Accelerate Finland residency starts remotely

When I close my eyes, I imagine a beautiful topography, not ever seen by any human, raising from the landscape. Unreal shapes, large but soft bodies of gamma radiations fading into the forest canopy. The shapes follow the features of the scenery result of radioactive decay in the bedrock. 

The interest of Erich Berger in radiogenic phenomena, geological processes and the time scales from deep time to deep futures are behind his project called Spectral Landscapes. In 2019 he sent his proposal to the Accelerate Award Call, and was selected the Accelerate Finland artist-residency, hosted by Arts at CERN in Geneva.

The pandemic and the closure of the CERN research facilities and laboratories have caused the delay of the physical residency, but Erich has been able to start dialoging with CERN scientists remotely, attending a series of meetings, kindly organized by Monica Bello, the Head of Arts at CERN arts program. 

The conversations online have been fruitful and orientated Berger´s on-going research, that started already in 2013 during a visit to Enontekiö in Sápmi, the Northern sub-arctic part of Finland.

Kovela research site, Finland, 2020. Photos Till Bovermann.

In 2020 his fieldwork has continued in different sites such as Kovela in southern Finland and Palkiskuru in Sápmi, by scanning the radioactive mineralisations at these sites with a sophisticated DIY sensor device.  The device allows to record the geo-located intensity of the gamma radiation of the site, on the ground by walking and in the air by being mounted on a drone. The collected data permit Berger to portray the gamma radiation fields as bodies which protrude from the radioactive base-rock as intricate but intrinsic features of the landscape. The first artistic results have been shown in the group exhibition ‘Splitting the Atom’ at CAC in Vilnius in 2020 and shortly in the group show Alter(action) that will take place at the Fundação Eugénio de Almeida in Evora this spring.  

Spectral Landscapes, 2020. The Kovela survey site as shown on the image has a size of about 500m x 200m. Image: Erich Berger

Scanning the sites involves “hours of walking and exploring: meditative and solitary days and enjoyable walks outdoors” as Berger says. 

The on site residency at CERN laboratory is now planned for fall 2021.

Meanwhile the snow melts and the Finnish landscape topography is recognizable again, allowing Berger’s field work to continue . 

Accelerate Finland is organized in partnership between Arts at CERN, in Geneva, and Capsula (art-science-nature) with the support of Saastamoinen Foundation and The Committee for Public Information (TJNK). 

Chorus sinensis, for cormorants and people

Chorus sinensis is an audiovisual artwork combining a composition for a choir with videos and photos of the curious co-living and relations of Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sinensis) and people at Bothnian Sea coastal area, at their common territory.

Marjakari, Bothnian Sea is one of the most important Great Cormorant colonies of the area. Photo by Jan Eerala, June 2020.

The project, ideated and curated by Ulla Taipale, combines musical piece for a choir composed by experimental sound artist and composer Lau Nau with audiovisual recordings and photographs by Finnish photographer and artist Jan Eerala. Eerala has dedicated his life since years in documenting the phenomena and landscapes of the Bothnian Sea in photographs, videos and sound recordings. The work group is complemented by Finnish literary scholar Karoliina Lummaa, specialized in bird literature, Aleksi Lehikoinen, bird researcher and curator at Finnish Museum of Natural History (Luomus) and artist Merja Markkula who will create the costumes for the performing choir.

Great Cormorant is a sea bird species that lives and nests in the coastal islands of Finland and other European countries. In Finland it is a protected bird species that due to its living habits, provokes fierce debate and hate among human populations living in the coastal aereas of Baltic Sea. It lived in the area until the beginning of the 20th century, but was persecuted and though left the area. The return of the cormorant colonies in Finnish sea shores happened almost one hundred years after, in 1996 and the growth of the population was exponential until 2019, when their number has established and is now around 26 000 cormorants.

