High Altitude Bioprospecting (HAB): Atmospheric Encounters

7 Oct — 20 Nov 2021

Location: SOLU

High Altitude Bioprospecting (HAB): Atmospheric Encounters
Till Bovermann, Anna Dumitriu, Melissa Grant, Hannah Imlach, Alex May, Oliver de Peyer, Heidi Pietarinen, Noora Sandgren, Paul Shepherd, Anne Yoncha
8.10.–20.11.2021
SOLU Space, Luotsikatu 13, Helsinki
Wed-Sat 12-16h or by appointment

[suomenkielinen käännös tulossa]

Welcome to the exhibition opening on Thursday, October 7 from 17-19h!

High Altitude Bioprospecting (HAB) is a long term project involving scientists and artists in a quest to explore extreme environments, particularly the stratosphere and detect and capture microorganisms that may live or survive there. Their Atmospheric Encounters exhibition draws on the expertise of a family of HAB collaborators who come from the worlds of science, engineering, art and maths. 

HAB’s work investigates the invisible microbial life in the air, understood as both a co-existing benign presence or as a potential threat, as has been found in recent times of the Coronavirus pandemic. The exhibited works are heavily informed by Bioart Society’s 2019 residency ‘Field_Notes – The Heavens’, of which the HAB team were involved, read more here.

The HAB team have been working together since 2008 and have exhibited their work at Birmingham Open Media (BOM), where Atmospheric Encounters was on view earlier this year, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. They have published a photographic book, and you can learn more about their work at https://h-a-b.net/.

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The HAB Team is: Melissa Grant, Oliver de Peyer, Hannah Imlach, Anna Dumitriu, Alex May, Paul Shepherd, Heidi Pietarinen, Till Bovermann, Anne Yoncha and Noora Sandgren.

Till Bovermann is an artist and scientist working with field recordings and interactive sound programming to create sonic experiences of immersion and reflection. Till currently works for the art-science project Rotting Sounds at University for Applied Arts, Vienna. He is also part of the artistic collective friendly.organisms. https://lfsaw.de

Anna Dumitriu is an award-winning, internationally renowned artist who works with bioart, sculpture, installation, and digital media to explore our relationship to infectious diseases, synthetic biology and robotics. annadumitriu.co.uk

Melissa Grant is a biochemist with interdisciplinary interests. She is a key member of the High Altitude Bioprospecting team and has been exploring the microorganisms in the atmosphere for the last ten years. She has collaborated widely on art-science projects and is the curator of the Open Wide exhibition space at the Birmingham Dental Hospital. @laughingsnail_open

Hannah Imlach is a visual artist-researcher working predominantly in sculpture and photography. Her artworks respond to particular ecologies, often exploring sites of environmental conservation and renewable energy transition. Hannah is currently completing a collaborative PhD with the RSPB at their Loch Lomond nature reserve. www.hannahimlach.com

Alex May is an artist questioning how our individual and collective experiences of time, and formation of memories and cultural record, are mediated, expanded, and directed by contemporary technologies. His work forges creative links between art, science and technology through a wide range of digital new media. @alexmayarts 

Oliver de Peyer is a lab automation specialist with a particular interest in astrobiology and interdisciplinary research. Oliver is a firm believer that science can span far beyond the lab you work in, and indeed many of the best scientists may not actually be working in ‘science’ at all! @crucible2008 

Heidi Pietarinen is a professor in the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland, Finland. She holds a PhD degree in textile design. She is curious about the multiple cultural influences in and the narratives told by textiles. 

Noora Sandgren is a visual artist working with photography and related installation, texts and embodied practice. She is interested in the theme of fluidity, different materialities and questions of entanglement. Noora collaborates with weather, insects, soil and outdated light-sensitive materials. noorasandgren.com

Paul Shepherd is a chartered mathematician, scientist and engineer with over 20 years of experience in using computers for design. After years in the industry, Paul moved to the academia, and is now a reader at the joint department of architecture & civil engineering at the University of Bath. 

Anne Yoncha is Assistant Professor of Art at East Central University in Oklahoma, USA. Here ‘data materialisation’ practice uses translations between digital sensing and analogue drawing to investigate our relationships with altered, novel landscapes. anneyoncha.com

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Photo / kuva: BOM