Curated Expedition to the Baltic Sea

Antti Laitinen sailing towards the Estonian coast on his bark boat Photo: Juuso Westerlund

The ‘Expedition to the Baltic Sea’ is a cross-disciplinary art project to observe and experience the natural phenomena of the Baltic Sea. Expedition works are realised through collaborations between artists, scientists and different cultural agencies and will be exhibited as part of the European Capital of Culture Turku2011 programme. The project began in autumn 2009 with an open call to Finnish and Estonian artists and creators to present proposals for new works that should include an expedition to the Baltic Sea. The call produced 70 proposals. Five projects were commissioned by a committee of art and science professionals.

The exhibition is open from 28th May to 31st August. The venues are in five different places in Turku area, starting from Aura River and ending to the Ruissalo Island.

Download a Tutkimusmatka_Itämerellä/ Curated Expedition to the baltic sea / Forskningsresa pâ Östersjön -brochure and map

Exhibition venues in Turku, Finland

The audience is encouraged to do their own expedition using leisurely methods of transport, such as walking, bicycles, canoes or a riverboat.

Four new artworks in exhibition

Finnish visual artist Antti Laitinen and Rescue Boat Baltic Herring crew managed in building two experimental boats, with the idea to explore the Baltic Sea  area by sailing.  In case of Antti, the principal objective was to  reach Estonia by sea by a gigant, selfmade Bark Boat. Antti gathered together so much bark of pine trees, fallen on the ground, that he managed to build a 3,7 meter-long boat out of them. The project culminated last August to the landing of artist in Estonian coast, after a 20 -hour long sail from Porkkalanniemi, crossin the Gulf of Finland. The model for the gigant Bark Boat comes from small boats, traditionally sculpt of bark by children. The Bark Boat is exhibited in Wäinö Aaltonen art museum in Turku.

The Rescue Boat Baltic Herring crew were busy in building of 8,5  -meter-long vessel made out “waste” materials, mostly donated by different supporters in Tampere and Turku region. The boat was taken to Hakkenpää port by Turku and  rebuilt there again. The August 2010 artists Teemu Takatalo and Tommi Taipale were sailing around the Archipelago Sea together with several guests participating the agenda of the vessel; artists, scientists and thinkers. Audiovisual documentation of the sea adventures are installed in two sea containers in front of Forum Marinum centre. Third container will exhibit reflections from Gulf of Finland by artist Richard Thompson Coon. See the video:

Mia Mäkelä, author of Green Matters project  spent a residence period first in Seili Island, Turku University Archipelago Investigation Centre and then in Ouraluoto, Merikarvia archipelago. Her work investigates new manners to rescue the eutrophicated Baltic Sea, encouraging citizens in foraging the excessive green algae and working  it to textile format.  In her video trailer she explains the project. Green Matters is shown in a greenhouse in Turku University Botanical Garden.

Hanna Haaslahti & Marianne Decoster-Taivalkoski has been exploring the underwater sonic scenery of Turku surroundings using hydrophones. The public will be able to listen real-time audio compositions  from two Sonic Seascape Terraces, situated in Koroinen, nearby Halistenkoski rapid and in Ruissalo Island Park.

Marianne Decoster-Taivalkoski listens sounds from hydrophone photo: Hanna Haaslahti

The dance performance in october 2011 dance performance related explorations by Tomi Paasonen and Tiago da Cruz started in January 2011, in the middle of icy Archipelago Sea. The artists were lucky to be able to experiment great variety of divergent winter phenomena related with different stages of water. After this white break of urban life Tomi and Tiago had a session in Turku University Department or Biomedicine and could peek to the microscopic scale of water icying and melting processes (photo).  To follow a blog written by Tiago da Cruz, enter here. In the beginning of June the artists will continue their expedition by the open sea – in Tvärminne Zoological Station of Helsinki University and Aranda research vessel by Syke. They are supported also by Kone Foundation that will offer the group facilities and residency for practicing the dance piece in August in Saaren Kartano. is a co-production of Paa, Capsula and Barker-theatre.

Tiago da Cruz and Tomi Paasonen microscoping in Turku University. Photo:Ulla Taipale

The exhibition will be opened in Turku on 28th May, 2011, presenting four different approaches to the sea by the expedition artists.   The dance performance is a joint production with Barker Theatre and will be presented six times from 13th to 30th of October. The exhibition is free and dance performance tickets cost 13€ and 10€ (children, students).

The project is funded by

Turku2011 Foundation, AVEK, Wihuri Foundation, Finnish Art Council, Cultural Foundation of Varsinais-Suomi, Ministry of Environment and Frame.

Special thanks for

Turku University Archipelago Sea Research Centre and Botanical Garden, Forum Marinum Centre, Wäinö Aaltonen art museum, Lumo Centre in Koroinen, Centre for music&technology /Sibelius Academy and ProNatMat-project and by Turku Politechnic.

