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Tom Sandberg (b. 1953) lives and works in Oslo, Norway. He has been included in numerous exhibitions in Europe and the United States over the last three decades. His current show, “Tom Sandberg: Photographs 1989-2006” is on display at P.S.1 through April 23, 2007.

Images appear courtesy of Tom Sandberg and PS1, copyright © Tom Sandberg, all rights reserved.

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Composure, stillness, mystery—your vision is remarkably consistent in this show, despite the span of time during which these pictures were taken. Gathered together like this, do you see your work in one piece, a career trajectory?

Sharing my work with the curator Bob Nickas [of PS1] has been very rewarding, also when it comes to his vision of its consistency. Interpreting your own work is not an easy task, but I am certainly moving deeper into the same material and complexities.

How much of your working process is dogged effort and how much a flash of inspiration or responding to accidents?

My work is a major part of my nature, and takes place as a great need. I have an intuitive approach, and each day has its battles and beauty.

Where’s the best light on earth?

Light comes in all shades and questions—no answers.

Very little, if not none, of the material world shows up in your work. How do you find your way to these pictures? Surely you turn on the television now and again.

A Norwegian art historian who came by my house shockingly remarked that I was looking at the television and listening to rock music at the same time. Then suddenly everything turns still. Movement plays an important role in the way I live and work.

What are you working on now?

At the moment I am very into people just hanging around, doing nothing, or standing there looking—these in-betweens that define the human experience. I have always been interested in what goes on in the sky above our heads, and lately have worked a lot with the stars. Flying often, I am excited about the radiations from the big cities and the ocean meeting outside my window. It makes me both humble and hungry.


Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. His latest book is Everything Now: Lessons From the City-State of Los Angeles. More information can be found at rosecransbaldwin.com. More by Rosecrans Baldwin