel som symbolske egenskaber. Gallusblæk er blevet brugt i århundreder til officielle dokumenter, love og afskrifter fx Magna Carta, Den Amerikanske Uafhængighedserklæring, Da Vincis skitser m.m. Blækkets hovedbestanddele er rene naturmaterialer såsom gummi arabicum, jernvitriol og udtrækket fra et galæble. Et galæble dannes på egetræer ved at larven fra en snyltehveps, irriterer træet så meget at der dannes en hård gevækst omkring den lille parasit. I de senere år har det dog vist sig at de århundreder gamle manuskripter som er skrevet med denne type blæk går i opløsning på grund af den kemiske sammensætning. Jernet oxiderer og ødelægger dermed papiret. Ord skrevet med gallusblæk opløser det papir det er skrevet på og efterlader et uformeligt hul. På den måde bærer blækket stadig parasittens egenskaber i sig og opløser sin vært.

Fernisering Fredag d. 11 maj 2018
Klokken 16-19
Udstillingsperiode: 11.maj-2.juni

Classensgade 7d,kld
2100 København Ø


(in the making) Mains Hum 2019

Photo by Aukje Lepoutre Ravn

December – Exhibition with Nastio Mosquito, at Jahmek Contemporary Art, Luanda, Angola.



Two Way Mirror (2017)

Installation consisting of 3 books, 2 cassettes, custom glasses with mirrors on both sides.

The release of a vinyl record titled Furnace.

Twerg Studium, Copenhagen, October 2017

As part of the exhibition series Former Commodity, curated by Alexander Holm.

Interview in Blacklisted

Photos by Alexander Holm


A small exhibition, a still life consisting of books and tapes, that investigates the relationship between a few historically contextual objects; instruments of insight, possibilities and control on the one hand and on the other a mystery that conceals itself.

I imagine there’s shining sheet of golden metal between these kinds of knowledge. A space where we can share and create maps of knowledge, and one that is different. The part that is not shared and is not visible. Has no interest. Face towards the sun. The night is also a sun.

The surfaces of objects. And the shiny surface that is visible and touchable and promises sensibilities into a world that is not here right now but always a millisecond away in the far distance

Some things have a reflecting surface, some don’t. We make instruments of control and insight. We make habits and systems. Different economies made for different insights.

Does the knowledge and experience, obtained by these instruments, pass through this shining barrier.

Itsukushima (2017)

7 channel electronic drone

as part of Hiroshi Sambuichis architectural installation in the 16 mio liter underground water reservoir, Cisternerne, Copenhagen.

Presented by CPH ART WEEK august 27. – 28.

Curated by Aukje Lepoutre Ravn

Supported by Statens Kunstfond


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Teaching Old Hammers New Tricks (2017)

Hammers, sound, water, soap.

Performed with poet Jonas Okholm Jensen at Maya Performance Festival august, Mayhem and as part of A Starry Night at Honeyland Palace, Reffen 209.


Dracula Never Ends (2017)

Electronic drone for 7 speakers at David Risley Gallery.

Dracula Never Ends.

Tobias R Kirstein live drone performance celebrating the cassette release of Tony Conrad / Tobias R. Kirstein ‘Live at Mayhem March 1. 2012’ on Insula Music

5 years ago and so many things have happened.
5 years ago I played a duo concert with Tony Conrad at Mayhem. We spent the afternoon together, talking and trying out stuff.
Mostly just talking. He had a sore shoulder which meant we should take it slow from the beginning.

          The recording of the concert was on the shelf for some years until Johs Lund made a mix and convinced me to release it. The tape was ready for a while. Andreas Korsgaard made a great cover. Insula Records was happy to put it out. Thank you!

Life and death happened.
Red and golden colors.
Such a little box of plastic and magnetic tape means so much.
All things considered, I think it is appropriate to celebrate the release instead of hanging around and getting all sentimental.

No talking.

A big celebratory drone in an art space suits the participants and the sound well.

David Risley Gallery, the best gallery in town, was kind enough to open their doors.
So here we are.

These Are Your Horizons (2016) curation and concept with Jacob Lillemose and Claus Haxholm

Open Mic for the Dead (2016)

Curatorium is a curatorial non-event celebrated on an annual basis, initated by Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard.

K.R.E.V. Royal National Football Team (2016)

Presenting the jersey of the Royal National Football Team of Konungariket Elgaland – Vargaland at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2016.

Playing the national anthem with Andreas Führer, Sune Nielsen and Jacob Kirkegaard.


Tulpa (2016)

Tulpa – a fictive topography
4 jun – 14 aug 2016
 Sound recordings of rocks, a mobile with speakers attached, photographic prints made in collaboration with Ursula Nistrup and Miriam Nielsen

Tulpa is a total installation consisting of manipulated photos, collages, sound, sculpture and a logbook creating the possibility of an unknown landscape.

