Magnhild Øen Nordahl

Parallell Sogndal


3x3x3 m. Platform in concrete and Grønsteinsbreksje (locally sourced rock) installed parallel to the Earth ́s equatorial plane.  Powdercoated steel pillar installed parallel to the Earth ́s rotationaxis.

Public sculpture comissioned by the municipality of Sogndal, Norway.

We know that the Earth is round, but it looks like it is flat. It feels like we are standing still, but we know that the Earth is spinning around its own axis and flying through space with immense speed. Based on the equatorial sundial, this sculpture attempts to bridge this abstract scientific knowledge and worldview with an embodied understanding of our surroundings. The magic of the equatorial sun dial is not that it can tell time, but that it with such an incredibly simple gesture as a stick in the ground at a certain angle, provides you with a physical object referencing the Earth's rotational movement. When knowing that this pillar is parallell to the Earth's axis and pointing towards the North Star, it is possible to stand next to it and know which direction we are moving in due to the Earth's rotation. Standing on the platform behind the pillar you know that you are moving towards the right, because the Earth rotates towards East. When realizing that, it is not necessary to stand on the platform to see this any longer; By looking at the sculpture in the park, the surrounding lawns, benches and houses and the rest of the small town Sogndal gets activated as objects in a geophysical theatre in motion.