At last here is an update on our project. We have been getting used to being back in California after a few months in Finland and I have to say, it’s been a bit of an adjustment. We would like to thank Pirjo for arranging our housing and giving us a lift to the K-Market on our first visit, we thank Leena for battling the wind and the waves to take us grocery shopping when we came up in June, and for sharing her beautiful work with us–how we wished we could read Finnish! And of course big thanks to the Finnish Bioart Society for making this residency possible! Moving forward on this project has been a welcome distraction and a really juicy problem for me to sink my creative teeth into.

My original goal was to come up with a way to allow the viewer to experience the landscape on a macro and micro scale at the same time. My solution is a series of diptychs–each pair will contain a traditional landscape painting, and its companion–what I’ve been calling the “data painting”. This will be a copy of the landscape painting in grayscale, with the data–the snow characteristics and the microbial activity–rendered in color. I have come up with a painting composition for each of the 4 sites where David collected snow last March: the lake, the mountain birch forest, the transitional zone, and the alpine zone (high and medium alpine were combined–low alpine was eliminated). We decided on the most important measurements for me to represent in the data paintings. They are 1) Snow Depth, 2) Snow Temperature, and 3) Snow Density. Snow depth will be quite literal–the amount of room the snow takes up in the composition will correlate to the depth measurements from the four sites. Snow temperature will be represented by a color gradient, and snow density by a value gradient. I believe I will be adding two more pairs of paintings from our June visit to the field station, but this post will focus on the winter paintings.

I feel that a real challenge in science-art collaborations is for the artist to integrate the science and art in a meaningful way. Therefore, I tried to come up with a reasonably quantitative approach to visualizing the data in the paintings. Here’s what I came up with:


As you can see, the snow was the deepest at the transitional zone site, at 160 cm. The lake site snow depth was one-fourth of this, and the alpine and birch forest sites were one-half. I composed the paintings to reflect this, as illustrated below:

These are thumbnail sketches of the full-sized oil paintings, which measure 61 x 45.7 cm. on cradled board.

David measured the temperature of the snow at different levels for each site. He made a regression curve to help me with my visualization. See chart below:

I decided to use hue (i.e.; color–red, green, yellow, etc.) to convey temperature. The color gradient goes from green (warmest) to purple (coldest). I drew a graph with the curves from each of the four sites and used this to define the colors that will be used.

measured by grams per cubic centimeter of snow. Once again, David made a chart with regression curves:

I combined these into one graph which I used to make a value scale to express the density of the snow:

That’s it for the snow measurements, next up I will post the “snow palettes” for each painting and move on to microbial activity…or as David likes to call it, “the hidden world of snow”.

This is a repost of the original article at

On September the 27th, 2016, seven people from different countries and with differet backgrounds made their way to the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station. We planned to engage in choreographic and artistic research and were lucky to be invited for an Ars Bioarctica residency.

Although focused around the same theme, the diversity of the group —it consisted of contemporary dancers, dramaturges, lighting designers, composers and choreographers— lead to very different ideas and concepts. However, we all were influenced significantly by the distinct location and its unique cultural and ecological features.

What follows are my personal impressions.
Thoughts and material by the other participants can be found in another extensive blog post.

After arriving in Rovaniemi, we went for a five-hour car trip with lots of time to introduce ourselves to each other.
Kilpisjärvi was awaiting us in the dark when we came.
We had dinner and soon went to sleep.

To our surprise there was no internet connection in the house we stayed; instead, we had conversations within the group and, if needed, went for a walk to the close-by main building of the biological station in which we could tap into the university network accesspoint.

On the second day, we had a long discussion on past and future recoil activities, most prominently the upcoming show as I collapse in which I am enlisted as “Composer / Scientist”.

The highlight of my time in Kilpisjärvi clearly was the three-day hike to the Saarijärvi wilderness hut, which is about 15km away from the main street. On the way, we passed the fence at which I performed a sonic wilderness intervention together with participants of the last field_notes.
Discussions evolved and we got more familiar with each other within this time.

See full screen

On the resting day, I took my recording gear out and spent some hours recording around the hut, while others explored the area further down the hiking path (ultimately leading to Halti).