Fotografisk Center, Staldgade 16, 1699 København V

Review (in danish): http://seismograf.org/hvad-kan-stenen-fortaelle

IMPERIA (2011/2012/2015/2016)


a collaborative work by Jacob Kirkegaard and Tobias R. Kirstein.

Recorded at Barsebäck Nuclear Power Plant, Sweden 2004.
Vinyl release on Posh Isolation in 2012. Private release on CDR in 2011.

Posh Isolation wrote: This limited edition (of 300) LP is an art work based on recordings from the now defunct Nuclear Power Plant Barsebäck located in southern Sweden, and is a recording unlike most. The incredible strength of the source sound dances delicate through the clear drones and balances the piece in a strange and alluring place, never too demanding yet never relaxed

IMPERIA borrows its title from a poem written in 1912 by the Danish poet Sophus Claussen that deals with the relationship between destruction and the untamed forces of creation

The CD version of Imperia was released on march 10, 2011. I made an exhibition that investigated what happened on the following days, where the nuclear power plant Fukushima in Japan was heavily affected by an earthquake, resulting in a terrible nuclear catastrophe.

Photo Mikkel MOrris

Fra Passive/Aggressive:

Af Tobias Kirstein

“Imperia” (la. for kraft/ordre) er et lydværk, som Jacob Kirkegaard og jeg optog på Barsebäck Kernekraftværk i 2004.

Det har siden fundet mange former og udtryk og bliver på en eller anden forunderlig måde ved med at funkle og kaste nye betydninger af sig. “Imperia” er som gløder som engang imellem blusser op, men aldrig slukker helt. Et langt gloende liv.

Vi var hver især skræmte over at skulle besøge Barsebäck, at gå ind i løvens hule – Dødsstjernen hvorfra al ondskab strømmede, da vi var børn i 1970’erne. Dengang hvor absolutterne stod i kø og ondskab fik en nærmest metafysisk karakter. Men vi ville tage kraften fra stedet og undersøge den, sende den videre.

At få en aftale i hus med Barsebäck var en temmelig tidskrævende proces. Jeg skrev temmelig mange mails, havde lange telefonsamtaler med deres kommunikationsansvarlige og skulle sikkerhedsgodkendes, før de rent faktisk troede på, at vi bare ville optage lyden af værket. Vi blev til gengæld godt modtaget derovre af veteranen Robert Wahlström som viste os rundt og på syngende skånsk fortalte os om herkomsten af alle de lyde vi hørte. Han vidste alt om enhver susen og sang fra hvert af de hundreder af rør som slanger sig i gigantiske rum. Lyden her var overvældende og knusende.

Året efter da Barsebäck stod for lukning, komponerede vi med nogle af optagelserne et ‘Requiem til Barsebäck’. Værket blev opført på DRs P2 – sådan noget kunne lade sig gøre dengang. Barsebäck er i øvrigt stadig ved at lukke ned. Såvidt jeg husker, kan brændselsstavene først komme op i 2020 og vil jo stråle hundreder af år frem i tiden, gemt væk dybt nede under klipperne på en hemmelig lokation. På den måde resonerer “Imperia” også med Barsebäck.

Jeg fandt Sophus Claussens digt ‘Imperia’, som blev centralt for vores måde at komponere og udvikle det voldsomme stof vi havde mellem hænderne.

‘Jeg er Imperia, Jordmassens Dronning, /urstærk som Kulden, der blunder i Bjergenes Skød,/ mørk og ubøjelig — ofte jeg drømmer mig død.’

‘Hver, som er ustemt og ikke faar Tone/ efter en Sang, som man synger i Klynger og Kor/ — hver, som er ustemt, er Jord af min Jord.’

En verden hvor mennesker og alt det vi forestiller os ingen betydning har. Der er kræfter som er større end os. Det gav et perspektiv som vi fulgte op med en tekst som fulgte med CD’en: “The force of the radioactivity is present in the sounds on this CD and might tilt the balance of the atoms that you consist of. The sweet singing frequenzies of Imperia might change the world. […] Everything we humans consider to be secure and stable is in a constant state of flux and the atoms which happen to form a house or a chair, might as well agree, by the laws of nature, on forming a human, a rock or a reptile. Så den skrøbelige tilstand af virkelighed kunne destrueres og finde nye former.”

I coveret står der desuden ‘Anyone holding a frying pan owns death’. Det er et citat af W. S. Burroughs som køligt peger på at magten og kraften ikke hører til i institutionerne, men i hænderne på hvem som helst. Den gode gamle tilstand af panik.

