Blog by Bjørn Venø

Blog by Bjørn Venø


The artist Venø works with photography video and performance. He tries hard at being a licensed fool and has a burning desire to explore beyond our paradigm.


ThoughtsPosted by Bjørn Venø Mon, March 12, 2012 03:20:50
Do an experiment bang your head against the key board, do you get the letters BV? No, but these people did whilst using google image search, it seems like a good way of coming across my work:

Cute Swedish Goth girl

Online competition

All I need now is for the hole world to get frustrated and start banging those heads against there keyboards....

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The spectacle of fire

ThoughtsPosted by Bjørn Venø Sun, October 23, 2011 14:12:59

A fire broke out across the road from our house today, disrupting the predictable flow of life and turning us in to spectators.

What do we feel at times like these... fear, concern?

Personally I became mesmerized by the vicious and undiscriminating nature of the fire blazing out of the windows, it was hypnotic... until it was subdued by the order of the fire men who tok control and suppressed the flames within minutes.

As a single individual we are fragile, but as a species we dominate nature and are able to quickly stamp out any threat to the order and harmony we have created for our selves. A nice quality with the English is that when such a task is completed everyone gathers together for a nice warm tee.

The ladies who's house this is, escaped the flames without injury.

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The male Gender is evil

ThoughtsPosted by Bjørn Venø Thu, September 29, 2011 13:10:29

"This is ABUSE" is an abusive website about relationship abuse, which I came across through this advert:

Dream girlfriend makes a presumption that I will ask the girl something indecent, which I admittedly do. However nothing will happen until I ask my third question or spend 1 minuet thinking up what sort of perverted and evil act I want to see her perform, after which the interactive video portrays "me" as an abusive man. All this is well and good, it has a message it wants to get across, which it does effectively. However I have some issues with the site, which starts when I go to the dream boyfriend version, I expect to see the reverse, a woman being abusive to a man, however my boy lover becomes abusive towards me. That is not very faire, what about boys/men that are abused? The problem however does not lie in what is faire, the problem is stereotyping the woman as the victim and the man as the oppressor. This strategy may have a negative effect on men, particularly because it is a view that has become normalised in our culture.

Imagine that you are the man from an abusive relationship and are presented with these two videos, Presumably it is not going to make you feel to good about your self, but it shall get worse, because you go to the website that produced these videos.

First you read "Relationship abuse can happen to anyone." you feel a bit better and think you might get some help from this web site, but as you navigate through the site, you start to get the impression you are the bad one, there must be something wrong with your gender. The media you are met with only show abuse towards girls by boys, four films and four posters.

This web site is clearly for girls in need, which is important, but becomes misleading and dangerous when it says it is for everyone by actually stating "Relationship abuse can happen to anyone."

I would like to see the site change there tag line to "Help and support for female victims of domestic violence", the web sites for gay (broken rainbow) and men (mens advice line) do it explicitly so why can not this site do it? If they on the other hand want to be inclusive to everyone I think they should create different pathways to the web sites content, which is determined by ones gender and or sexual orientation, that features media and support that is relevant to the visitor.

To the websites credit, they do tell male and gay victimise where they can get help in the FAQ section and under the "Need Help?" heading.

What say you?

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ThoughtsPosted by Bjørn Venø Sat, August 13, 2011 01:59:34

It is Friday 21:38, I'm writing in TextEdit, because word takes to long to load, Safari is open showing my home page, because I like to look at my own work, I'm also talking to a friend about Art on Facebook, but I just cut it short because I don't like talking to people without seeing them. On my second monitor Mail is open with 12 unread messages not directly addressed to me.

I dream of connecting with you, it is very empty in my head, my world is barren.

I want to reject conventions, I do not want to take pictures that follow the rules, I don't want to create narratives that use tried and tested formulas, however I can not help but emulate for I know nothing else.

I'm self obsessed consumed by my self, it is al about me, I look up from my computer monitor and see a 90x130 cm self portrait, where I'm holding a salmon that I shall hit the viewer with, who currently is me. I look to the left, a picture of me and my girlfriend and to the right I see the man I'm about to become.

