work and artwork
|about WERKSEMD||Nina Børke|
+47 928 52 381
– What does the new Werksemd website represent to you?
Launching the new Werksemd website marks 4 years of 24/7 by 16:9: squinting at the luminous square or crouched over paper, drawing, writing, folding, whittling, moulding, painting, thinking, rethinking, planning, obsessing, testing, inventing, analysing, sketching, etching, printing, reading, researching, sleepwalking, discovering, procrastinating, initiating, doubting, organizing, searching, developing, messing, failing, promoting, perfecting, pursuing, sewing, constructing, composing, wandering, wondering, striving, studying, revising, refining, carving, cutting, correcting, describing, doodling, discarding, complicating, braiding, adding, combining, repeating, nerding, digressing, connecting, contemplating, converting, decontructing, simplifying, wrapping, starting over and loving all of the above.
The website is – to whomever is interested – an online portfolio, and as such a representation of my work and examples of what I do. To me it is the manifestation and documentation of time spent happily on good projects, and a platform to build from.
– What is Werksemd?
Werksemd is work and artwork, a (geographically independent) pursuit and a lifestyle. The work sometimes originates from narrow confines and precise briefs, sometimes from full autonomy and experimentation, very often a certain balance in the middle of these two makes for something worth keeping.
With a love for art and literature and a keen interest in market logic, macrotrends and the zeitgeist, I tend to approach commercial work with an artistic sensibility and the cultural field with some measure of market savviness.
I am frequently hired to think, to write, to develop strategies and ideas, to make artwork, visual dramatizations or illustrations, to develop or renew brand identities. Usually for money, yet on occasions – if its interesting or important enough – for free.
I might add that the name (Verksemd) is an old norwegian word for labour, honest productive work for wages. Using the W instead of V creates a reference to the German word Werk, a self-congratulatory term to describe something extraordinary and artful. So somewhere in between those two lies the intention of Werksemd.
– What is your main driving force and motivation behind working independently?
Those who know me, would say that I am always out of breath from what needs to be done. Although it often presents itself as a project with a deadline, the actual need is an internal matter. Given the choice between be, do and make, I will always go for the latter, forgoing the two former, resorting to reclusion for whatever period of time, actually waving time goodbye, to feast on the task at hand. Needless to say, work is personal. This is probably the reason work partnerships over time can be a challenge, as some of the people I have worked with turns out to want to have a life on the side.
My way into what I do is meandering and multiple; via workshops with my dad from as long back as I can remember, via book fetichism, via art history and elaborate utopian student projects, via learning-by-doing animation and filmmaking, via the economic language of classical advertising. It all boils down to Werksemd becoming equally shifting, changing with what I decide to do, and the combination of that, mixed with an aversion to limiting myself to one media, format, technique, expression or work title. I want to do it all myself. Back when I was employed in an agency, I also preferred doing everything; research, strategy, idea processes, text and execution.
My first motivation was – probably typically – primarily visual, but growing up in the industry (or in general) I have added to that, finding good looking work interesting only if it pertains to good thinking, a good idea or an important message. I have realized I strive to do work that I would be envious of, had I it been someone else´s. The magic that comes with a fresh idea will kinda subside in the process as details and practicalities are worked through towards completion, and this motivates some form of half addictive pursuit to regain that magic in the next piece of work. And the next.
Also, working independently means a certain geographical freedom, the freedom to define one´s own schedule and calendar and at times invest in projects that do not pay, in the strictest understanding of pay. On the other hand, sometimes the income horizon doesn´t span more than a month or two, an uncertainty I´m almost used to, but not quite.
What are currently your strongest sources of inspiration?
At the moment, the strongest inspiration is more content oriented than visual. I have recently taken some steps towards daring to start showing my self-initated projects and about easing into a position where I lend myself a voice in my work, paralell to the communications I create for others. I often find myself in an ambivalence between wanting to communicate and wanting to hide, and I guess therein lies the paradox of an introvert with a communication occupation.
I do hold a strong fascination for the massive organic machinery of the collective mindset called the zeitgeist, the sum of man made constructions like literature, politics, sub-cultures, markets, ultimately manifested as trends – which on occasions proves to be upliftingly sensitive to minuscule influences; single events, individuals and ideas. Even more so because the structure of media is rigged in such a way, that among and beside the entropy of distractions and noise, there are potential highways for matters that matter.
Apart from that, I tend to return to the natural world for inspirations. Rocks, birds, oceans, human anatomy. Beautiful and weird objects, creatures and phenomena; stories told by other means than language.