Nathalie Gabrielsson produces performances, films, texts and installations. Her work investigates modes of artistic research, narrative production, the performativity of language, strategies of distribution and how to form strategic platforms and structures of impact. Through her projects she explores the role of the artist as a connector between information and subjectivity, political activity and research, infrastructures and impact. Founder of Kybernein Institute - a research structure for her artistic research and investigations: www.kybernein.org
2014 - Ongoing project
2020 - Ongoing investigation
2017 - ongoing investigation
2014 - 2016
The Swedish Troll Factory
Video 28 min. Watch now on www.dis.art
A film by Nathalie Gabrielsson and Peter Sköld
The Swedish Troll Factory is exploring the dramaturgy and aesthetics of documentary films, and its strategic structure to mediate a well-defined message with an aesthetics constructed to create credibility. The film is developed within the conceptual framework of Kybernein Institute as a strategic format to present the research project The Campaign.
The Campaign unravels the strategies behind a massive disinformation campaign that led to an economical, political and ideological paradigm shift, where Sweden in the 70s started to dismantle the unique Swedish welfare model. Still today the Swedish official historical record is being distorted by the disinformation campaign.
In the projects, we study how a grand narrative is constructed to influence political changes and decisions, and how an ideologically influenced description of reality is integrated into the official historical record. How can the official historical record be influenced by political narratives, and does power and influence to change the official historical record also bring political influence?
In the design of the film and The Campaign, we have taken an interest in the strategies different power interests and political actors use to effectively acquire political influence and be able to push through major political changes. These are strategies and methods that we see today in various types of influence and disinformation campaigns designed to manipulate and corrupt the democratic and political system.
Before working on the film, we have studied how different interests in power use the documentary film's aesthetics to convey disinformation and messages. For example, oil companies and tobacco companies have used the documentary form to spread misinformation about the climate and health risks among decision makers and at some of the world's most prestigious universities. These documentaries and the other lobbying activities have successfully steered public debate and political decision-making.
In documentary film, opinion formation, media and politics, different types of "experts" play an important role. In the project, the artists also take on the role of "expert" to create a voice with a specific linguistic and aesthetic, and which claims to be part of the public conversation with the same relevance as other experts. The artistic practice becomes a platform for the development of strategies, research, fact production, analysis and history writing.
About the film
Artists Nathalie Gabrielsson and Peter Sköld uncover a massive disinformation campaign against the
Swedish welfare model that started in the 1970s. The campaign is unique in the world in its strategic
structure and extensive scope.
A small but powerful group that collectively owned the entire Swedish export industry began to see
the Swedish welfare model as a roadblock to their financial interests.
Through a comprehensive mapping, it becomes visible how they started a spectacular disinformation
campaign that for 50 years has distorted the official historical record about why the unique Swedish
welfare model had to be dismantled.
But there were no official economic statistics to show that the Swedish model did not work. Instead,
they produced false statistics that formed the basis for a completely new description of reality.
The massive spread of disinformation about the Swedish economy led to an economic, ideological
and political paradigm shift. New strategies and methods were used to manipulate citizens
perception of reality.
The stated aim of the campaign was to make the democratic influence on politics irrelevant, that
regardless of which political party wins the elections, the same economic policy would be pursued.
Where the stated goal was also to get citizens to stop having expectations of politics.
All the problems we see today with a growing distrust of the political and democratic system, and
scientific facts, can therefore be seen as a predictable consequence of this campaign and paradigm
shift. It also gives us an idea of the background to when politics began to become meaningless, and
more about creating mock debates and rhetorical plays in the media where, for example, scientific
facts are no longer an obvious starting point.
The Swedish Troll Factory makes visible the strategies and power interests behind this unique
disinformation campaign and how it manipulates the democratic system.