Holding Pattern

A holding pattern is what air traffic controllers use to keep several planes orbiting above a busy airport without crashing. The scenario suggests a general condition: of human destinies bound up in the circuits of technology; and of anxiety, danger, and salvation—being “brought in safely.” Involving elements of skill and craft, the drawing of patterns on a page, screen, or sky, it also invites analogies with art and choreography.

What are the patterns in which our lives are held? What rhythms, or algorithms, drive these? How do they play out in historical, political, and cultural terms? And can art, literature, filmmaking, and music draw them out, make them visible, legible, audible, or even contestable? These are the questions posed in a major international group exhibition at Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, curated by Tom McCarthy and Anne Hilde Neset.