I 2006 stod lyden i Marmorkirkens 11 sekunders efterklang strålende mørkt. Jacob opførte sit værk “Aion” fra Tjernobyl inviteret af LAB, så det gav god mening også opføre “Imperia”, som det nu hed. I 2011 fandt lyden og tanken en form som en helt sort CD lavet i samarbejde med Nis Sigurdsson fra Escho. Den udkom dagen før Fukushima-katastrofen, dokumenteret på min udstilling i BKS garage, hvor timerapporter fra det internationale atomagentur blev hængt op. Vi var opmærksomme på, hvad mon det var “Imperia” havde sat i bevægelse og fulgte det nøje.

CD’en cirkulerede blandt de interesserede, indtil Loke Rahbek fra pladeselskabet Posh Isolation tilbød at udgive det på vinyl. Lyden på CD’en varer godt 50 minutter og skulle nu kortes ned til 2 x 20 minutter for at passe til et andet medie. Det føltes meget voldsomt og som en form for helligbrøde at klippe lyden over i to. Men det blev en smuk plade med lyst cover og at lyden nu var fordelt over to vinylsider kom der helt nye interessante sider frem. Fordi PI er et så seriøst foretagende, ramte lyden samtidig også et nyt publikum rundt omkring i verden og blev hurtigt udsolgt. Hvis man er interesseret har både Jacob og jeg et par ekstraeksemplarer stående.

Vi besluttede, at “Imperia” også skulle være med på Jacobs udstilling Earside Out på Museet for Samtidskunst, Roskilde i 2015. Så vi mødtes i Berlin med rolig grøn te og whisky, indtil vi fandt noget helt nyt materiale frem fra arkiverne. En lysere lyd som stadig var gloende varm – rolig og destruktiv. Denne version fik sit eget smukke rum på udstillingen.

Nu har “Imperia” fundet en ny form. Kurator og skribent Jacob Lillemose har gennem årene brugt Imperia-lyden som indledning til sine foredrag om teknologiens urolige energi. Lillemose skrev efterfølgende en fascinerende tekst til Jacob Kirkegaards bog Earside Out (udgivet af Museet for Samtidskunst), der tog udgangspunkt i “Imperia” som en form for lydlig besættelse. Den vinkel har pustet nyt liv i gløderne. Og nye farver.

I regi af udstillingsstedet X AND BEYOND, som har det til sin undersøgende og stærkt interessante praksis omkring katastrofen i alle dens grusomme og fantastiske facetter, kan “Imperia” høres i galleriet i Griffenfeldsgade og nye tekster kan læses.

Imens gløder de endnu ikke udforskede lyde i Imperia-arkivet. Måske finder de en dag en ny sammenhæng at stråle i.

Info: “Imperia” geninstalleres på X AND BEYOND torsdag den 25. februar kl. 18.00-21.00 i forbindelse med udstillingsrækken “The Atomic Age Revisisted”

Imperia XAB-version (2016)

With Jacob Kirkegaard.

Sound installation at Gallery X and Beyond, Copenhagen based in recordings from the nuclear powerplant Barsebäck, Sweden made by Kirstein and Kirkegaard.

Curated and with new texts by Jacob Lillemose.


A Users Manual (2015)

Based on the assumption that ghost stories are the perfect score for a specific topos.

Mixed media, 3 posters, sound installation outside of the gallery, a scorecard, exhibited at Gallery Disjecta, Portland USA.

Curated by Chiara Giovando

We wanted to create a work that couldn’t be sold, that left no visible trace and that anybody could do (i.e. low production value).

We created this idea that listening can be an aggressive act. That it can change the surroundings. Instead of being an impassive listener you are active.

We created a score card that you could have in your pocket.:

Sværmen/The Swarm (2014)

Sound, text and video installation including a display case with live house flies, a brass vase, white sugar.

Exhibited at the Sort/Hvid theatre, Copenhagen, as part of the Golden Days remembrance of WW1.

Curated and produced by Jacob Lillemose

“Den 20. august, 1918 havde engelske Judith Boyle fra Millwall en oplevelse, som hun mente var en vision om det samfund der ville følge efter den snarlige afslutning på Første Verdenskrig. Boyle var så vidt vides en ganske almindelig borger, men den dag var hun i følge hende selv vidne til noget ganske ualmindeligt. Hvad hun helt præcist så kan man kun gisne om, men hun efterlod et ark med noter, som indikerer at det var voldsomt. Dagens efter skrev Boyle til redaktøren på The Post og bad ham om at trykke noterne, så læsere kunne gøre brug af informationen. Samfundets fremtidige skæbne afhang af det, skrev hun. Noterne blev dog ikke trykt og deres eksistens har ikke været kendt af andre end det fåtal af de folk, som gennem tiden har haft dem mellem hænderne. Den danske kunstner Tobias R. Kirstein har imidlertid fået lov til at fotografere både brev og noter af den private samler, der siden 1997 har haft dem i sin samling af Først Verdenskrigs-genstande. I følge samleren fandt han noter og brev i en antikvarisk bog. Kirstein har påtaget sig rollen som “læser” og har gjort brug af noter og brev til at skabe en installation, der på spekulativ vis levendegør Boyles vision.”