This is a mix of these recordings in which I try to mirror my experience of the hike (and the bigger picture).

Listening back to the recordings at home, I added additional sounds and structures to one of the recordings, a mix of hydrophone and close-up mick-ing of soft rain on a small pond.
The resulting soundscape/narrative adds substantially to the recorded sounds, creating some kind of dense atmosphere in which structural elements introduce an artificiality by which I try to emphasize the sublime and alien elements of the dripping waters. Strangely enough, I am more familiar with the artificially induced sounds than with the “naturally occurring” dripping sounds.

On the next day we walked back and, after a well-deserved dinner and before going to sauna, Leena and Oula Valkeapää visited us to tell about the cultural background of Kilpisjärvi and its surroundings.

While the rest of the group stayed for some more days, I unfortunately had to leave on the next day towards home.

[All photos and material (c) by Till Bovermann, 2016 unless otherwise noted.]

Our group of seven people arrived at Kilpisjärvi Biological Station on September 27. As a part of the Ars Bioarctica residency program we proposed to engage with a choreographic research on impact of a post-anthropocentric standpoint in relation to what becomes central in a choreographic work. The group is formed by dancers, dramaturg, lighting designer, composer and computer scientist and my self as a choreographer.

Our focus during the residency was on human interaction with otherness. Each member of the group has in the following posted material based on their reflections on this subject during the stay at the Biological Station in Kilpisjärvi.


human – vegetation – scale project

Tina Tarpgaard, Choreographer 

As a choreographer i am presently concerned with choreography as a space of interaction with otherness.

Part of my journey has been to observe our bodies on a microscopic scale revealing the biological entity we call “our body”, to be a living buzz of cells, viruses, fungi and bacteria.

As Donna Haraway expresses it:

“Human genomes can be found in only about 10 percent of all the cells that occupy the mundane space I call my body; the other 90 percent of the cells are filled with the genomes of bacteria, fungi, protists, and such, some of which play in a symphony necessary to my being alive at all. […] I am vastly outnumbered by my tiny companions.”

This radical puncture of the sense of autonomy might challenge our sense of “self” and identity, but it also makes way for higher awareness of interconnectivity and interdependence between living beings.

It also puts critical questions to the western cultural tendency to assume the human to be “above” other species and opens for artistic speculations in what a redefinition of this very anthropocentric viewpoint means.

In a performative context this has lead to working with the decentering of the human performer – this by engaging with bodies of different species an in different scales, braking the fixation to the meso viewpoint that vastly dominates the performing arts.

On this background i engaged in the Ars-bioarctica residency with recoil performance group.

The embodied experience of the vast landscape and vegetation, taken in through the objective of my physical existence being a multiplicity of beings in it self, lead me to reconsider vegetation, human and scale. Here the root of the word “Vegetation” in the latin language: Vegeto = “enliven” or “to move”, brought for me a new sense of the interspecies relation between human and plant, and the scale encounter of human vegetation and landscape. An aesthetic journey but also a contemplation of our relationship to vegetation. In the english language the word Vegetable is of highly negative meaning when applied to a human, reflecting an assumed hierarchy between living beings.

In the attempt to contradict the hierarchical thinking and in the context of interaction with otherness as well as decentering the human, the encounter between human hair and arctic landscape was a physical and even emotional experience. As my colleague Till Boverman noticed when we examined our skin though microscope, it is almost an experience of violated privacy to expose what is usually an invisible feature of your selves this way. This emotional reaction manifesting my feeling of self,  became my anchor point in a venture in to examining the visuals of arctic vegetation and human body.

 What can i say is truly me? Can i define a surface that envelopes the presence of my identity?

I wonder if  identity exits in the form we know it in the future?

(a recycling of questions that appeared within the group while working with bacteria in previous research)


The Colour-palette Project

Sam Denton, Dancer

Hilde I. Sandvold, Dancer

Following human need to organize and orchestrate nature.

Human as another shade of nature.

Questioning what is artificial vs nature.

The human desire or need to live among artificial properties. Things that make life easier

for us on the short term. The plants already died the day after.

Arrangement of colour.

Human as another shade of nature.