I want to connect with the world, I want to feel what you feel, I want to see what he sees, I want an end to the confinement of the mind, but I'm not able, I only passively consume, collecting what I want based on my preferences. I feel infected by society as if it has made me sick. I'm dying from individuality which creates the illusion of freedom. To save my self I DECLARE THAT WE REMOVE I FROM THE WORLD, from now on WE must follow this formula:

bob = I or (I'm) or me or mine or myself or (ones name)

But can bob write about bob, when it's al about bob bob bob?

bob typing away at the keyboard trying to draw a reality around bob eyes, a place where bob can feel a part of the universe. bob don't want to be in doubt any more, bob want to act without fear. bob want to grab the world by its balls.

bob just tried to make a quick photo composite of the world using the balls of a rat, it looks shit, but sufficient for a blog post.

bob framework is the same as yours, but supposedly bob a individual, but if bob mind is bob own then bob should be able to think thoughts that are bob own, but every thought bob have, is connected to society ergo bob don't have a unique mind, disabling bob from creating anything new, bob can only recycle what already exists. bob not happy about this, bob want to think without restrictions, to be free, but we are in a prison that is made for our minds. bob can not find way out, bob know it is there… bob just cant see it. Maybe bob is looking in the wrong place, or bob should not use bob senses, bob should find a new way of sensing our surroundings. bob should go to the realm of the Gods, plunge in to darkness and blindly look for something tangible that bob can take back to humanity.

bob shall prevail, bob shall return with a means to probe your consciousness and connect to your mind, you and bob shall become one, and together you shall become one with al. Take the first steep with bob, look in to bob eyes and let it happen.

bob a fool

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Come lets brake out of this dystopia together

ThoughtsPosted by Bjørn Venø Tue, August 09, 2011 13:57:47

We have imagined countless future dystopias such as, humans turned in to batteries, governments monitoring our every move, super villains altering our reality, suppression of our emotions, the list goes on and on, but it does not include the one we find our selves in to day. Yes we are living in a dystopia.

Did you not know?

That is the thing with dystopias most people are not aware of it. We are blissfully living our every day lives in ignorance of what we can be and if we are aware we don't do anything about it, because we are content. In the end it boils down to the age old saying that ignorance is bliss. Which in turn leads me to Plato's cave allegory, we have jet to emerge from the cave to see more than just shadows. Those of us who try to find the way out don't get killed or locked away as would happen in fiction, no our fate is much worse and effective, we are ignored unless we commit an atrocity.

Am I the one to lead you out of the cave? I have a secret desire to be a saviour, to fulfil the potential of the holy artist, however I do not know the way, I don't even know what is outside the cave, but I do dream, let me share one with you. Imagine a world where our minds are unified, not by technology but naturally connected. No single individual or group is able to dominate, instead knowledge is poled and our soles laid bare enabling use to express a united will. Humanity redefined. The grate fear in this idea is the loss of individuality, however there is no utopia, only another way of existing, one can but hope that the new is better than the old.

After reading this text, how manny do you think are going to say 'yes I must do something more than recycling to change the world, I need to get together with the holy artist, do some crazy shit and see what happens'?

I say we live in a world where reflective words and art drown away in a ocean of useless information. Even rioting and demonstrations which used to shack the world, suffer the same fate, news papers such as The Guardian who try to look at the bigger picture barely get above water among all the other media outlets only looking at the violence and individual stories.

I challenge you to prove me wrong, that it is possible to inspire the world to change with words, art and peaceful action, so please express a desire to stare in to my eyes and see if our minds connect. We need to find a new way of thinking, only together can we do this.


The Guardian: 'There is a context to London's riots that can't be ignored'

The entertainment I'm referring to: The Matrix, 1984, the comic 'Wanted' and Equilibrium

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A question for YOU!

ThoughtsPosted by Bjørn Venø Tue, August 02, 2011 19:16:53

What do you think is the most important function of art to day? Should it be a spectacle, a sensory experience, pleasing to the eye, push boundaries, widen peoples horizons or something else al together?

There is something dubious about the question above because it could potentially create a divide and be broken down to another question: What is more important and has more value, kitsch or art? In addition the moment you try to answer these questions you might find your self struggling to define the words art and kitsch which is a big can of worms where distinctions are blurred beyond belief, but let us not be stopped by that.

