Art in the Public Sphere on Samsø

Photo: Carsten Langkilde

Art in the Public Sphere on Samsø

Written and edited by Malene Lundén

Right now you can experience art in the public sphere at Strandengen 1 in Ballen, 8305 Samsø:

A sculpture is erected here creating its own open center. Behind it a residential development, Ballen borgerforening to its right and the Energy Academy in front of it. All this greets you as you step by step follow the artist Jens Settergrens own path, and get closer. You might even be lucky enough to experience the magical view of the beach and the sky with the Trident in front.

Two birds with one stone

The Sculpture is placed in a public place, you can visits any time you like. Or alternatively, you kill two birds with one stone and come and experience the art follow by a guided tour at the Energy Academy. This will give you an insight into 20 years of energy adventures. It takes place every Tuesday and Thursday from 13.00 till 15.00. The tours is given by young guides with great knowledge and passion for sustainability.

Bottom and top must be connected

The base for the sculpture is about 240 cubic meter of dirt. 15 lorries arrived filled with dirt and it was quietly and calmly put into place with the artistic yet solid and smooth supervision from the local artist Lars Clausen.

The Energy Academy has a large and unused outside area with great potential for many things. It has hosted the Sustainability Festival for the last 6 years and a Long Board Festival among other events. And now it hosts it’s very own piece of art. A piece that speaks for itself and can be categorized as part of the Landart movement.

The creater of the artwork is artist Jens Settergren. He has in close collaboration with the local visual arts councils and through a connection with the Energy Academy stimulated the artwork Ascent of the Mighty Trident.


The artist suggest this about The Ascent of the Mighty Trifork

The piece launches a number of images in relation to energy, technology and nature aswell as the human interactions with these images. A large trident inspired sculpture standing at the end of a raw half circle made out of dirt. It points up to the heavens like a lightning deflector or even a occult tool of communication

The Piece engages with energy as a term. What do we imagine when we talk about energy? Indeed how do we visualise energy?

The circular shape of the dirt has been create with inspiration from the originator of the art form Landart Robert Smithson.

His canonical and circular piece Amarillo Ramp (1973, Texas) was part of his collection of Earthworks a collection of pieces exploring the concept of entropy. Here the symbols might even open for further understanding of energy as a phenomena.

The Energy Academy will meet you in the circle

Come by and experience how the Energy Academy works with the circle as a mean of meeting, as a democratic manifestation and a tool to re-encounter listening with out judgment. These are only a few of the many intentions that can be explored when meeting in the circle.


The sculpture is inspired by the famous USB-icon, that can be found on most of the electronic equipment we surround ourselves with in our everyday lives a icon that most people don’t given a second thought. The icon however, has a interesting story. 

History of the Whisper of Wings

 The icon is developed with the Roman God Neptunes Mighty Trident in mind. Neptune is the God of the ocean, but besides being able to create water movement, in the Roman mythology the Trident is also given the ability to create earthquakes.

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