We tried to create a non-recognizable bodyscape, where the skin become more of a

morphable material. We wish to go beyond the skin-surface and create an imagined


Issues with the colour-palette project:

Our western culture makes us go out and rip things up, just to color-coordinate them, with

no further knowledge of what or who they are. It did not ask to be put there, it could not

say «enough is enough». There is a lack of communication between the two, or many, of



Trampling impact-project

«seeing the ground as a living being»

As we walk through the woods, or the fields, the weight of our bodies has a life changing

impact on what we put it upon. We imagined human as part of the ground, and considered

the changes it would have on our perception of our own weight on other living beings.

In the reflection-process, key words were scale and the relation between culture/nature, and our

western way of seeing them as different things.

You kill a mosquito as an immediate reaction with no further consideration. As the living being

grows bigger, so does the emotional impact. Is this a helpful system of response?

As dancers, we are attracted to research the term «trampling-impact» also because of its physical

implications. We exchange information with the nature through interchanging weight.

Hiding Sam



Hilde I Sandvold, Dancer

Everything is in nothing. Nothing is in everything. Every single unit contains everything. We

only need that one, and nothing else. But, it is nothing without everything, and everything

is somewhere else without it.


Exercising Goethean observation method at Kilpisjärvi 1st – 4th October 2016

Minna Tiikkainen, lighting designer


“Goethean observation as phenomenology

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, although better known for his poetry and plays, spent the years from 1777 until his death in 1832 engaged in scientific exploration. His work on science includes investigations in the areas of: geology, meteorology, osteology, botany and the study of colour. 

Goethe’s study of plants was unusual at the time, because he did not use dead herbarium samples, but studied the plants in their environments. This gave him particular insights into how the plant adapts to its environment and from there to an appreciation of the plant as an adapting organism. 

The distinctive features of Goethes method include:
observing with patience and rigor;
deepening a sense of wonder to the world;
using sensual and emotional awareness to experience phenomena as fully as possible;
attending to connections between phenomena;
acknowledging an ethical dimension to the practice of science.

The four stages are as follows:
1. Exact sense perception;
2. Exact sensorial fantasy;
3. Seeing in beholding;
4. Being one with the object.”



-object is relatively small, 2-2,5 cm high, 0,6 cm wide

-conical body shape, asymmetric upper part

-top part is spreading out and divides into eight clearly separate parts or branches

-branches vary in size

-inner centre part is a crater like form

-lower part is clearly different in structure and texture being more complex and uneven

-mid part is rough and grainy

-in the end of the upper branches there are rounder and smoother parts

-the rounder shapes on top are strong and warm red in colour maybe mix of cadmium and iron red

-the actual cone that looks like the main body is light blue-green

-lower part is dark brown


Include time and history but stay objective

This object looks prehistoric because of its shape is almost alien like.

Red colour on the tips of the object makes me think of danger and blood. Since the main body is opposite in colour, it highlights these red ending points.

These red dots are also highly sexual. Asymmetry of the object together with the colour makes me also think an explosion frozen in time and space.

Depending of the angle you look at the object, associations change. From side it looks like a small hand. Blood in your hands or maybe just nail polished fingertips. From under these branches could be small toes of a greenish creature. From top it could be a mouth.

It has some similarities to mushrooms and also sea vegetation, like a seaweed. I also associate the shape to nerves or a nerve sell.

I picked it up to take it with me and tried to water it to keep it live. It seems light and water is enough for it, which makes me think it has to have very basic needs. It does have a strong earthy smell which I notice only when it has been in my hands. When I hold this object I sense both fragility and strength at the same time. It seems it could survive without energy for very long time. It obviously can handle lots of weight since when pressing it’s flexible body, the shape does not change nor brake but returns to its original position.


Try to reverse, withdraw, listen. How does the object see you?

From the point of the object I am huge colourful mass that moves and hoovers around it. I also have opposite surface colour than it; light pinkish and beige. My top branches are very thin divided into thousands fragile and long threads that are brown in colour. I am similarly uneven and rough in my surface but my texture is looking smoother and perhaps less grainy. I have less bigger branches, that yet divide into 5 separate, shorter branches. These parts are situated both up and down of my centre body. I am mobile and can move using my branches.

I try to communicate with the object by blowing some air out and by making some sounds, but the object seems not to respond back.


