Click on image to enlarge


Participatory performance-installation in multiple rooms, with multi-channel live diffusion/mix, 50 mins.

♥ LOVE takes on many forms, sometimes fun and cheeky and sometimes strange and hard to grasp. Do you sense it? See it? Hear it? Are you alone or with someone? Do you feel like the chosen one or are you the one choosing? It doesn't matter if you are experiencing Love from afar or if you find yourself in the middle of it. Love is in the eye of the beholder, nobody experiences it the same way. It can’t be pushed or forced and sometimes it comes to those who wait; it's fragile and at the same time the strongest force in the universe.

Love is a theme that millions of politically active people all over the world have adopted as an adequate response to global power struggles and humanitarian crises in dramatic escalation. Megaphones, pussy hats, mash-ups, protest chants, sit-ins and knit-ins - people are sounding out in spontaneous and ever more creative ways, casting love as a tool for political action.

The hybrid of The Icelandic Love Corporation, visual art collective, with over 20 years experience of performing feminist social critique, with composer Juliana Hodkinson and the musicians of Ensemble Adapter, ups the ante within sound-based live art while bringing instrumental music and its listeners into a charged field of involvement. The collaboration between all these artists is based on the will to work beyond micropolitics and give expression and artistic form to an energetic critique that is daily flourishing and finding new outlets. This means looking at the audience, and amplifying modes of engagement, consent, dissent and boredom by which spectators respond to performances.

♥ LOVE takes the audience by the hand. There will be tickling, shaking, blowing, fumbling, peeping and random gestures of kindness. Sparks will fly, it could get complicated/wet, and maybe your lucky number will come up.

Commission supported by Arts Council Norway. Travel supported by the Danish Composers' Society. Developed during residencies in Berlin and Reykjavik, with the support of Cycle Music and Art Festival and The Icelandic Visual Copyright Association.

Love is a collaboration between Ensemble Adapter, Juliana Hodkinson and The Icelandic Love Corporation.


"Some performances forged physical connections with audience. In ♥︎ LOVE, a work by composer Juliana Hodkinson, The Icelandic Love Corporation, and Ensemble Adapter, we closed our eyes while performers roamed the audience, gently ringing bells in our ears amid a wash of bass clarinet, metallic percussion, harp, and flute. Throughout the performance, those who were chosen in a lottery were afforded a look behind the proverbial curtain. (I was brought to a small room with the bass clarinet where transducers were placed on my back, allowing me to feel percussive key clicks and vibrating multi-phonics in my body.)"
- I Care If You Listen

"The performative aspects are central to the work. A sound-carpet of apparently accidental instrumental sounds pour out from hidden places behind curtains and out of loudspeakers – scraping, plucking, choking, and other acoustic sounds bathed in reverb. About half the audience gets a lucky number in ♥ LOVE. The experience depends where you're taken. I ended up in a closed stairway, and this was the first time I saw a musician since the piece had started. Transducers converted the clarinetist's sounds to vibrations which tickled my back like a gentle massage machine. This explains the music's random character: it's more the result of an interaction than a traditional work concept. In other rooms, I find out afterwards, there was a harp, a flute, for example. When I'm let out after a few minutes and make my way back to the main room, I listen to the sounds differently. But half the audience never gets the chance, and for them the work never unfolds or opens up. In this way, a work about love also becomes a work about rejection and disappointment. Life is governed by chance, and the game doesn't play out to everyone's advantage. But there's always the apocalypse to look forward to."
- Seismograf

"Wie sich Inklusion und Exklusion tatsächlich anfühlt, erfuhr man beim Abschlusskonzert ♥ LOVE . Beim Eintritt in das Bergen Internasjonale Kultursenter wurde jede*r*m Besucher*In eine Glückszahl in die Hand gedrückt. Platziert auf Sitzkissen und inschummrigenLicht,warenzwar über Lautsprecher die sphärishen Klänge von Harfe, Percussion, Flöte und Klarinette des Ensembles Adapter zu hören, jedoch nicht zu sehen. In der Mitte des Raums losten die beiden kokett kosttümierten Performerinnen, Jöni Jönsdöttir und Eirün Sigurdardöttir von ILC in witziger Bingo-Manier die Zahlen derjenigen aus, die in den Genuss einer kurzen Privatsession kamen, die hinter verschlossenen Türen in einem von vier phantasievoll dekorierten Räumen mit eine*m der Musik*innen von Adapter stattfand. Alle anderen gingen leer aus und verbliebenmit dem bitteren Nachgeschmack, etwas verpasst zu haben."
- Positionen

"Perhaps as an indication of the warmth being shared during Borealis, the festival ended with the first performance of a work titled ♥ LOVE. A collaboration between The Icelandic Love Corporation, composer Juliana Hodkinson and assorted members of Ensemble Adapter, the piece took place in Bergen’s International Cultural Centre, within which the atmosphere was fragrant, sensual, opulent and increasingly expectant. click to enlargeWe had each been given a number on entering, and as we all reclined on plush cushions on the floor, numbers were called, bingo style, from the front; those lucky enough to be called were escorted away from the space for a more private performance. Ensemble Adapter – dispersed and hidden within these unseen nooks and crannies – created an all-encompassing sound environment that, despite the ebb and flow of the number-calling – and the possible frustration for those waiting to be called – maintained a heightened atmosphere, their abstract soundscape filled with sounds that felt intimately tactile, while rather kitsch and gaudy projections covered the walls and ceiling. The way the piece played with our engagement was fascinating, particularly the tension it caused between our hopes and expectations (“will my number be next”?) and our imagination, not being able to see the instrumentalists nor what was going on when those called went off to be with them. Above all, though, it played with our understanding of what on earth the piece actually was. Which brings me back to my opening remarks about Borealis 2019, and its primary role as a vehicle for “eksperimentall musikk”. Was ♥ LOVE a composition? A live installation? Performance art? Was it even music? It was and it wasn’t all of these things, and a little over a week since the festival concluded i’m still marvelling at the ways Borealis challenged our definitions of and understanding about how music can be harnessed for the most radically imaginative and personally affecting creative ends."
- 5against4

60 minutes
No. of musicians: 
with electronics
with visuals
with voice
composer in performance