Chorus sinensis examines the blurring of the territories of the sea birds and people, the claim for the reduction of the diversity and the societal discussion leading towards the discrimination of the species. The working method is observant and avoids disturbing or intervening in the life of the Cormorants and other life forms as little as possible.

The finalized work will be exhibited in different formats: as an installation in the exhibition space, online, or as a live concert.

Karoliina Lummaa, Ulla Taipale and Lau Nau at Ouraluoto island, at the territory of sea birds in Bothnian Sea. July 2020, Photo by Jan Eerala.

The project started in spring 2020 as a part of Scandinavian joint project The Conference of the Birds, led by Norwegian artist and curator Eva Bakkeslett and will be exhibited at Pori Art Museum in March 2022 as a part of Overview Effect exhibition.

Chorus sinensis is being supported by Nordic Culture Point, Nordic Culture Fund, Satakunta Art Council and Finnish Art Council, Samuel Huber Foundation as well as Pori Art Museum.

Capsula website is being reshaped

This website is currently not being updated and is almost obsolete. The new site will be announced in the near future.

Meanwhile, the on-going, collaborative or collateral long-term programs and projects of Capsula such as

*Climate Whirl – Arts Program at INAR (Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research), University of Helsinki (2012 ->)

**Melliferopolis – Platform for artistic strategies related with urban pollinators (2012 – >)

***The Other Side – Aural space for bee literature and listening (2016 ->)

and ****Chorus Sinensis – Audiovisual piece for Great Cormorants and a choir under the Conference of the Birds platform

have their own webpages. Please click and visit directly to these sites!

The progress of the work of Erich Berger, who was rewarded with the Accelerate Finland prize, an artist-in-residence at Arts at CERN in partnership with Capsula in 2019 – is finally starting. He will begin the residency remotely in February 2021 with virtual visits and talks with scientists. The news of these conversations and virtual visits. and hopefully later the real residency at CERN are published at Arts at CERN and Erich FB page.

Accelerete Finland awardee selected

Spectral Landscapes_image artsatcern and jyrki autio

European Laboratory of Particle Physics CERN and Palkiskuru in Sápmi, the Northern sub-arctic part of Finland. Photo: Arts at CERN and Jyrki Autio.

Accelerate Finland Call for Entries closed on 4thNovember and the jury, comprised of Monica Bello, head and curator of Arts at CERN, Sabine Himmelsbach, director and curator of HeK (Haus der Electronischen Künste, Basel), Helga Timko, physicist from CERN and Ulla Taipale, curator at Capsula have decided to award among the 43 applicants the research proposal by Austrian, Helsinki-based artist Erich Berger.

erich_berger_field_work_photo Liisa Luohela

Erich Berger, photo by Liisa Luohela.

Spectral Landscapes by Erich Berger proposes a fascinating and poetic artistic research combining two very alien and contrasted sites and landscapes, the vast natural open space with a uranium ore in sub-arctic Finland and the huge, man-made science facilities of European Laboratory of Particle Physics CERN, in Geneva. The project continues Berger´s long-term artistic research on deep time and radiogenic phenomena, aiming at discovering naturally-occurring radioactive processes produced in a landscape and how they can be captured by detection techniques.

Arts at CERN and Capsula thank all the applicants for their dedication and interests towards to this unique possibility to dedicate one month´s period for artistic exploration at CERN, and Saastamoinen Foundation and The Committee of Public Information (TJNK) for supporting Capsula with the Accelerate Finland Call for Entries.

Erich Berger will start his residency at CERN in spring 2020, combining the summer and autumn season with research periods both in Geneva and in Enontekiö in Sápmi,  the Northern sub-arctic part of  Finland.

Accelerate Finland – Call for Entries open until 4th Nov, 2019

Arts at CERN, in Geneva, in partnership with the Finnish organisation Capsula (art-science-nature), is offering an individual artist or artistic collective the opportunity to apply for a one-month research residency at one of the world’s largest particle physics laboratories, CERN.