Mental spiritual

This object is like an antenna that reaches towards the sky. Are the red dots some sort of receptors? I put my eyes very close to the object and the harmoniously opposite colours are vivid and surprisingly communicate calmness rather than aggression. This object will not move from its place unless I pick it up and therefore slowly “kill it” and that makes me feel very free and powerful and very stressed at the same time. Will it sense the change of environment and its evident disappearance?


Landscape – Sky Project


Colour Clock Project

Edward Lloyd, Dancer

The following is a reflection of my personal perception and thought processes in relation to my experience of the landscape at Kilpisjarvi.

During our stay at the Saarjarvi Wilderness Hut, we experienced life without electricity. One of the many things we noticed from this experience was how tired we felt as the sun began to set.

From a personal perspective, it felt like I had no control over my tiredness and will to sleep. Almost like the setting of the sun was in control of my bodily rhythm.

This experience led me to think more about the role of ‘light’ and how it has a profound impact in the way we perceive our environment, and the way our environment presents itself to us.

In this sense, ‘the otherness’ I have been dealing with is ‘natural light’ provided by the sun, specifically in the area of Kilpisjarvi.

Circadian Rhythm:

The physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24 hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in the organism’s environment.

The concept of Circadian Rhythms became a big part of my thought process. After reading more about the Circadian Rhythm of human beings and how light plays an important role in the biological processes within our bodies, I focused more specifically on the relationship between light and the human eye.

I began thinking more about how light affects the way we perceive our environment, more specifically relating to how natural light has an influence on how we interpret colours within our landscape.

Natural Light V Artificial Light

The sun provides a visible and continuous source of light across the whole visible spectrum, providing colour rendering for all colours, and it is often considered to be the ideal light source.

With this in mind, I began thinking more conceptually about how natural light and thus the perception of colour could somehow communicate the idea of time and space. So as an idea- We as human beings read time (as in a 24 hour cycle/Circadian Rhythm) through the colour of our landscape (as a result of the position of the sun and the temperature of light).

I tried to make it more clear for myself in a diagram:

From here, I decided to make a structure using material from the landscape and document the perceived colour change from morning to evening.

The Structure

The Morning – 8:00

The Evening- 18:00

In effect, a colour clock with its own Circadian Rhythm.

Of course, the idea is conceptual so the actual difference between the colour of this structure at various times of the day may not be explicitly visible to the human eye. But as a concept, my aim was to use what we know about culture and nature, shift our perspective and propose a new way of looking at, understanding and living amongst our environment.

Further Ideas:

To measure time, not in numerical form but in light temperature and colour (of the landscape).


As a dramaturge, I have from my stay at the bio-art residency in Kilpisjarvi found it interesting to look at

INTERPRETATIONS of the surrounding nature by me and other humans
– in Kilpisjarvi, now and through time

Inge Agnete Tarpgaard, Dramaturge


-The pictures on the walls in the biology station

-My personal conversation with two large elements in nature in Saanajarvi (using the Gothean Observation Method)

-My respons to the 5 core elements of the Sami poet and of Olav

-Interpretations of the Northern Lights through time and space + my failed attempt of filming the Northern lights

The pictures on the walls at the biology station

I find it interesting how we / if we have the urge to double our surroundings in the way of depicting our exact surrounding environment:

Like I in my apartment in the city have a drawing of my legs in the living room and a picture of a city landscape.

My personal conversation with two large elements in nature in Saanajarvi
-using the Gothean Observation Method

The rocks at Saanajarvi:

Exact sensory perception: rounded by weather though time, solid, nuances of grey, not moving, a host for fungi and moss.
Seeing and beholding: You can be here, but, I will be here longer than you. I will be the platform for you to step on. Welcome by the way. (A provocative calmness)

The Gothean water:

Exact sensory perception: Alive, movable according to the weather-temperature wise and size wise.
Exact sensorial phantasy: the water is connected to the system of the larger planet
Being one with the object: Water will help me, clean, feed, saturate my thirst. Water is in me and will resume and engulf me again when I dissolve.

