Pebbles; or, the world has become a flatter place

Ola Ståhl (2014)

Pebbles; or the world has become a flatter place takes as its point of departure an existing image which is explored transversally, stitching together diverse trajectories of thought, conversation, pseudo-autobiography, fictioning, fashioning of diagrams, drawings, icons, relics, etc., all of which emanates from the geographies and temporality complexes of the chosen image. From the virtual complexity of the image, then, diverse assemblages are generated, actualizing and rendering explicit, often in a somewhat crystalliferous fashion, aspects of its complexity; notes, as it were, semi-concealed but there, juxtaposing the image’s moment in time with that of the expanded annotation on its “other” side, inexorably connected to it, yet distinct and different from it, spatially and temporally.

The specific image chosen is a 1976 photograph of an installation / intervention by Jannis Kounellis situated in a hotel room in Rome. The photograph, depicting a horizontal incision in one of the walls of the room with a solid globular shape stuck inside of it keeping the two sides slightly apart, is the only remaining trace of the installation / event. In Pebbles; or, the world has become a flatter place, the photograph is explored in prose-texts, fictions, pseudo-autobiographical pieces of writing, drawings and various fashioned objects and items, sound pieces and performance scores. Together these different trajectories through the encounter with the image form a multifaceted assemblage published in the form of artist’s books and pamphlets, in part made and performed live, initially on cassette tape recorders, overhead projectors, with live and recorded voice and the real-time fashioning of items in felt, stone, wax, lard, etc., as part of an art writing event at Box Gallery, Gothenburg, in 2014.

crates for windows and doorways, to block entry, to control entry and exit, but they are tilted ones

with concrete and stone

next to where the surface splits, to brush sand and salt of pebbles there and wallpaper, an incision – in the slit goes the pebble, wallpaper is cut and the slit there, for pebbles and marbles, like you do with stones

the stones were serpent’s eggs, with holes in them, they call them
serpent’s eggs, and pebble stones too

and a thing made from felt and wax, damp cloth too


head of curls but disproportionate in size
his head too large to keep his balance

and some foam to hold parts together

but it’s a structure without apparent purpose

like you do with stones,
marbles to push the edges apart

another piece of felt, wax and lard,

drawing paper or card, heavier to fold