Accelerate Finland is an open call for Finnish artists interested in carrying out artistic research inspired by the world of particle physics, in dialogue with scientists, engineers and staff, during an artistic residency of one month at CERN, the European Laboratory of Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland. 

The main goal of the Accelerate programme is to foster artistic investigation in connection with scientific research and fundamental physics. A jury of experts from culture and science will review the proposals received out of the call. One individual artist or collective will be selected from all the received proposals and will be invited to CERN in 2020 to explore possible new scenarios for enquiry in arts and science.

Read the Open Call for entries in English and in Finnish.

Saastamoinen Foundation and The Committee for Public Information (TJNK) support Capsula in realizing the Call. 


Arts inspired by the research at CERN has been featured in numerous articles in the most prestigious media. Here are some links for articles featuring projects that had been incubated at Arts at CERN programme.

Wired, 12.9.2017
CERN isn’t just colliding particles. It’s welcoming artists

The New York Times Styles Magazine, 12.9.2017
Are Artists the New Interpreters of Scientific Innovation?

Financial Times, 8.6.2018
Art Basel installation turns particle physics into art

The Guardian, 22.5.2018
The big bangers: grime smashes into the Hadron Collider

Forbes, 29.8.2018
Creating Art At The World’s Largest Particle Accelerator

More information:

Climate Whirl calls artists to work at a Scientific Forestry Field Station!

Are you an artist or part of an artist group? Are you interested in multi-disciplinary research related to forests and the atmosphere? The Climate Whirl art programme at the University of Helsinki offers artists an opportunity to work at a scientific research station and related measuring stations in dialogue with researchers and utilising the research infrastructure and data of the station. The residency will be realized in 2020. The Call is international and the deadline for applications is 18th Nov, 2019.

Hyytiälä’s SMEAR II research forest makes electronic and pneumatic sounds. Multi-coloured leads and pipes crisscross among the tussocks and undergrowth of a Finnish commercial forest. Plexiglass measuring chambers sigh as they open and close in tree branches and on the forest floor. Measurements also go on all year round in the immense Siikaneva wetland area and Kuivajärvi lake. The area surrounding the station also features an old enchanting natural forest and clear-cutting area. Hyytiälä is a renowned base for international researchers who come to the station to conduct measurements and meet colleagues. The station is located in Juupajoki, Finland.
It has been calculated that the measuring stations of the Centre of Excellence in Atmospheric Science measure at least 1,200 different items from the atmosphere, northern coniferous forest, swamps and lake. Research conducted at the station, scientific experiments and measuring campaigns help to answer complex research questions posed by natural sciences.
Climate Whirl is an art programme functioning under the umbrella of theInstitute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) of the University of Helsinki, which began its operations in 2012. The programme realises artist residencies and commissioned works as well as art&science workshops.
Working in Hyytiälä
We are looking for an artist(s)-in-residence for the Climate Whirl programme to conduct their own research at the station. An artist or group of artists may work at the station from four to six weeks during 2020 depending on the needs of their project. We aim to be flexible with regard to the duration and format of the residency; the most important thing when making our selection is the interest the proposal arouses and its topicality. We appreciate research oriented approach and long-term commitment. We hope that the artist-in-residence will leave something permanent at the station after the residency. It may be a work of art in the area surrounding the station, an experience shared with the audience that could possibly be recorded or an inclusive workshop after the residency period. 
The research station employs approximately 20 people permanently and receives regular researcher visits from all over the world. During the summer, the station is at full capacity with university courses and scientific workshops or measuring campaigns. The station organises, for example, courses related to climate research, forest ecology and forestry.We will find a scientific partner or advisers to support the project, and the artist will be assisted in integrating into the everyday life of the station. The station has laboratory facilities and sauna is often warm!
The artist-in-residence will live in either a log building or the course centre with a shared kitchen and sanitary facilities. The station area includes historical log buildings from the early 1900s, which can be used for accommodation from May to September. Shared flats in the more modern course centre are used for winter accommodation. 
The artist(s)-in-residence are selected by an expert jury comprising representatives from the worlds of science and the arts. 