My respons to the 5 core elements of  Nils-Aslak Valkepää and Oula A. Valkeapään

Back in Kilpisjarvi, I am inspired by the 5 words Lena Leena Valkeapää outlines in her book

Luonnossa, vuoropuhelua Nils-Aslak Valkeapään tuotannon kanssa. 5 keywords describing the landscape and the mind of the Sami society found in the poems of the Sami Poet Nils-Aslak Valkepää and her husband Oula A. Valkeapääns text messages. I find photos through my journey that relate to this:


is one of the first phenomena meeting and greeting us at the airport.


  What do you do when the time is so much longer, without disturbances such as light, music, tv, internet, a quick brownie from the baker? Play cards. Go to bed at 9.

Human being


Traces from people in nature. First picture: the guiding sticks no longer in the ground can be a very scary sight. But they were apparently just replaces by sticks with a slightly darker color of yellow.
Second picture: Welly boots at the biological station: humans preparation for entering the outside.


 – the sauna.  Fire-water engulfing the human body.


I do not have a picture of the wind, but I have a picture of a drawing Minna made, showing me where the Canary Islands are- a place with a very different kind of wind.


Interpretations of the Northern Lights through time and space

The Chuvash of Siberia believed it was their heaven god helping women in childbirth.

East Greenland Inuits viewed the lights as children who died at birth.

The Vikings thought aurorae were reflections from shields of the Valkyries, maidens who take dead warriors to Valhalla (heaven).

Many Inuits’ myths involve the dead playing ball with a walrus head.

In Lapland, people were warned not to mock or whistle at aurorae or they may come down to harm them.

Menominee Indians of Minnesota and Wisconsin thought the aurorae were torches of friendly northern giants used in spearfishing at night.

The Mauri of New Zealand interpreted their glimpses of the aurora australis as reflected light from torches or campfires.

A  story from Finland claims that foxes made of fire lived in Lapland and flung sparks into the air with their tails.

Farther south on the globe, in China, the monster responsible for auroral displays was a fire-breathing dragon.

In Scotland, aurorae were called “merry dancers”. If the “dancers” moved quickly, unsettled weather would be expected, but if the dancers moved slowly and gracefully, the weather forecast was favorable.

The Lapps, or the Saami, a people who are a close relative ‘race’ of the Finns, who live in Lapland — that is, north of the Arctic Circle, in what officially are Northern Finland, Sweden, and Norway — traditionally believed that the lights were the energies of the souls of the departed. When the fires blazed in the skies, people were to behave solemnly, and children were admonished to quiet down and be respectful of the fires.
The Lapps believed these fires to have magical effects; Lappish shaman drums often have runes depicting the fires to harness their energy. The lights were believed to have a mellowing effect on arguments, and the time of the fires was beneficial to conflict resolution. The Lapps also had a belief that if you whistled under the Northern Lights, you could summon them closer, and they could whisk you away with them.

Urine and Dog Poo?

Many Sami people would keep their families and children indoors during the display, or if they were outside they would cover up and try to hide from the rays.

Some Alaskan Inuits were similarly scared, but had a more ´practical´approach. They would hide their children, and sometimes try to throw dog excrement and urine up in the air to make the lights go away.



My attempt to film the northern lights, Kilpisjarvi, 2/10 2016.

no recording of northern light

Saavuin juuri Ars Bioarctican residenssistä Kilpisjärveltä, jossa vietin viikon taiteilijakollegoiden kera. Työskentelimme yhdessä ilmastonmuutoksen opetuksen kehittämisprojektissa kuluneen vuoden ( ja lähdimme purkamaan yhteistä oppimisprosessiamme, sekä työstämään aihetta taiteenalojemme kautta. Olen itse kuvataiteilija, muut ryhmämme jäsenet tulivat performanssin, tanssin ja taiteellisten interventioiden aloilta. Tässä blogitekstissä yritän valottaa erityisesti omaa kokemustani residenssistä ja pohtia sen merkityksellisyyttä omalle ajattelulle, sekä praktiikalle. Erityisen merkitykselliseksi residenssissä piirtyi tila ja aika dialogille, yhdessä olemiselle ja kiireettömyydelle. Koen, että residenssi on jättänyt lähtemättömän jäljen ja vaikutuksen itseeni – varmaan sen merkitys piirtyy esiin kunnolla jonkin ajan kuluttua. Kilpisjärven residenssin henkinen vaikutus oli erityisen suuri siihen, miten koen oman taiteilijuuteni – itseluottavaisemmin ja syvällä ilolla.

