The Art, Science, Ecology course is organized on the initiative of IHME Helsinki in cooperation with the Institute of Sustainability of the University of Helsinki and the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki.
The aim of the course is to raise awareness of the effects of the sustainability crisis in the fields of art, science and society, and to produce and analyze the information needed for the change in thinking and action required by the sustainability crisis.
The online lectures of the course are open to anyone interested. The workshops are aimed only at students from partner universities. The lecturers of the course and the leaders of the workshops are artists, researchers and curators from Finland and abroad working in the middle ground of art and science. Part of the course events will be available on IHME’s YouTube channel.
The visual artist and researcher at the BIOS Research Unit Antti Majava has brought in his work together experts and viewpoints stemming from science, arts, and other fields. He is the founding member of the Mustarinda Association, and through it has created a platform for experimentation in artistic and everyday practices which take into account the material underpinnings of society. In his doctoral thesis, which employs socio-ecological methods, he studies the effects of nature, society and science on the development of artistic phenomena, and correspondingly, the role of art in socio-ecological and scientific breakthroughs. In the research unit his role has been to look at forests and bioeconomy, and to develop ways of collaboration with representatives of the media and art worlds. His texts have been published both in scientific and popular journals; alongside writing, he continues his visual artistic work.
Katie Paterson is widely regarded as one of the leading artists of her generation. Collaborating with scientists and researchers across the world, Paterson’s projects consider our place on Earth in the context of geological time and change. Her artworks make use of sophisticated technologies and specialist expertise to stage intimate, poetic and philosophical engagements between people and their natural environment. Katie Paterson has exhibited internationally, from London to New York, Berlin to Seoul, and her works have been included in major exhibitions including at: the Hayward Gallery and Tate Britain, London; Kunsthalle Wien; MCA Sydney; Guggenheim Museum, New York; and The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. She was winner of the Visual Arts category of the 2014 South Bank Awards, and is an Honorary Fellow of Edinburgh University. Katie Paterson is the artist of IHME Helsinki commission 2021 To Burn, Forest, Fire.
Sakari Salonen is a geologist and a researcher residing in Helsinki. He received his PhD in 2012 at University of Helsinki where he has spent most of his academic career, excluding a one-year visit to University of Bordeaux, France, from where he returned a year ago. Salonen is currently continuing his career as an Academy of Finland Research Fellow at the University of Helsinki. Salonen is specialized in palaeoclimatology, the study of Earth’s ancient climate changes. Palaeoclimatology explores the development of Earth’s climate over very long time scales, of thousands to millions of years. The information about ancient climate changes helps understand the modern behaviour of climate and the possible consequences of future climate change. Salonen’s current research focuses on the development of European and North American climate over the past 100,000 years, and on the effect of ancient climate changes on prehistoric human populations. Sakari Salonen has helped in the background work for the IHME Helsinki commission 2021 To Burn, Forest, Fire.
Jan Zalasiewicz is Emeritus Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester, previously of the British Geological Survey. He chairs the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy of the International Commission on Stratigraphy and chairs its Anthropocene Working Group. A field geologist, palaeontologist and stratigrapher, interests include Early Palaeozoic fossils and rocks, the Quaternary Ice Ages and the geology made by humans. He is a co-editor of The Anthropocene as a geological time unit: a guide to the scientific evidence and current debate (2019). Books he has written include The Earth After Us (2008), The Planet in a Pebble (2010), Rocks: A Very Short Introduction (2016), Geology: A Very Short Introduction (2018). With Mark Williams he has co-written The Goldilocks Planet (2012), Ocean Worlds (2014) and Skeletons (2018) and with Mike Branney, Volcanoes: A Very Short Introduction (2020). He led the first English translation of Buffon’s 1778 Les Époques de la Nature (The Epochs of Nature, 2018). Jan Zalasiewicz has helped in the background work for IHME Helsinki 2021 commission To Burn, Forest, Fire.
Susan Schuppli is an artist-researcher based in the UK whose work examines material evidence from war and conflict to environmental disasters and climate change. Her current work is focused on the politics of cold and is organised by the provocation of “Learning from Ice”. Schuppli’s creative projects have been exhibited throughout Europe, Asia, Canada, and the US. Her project Nature Represents Itself exhibited at the SculptureCenter, New York was selected by ARTnews as one the 20 best environmentalists works of the past 50 years. She has published widely within the context of media and politics and is author of the new book, Material Witness: Media, Forensics, Evidence published by MIT Press in 2020. Schuppli is Director of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London and is an affiliate artist-researcher and Board Chair of Forensic Architecture. She is the recipient of the 2016 ICP Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research.
Jana Winderen has a degree in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London, having previously studied mathematics, chemistry and fish ecology at the University of Oslo. Her works frequently take the form of multi-channel sound installations or concerts, but she has also created sound worlds for films, dance works and radio, and published material on CD, vinyl and cassette. Her works have been experienced in art institutions and public spaces in the USA, Europe and Asia. Winderen lives and works in Oslo. Jana Winderen is the artist of the IHME Helsinki commission 2020 Listening Through the Dead Zones. The sound installation will take place at the Helsinki Rowing Stadium in August 2021 due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Samir Bhowmik is a multidisciplinary artist and architect. He received a Doctor of Arts (Art & Design) from Aalto University, Finland, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Maryland, United States. Samir’s artistic research project “Imaginary Natures: Extractive Media & the Cultural Memory of Environmental Change” (Kone Foundation) examines media cultures of extraction through artistic and critical AI practices. Samir teaches new media, infrastructures and environment at the Aalto School of Arts, Design & Architecture.
Paula Toppila has been the Executive Director and Curator of the IHME Contemporary Art Festival (2009-2018) and the current IHME Helsinki (2019-) since 2007. She is also the Chairman of IHME’s International Advisory Board. IHME Helsinki is a contemporary art commissioning agency that combines art, science and climate work. IHME Helsinki produces annually an artwork in public space and a series of discussion events together with art and science organizations. Toppila is particularly interested in the ecological transition of the contemporary art organization and the curation of contemporary art towards sustainability.