Conditions of the residency

  • A fee of €3,000 will be paid to the selected artist or group of artists. 
  • Max. €3,000 will be contributed towards the production costs of the new work of art.                                                                                                  
  • The residency covers the accommodation costs.                                                                                                                                              
  • Reasonable travel costs to the station from Finland or Europe will be covered to a maximum amount of €500. We encourage applicants to travel to Hyytiälä by land or water!

The artist-in-residence or group of artists may stay at the station for a maximum of six weeks during 2020. In the case of a group, the residency must be agreed according to the accommodation capacity of the station. 

Submission of applications

Send your proposal in Finnish or English by 18 November 2019 to:
The proposal must include:

  • A description of the project topic and goals (max. 1 A4 page)
  • CV or portfolio of the artist or group of artists (max. 3 A4 pages + internet links)
  • Tentative plan for the timetable
  • Tentative budget of the artwork
    The maximum size of appendices is 3MB each, in PDF format.

More information about the call for residency applications is available from

Curator Ulla Taipale, phone: +358 50 476 2483, email:

More information about artistic activities at Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station
In recent years many artists have visited the station, one of whom is the visual artist Terike Haapoja who became interested in the research conducted at the station in 2008 and her work, related to carbon cycling, was performed at the 2012 Venice Biennale. German media artist Agnes Meyer-Brandis worked as Climate Whirl programme’s artist-in-residence in Hyytiälä in 2013–14. Her work Teacup Tools received an honorary mention in Ars Electronica’s Hybrid Arts category in 2015 and it has been travelling in exhibitions around the world. A Finnish group of artists IC-98 is currently working on a piece which is situated in the old forest in Hyytiälä. It will be published later this autumn. Other artists who have worked at the station include Finnish visual artist Josefiina Nelimarkka and the Saine Ensemble
Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station is located less than an hour’s drive from Tampere towards Mänttä. The exact location can be found here. The closest town, Orivesi, is located approximately half an hour’s drive away. The station has cars which can be used to get around in the local area for a fee. 
Useful links:
Climate Whirl:

Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station:



Articles in Finnish: 
Helsingin Sanomat, “Hyytiälässä on mitattu Tšernobyliä, havaittu ensimmäisenä Islannin tuhkapilvi ja nyt kurkotetaan Kiinaan” (‘Hyytiälä has measured Chernobyl, been the first to detect the ash cloud from Iceland and is now reaching out to China’), 23 March 2019

Helsingin Sanomat, “Vihreän hiilinielun maa” (‘The land of the green carbon sink’)

Forest-Climate-Time, Helsinki


Climate Whirl // Forest – Climate – Time

5-6.4. 2017, Helsinki

The subtle changes happening over the course of long periods of time can be understood via persistent work, trial and error, and through broad observation and thought combining various disciplines. Forest-Climate-Time gives the floor to the explorers of climates, life and time, for those who approach their research topics from multiple angles. Neither subjects nor viewpoints are tied to certain disciplines or species. Instead, we look for encounters and interplay between sciences, arts, people, trees and other organisms. The event is realised by Climate Whirl team.

The guests are academy professor Timo Vesala (University of Helsinki), artist Agnes Meyer-Brandis (DE), filmmaker Lotta Petronella, historian Laura Hollsten (Åbo Akademi), professor emeritus Ilppo Vuorinen (University of Turku), sound artist Lau Nau (FI), artist group IC-98 (FI), professor emeritus  of Environmental Politics Yrjö Haila (University of Tampere). Forest Cocktail by chef Sami Tallberg.  The workshops are lead by forest researchers Kourosh Kabiri, Janne Korhonen (University of Helsinki) and artist Mari Keski-Korsu(FI). The program is curated by Ulla Taipale, and, supported by  Kone Foundation and the Goethe-Institut Finnland.