Huikea avaruudellisuus ja tilallisuus aukesi maisemassa


Itselleni teema ilmastonmuutos on alusta lähtien resonoinut luonnon ja maiseman jatkuvaan moniaistiseen havainnointiin. Maiseman, tilallisuuden ja avaruudellisuuden kokemus, moniaistinen ja kehollinen havainnointi, sekä maiseman kanssa kuin yhtä oleminen tarjosivat paljon pureskeltavaa omaan kuvataiteelliseen praktiikkaan ja ajatteluun. Omassa työskentelyssäni pohdin paljon ruumiillisuuden roolia kuvantekemisessä. Kilpisjärvellä tehdyt pitkät vaellukset ja syvällinen dialogi kollegoiden kanssa tuntuivat päivä päivältä laajentavan omaa ajattelua – syntyi uutta luovaa välitilaa niin dialogissa keskenämme, kuin omassa mielessä. Jäin kovasti pohtimaan, miten kuvalliseen lopputulemaan voitaisiin saada samanlainen tilallisuuden, avaruudellisuuden ja moniaistisuuden tuntu, kuin itse maisemassa ollessa. Pohdin myös liikkeen, ruumiillisuuden ja havainnon suhdetta. Piirtäminen ja havainto vaativat liikettä, silmien liikettä, kehon liikettä, se on aktiivista katsomista, aktiivisen suhteen ottamista omaan ympäristöön. Nykyään ajatellaan myös, että havaintojärjestelmä toimii synkronisesti, moniaistisesti. On esimerkiksi esitetty, että visuaalisen havainnon metafora voisi olla kosketus. Kilpisjärvellä piirtyi itselle esiin eri aistikanavien merkitys havainnossa, havainnosta muotoutui kokonaisvaltainen, koko kehoa ja aisteja koskeva, sisältäen myös kehon liikkeen, tuulen tunnun iholla, avaruudellisuuden….Piirtämisessä myös on kosketusaisti ja taktiilisuus vahvasti läsnä niin materiaalisuuden puolesta, kuin piirtämistapahtumassa käden ja kehon liikkeen aistimisen sekä ympäristön aistimisen kautta.

Osana maisemaa, romanttisen maalausperinteen mukaisesti

Residenssissä tärkeäksi muotoutui myös maisemaan uppoutumisen, maiseman kanssa yhtä olemisen meditatiiviset hetket. Ohessa on kuva tapetille musteella ja japanilaisella vesivärillä maalatusta maisemasta, joka avautui residenssitalomme Kiekulan pihalta. Haaveilen nyt panoraama-maalaussarjan jatkamisesta ja kolmiulotteisen installaation rakentamisesta, immersiivisen maisemaan uppoutumisen kokemuksen mahdollistamisesta. Yhteys luontoon ja maisemaan, syvemmän luontosuhteen rakentaminen, voisi myös myötävaikuttaa vastuunottamiseen maapallomme hyvinvoinnista ja tulevaisuudesta uudella, kestävällä tavalla.


Sarjasta Uusi maisema, Kilpisjärvi, muste ja vesiväri tapetille, Kiekulan pihasta

Pikku-Malla muutti luonnettaan hetki hetkeltä, vuorokaudenaikojen ja sääilmiöiden mukaan...

Elina Aho

As part of the Ars Bioarctica residency program we proposed a team residency consisting of L.A. based artist/maker Ian Ingram, Finnish artist Antti Tenetz and Theun Karelse.

The team arrived at the station during the summer equinox. This means permanent daylight. It’s a strange thing to witness when a day doesn’t end. According to our host Leena, people in the area just choose their preferred rhythm of sleep. Basically this is an ongoing day that lasts hundreds of hours. Local wildlife has adapted to this, with Cloudberry as an extreme example, this little plant only fruits where permanent daylight showers it with the energy it needs to fruit. It basically fruits in one day, but one that lasts hundreds of hours. It only does so here in the extreme north of Europe.

