Courses and seminars

IHME Commission 2009, Antony Gormley: Clay and the Collective Body, photo: Kai Widell.

Towards eco-social civilization

We bring together the worlds of art and science in an era of climate crisis and biodiversity loss. We have produced seminar series and learning materials for everyone interested in contemporary art and the environment. Check out the recordings from our seminars and the material about the Baltic Sea we have collected here.

Environmental crisis – from words to deeds in the field of art

The environmental crisis is also a crisis of the artworld, requiring concrete action instead of mere words. 

Arranged by four art organizations – IHME Helsinki, Frame Contemporary Art Finland, HIAP-Helsinki International Artist Programme and Mustarinda – the Environmental Crisis – from words to deeds in the field of art seminar presented various ways of working in the art field to meet the challenges of climate change and nature loss. During the day, some 200 people, most of them involved in the arts, followed the eco-seminar online on 19 November 2020. Most of the presentations were in Finnish. Finnish and English summaries of the talks are now available.

The seminar asked: How can we reduce climate emissions in the field of art? What can an individual art organization, curator or artist do? What can we do together? How can ecology be integrated into strategy and funding? How do we travel by land or calculate an organisation’s carbon footprint?

Eco-seminar speakers

The discussions and presentations at the seminar created hope for the future, where post-fossil culture is central and ecological issues are emphasized both by decision-makers and organizations as well as at the level of art practices.

Participant feedback

In January 2021, the Art, Science, Ecology course began on the initiative of IHME Helsinki, and in collaboration with the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science HELSUS at the University of Helsinki and Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts.

The course was intended to increase awareness of the effects of the crisis of sustainability in art, science and society, and to produce and analyse the knowledge necessary for making the changes in ideas and actions required to meet this crisis. On the course, practitioners of art and science were able to together investigate some complex phenomena of our time. The course workshops were aimed at students of the collaborating universities. The online lectures were in English and open to everyone interested.

The contents of the Art, Science, Ecology course are continued in the podcast series produced by IHME Advisory Board. English podcast episodes can be listened to on several platforms: Helsinki Open Waves, Spotify, Apple podcast, Soundcloud.

Increase your knowledge of the Baltic Sea

Artist Jana Winderen and IHME Executive Director, Curator Paula Toppila have interviewed experts on the state of the Baltic Sea as part of the background work for Listening Through the Dead Zones sound installation. All interviews >>

Participate in the Listening Through the Dead Zones kickoff event at Rowing Stadium 22.8.2020 >>

Calculate your Baltic Sea footprint and read about different ways to help the Baltic Sea >>

Searching the Soul of the City

Urban Activism and Urban Planning in Sustainability Transformation

In the last public rehearsals of the IHME Helsinki Commission 2023Chicago Boys – While We Were Singing, They Were Dreaming, a panel discussion was held in Stoa Cultural Center on urban activism and urban planning in the sustainability transformation. The IHME Helsinki Commission took place from 17 April to 27 May 2023 in Stoa Cultural Center and in various places in Helsinki that are threatened by neoliberal values and urban planning aimed at continuous growth. The places were Lapinlahti Hospital, Puhos shopping center, Riistavuori, Stansvik and Matokallio forests.

Watch the panel discussion on YouTube Read about the panel discussion

The panel discussion related to the work Chicago Boys – While We Were Singing, They Were Dreaming brings out the points of friction between urban activism and urban planning with the help of seven panelists. Among the panelists are representatives of urban activism, landscape architecture and research. The following questions are raised in the discussion: where is the soul of the city to be found? How should Helsinki and urban planning be developed so that both ecological and social sustainability and diverse public spaces are secured for different city dwellers?

The following experts participated in the panel:

Doctoral researcher Sara Zaman, urban planning systems, University of Helsinki
Matokallio activist Jaana Patrakka, sociologist
Resident activist Marja Keränen, Riistavuori group
Managing Director Ville Pellinen, Lapinlahden Lähde
Subculture manager Juhana Hurula, DIY Helsinki association
Landscape architect Varpu Mikola, Nomaji – Landscape Architects
Architect, researcher, University Lecturer Hossam Hewidy, Aalto University