The event will be realised during a 2-day programme in April 2017;
-a seminar on Wednesday 5th April at WHS Theatre Union, (Siltavuorenranta 18, Helsinki), free entrance
-an active trekking and exploration day on Thursday 6th April at Vuosaari territory, forest and a sauna (registration fee 20€)

For more info:

A Tea Ceremony deep in the shade of SMEAR Forest

Tealemetree Station, a permanent sculpture by Agnes Meyer-Brandis was inaugurated during a small and intimate tea-drinking ceremony in the SMEAR Research Forest in the middle of Finland.

The Station is meant for the the encounters occurring within the forest, to get in touch with other researches and the trees, visiting Hyytiälä Forest Station. Agnes spent time in Hyytiälä as an artist-in-residency in Climate Whirl program by University of Helsinki and Capsula, and funded by Kone Foundation.

Tea = a traditional beverage made from steeping the processed leaves, buds in water.
Telemetry = The word is derived from Greek roots: tele = remote, and metron = measure.
Tree = There is no universally recognised precise definition of what a tree is, neither botanically nor in common language.

More info:

Tealemetree Station Hyytiälä, Agnes Meyer-Brandis © VG Bildkunst

Tealemetree Station Hyytiälä, Agnes Meyer-Brandis © VG Bildkunst

A permanent Tealemetree Station will be installed in the SMEAR II forest

Next week, 13th August, 2015,  a birthday party is celebrated in a bizarre laboratory-like forest at SMEAR II station, in the University of Helsinki Hyytiälä Forestry Station. SMEAR II (Station for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations) is lead by Professor Markku Kulmala and is an international meeting point for research for atmospheric sciences, now already for 20 years.

in 2012, Ulla Taipale was invited by University of Helsinki (Division of Atmospheric Sciences) , research coordinator Eija Juurola to take part to the Climate Whirl project, to develop and coordinate the artistic contents of the initiative.

Climate Whirl is a dialogue between science, art and education. It aims at introducing
a holistic view on climate and ecosystem research and to increase public awareness on the interactions between climate and forests, as well as on the role of boreal forests in climate change. The project combines scientific and artistic research and introduces the results of this trans-disciplinary approach by organizing workshops, seminars and exhibitions.

Currently, Climate Whirl is a collaborative project by Department of Forest Sciences and Department of Physics (University of Helsinki), and Capsula.

The first artist-in-residence was organized in 2013, after a call for shortlisted artists. German artist Agnes Meyer-Brandis, was invited to be the first Climate Whirl artist to work in the station.  She started her residency in the woods in August 2013. During the first stage of the residency she was concentrated in collecting information, getting familiar with the research areas and interviewing station staff and visiting scientists, and in 2014 she returned for an intensive production period with clear ideas for her artwork.

In the end of the residency a 3-day Tealeametree workshop  was celebrated with international group of participants from arts and sciences.

Tealemetree Workshop at SMEAR II

The artwork Teacup Tool,  (the video above) resulting of the Agnes residency at the station, was awarded in Ars Electronica Prixars competition, in the category of Hybrid Art, where a total of 2,889 entries from 75 countries were submitted.

A central artifact in the series of works created by Agnes, is a Tealemetree Station, a table in the SMEAR II forest, merged with a pine tree, that invites to Have a Tea with a Tree. An important research method of the artist was to invite other people working in the station to spend time in the forest, and share a table with her, and with a tree to converse, and enjoy some warm tea and cookies.

In the framework of the 20 years celebration of the SMEAR II station, a public Tealemetree Station artwork is installed permanently beside a 50 and something-year old pine tree, among other research instruments and tools located in the forest. It is meant to stay for the next decades to remind people of the importance of the communication, whether it is in between humans or, in between various species.