We thank also:

Langh Ship Oy, Genelec Oy, Porkkalan Meripelastajat, Triin Männik/Tallinn2011, Merikarvian kunta, Kivikangas Oy, Foiltek Oy, Ympäristötaiteen  Säätiö, Rautasoini Oy, Turun Lukko Oy, T:mi Turun Tynnyri ja Säkki, Tampereen Palolaitos, Esko Puusti, Nakolinnan Rauta Oy, Ruissalon Telakka, Koukkujärven jättenkäsittelylaitos, Hakkenpään lauttasatama, Turun Museokeskus, Hartela Oy, ssBore, Aurajokisäätiö, Ruissalon Kansanpuiston säätiö, Lightpress Oy, Turun Ympäristökeskus,, Vanhan Tammen Kahvila, Kahvila Promenade.

Vernissage drinks are offered by

Norex Oy and Nokian Panimo Oy.

During 2009-10 Curated Expedition to the Baltic Sea -project main organizer was Finnish Bioart Society and since the year 2011 it is Capsula. Curating and coordination by Ulla Taipale and Merja Markkula.

Information of Curated Expeditions in Finnish (updated March 2011)


See The Bigger Picture – sustainable architecture?

Photo:Alex Marttunen

Finnish 12 years old Alex Marttunen  has won the first prize in See The Bigger Picture photography competition, launched by National Geographic. The picture of a crab, carrying it´s new house was taken in Thailand.

Finissage for Helsinki Expedition show

eclipse happening

Eclipse Happening 4th June, 2009, Helsinki The “Eclipse Happening” is the “finissage” event of the “Expedition to the Total Eclipse” exhibition on view at Kiasma Mediatheque until June 7th, and of the Pixelache season before the summer break. It consists of presentations focusing on eclipses and space traveling and a workshop in Kiasma Theatre, and of an urban expedition, culminating in the evening with an event in Kaivopuisto around the URSA observatory.

Keywords : Siberia, astronomy, eclipses, space traveling, geese, moon walk, weightlessness.

Agnes Meyer-Brandis by Ursa Observatory in Helsinki with a Moon Goose

Preliminary programme:

– 15.00 – 16.00: Presentations focusing on eclipses and space traveling by Professor Tapio Markkanen (Observatory of the University of Helsinki) & artist Agnes Meyer-Brandis (DE) / Kiasma Theatre

– 16.00 – 17.00: Moon Walk workshop for humans and moon geese, with leading moon walker Milla Koistinen / Kiasma Theatre

– 17.00 – 18.30: Urban Expedition / from Kiasma to URSA observatory in Kaivopuisto

– 18.30 – 22.00: Happy Eclipse gathering with Russian snacks and music, moonwalking, telescope observations (only until 21.00), video projections in URSA’s portable planetarium / URSA observatory in Kaivopuisto

All the events of the Eclipse Happening are free of charge. The number of places for the moon walk workshop is limited. If you want to participate, please send an email before June 2. The Eclipse Happening is organised by Capsula and Pixelache With kind support of : Opetusministeriö, Goethe Institut, HIAP, URSA, Kiasma Theatre.

The event forms part of the activities of the International Year of Astronomy.

Curated Expeditions -blog launched

The last project of Capsula, Curated Expeditions, has an own blog. The basic information about the first Expedition to the Zoo of Novosibirsk is now available – more information will be added during the next weeks.

Collaborators and funding needed!

TAXONOMIES celebra la última actividad TOPOFILIAS el sábado 19 de enero 08

proyecto Taxonomies_COMAFOSCA_alella_barcelona

19 de enero a partir de las 17 horas screening INVISIBLE & GANGA

a las 19.15 horas – charla por Josep Mañá, diseñador y profesor de Escola Massana, Centre d´Art i Disseny en Barcelona


La materialidad de nuestro entorno, no es tan sólo un recurso o unas fuerzas naturales a las que haya que adaptarse, también es una fuente de seguridad y de placer, y objeto de vínculo profundo y de amor.
Geógrafo Yi-Hu-Tuan, Topofilia, 1990

El científico y naturalista sueco Carlos Linné realizó a mediados del siglo XVIII una investigación exhaustiva, que se extendió por los lugares más remotos del mundo, pero realizada sin salir prácticamente de su casa. Fueron sus alumnos, a los que él llamó sus “apóstoles”, a los que confió la labor de explorar y viajar por el mundo. Ellos fielmente le fueron enviando muestras de plantas desde lugares exóticos del planeta, hasta donde llegaron en sus expediciones. El científico, que creó la base para la clasificación de la biológica moderna, se quedó pues en su hogar y en su universidad en Suecia concentrándose en poner orden y clasificar las plantas, los animales y los minerales que recibía.

