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CoPCon 2022 Pictures

Field Report from the First Ever Smertekirken Summer Revival 2022 aka CoPCon!

The pictures from our inaugural Smertekirken Summer Revival are here! Thank you Tor Magnus Torsetnes at Katarsis Foto for giving us a copy of your beautiful photos, and for your hard work documenting the experience for everyone involved.

We wanted to say a few words about our very first CoPCon held here at the farm some weeks ago. This was not the first gathering here ever, we did one in 2020 as well, but the WoD Summer Retreat was an Oslo SusCon replacement event for Wings of Desire, organized by us and Håvve Fjell, with WoD crew and friends attending.

Our Summer Revival was the first gathering fully organized by Smertekirken, and we really enjoyed doing it! It was a pretty intense two-person production where we did all the work ourselves—from pre-making all the meals, to site prep that included (among other things) cutting a LOT of grass, setting up an outside shower, preparing the barn for piercing and after-care (now known as the kill room), and a host of other tasks. We also went back and forth to Oslo a few times for shopping and picking up our freshly processed hooks from our very good friends at BLEKK Tattoo & Piercing (thank you!).

For the next one, we will try to include some more people to help us, but we both felt it was important to do one run with just the two of us to better see what needs to be done and when. It’s not easy to delegate a task when you are not certain how you want it done. For example, when we prepare our grounds to create walking paths and camping spots, we do not only have human needs in mind, but also aim to make it nice for all the creatures that live here. That means that we wanted to do the work and then observe how the locals reacted to, and moved through, the changes in their environment.

We had 19 people here for the whole event, and four people coming for parts of it. 15 suspensions and one pull were facilitated by our lovely event crew. A fairly even distribution between tents and hammocks were spread around the property, and I do believe our guests were quite comfortable, although some were a bit cold at night. Norwegian summer nights can be surprisingly chilly (it being Norway and all). Some of our campers also told of visits from the night crew right outside their tents that might possibly have included foxes, hares, deer, and other residents.

We were graced by the gift of beer from our fellow board member and generally all-around great guy, Kristen, who lugged 40 liters (2 kegs!) of beer all the way from Bergen on a fully packed night train! And Martin, rock star that he is, made some awesome key chains to commemorate the event with his awesome laser engraving machine (Beamy)!

The feedback we received from our guests was lovely, it seemed that people enjoyed themselves as much as we did! There is, of course, some room for improvement, but we always aim to do better, and we know that will most likely never change—we aim to do things well and then find ways to do better, after all.

For us, after a couple of years of voluntary seclusion while the pandemic was at its worst, it was a great experience to have everyone feel at home at our place and observe how people used the property. Our tripod was the main suspension point, although the tree point got some use and even our antique horse-drawn cultivator saw some late-night pull action!

It was a pleasure to introduce people to the style of ritual that we are developing out here on the farm, such as sacrificing a small tree to use as a structural rigging element. It was also fun to see people run with the vibe and incorporate elements from our fields and forests into their suspensions—and that, friends, is how we got this rock with a hole in it whose name is “Dwayne” and why our rusty cultivator is now named “Ivy”!

On the whole, we came out of CoPCon—after some well-earned down time—with a lot of energy and enthusiasm for future events...and those events are starting to stack up! We will facilitate a suspension ritual on the opening day of the viking metal festival Midgardsblot in Borre, Norway (look for us on August 17th in front of the main stage) and then turn our attention to organizing suspensions at this year’s BMX Conference in Essen, Germany (15–18 September) at the famed Unperfekthaus!

We are also considering doing a harvest pull here at Vestrønningen sometime around the end of September or beginning of October (details TBA) because we just can’t get enough of seeing old friends, making new friends, and seeing the happy glow of people with hooks through their skin!

Before you dive into the gallery of fantastic photos taken by Katarsis Foto, you might want to mark down our tentative dates for next year’s CoPCon Summer Revival: 22–25 June 2023! (Sign up for the newsletter and be among the first to know, this event filled up fast!)