Tealemetree Station_Photo-Agnes Meyer-Brandis

The Climate Whirl artist-in-residence and the permanent Tealemetree Station are supported by Kone Foundation and the Research Raft – Insitute for Art and Subjective Science. Special thanks for Kat Clear for the assistance during the second residency period.

The 2nd Climate Whirl Workshop Call for participants is open!

Call for Participants
Climate Whirl Workshop II
8-10th April, 2015
Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station, Juupajoki, Finland

Albedo Dreams, Mari Keski-Korsu, 2012

The Art of Measuring the Woods
by University of Helsinki forest researchers and artist Mari Keski-Korsu (FI)*

University of Helsinki / Department of Forest Sciences and Department of Physics and Capsula
are proud to invite students and professionals of life sciences, arts, design, crafts, architecture and other interested
for a three day workshop at Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station, Juupajoki, Finland
8-10th April 2015.

Workshop outline
The second Climate Whirl workshop combines practical and philosophical questions around scientific measuring in a forestry field station. It will introduce the participants methodologies used in the natural-scientific and eco-socially engaged artistic research.

This hands-on workshop introduces the participants to the construction of scientific and DIY tools for measuring and converting the forest into the data. We will build chamber systems, calculate the albedo and the growth of the trees, and discuss artistic and scientific approaches to the climate change studies, and, analyze the collected data. Participants will get experience how the theoretical thinking of the researcher affects the results he/she will get.

The 3-days workshop happens mostly outdoors, in the woods surrounding the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station facilities. The first Climate Whirl workshop, lead by German artist Agnes Meyer-Brandis was celebrated in August, 2014.

Please send an email to by Monday 2nd March, to register to the workshop. Title ” Climate Whirl Workshop 2015″ and your name. We would like to have max 100 words description of you and your motivations to take part to the workshop. Max 15 participants will be selected.

The selected participants will be informed by 16th March 2015 and prepared with more detailed information of the workshop.

Accommodation during the workshop will be provided for the participants as well as the transportation to Hyytiälä Field Station from Orivesi train station.

The workshop is part of ongoing Climate Whirl project. It has been supported by
Kone Foundation, University of Helsinki, Aalto Biofilia and Institute of Art and Subjective Science.

Climate Whirl is a dialogue between science, art and education. It aims at introducing
a holistic view on climate and ecosystem research and to increase public awareness on the interactions
It is a collaborative project by Department of Forest Sciences and Department of Physics (University of Helsinki),               Simosol Oy and Capsula.

*Biographies of the workshop leaders
Elisa Halmeenmäki is MSc and PhD student of environmental sciences, and her research is about methane emissions in boreal forest. The main method is chamber measurements, from forest floor and trees. As environmental scientist she has a diverse background of studies related to environmental protection.

Kourosh Kabiri  is forester with background studies in forest silviculture in Iran. Currently he lives in Finland and is a PhD student in the Forest Ecophysiology group at University of Helsinki where he is studying the structural regularities in Scots pine in Hyytiälä Research Station.

Mari Keski-Korsu is an interdisciplinary artist who explores how ecological and socio-economical changes manifest in people’s everyday life. How macrocosm becomes microcosm and vice versa? Her works have a political nature but they tend to also have a humorous twist. Often, the starting point is in location, a place and people’s relations to it and collaborations with different kinds of communities and individuals – including other species. She is interested in relations in between art, activism, politics and science. Her work has been exhibited in Europe and in many other countries around the world.

Janne Korhonen is an atmospheric scientist, working as a doctoral student at Department of Forest Sciences at University of Helsinki. His main research interest is transport of organic and nitrogen compounds inside forest, as well as between forests and the atmosphere. In addition to research, Janne is working on Climate Whirl concept, focusing on intersection between arts, popularization of science and science education.

Photo: Albedo Dreams by Mari Keski-Korsu