We start immediately after arriving with opening the windows, setting up equipment and establishing a ‘meat-pile’ to engage with local wildlife. The team will work on developing a robot that interacts with the local crows, adapt the camera system of a drone to see in the spectrum that local hawks see in and hunt rodents (image below) and during the residency we explore additional experiments in ‘robochory’ (the dispersal of plant seeds by machines).

A video impression of the residency by Theun: (click on image)

In addition to collecting snow and water samples, I’ve been collecting sounds of snow, ice and water from Kilpisjärvi. I’ve assembled some of these sounds into a simple collage that spans from winter to spring.

It begins with silence (the most important sound of the forest!). Then sounds of snow in and around the birch forest (footsteps, shoveling, skiing), then out to the lake, drilling through the ice, and underwater recordings of sounds below the ice (ominous ice cracking, footsteps, snowmobiles and a sound I think of as the hissing of lake trolls – distant skis? Wind?). Then the sounds of rain in early June. Footsteps squishing through tundra, a mountain spring, melting snow fields, and the mighty Kitsiputous falls. Then a descent to Siilasjoki, and finally back to Kilpisjärvi, now fully thawed. Here’s the sound file:

Lumi, Jää, Vesi sound file

and here it is embedded into a simple movie (mostly snapshots) showing some of the context:
Lumi, Jää, Vesi movie

Listening carefully to the recordings, I’ve found many samples that would make excellent loops for techno music (for example, underwater ripples, thumps, clicks and scrapes – some possibly from fish). So the next step will be recontextualizing these sounds into a more musical format. Finally, I hope to base a musical piece on the microbiological data, using sampled water sounds as the basic elements, but with rhythm and melody derived from the dynamics of the microbial community, through the snow profile and from winter to spring.

IRIS and the antenna field

I am sitting here on our last day watching the lake and the ever changing sky through the best TV screen ever, the window in the main room at the Kiekula house. Jean-Philippe and I have spent the last two weeks here making sound recordings of the surrounding landscape with the aim of making a transmission piece at a later point.

This blog entry should be seen and heard as an audio sketch book of our time here.

First of all antennas. I have chosen not to post the many many pictures of all sorts of antennas against imposing and ominous skies, just this one.

We try record the antennas as if they were an enormous aeolian harp, with varying success. The wind blows through the antennas as I play them.

radio aporee ::: maps – Kilpisjärvi, Finland

Metal machines

Wind is the field recordist’s worst enemy. Sometimes it is not worth the pain when you have an army of abandoned metal machinery so close to hand that reveal some intriguing, Forbidden Planet-esque sounds.

radio aporee ::: maps – Enontekiö, Finlande

rythm sequence (fin)

The magic box and the sound of a million mosquitos

The ferry crosses the lake in the distance, a car drives by. Jean-Philippe plays his magic box by the lake. I walk on the shore. The house martins chirp for food and the flies buzz around. The rain falls on the hydraphone and the waves lap on the shore.

Ambiant birds Shruti

The crash

About half way up the very steep hill lies the rusty remains of a WW2 German fighter plane that despite having lain there for over 70 years is barely hidden. It’s splintered organs are a melancholy memorial to the past that I try to play with some reverance like a giant steel pan.

radio aporee ::: maps – Kilpisjärvi, Saana wildlife trail, Finland

Jean-Philippe makes a loop.

monster crash drums loop

All these sounds and many more can be heard on the radio aporee ::: maps – Enontekiö, Finlande Kilpisjarvi sound map.

Here is the Kilpisjarvi soundmap, hosted by the wonderful radio aporee and open to posts of field recordings of the area to see how it changes through the seasons, and perhaps time. It is not a place to upload composed sound pieces or derived works inspired by the landscape or any other related sonic experiences.

radio aporee ::: maps – Enontekiö, Finlande

Kilpisjarvi soundmap hosted by radio aporee





Remembering the shapes of the replaced stones and returning the last ones.




Today I found myself struggling with a quick construction to capture the reflecting light on the surface of the lake. Under windy and wavy conditions, instead of catching reflections, the cyanotype formed a chromatographic pattern by tipping the water.

(cyanotype on cotton 150x200cm)


indigo. a value of concentration.                                 26.06.16