How does the story about the exhibition Supersonic Scientists start? Where are we now? Where will it end?
A possible beginning is a story about some master tapes. Motorpsycho have always owned and been in possession of their master recordings. Some of these masters have been stored at the Motorpsycho office in Svartlamon, Trondheim. Not exactly an optimal location for long-term storage and conservation. The band itself contacted Rockheim for help in storing and conserving these tapes along with other items.
In August 2013 we met with the band and their manager in Motorpsycho’s rehearsal space. A bunch of boxes of film and audio saved on a variety of formats were handed to us. From the bands own registration the boxes contained film from concerts, band rehearsals and master tapes from studio recording sessions.
This treasure chest of material filled this particular writer with an enormous, almost selfish curiosity, but we professionally and conscientiously sent the cargo to the National Library of Norway for storage in their large mountain storage facility in Mo I Rana, where other master tapes from the band already were securely stored.
Maybe it was this contact, this meeting and the treasure chest of material that lit the spark and fuelled the idea of a possible exhibition? The thought of an exhibition had been maturing for some time at this point. But was the idea of a Motorpsycho-exhibition a good one, and was it at all feasible? We are dealing with a band with over 25 years of active history, a band widely known for their self-consciousness and their notorious control over their own output. Which lines had to be drawn, and which lines did we have to follow?
The exhibition at Rockheim is mainly based on material from our own collection, but collecting other material and artefacts is also necessary. We have already had several meetings with the band, but also with other relevant contributors. Interviews have been planned and conducted. So what happens now before the opening of the exhibition? Should something be published? And in that case, should it only be text, or something more? You, the reader, as well as us the conveyers, will receive answers to these questions and more as things are hammered into hardening cement over the following months.
So where will the story of the Supersonic Scientists end? A hopefully spectacular exhibition is only one part of the goal. A museum’s work is about preservation and dissemination of knowledge and heritage. Rockheim has a special mandate in documenting, conserving and disseminating knowledge of Norwegian popular music history. We work in cooperation with the National Library, and share the responsibility for the workload. Supersonic Scientists is therefore about research, collecting material and documenting history. It’s about registration of items connected to Motorpsycho, about digitalization and accumulation of an archive.
Last, but not least, we will make sure the material and the result of the work laid down will be available for others to enjoy, long after the exhibition period is over in April 2016.
Trond Valberg, Cecilie Lykke, Lars J. Dyvik
And now for something completely different?
Why am I posting this endlessly long song here?