Forest with artificial green light from camera capturing.

Awakening nature and stretching humans

28.4.2022 Mustarinda residency (FI)

Nature changing and stretching its stems every day in a different way, minds unfolding, usnea floating, trees talking, tea drinking escalating into dancing, writing, connecting wires, connecting creatures

I was working on my artistic research at Mustarinda residency in Hyrynsalmi, North-East Finland in April 2022. The main focus was to shift from the research phase into developing the final text and visuals for a video essay dealing with humane reconnection, work funded by Kone Foundation. I also sealed the final bits of the NFC project that will start the exhibition tour right after the residency.

Quite soon after settling down in the middle of the forest with nine fellow human beings I kept my studio open to sense and hear the vibes of the house, laughter in the kitchen, silent shifts of the moods, urge to go to the forest, smell of tea time and arising need to gather together in the evenings.

People standing around a pond.

Usnea hanging on the branch.

I worked mostly raw material based on the research but also new insights. Sometimes testing sensors and code, mixing new visuals for the video, but it went more in the intuitive direction than very concrete production.

First I was a bit stressed about the direction since the exhibitions started to unfold for the project, but then I realised the material was bogged down more on a conceptual than concrete way. Also some things can’t be compromised, some things need their attention and time.

Abstract images on the floor by feet with woolen socks.

Thinking about your every action by ecological and social level sounds overwhelming and is sadly often presented as such, but it is actually a very natural way of being, to be present and to learn mutual comfort.

I also found a few books from the residency library e.g. Queer Ecologies by Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands & Bruce Erickson, which I usually read in the mornings between meditation and coding.

Me sitting outdoors with sunglasses and thermobottle.
Within one month we had deep-snow winter and warm spring days to collect video, audio and tangible material in the forest.