Lets agree that kitsch is art, but to distinguish the two lets put "conceptual" in front of art.

Some "conceptual" art tries to see another perspective, challenge boundaries and functions as a riddle to be solved. There are different strategies artists employ to create a riddle, referencing old masters and theory is popular, however this is not very inclusive, a more friendly approach is work that inspires the viewer to imagine a extended story or stimulates a emotional reaction, however that may be seen as "kitsch" by some.

Kitsch is often aesthetically pleasing and stimulates a immediate understanding or response. It is likely that the artist demonstrates extrodenery talent and technical skill, which becomes the focus point of our admiration. Such work is very inclusive.

To say that one is better than the other leads to a pising contest so lets make things easier and get rid of the words important and value. Instead we should change the question to:

Who needs the most support, kitsch or conceptual art?

Kitsch inherently supports itself by being inclusive "Conceptual" art on the other hand does not and often pushes the general public away, hence we the public have to make a conscious effort to support it. The big question is why should we bother?

I think the general public are square, meaning that they are happy with a 9 to 5 job, kitsch art and a packet holiday, there is nothing wrong with this, however if everyone takes on this roll humanity will stagnate, we need people, that tries to see another perspective and challenge boundaries because these are forces that push humanity forward and help us become more than we can imagine. Secondly we live in a world that seems to be more and more driven by the market, such a system automatically puts a high value on work such as kitsch for its wide appeal. Conceptual art is then left to fend for itself needing to find support from the elite who more often than not only look at art as an investment. It must be said that many artists find money and opportunities from private and public grants.

What can we the public do if we want to support art but can not afford it? We can go to exhibitions and not just the Tate Modern, the Saatchi Gallery or fancy private galleries, look out for the small independent places and remember artists do sell some items that are affordable, such as books.

How can we the artists help the general public support us? Many artists think that we do not need the normal man to understand or support us. Before we get carried away lets not forget that there are artists making public art funded by either the government or organisations, however more often than not I find this kind of work saying nothing in the fear of offending. In the UK I can only think of the forth plinth in Trafalgar square as a arena where artists are allowed to be challenging. On the other hand one might say that art for the public is a spectacle with little content. What ever your opinion is about public art, the bottom line is that the public mainly fund it indirectly through tax. I believe we as artists need to take our heads out of our arses and think about new ways of including the general public and getting them to support us without compromising our work. I believe the general public are the key for artists to be able to support them selves and be independent from guiding voices. My attempt has ben to try and create a piece of work where people can become share holders. The project was called As of today it has not proven to be a viable solution, however I am determined to find away for it to work optimality or to discover another strategy.

Leet me make a prediction of the future, I believe we are heading towards a world where people are more locked in their own perspective and we will be held in place by the media who send personally targeted information and entertainment that confirms our views rather than challenges them. Based on this assumption I will now answer the original question, the most important function of art as I see it is to be a counter point to society at large by trying to widen peoples horizon irrelevant if it is considered kitsch or conceptual art and this is why I say we who want to be artists to day have a very important role to fulfil.

What is your opinion?

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The Female Gaze

ThoughtsPosted by Bjørn Venø Tue, July 12, 2011 17:19:12

There are women out there exploring how they look at men, Such as Erika Lust and Petra Joy who make porn for women and Britt Marie Trensmar a photographer with a keen interest in male identity. I strongly admire these woman and what they have achieved, however lets look with a critical eye at what they are making. My views are based on my response to the free content from Erika and Petra's web sites and Britt Marie's book "Play the man"

(From the book Play the Man | Mangrant by Britt Marie Trensmar)

What strikes me is that their work comes across as a counterweight to the male gaze, suggesting that now it is time women are in power, from here on the man shall please and serve me. I do not call this something new I call it the other side of the coin, so what they seem to be doing is taking porn made by men and reversing the power structure. The result is that the submissive side of my personality enjoys what they make and I perceive the porn and images as a form of Femdom.

(From the trailer of "Her porn" curated by Petra Joy)

I shall admit that I often struggle with feminism for the same reason, that it comes across as giving power to women over men and not equality. I sense an underlying mentality that if the world was ruled by women it would be a better place. Personally I'm tired of feminism and would like to see a new movement that leaves gender out of the equation, a movement that looked at human identity as a whole. An idealistic slogan could be "Equal opportunity to all", note that I did not say equal power, I used the word opportunity, because not everyone wants power, or equal power, however the opportunity should be there if one wants to take it.

