Information: Tumbling Worlds

Tumbling Worlds
is an artistic project about material change and speculative worldbuilding; objects and materials are mixed and worn by simulating decomposing systems of wind, water and movement. In the process of simulating decomposition, gathered materials from locations have been run through a rock tumbler; a small spinning device originally designed to polish rocks, functioning in the project as a conceptual time machine.

In the parallel process of material tumbling and world-making where shapes, smells, textures, colours and sounds lead to 3D objects and imaginative virtual worlds the project investigates consumer culture's impact on the earth's changing environments and the artistic role of speculation in a time of multiple climate urgencies. The artwork is a collection of physical and digital materials formed into virtual environments to invite viewers into a liminal place where memories, thoughts and associations about change interact. When warnings of environmental change and disasters constantly follow each other in everyday news, the project Tumbling Worlds is trying to create a relationship with unknown futures from what's present today. During the span of one year four different game environments based on site-specific materials have been created: Gothenburg Tourist shop, Vasagatan in Gothenburg, Selfportrait which is based on the artist's own every day and Slakthuset based on the Slakthuset area in Gothenburg.

A game environment consists of an extensive system of files and folders connected in a computer software. The photo-based method used in this project to create 3D materials (PBR/Photo-Based Renderings) consists of images arranged in layers that together form the surface of the 3D material. With a distinct difference from the physical world with heavy stones, unraveling fabric, and solid wood, 3D objects are only thin shells of shape (mesh) and image (PBR-material). In Tumbling Worlds the different layers and files have been physically made from sketching shapes of 3D objects cut out from tarpaulin in scale to hand-painting textures for 3d-materials. The 3D materials in the virtual world are a type of hybrid where the layers were no longer computer-perfect made for each other but instead turned into an in-between, a meeting point between a tumbled material, sponge strokes of acrylic paint, hand movements and perceptions of materials and textures. 

Josefin Tingvall is a multidisciplinary artist who explores themes of fragility, change, and the role of humans in our constructed world. Read more

Other texts made in connection to the project:

Essay in Speculative Gatherings:
The poetics in the Normal-map - PDF

MFA Essay:
Art as continuation of the world, 2024 - PDF

Selected sources used in Project

Persson, Lina. Return of the Silurians. 2017. Video installation. Gotland Art Museum. 

Schaag, Katie. ‘Plastiglomerates, Microplastics, Nanoplastics: Toward a Dark Ecology of Plastic Performativity’. Performance Research 25, no. 2 (17 February 2020): 14–21.

Nabbteeri. Whatever Lives Bends Down. 2023. Installation. Färgfabriken, Stockholm

K., Le Guin Ursula, and Donna Jeanne Haraway. Carrier bag theory of fiction. London: IGNOTA Books, 2020.

Jensen, Henrik, and Tomas Akenine-Moller. ‘The Race for Real-Time Photorealism’. American Scientist 98, no. 2 (2010)

State of the Art – Elements for Critical Thinking and Doing, 276. Bioart Society, 2023.

Jazvac, Kelly. Plasticglomerates, 2013, Geological collection.

Bennett, Jane. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010. 

Haraway, Donna J. Staying with the Trouble, making kin in the Chthulucene. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016. 

More information:

Instagram: JosefinTingvall 

The artwork Tumbling Worlds is a part of a Master of fine arts by Josefin Tingvall at HDK-Valand at Gothenburg University, 2024

With support from:

Berit och Carl-Johan Wettergrens stiftelse
Familjen Wikanders Stiftelse


- Exhibition at ADA Formcenter Väst, 3-7 April
- Speculative Gatherings, Göteborg Maj, 2024

Additional Websites:

Copyright Josefin Tingvall 2024