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The artistic intervention IO in the Ångström Laboratory at the University of Uppsala is a sculpture in the form of a gigantic concrete block. It extends from the ground floor of the building, through an opening on the entrance floor up to the second floor. Leaning slightly, the sculpture creates a vertical and horizontal contrast to the existing architectural lines. Through its placement and size, the sculpture appears familiar, as if it were a building element. At the same time it conveys a feeling that something is wrong – foreign, misplaced, inside out, forgotten, built in. The work IO is a monumental reminder of the meaning of mistakes, errors, disturbances or glitches.

Binary Data Systems and Zeus’s Mortal Mistress

The work IO comprises two parts: a physical manifestation and a book of poetry. The title IO refers to a series of cultural and scientific concepts that appear as narrative elements in the book, which constitutes the philosophical basis for the work. Examples of these elements include input/output, one/zero in binary systems, Jupiter’s moon and Zeus’s mortal mistress, which here symbolise the relationship between humans and the larger order of which we are part.

The work is informed by the idea that new knowledge is attained partly through traditional academic work, partly through sudden breakthroughs that occur by chance, a breach of order, a mistake or an irrational impulse.

On the Artist

Karl Larsson (b. 1977) is an artist, poet and editor. Based on these different positions he has developed an artistic practice that fuses text, image, sculpture and space. Although his works often start out from a literary method and experience, he does not work with text in a conventional sense, instead he creates artistic expressions by focusing on the spatial experience in the execution and activation of a space. What is important for Karl Larsson is how a poetic experience can be relevant and take form outside of poetry itself.

Karl Larsson has a unique ability to create works of a spatial tension that stage narratives about time, literature and history, generating poetic shifts in meaning between fiction, reality and materiality.

Find the artwork

Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, Sverige