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Field_Notes – The North Escaping

An art-science field laboratory in Finnish Lapland

Organized by the Bioart Society, hosted by Kilpisjärvi Biological Station of the University of Helsinki

Funded via Creative Europe's Rewilding Cultures project


In autumn 2023, I was invited to lead a group in the sixth edition of Field_Notes, an art-science field laboratory organized by the Bioart Society biannually since 2011 at Kilpisjärvi Biological Station. For the 2023 edition, titled “Field_Notes – The North Escaping,” three groups of five artists came together from all over the world and worked in Lapland for two weeks, developing, testing, and evaluating interdisciplinary approaches to exploring landscape under the theme of “The North Escaping.” As a host, I wrote a framing abstract and selected the artists for my group. The other two groups were led by Erich Berger and Till Bovermann.


The idea behind “The North Escaping” was to see what artistic positions and methods emerge from working in a precarious northern landscape under climate breakdown. All year round, scientists there take measurements of the landscape – temperature, proportions of particles in the atmosphere, carbon counts, and so on. How might artists approach those tools differently? Or ask very different kinds of questions than scientists? This was not a project about turning artists into pseudo-scientists: it was about bringing artistic practice side-by-side with scientific practice, and seeing what discourses would emerge and what new knowledge structures could develop.

Image: What is the scale of your attention?, field laboratory experiment for Field_Notes, Finnish Lapland, September 2023. Photo credit: Elizabeth McTernan

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