The Field Of Genius

SD video, color, sound

20 min



script, performance, drawings: Kristina Norman

voice: Paul Rodgers

photography: Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo

camera and editing: Jaan Laugamõts

This video is the result of Norman’s school-time fascination with the combination of drawing techniques and different ways of story-telling, and it was her BA graduation work at the Estonian Academy of Arts. The film was shown at 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art in 2008 where it was presented as part of a joint lecture-performance with astrophysicist Paul Davies, whose book Superforce was the primary source of inspiration for Norman’s work.


The Field of Genius is a mocumentary presenting the artist in the role of a school teacher showing an educational diafilm to her students. A ‘diafilm’ was a way to show picture narratives with added text descriptions on a 35-mm color transparency film, a medium Norman remembers to be used for educational purposes when she went to elementary school in the Soviet time.


Based on the Wheeler-Feinman theory of time symmetry, the film teaches us that Albert Einstein’s brain is the source of the phenomenal field of genius that spreads both forward and backward in time, and proves that Einstein’s genius not only dominates the science of today but it also influenced scientists of past eras, inducing them to develop their theories and prepare the ground for the revolutionary Theory of Relativity.


With her mocumentary, Norman wishes “to destabilize the illusion of reality, or a truthfulness created by authority [like that of a schoolmaster, a scientist, or a politician]. As is exemplified by the multitude of supposedly valid, sometimes also contradictory, scientific theories and laws of nature in physics, a multitude of equally valid theories may coexist. This is what Norman sets out to develop with the Field of Genius as well as her drawing series Mysterious Radio, which is devoted to the two supposed inventors of Radio: one Russian, Popov, and the other Italian, Marconi.” (A. Wiarda, Some Histories and a Brief Reflection on the Work of Kristina Norman. A Prior Magazine #17, 2008, page 127.)


In collaboration with A prior magazine, The Field of Genius was published as a book.