The exhibition “System 2” is an investigation of what we see when we see – and what we unconsciously choose not to see.
The title refers to the behavioural scientist and Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman’s model for the perceptual systems of the brain: System 1 and System 2. The automatic System 1 has the function of quickly and directly giving us an idea of the context we are in – based on our earlier experiences. System 1 enables us to act intuitively and efficient in the world. “I recognize this as a regular chair. I know the function of a chair and therefore I don’t need to waste energy on studying its construction”…
The conscious, but much smaller System 2 comes into play when we encounter the unknown, deficient or complex. System 2 is much slower than System 1, but it has the ability to analyse, focus and create new knowledge that System 1 can use in future. “This chair looks very lopsided – let me see whether if it has other indications of abnormality that mean one should not sit on it.”
By obstructing System 1’s automatic features I try to get us to look at what we overlook at first glance.
When I took the pictures for the System 2 series, my keyword was “Nodak Moments”. A “Kodak moment” is the obvious beautiful motif we typically point our camera at. A “Nodak moment is the opposite – Places we find uninteresting to bother about. I did not specifically search for them because they are everywhere around us. So for half a year I practically shot everything saw on my way that I normally wouldn’t shoot.
Out of that base of 20.000+ pictures, I chose a handful and removed all the “System 1 tags” that I subconsciously judged them by, to give them another chance of being seen.
At Martin Asbæk Gallery
22.02.2016 – 05.03.2016
Catalog text - English
To see something in nothing – by Erik Steffensen
Catalog text - Danish
At se noget hvor intet er – by Erik Steffensen
Review - Politiken - Danish
09.02.2016 by Peter Michael Hornung
Review - Kunsten.nu - Danish
10.02.2016 by Lisbeth Bonde