Giving away the secrets of the trade

Completing an exhibition means diverse types of work and a process involving lots of people. Trying to document this process in a blog can be a bit frustrating. I can’t reveal everything, and we don’t wish to show all our cards quite yet. Is this really in tune with our high goals regarding public engagement and participation? That being said, I am utterly convinced that we all have great things to look forward to in October…

Firstly: Thanks a bunch to all of you who sent us your playlists! Admittedly, we haven’t received a staggering amount but from what we have received, it seems like the task has been taken quite seriously. We have also received several stories around the selections of the playlist. The lists seem to be a result of deep personal choices, as well as a “best of” and “show off” collection, just like the best playlists often are. Anyhow, we still need more lists!

Statistically, submitters have limited themselves somewhat in regards to the number of tracks on the playlists. Altogether we now have 35 different songs. Incidentally, two songs have appeared on every single playlist we have received so far. Additionally, we have also received a few interesting submissions by Knut Sigurd Senumstad. He has submitted a somewhat different selection of playlists, playlists that almost appears as counterfactual variants of the phenomenon Motorpsycho. Below is an alternative story where Ryan has become the lead singer in the band.

In the info text about Motorpsycho that curator Synnøve Engevik wrote for the blog, 14 people (not including the band members) were mentioned as important to the band. In an e-mail to a reader has pointed out that certain other persons should be included on this list. The input from this reader can in many ways illustrate the difficulties a curator is faced with in the selection process. Anyways, here are some other important people on the Motorpsycho family tree:

Lars Klokkehaug succeeded Trude Midtgård as the bands sound engineer in 1993, and was replaced by former tour manager Pidah in 1995. Morten “Turbo” Thobro is also not listed in the info text, but will actually have a small supporting role in the next blog post. He was the technician on backline and guitar from around 1994, until his work for A-ha took up much of his time from 2000. Kjell Arne “Kjelli” Sandvik was a faithful merch-man on several tours in the 90s, and according to several album covers also the bands “punk alibi”.

Eindhoven, 1999. Snah, Turbo, Lolly, Dip, Pidah, Bent, Geb and Kjelli. Unknown photographer, picture borrowed from Kjelli.

Ken Kuipers was the sound engineer from around year 2000, while Tos Nieuwenhuizen has been working as guitar and backline-tech. Ketil Nicolaysen has also been sound engineer in this period, and still is. Sivert Lundstrøm did lights a period in the mid-nineties, while Steffen Telstad has alternated between merch and lights in two milleniums. Steffen also played the drums in the Motorpsycho-connected band Detroit Dogs back in the day. Jan Erik Holto has done lights the last years. While we’re on the subject of lights, it would be impossible not to mention Pekka Stokke, who has done some pretty spectacular stuff for the band. Especially the performance of The Death-Defying Unicorn in the Oslo Opera House, and the gigs the band has had in Nidarosdomen and the Oslo Cathedral.

Tove C. Nilsen has also been suggested. She was important in many ways in the bands earlier years, and had a lot to do with the cover design of the albums Lobotomizer and Demon Box. And what about Matt Burt and his contributions that included samples, poetry and voice on tracks such as True Middle and Plan#1? Rolf & Jeannete Gustaus (aka the Stickmensch) are only mentioned as Stickman Records in the listing, but has been mentioned on this blog earlier. Still, they deserve to be mentioned at least one more time. The challenges these two faced handling of some of Motorpsychos more intricate physical releases actually deserve its own blog post. But why stop here?

Lets return to where we started this blogpost. Completing an exhibition is a long, arduous and difficult process. Project leader and curator Engevik has since the first blog post was posted set powerful forces to work in completing her visions. We cooperate tightly with the band, but also with other external and still confidential sources. At Rockheim, its not only “the humble blogger” who has been put to work, but loads of other employees are also involved in the process in different ways. Some of this work includes more traditional museum work and managing collections, such as large-scale registration. Including the ever-growing collection of posters and photos. Here we have received several contributions, especially from the band itself.


All the video interviews for the exhibition are now recorded. Several people here at Rockheim are now taking shifts out of their regular jobs in transcribing these long interviews. This process is to be completed well ahead of the upcoming summer vacation, after which the extensive material will be edited into short clips for use in the exhibition. The raw-files from the interviews are secured and organized in the museums digital archive, and will be made available for researchers in the foreseeable future.

We have previously mentioned the National Library and the large quantity of materials this institution has secured for all posterity. We work in tight cooperation with the National Library, and have spent days researching their film material in the hope of finding goodies and Easter eggs for use in the exhibition. In addition, use of this material has to be cleared.

As we have already revealed, the bands studio work and recording process will be a major focus area of Supersonic Scientists. I am hopefully not divulging too much information when I can confirm that technology and instruments will have a central spot in the exhibition. This segment of the exhibition will be from Rockheim’s own collection, but also donations, loans and new purchases.


Already at this stage, a selection is being made for which artefacts should be included in the physical exhibition. Here we prioritize among “iconic” artefacts and more obscure things that have never been shown before. But how can good, but wild ideas be implemented into practicable projects? Also here planning and testing is now in motion.

We also wish to develop an audience program with special events in the exhibition period – suggestions are highly appreciated!

Last but not least, the physical exhibition area has to be planned and designed, and the excellent Daniel “Maker of Things” Richards is on the case. Currently we are at the stage of room design and planning practical solutions, after which the actual building of the exhibition area will take place. A lot of this is of course still top secret.


Thanks to everybody who has contributed with playlists and other inputs, and especially thanks to Kjell Arne Sandvik and Morten Fagervik for research help regarding the bands crew-history. In the next blog post we will take a trip to Svartlamon.

Photgraphy: Lars J. Dyvik

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