Field_Notes - Deep Time 2013


Deep Time / Deep Futures

a symposium on artistic responses to the dichotomy between human time-perception and time in biological, environmental, and geological processes, within which we are embedded.

Time: 23rd September 16:00h - 19:30h and  24th September 09:00h – 16:30h

Location: VILHO, Kuvataideakatemian seminaaritila, Sörnäisten Rantatie 27 C, Helsinki/Finland

Accessible for everyone and free entry - a link to the stream is here:

Deep Time and Deep Futures are two concepts referring to the history and future of our planet on a geological time scale.

From 15th to 22nd of September 2013, a group of Finnish and international artists, scientist and practitioners met for "Field_Notes - Deep Time", an art&science field laboratory at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in Lapland, organized by the Finnish Society of Bioart. Composed in work groups, think tanks, and workshops they carried out basic interdisciplinary research and field work with specific topics concerning Deep Time and Deep Futures. In the symposium the five work groups will present and discuss their preliminary findings from the working week.

Amanda Crowley (AUS), Andy Gracie (ES/GB), Antero Kare (FI), Antti Tenetz (FI), Anu Osva (FI), Astrida Neimanis (SE/LT), Elizabeth Ellsworth (US), Erich Berger (FI/AT), Heather Davis (US), Jamie Kruse (US), Jasmine Idun Lyman (SE), Johanna Rotko (FI), Jukka Hautamäki (FI), Karolina Sobecka (US), Kathie High (US), Kira O'Reilly (GB), Kristiina Ljokkoi (FI), Laura Beloff (FI), Leena Valkeapää (FI), Markku Nousiainen (FI), Mia Makela (FI), Minna Pöllänen (FI), Ole Kristensen (DK), Oliver Kellhammer (CA), Oron Catts (AUS), Perdita Phillips (AUS), Pia Lindman (FI), Simo Alitalo (FI), Tarsh Bates (AUS), Tere Vaden (FI), Terike Haapoja (FI), Till Bovermann (FI/DE), Tuike Alitalo (FI), Zachary Reyna (US), Zahra Mani (GB)

Program: Erich Berger, Pia Lindman
Contact: erich.berger -at- , piuska -at-

A collaboration between the Finnish Society of Bioart and the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki as part of the Techno Ecologies EU project

Deep time and deep future are two concepts referring to the history and future of our planet on a geological time scale. In 1785 James Hutton delivered two lectures on his conclusions about the formation of rocks to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, suggesting that the earth is of unknown and unidentifiable age. Questioning the, at that time, predominant western belief that the earth is only a few thousand years old, his “Theory of the Earth” became the base for modern geology. The current scientific understanding is that the earth is about 4.54 billion years old and that our planet has undergone massive changes over this period and will continue to do so. The time of organic life-cycles are easy for us to grasp, but inherent processes of life span from immediate quantum effects to deep time evolutionary processes. Apart from catastrophic events, environmental changes occur over the time of many human generations and are part of our learned environmental history and mythologies, but not part of our everyday experience. Most geological processes are beyond our understanding of change. We still can see the paintings and carvings made onto rock by our earliest ancestors almost as they have been on the first day of their making. However, it is difficult for us to realize that we live in an permanently changing environment. Due to human influence or not, our environment is in flux on different time scales. Although we realize, that we introduce changes on planetary scale, and that resources, habitats, and favourable environmental conditions are limited in space and time, it is difficult for us to think and act more than one or two generations ahead.


Day 1: 23.9. 16:00h-19:30h

16:00 - 16:30 Introduction – Erich Berger

16:30 - 17:45 Key dialogue I: Deep Futures in the Making with Elisabeth Ellsworth, Jamie Kruse, Terike Haapoja, Pia Lindman, Simo Alitalo, Heather Davis, Oliver Kellhammer

Potential futures are always in the making. Contemporary human activities and dynamic earth forces continuously shape and reshape emerging futures - both short and long term. Right now, emerging human awareness of the Anthropocene and events such as climate change, the Fukushima Daiichi accident, and the Onkalo nuclear waste storage facility project are actively setting up evolutionary paths of human societies and geo-, bio- and built environments.

18:00 - 19:30 Field_Notes book presentation with editors Laura Beloff, Erich Berger, Terike Haapoja

Field_Notes – From Landscape to Laboratory

Every second year the Finnish Society of Bioart invites a significant group of artists and scientists to the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in Lapland/Finland to work for one week on topics related to art, biology and the environment. “Field_Notes - From Landscape to Laboratory” is the first in a series of publications originating from this field laboratory emphasizing the process of interaction between fieldwork, locality and the laboratory.

Day 2: 24.9. 09:00h-16:30h

09:00 - 09:15 Introduction – Pia Lindman

09:15 - 10:30 Key dialogue II: Time and Landscape with Leena Valkeapää, Mia Makela, Johanna Rotko, Tuike Alitalo, Minna Pöllänen, Till Bovermann, Perdita Phillips

Landscape is a dynamic product of culture and a given environment. It results from a response over time from the way land is used and treated. Different cultures with different a sense of time, simultaneously inhabiting the same space will produce different landscapes. What kind of landscape will we experience when exploring the environment with a Sami reindeer herding approach to time in Kilpisjärvi

10:45 - 12:00 Key dialogue III: Deep Time of Life and Art with Antero Kare, Karolina Sobecka, Tarsh Bates, Kristiina Ljokkoi, Ole Kristensen, Jukka Hautamäki

The Fennoscandian bedrock holds an extremely interesting interplay, the oldest solid forms on earth, and rich art, painted and carved onto it. These specific sites of geologic and human activity open two different time scales, into deep geological and deep human time. The rocks show the beginning of life on earth and the beginning of art, acting as starting point for deeply human questions.

12:00 - 13:00 Lunch break

13:00 - 14:15 Key dialogue IV: A Journey to the Post Antropogenic with Oron Catts, Kira O Reilly, Andy Gracie, Antti Tenetz, Laura Beloff, Kathie High, Astrida Neimanis

In 1942 a German Junker 88 bomber plane, loaded with ammunition crashed in Kilpisjärvi. Due to the sub-Arctic climate and its remoteness, the crash-site was left largely undisturbed. Seventy year hence, the site is an open scar, providing a unique biological niche and an opportunity to ask what was the impact of this crash. This site will provide an opening to explore post-anthropogenic states; to look at the cascading impact, folding through deep time, of human induced changes, past the disappearance of humans.

14:30 - 15:45 Key dialogue V: Second Order with Tere Vaden, Jasmine Lyman, Zachary Reyna, Zahra Mani, Anu Osva, Markku Nousiainen, Amanda Crowley

The approach of Field_Notes is to do basic artistic research in art&science through field work. Not distant observation but analytical examination of oneself and the others while working, as well as active intervention, was asked from the Second Order group during the Field_Notes field laboratory. The aim is to critically look at the methods and practices of new and emerging artistic fields.

15:45 - 16:30 Closure