soft and messy TranstemporAL Exploration
hosted by Erich Berger

The TALE group will set out to navigate the plurality of times that present themselves in the landscape in and around Kilpisjärvi. We will ready ourselves to leave the ‘shallow time’ of human-centered temporalities behind, with the goal to enter into ‘deep time’ and to traverse and explore ‘other-than’ and ‘more-than-human’ temporalities. The preparatory work for our attunement to time will transpire at different locations, including the ‘valley of time’, which can be interpreted as the border between the continents of America and ancient Baltica on the eastern slope of mount Saana; or the sediments of the Dividalen group, which hosts the traces of ancient worms belonging to the first animals to burrow in the seafloor more than 500 million years ago; but also places of human activity, from early reindeer herding to contemporary sites of mining exploration. Besides transtemporal travel, the TALE group will conduct fieldwork, experiments, readings and discussions among ourselves and in collaboration with the other groups. Destinations will include the past, present and future in manifestations ranging from the actual to the possible and as far as the improbable. The ambition behind these forays is to de-temporalize ourselves and see how the initial questions of The North Escaping change when we shift the temporalities and scales they originate from. It is through this that we wish to find responses that would otherwise stay hidden in time. While TALE will often be late, we will be equally early, and always in time.

The group participants include Aurora Del Rio, Christina Stadlbauer, Katri Naukkarinen, María Antonia González Valerio, Solveig Settemsdal and Taavi Suisalu. The group is hosted by Erich Berger.

Aurora Del Rio is a multidisciplinary artist and Ph.D. candidate at Aalto University, based in Helsinki. She holds a BA in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts Bologna, and an MFA in Creative Practice from Transart Institute Berlin/New York. Her artistic practice investigates the relationship between humans and nature and how the perception of contaminated spaces influences the creation of reality. She is interested in the space of potentiality that originates when definition is avoided or misplaced, and the liminal space of failure.

Christina Stadlbauer is an artist / scientist focused on other-than-human life forms (plants, animals, bacteria, etc), in an attempt to re-negotiate human relations with our environment. She is concerned with loss of diversity & habitats while proposing speculative, symbolic, absurd solutions to save the planet, and fascinated with cracks, Kin Tsugi and the notion of mending / healing. Currently Stadlbauer is doing post-doctoral research at Centre for Synthetic Biology, University Gent and Department for Bioethics University Antwerpen, Belgium.

Katri Naukkarinen is a multidisciplinary artist and doctoral candidate at Aalto University in the field of Contemporary Art. She considers the limits of human vision, exploring frequencies and scales beyond it. By soft sci-fi speculations, her research asks what kind of insights would arise from the here and now, if that vision was expanded.

María Antonia González Valerio has PhD in Philosophy and is a full Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She is the Director of the Seminar Arte+Ciencia, which brings artists, academics, and scientists together to work interdisciplinarily, producing graduate education, specialised theoretical research, artistic artworks and practices and exhibitions. She is also a curator and leader of the creative collective Bios ex Machina. She has presented her philosophy in universities worldwide: North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. She is the author of several books, among them Cabe los límites.

Solveig Settemsdal's  practice is centred around nature and its entanglements with humanity. She is fascinated by our bizarre, often impossible relationship to our environment. Settemsdal grew up in northern Norway and have lived in the UK since 2007, now based in London. She graduated from MFA Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art (2018) and did a BA in Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art (2010). Her video work Singularity was awarded first place in the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2016), the first video to win the accolade.

Taavi Suisalu conjures cultural-ecological contexts that act simultaneously on technical, metaphorical and poetical levels. His work manifests in interactive installations, performative situations and curatorial endeavors that blend traditional and contemporary sensibilities. Suisalu’s work balances between artistic and scientific approaches, studio and fieldwork and his practice is informed by phenomena of contemporary society and its relations to developments of technologies.

Erich Berger is a doctoral researcher, artist and curator based in Helsinki. He currently works at the University of Oulu in Finland, where he conducts interdisciplinary research into how artists approach temporalities beyond human-centred time, combining cultural anthropology, geology and art. His artistic focus lies on issues of deep time and hybrid ecology which led him to work with geological processes, radiogenic phenomena and their socio-political implications in the here and now. In his fieldwork-based practice, he carries out extensive work on natural radioactivity, potential uranium mining sites and nuclear infrastructure in Finland and abroad. As curator he develops opportunities that create critical transdisciplinary encounters and work situations between professionals from art, natural science, technology and the humanities, recognizing science and technology as fundamental transformative powers of our life world.


Photo: Erich Berger