Svenneförmedlingen* (2007)
A project made together with Lars Noväng (Octava./ArtLab), as part of the mångkulturåret 2006 project Vanans makt >>>


svenneformedlingen header

Svenneförmedlingen was a net-based matchmaking service, which provided a possibility for svennar and immigrant entrepreneurs to meet in a mutual strive to counteract segregation through personal initiatives. Svenneförmedlingen worked both as an artwork and a free of charge, user-friendly service and we wanted to show that you can use artistic thinking, both constructively and practically, as a way of conducting social entrepreneurship. To work with art that deals witch issues concerning entrepreneurship and society is a method that we thought would bring creativity and new thoughts to everyone involved.

Svenneförmedlingen also acted as a debate contribution pointing at one of the problems with integration policy: That the new is expected to always acclimatize to the established. New influences are encouraged to keep its differences, but always in a subordinate place in the social hierarchy.  This implicit agreement creates an unfortunate lack of reciprocity in the integration process and in extension, society is kept from using many of its cultural and human resources – resources central in a globalized society where the ability for creating and developing relations is more important than the production of thingies.

Svenneförmedlingen showed that it is possible to change the idea that immigrated persons has to incorporate themselves in the present order: A notion that says that Sweden was better before the modern immigration. The project aimed at contributing to the emergence of a culturally mixed society, where multiplicity of equally valued backgrounds and competences gives qualifications for a sustainable development and a good life in a globalized and nomadic reality.

Not surprisingly, Svenneförmedlingen were quite unsuccessful as a match-making service on the net. We didn't work actively on marketing the site as a product, because our main goal was to problematize the current integration-thinking. The main reason for providing a functioning service was in respect of the Swedes that is willing to increase there multi-cultural competences.  We wouldn't want to exploit these people's good intentions in an art-project without actually providing a functioning service.

Svenneförmedlingen gave rise to medial attention, plenty of e-mail discussions and blog posts.

*Svenne is a slightly derogating word for a typical Swede. Förmedling means agency or intermediation, referring to Arbetsförmedlingen which is the employment service of the Swedish state..

screenshot svenneformedlingen
Screenshot from the site (cropped)

    dot Pressrelease-070627 (pdf)