‘180 Slag Mod Krigsaberne’ by Henning Christiansen (1988/2014)

Performed at Sejerøfestivalen, Denmark.

Thank you to the Christiansen family and Thomas Buhl Wiggers/ Emil KS.

Buy the monography on Henning Christiansen at Antipyrine.



AUDIO:VISUALS Jomi Massage, TR Kirstein, Anna Maria Helgadottir (2014)

From the press release of CPH:DOX: “Using the concept of ‘parallel’ as their starting point, the musicians and artists Jomi Massage and Tobias Kirstein and the video artist Anna Maria Helgadottir have founded a joint project between performance, film and sound art. Parallels are the opposite of opposites, and the three otherwise so different artists have also teamed up to a project that Jomi Massage (aka Signe Høirup Wille-Jørgensen) calls a journey through inertia and physical states. A visual and sound-saturated journey in tones and noise, fissures and images of what is otherwise such a quiet inner place’. A live experiment from the three veterans of Copenhagen’s underground scene.”

Reacts / Jomi Massage: Primitives (2014)

Reactions on Jomi Massage´s album Primitives from:

Nils Gröndahl
Mads Emil Nielsen
SØS Gunver Ryberg
TR Kirstein/C Haxholm
i am now
Maria Laurette Friis
Birgitte Alsted
Heidi Mortenson

The Being Music 2014


Arbejde er det der adskiller os fra dyrene/ Work is what separates us from the animals (2014)

with Claus Haxholm.

4 tons of chalk, sound.

Two day performance installation as part of ACTS 2014, Museet for Samtidskunst, Roskilde, Denmark.

ACTS 2014 – Festival for lyd og performance. Museet for samtidskunst, Roskilde. Foto: Kristoffer Juel Poulsen


ACTS 2014 – Festival for lyd og performance. Museet for samtidskunst, Roskilde. Foto: Kristoffer Juel Poulsen

“Arbejde er det, der adskiller os fra dyrene
Haxholm & Kirsteins performanceinstallation er et nøje planlagt forløb over to dage, som involverer røg, kalk, diverse beholdere, lyd, bevægelse og fysisk arbejde – ude som inde på museets arealer. Værket afsøger forbindelser mellem det ophøjede og det banale, mellem dagens arbejde og materialets langstrakte tid. Mellem disse poler foregår energiudvekslinger og feedbackprocesser, som transformeres og opløser sig selv.

Duoens værker behandler et felt mellem performativ lydkunst og manuelt arbejde som forskellige måder at organisere energi på. I tidligere fysiske værker er et galleri blevet fyldt med flere tons jord og derefter tømt igen – eller lyd er blevet begravet i store huller i en baghave.”


Dirt (2014)

Photo series of piles of dirt

as part of the group show This is our Art This is our Music, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen.

Grundspor / Ground Tracks (2013)

With Claus Haxholm.


(I) ”In a non-euclidean space, parallel lines are those that intersect only in the limit of infinity”

(II) ”Lines are vectors of energy”

(III) ”Freedom is around the corner”

As part of The Hammer Without a Master: Henning Christiansen’s archive

22.6 – 25.8. 2013

Kunsthal 44 Møn. Henning Cristiansen var med til at starte Kunsthallen 44 Møn. Initiativet blev taget af en række fluxsuskunstnere på Møn med kurator Rene Block i spidsen. Efter Henning Christiansens død i 2008 opkøbte René Block rettighederne til hans arkiv.

Udstillingen er blevet til i et samarbejde mellem kurator Chiara Giovando og de inviterede kunstnere.

Medvirkende kunstnere og komponister:

Society for the Disorderly Speakers (DK), Jakob Kirkegaard, (DK) Tori Wrånes (NO), Leif Elggren (SE), Gordon Monahan (CA) Marja-leena Sillanpää (SE) Tobias Kirstein og Claus Haxholm (DK) -Andreas Führer (DK), Johannes Lund (DK) og Vagn E. Olsson (DK).


Rot (2013)

Low frequency sine wave in the basement of the defunct B&W ship yard in Elsinore, as part of the Click Festival, 2013.

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