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Ars Bioarctica

Apply for the Ars Bioarctica residency 2020-21 


Application deadline July 31st 2019

Since 2010 the Bioart Society is organizing the ARS BIOARCTICA RESIDENCY PROGRAM together with the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station of the University of Helsinki in the sub-Arctic Lapland in the traditional Sami lands. The residency has an emphasis on the Arctic environment and art and science collaboration. It is is open for professional artists, scientists and art&science research teams at all stages of their careers.

Read the residency blog by previous guests: http://www.bioartsociety.fi/residency/ 

The residency takes place in the facilities of the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station. The Station provides the residents with a combined living and working environment, kitchen, bathroom, sauna and internet connection. The residents have access to scientific equipment, a basic fiel laboratory facilities, the library and seminar room as well as the usage of field equipment. A dedicated mentor in Kilpisjärvi will familiarize residents with the local environment and customs upon arrival.



The open call to the residency program opens the 30th of June 2019. Ars Bioarctica residency programme is devided into 4 seasons and each residency period is either 2 first weeks or 2 last weeks of the month or the whole month. The residency periods available in this open call are June and October 2020 and January and March 2021. The desired period should be mentioned in the application.

All applicants will be notified about the selection during the month of August 2019.


Bioart Society is currently not able to support travel and accommodation. The costs for the resident will include:


travel to Helsinki and back to your own country

travel from Helsinki to Kilpisjärvi and back, which is approx 350 €

prices of accommodation and meals to beconfirmed for the year 2020 by the end of Jan 2020 due to administrative changes at the Helsinki University.

Residents are expected to work independently. The station has researchers doing field work over the year but there are no permanent researchers and scientists at the station. Any collaboration possibilities must be organised beforehand by the applicant.

The closest doctor is 300 km away, we recommned to check with your doctor in case you have a medical condition requiring regular attention.


Kilpisjärvi is situated in an area where Sámi culture has it roots. The Sámi are the only indigenous people in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, as well as the whole of the European Union. They inhabited the area long before any state borders were drawn. The area is called Lapland, but the Sámis themselves use the name Sápmi.
Approximately 10,000 Sámi people live in Finland, and they speak three languages: North Sámi, Inari Sámi and Skolt Sámi. The traditional Sámi livelihood is reindeer herding which is still practiced there. 

Inari is nowdays a officional center of Sámi culture. There is the Sámi Parliament, SámiRadio, the Siida SámiMuseum and the Northern Lapland Nature Centre, as well as the Cultural Centre Sajos. Inari is 326 km from Rovaniemi to North.

Kilpisjärvi has a distinctly oceanic climate affected by its northern location and altitude: the area is located over 400 metres above sea level and less than 50 kilometres from the Arctic Ocean. The climate is very arctic with one of the lowest mean annual temperatures on the European continent at only 2.3 °C. On average, the temperature does not rise above +10.9 °C in July. The ground is usually covered in snow from September or October to early June. Patches of snow may be found on the slopes of Malla all year round. More spesific info you can find here: http://www.helsinki.fi/kilpis/english/Climate/records.htm

For observing the northern lights Kilpisjärvi is the best location in Finland with its daily 70 percentage chance to see the northern lights if the sky is clear.

Malla’s nature reserve which is just next to the station is Finland’s oldest protected nature reserve. The Malla fells were first protected in 1916 when Finland was still under Russian rule.  Thanks to its calcareous soils, the highlands of the Little Malla and Great Malla fells are home to some rare species of alpine plants and butterflies. Some of these plants are not found anywhere else in Finland.

Application procedure:

Applications have to include:


The evaluation of the applications emphasizes the quality of the proposal, its interaction of art&science, its artistic and scientific significance, the projects relation to the thematics of Ars Bioarctica and its feasibility to be carried out at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in the given time.

Send questions to Piritta Puhto: piritta[dot]puhto[at]bioartsociety[dot]fi




listening - laboratory
As we were working in the laboratory at the station we read on one of the cupboard doors: "FUTILITY FACTOR: No experiment is ever a complete failure, it can always serve as a negative example." 
12 June 2021
Hibernation - phases of waters
A strangely interdependent relationship. 
7 June 2021
Composition of the landscape -...
Research and studies about organic pigments at the Biological Station in Kilpisjärvi. 
31 May 2021
Capture and Release
As I leave Kilpisjärvi, I think about what I’m taking and what I’m leaving behind.
Guest post | Taylor Smith | 30 April 2021
How to Capture Flow, Week 2: The...
The Upside-Down Landscapes: discovering a map of the holes in the Kilpisjärvi landscape
Guest post | Taylor Smith | 16 April 2021
Changes of rhythm, soundscape and...
The layers of myths, history and beliefs become palpable when being surrounded by peaks silenced with snow.
Guest post | Nina Luostarinen | 12 April 2021
For my project Wild Matters, I investigate my relationship to nature through 360° video, and I explore the medium for artistic possibilities to communicate about this.
Guest post | Rozan van Klaveren | 12 April 2021
How to Capture Flow, Week 1
How to Capture Flow, Part II: The Light Journals. One week of attempts to capture the arctic light in a petri dish.
Guest post | Taylor Smith | 7 April 2021
A view upon wilderness
Nine years ago, I have been watching this same view from this same window...
Guest post | Rozan van Klaveren | 24 November 2020
24 Artists and Practitioners Selected...
The Bioart Society is happy to announce the selection of artists and practitioners for 2020–2021 residencies
26 November 2019
Listening Waters
During my Ars-Bioarctica residency at the Kilpisjärvi Biology Stationthe first weekI was taking part of Field Notes 2019 in a group Strange...
Guest post | Kati Roover | 25 October 2019
Microworlds Residency
The surrounding of Kilpisjärvi is host to many “microworlds” — relatively small places like rocks, small ponds, or streams that gather a relatively...
6 September 2019