(From "Room 33" by Erika Lust)

I need to point out that I've fallen in to the same trap that I have been criticising, look at how I describe my work:

"In our time the man has barley been explored and this is something I and my self portraits wish to help change."

I'm stating that the man has been suppressed by feminism and that I wish to add a counter weight to that. However if the counter balance achieves success it can easily become a new oppressor, which is the last thing I want. I need to rethink what I'm doing, I could say I'm looking at human identity through self portraiture, but I'm a heterosexual man, which then automatically excludes women and gay men. An obvious solution would be to include more women and gay men in to my work. The problem here is that the gaze stays the same, secondly I could never include all forms of human identity. I don't have an answer, but I shall look for one, maybe you can help?

Some links for further reading:

A dystopian view on what would happen if men vanished from the world: Y: The Last Man

Guardian article: Porn made for women, by women by Catalina May

Feminist Porn Awards

Dusk the TV channel broadcasting porn made for women, selected by women.

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Porn for Women

ThoughtsPosted by Bjørn Venø Sun, July 10, 2011 12:19:11
I'm curios about porn for women. I know it exists, but compared to porn made for men it is like my little toe in relation to my body. So small that it is non existent and I would not rely notice if it went missing, so why is there so little porn made for women?

(googled “Porn for Women”)

I've seen people state that it is because women are not rely sex interested. Lets dismiss that straight away, we know that is not true.

More plausible is that women get of differently from men. But I don't want to put my cards on that "theory".

I'm inclined to believe that most women have excepted porn for men, and indulge in that.

As a man I think it is sad that the porn for women market is so small because it makes it more difficult for heterosexual men to become sex objects. The most straight forward option to be objectefied as a man might be to become a gay porn star.

Can one say, based on the above discussion, that men are more in to objectifying than women?

I think we can and this might be a essential clue to our question.

What do you think?

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vYBA is the new YBA

ThoughtsPosted by Bjørn Venø Wed, June 08, 2011 21:30:43

(Leilah Poulain, 7 years old)

Saatchi was the man behind the YBA, Young British Artist. Today they are no longer young so new frontiers must be discovered.

vYBA, very Young British Artists is the new buss. Artists preferably under the age of 10.

Untainted from the world they have a unique perspective that has the potential to thrill and create new spectacles.

The "common man" has often said that my 5 year daughter could make better art than that blob of paint hanging at the Tate and now she can. This is the crust of what I want to talk about. One common misconception of art.

Yes children can make grate art, anyone can if they put their mind to it. Artists don't necessarily have grate talent and everyone has different reasons for why they do it. But I will say this:

"For many artists making art is about discovery, looking for new perspectives, ideas and experiences. They might know a verity of formulas for creating successful work, but following those recipes can not take us anywhere new, it only recycles. Instead the artists wish to brake the rules in their quest for grate art. It might be a simple reed dot on a large canvas or a urinal in a gallery, your 5 year old daughter can certainly do it, but the artist has a developed reason for it"

Let's twist the coin. Imagine your 5 year old daughter flogging of dozens of artworks. She does not have any reason for what she does, she just dose it. Then you show it to several critics and they see a long list of conceptual ideas and can write page up and page down about your daughter's work.

This does not make the work better or worse. Nor does it suggest the critics have ben dubbed.

Think of art as a child that takes on its own life. The parents might be idiots, but the child is not defined by them and against al odds she grows up to become a brain surgeon. Of corse it helps if the parents are good, but it is not a determining factor.

The beauty of art is its fluidity and the constant flux it is within. The day art solidifies will be of great morning.

Other vYBA's:

Kieron Williamson 7 years old

Freddie Linsky 2 years old

Related blog posts:

I'm Bjørn Venø and I'm an artist, this is my story

Can an 8 year old make good art?

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Reed Thread

ThoughtsPosted by Bjørn Venø Sat, May 28, 2011 23:11:10

A pixel drawing I didd in 1998. Sharing it with you to illustrate my point in the previous post about a reed thread through our lives.

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