How do we deal with the retreat of the North as we know it? How do we navigate the ever-approaching uncertainty and wickedness of change? The Wait and Hear group proposes an open exploration based on listening. It extends an invitation to encounter, experience and comment on Kilpisjärvi – the region, the lake, the settlement, the living – as what we will refer to as Organism(s), through which a manifold of consequences and influences of human intervention, their diffusion, and their interrelations are starkly noticeable. While we spend time in the field and critically analyze our surroundings, ourselves, and our interrelation to the different forms Kilpisjärvi presents itself, we will try to resist the urge to immediately engage for as long as possible. Instead, we will gather on fells listening to wind, stones and water. We will observe the hustle and bustle of the border town with all its social and cultural clashes. Last but not least, we will engage with the various stakeholders that are entangled within the Organism(s) themselves. Our gathered insights will unfold into collaborative experiments and in-situ interventions, offering possibilities to encounter, provoke, comment, and interact with Kilpisjärvi. Wait and Hear addresses people that are curious and willing to commit to an open form of learning and experimentation through attuning, mindful listening, contemplation, critical reflection but also careful action and (sonic or other) intervention. Hence it is only natural that we try to put together a diverse and inclusive group. While our activities will be based on listening and somatic experience, other practices, as they may be introduced by participants, are warmly and explicitly welcome.
Till Bovermann aka LFSaw is an artist and scientist, working with field recording and interactive sound programming, creating sonic experiences and hypothetical islands of immersion and reflection. He has shown his work and self-made instruments at international institutions, among others, Ars Electonica Linz and ZKM Karlsruhe. Prior to his current employment as professor of Sound Art at HMTM München, he has worked as a post-doctoral researcher at various places, such as Aalto University, Helsinki and UdK Berlin. Bovermann is co-founder of the contact microphone company plonk and part of the artist collective friendly.organisms, which is dedicated to pursuing artistic interventions with organisms of various forms and sizes. Alongside his artistic and academic work, Bovermann develops software in and for SuperCollider and Faust.
https://lfsaw.de | https://tai-studio.org
The Andscapes group will critically engage with questions of scale and the tools we use to understand our surroundings. How does one measure an unruly world? How do our tools ultimately determine what we perceive, and how can we invent new tools in the spirit of situated knowledges and decoloniality, to perceive things differently? To that end, can we bring together scales of abstraction and scales of practice to reimagine the world and our future in it? Informed by a series of readings, presentations, discussions, a whole lot of time outside doing field experiments, and cross-pollination with the other groups, participants in this group will be encouraged to approach the surrounding areas of Kilpisjärvi as andscapes: additive sites of encounter, barnacled with multi-temporal more-than-human life-worlds, often co-existing in contradiction. The term ‘andscape’ was coined in 2014 by landscape architect Martin Prominski ‘to overcome outdated dualisms of city versus country, or culture versus nature’ and to conceptualize ‘an integrative practice in the Anthropocene’. It has been repurposed here to frame artistic fieldwork in the context of climate breakdown and The North Escaping. Andscapes emphasize place over space. They are defined by specificity, multiplicity, and messiness. During the two-week work period, we will embrace andscapes and their roughness – both in the sense of irregularity and resistance, and in the sense of guesswork, sketching, and imprecision. In our fieldwork, which will comprise observations, reflections, and interventions, roughness will not be a barrier to knowledges, but an index of difference and uncertainty to be celebrated.
Elizabeth McTernan is an artist and writer based in Berlin and Iowa City and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, School of Art and Art History. Her work is a research-oriented and mixed-media exploration of measurement and media ecologies. Sometimes this involves a cartography of landscapes: mountains, deserts, the coastlines of islands or puddles. Other times it involves a cartography of objects: lab artifacts, copper, rocks. She processes what she finds with performative experiments in landscapes, installation, drawing, printmaking, new media, lyric essays, and academic writing. McTernan earned her MFA from Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. Working regularly with scholars across fields, she is a contributor to the research group Experimenting, Experiencing, Reflecting (EER), an art-science collaboration led by artist Olafur Eliasson and scientist Andreas Roepstorff of Aarhus University in Denmark. In the frame of EER, she is currently developing a project about friction as a site of creation, transformation, grief, and becoming-with.
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.
Erich Berger is an artist, curator and cultural worker based in Helsinki. His artistic interests lie in information processes and feedback structures, which he investigates through installations, situations, performances and interfaces. Throughout his artistic practice, Berger has explored the materiality of information, and information and technology as artistic material. His current interest in issues of deep time and hybrid ecology led him to work with geological processes, radiogenic phenomena and their socio-political implications in the here and now. As director of the Bioart Society, he develops opportunities that create 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: Elizabeth McTernan