La diferencia de escala en la extracción de flora y fauna en el mundo global e industrializado supera con creces a la realizada en tiempos del Linné. Las consecuencias de esta actividad voraz se evidencian en documentales audiovisuales y reportajes fotográficos que corresponsales y documentalistas independientes – los “apóstoles” de nuestra época – traen de regreso de sus viajes desde diferentes puntos de la Tierra.

En la actualidad tenemos acceso directo a la naturaleza en todo el mundo sin salir de la casa – en palabras del famoso documentalista inglés David Attenborough – por medio de múltiples canales de televisión que ofrecen documentales de naturaleza y de culturas exóticas.

Topofilias ofrece una selección de documentación filmográfica y fotodocumental que pretende relatar historias sobre el amor y el vínculo emocional a sus tierras por parte de personas de distintos pueblos afectados por los cambios en el clima, en el territorio o por las transformaciones de los recursos naturales disponibles.

Se presentarán dos películas documentales, comentadas posteriormente por diseñador y profesor en Escola Massana, Centre d´Art i Disseny en Barcelona.

INVISIBLE / roz mortimer_wonderdog productions

GANGA / gayawana productions
invisibleInvisible_Roz Mortimer, 2006



Para el año 2008 se prevé que, por primera vez en la historia de la humanidad, la mayor parte de la población mundial habitará en núcleos urbanos. En la segunda fase del proyecto Neurótica, el objetivo es examinar el metabolismo de los hábitats urbanos y las posibilidades que la innovación ecológica ofrece a la hora de mejorar la calidad de vida en las megalópolis y en las zonas rurales que las circundan. El desafío está en encontrar soluciones para evitar que el campo se convierta en un huerto controlado y destinado a la producción de bienes alimenticios y energéticos para las ciudades, así como poder rebajar la tendencia hiperconsumista. El desarrollo tecnocientífico, ¿es la solución ambiental o el causante de la insostenibilidad? ¿Cuál es la percepción de la sociedad ante los avances del caos climático? Las cuatro personas, que hemos invitado a desarrollar su planteamiento desde sus perspectivas muy diferentes, aportarán, algo fresco e innvoadora en el debate actual sobre los cambios globales del clima y sus efectos en la vida de los ciudadanos.

VACLÁC CILEK *geólogo, filósofo y director del Geology Institute at the Academy of Sciences de la República Checa*
The 51-year-old university professor, documentary filmmaker, essayist, traveler, amateur botanist and hip-hop aficionado seems most at ease in hiking boots, with his head ducked and a flashlight on hand.”Now is a very unsettling time. The climate — both physical and mental — is undergoing a change. There are many speculations about what will happen. And some are very apocalyptic.”

“Tourists are thieves of atmosphere,” Cílek says. “They have no connection to the place they’re visiting, and they just try to steal as many experiences as possible. It’s a form of spiritual consumption. It’s the local people who give atmosphere to places.” “Tourism, Cílek says, is above all about people looking for parts of themselves. “It’s a selfish endeavor,” he says. “A pilgrim, on the other hand, is someone who wants to attain some sort of understanding.”

But Cílek is hopeful. “We are approaching an era of post-materialism,” he says. “More and more people are rejecting commercialism. They have become saturated with things, and they want something more.”
The Prague Post

ALEX STEFFEN*promotor de la innovación ecológica y cofundador de*
“The jury’s still out on whether technology will make the world a fairer place or not. It depends on what kind of technology we end up embracing. If we end up embracing proprietary technologies, that are meant to profit the few at the expense of the many, we probably won’t see fairness emerge out of those technologies.

On the other hand, there are an enormous number of people out there who are creating technologies that are explicitly designed to make the world a fairer, better place. Things like the Creative Commons licence, that lets people share their intellectual property without losing out in the market by doing so, or open source software, or the Open Architecture network or Wikipedia — they’re all about sharing knowledge freely through collaboration. So it really depends on the sort of technology you use.”

JOAN RIERADEVALL*investigador en el Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Ambiental de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona*
“Pues, ocurre que para satisfacer las necesidades culturales de la ciudadanía, se realizan montajes efímeros, exposiciones temporales para las que se necesita madera, cables, focos, estructuras…
Hemos encontrado que para una visita a una exposición temporal de un museo, y hemos visto bastantes, se consumen unos 15 litros de agua por visitante, porque los lavabos no eran eficientes. Además, se genera un kilo de residuos por visitante, del montaje y desmontaje de la exposición, los trípticos, papel, información… Y se necesita 1 kilovatio hora de electricidad, para ver una cosa tan inocente como una exposición. Claro, como se piensa que es inocente, nadie lo mejora. Nadie va a un museo nacional o a una sala de exposiciones y dice: “¿Ustedes están usando luces eficientes?”.

VANDANA SHIVA *doctora en física y activista medioambiental*
“La ciencia, que es la búsqueda de la verdad, se ha enlazado paulatinamente con la búsqueda de ganancias. Ha perdido su independencia, los científicos trabajan más para las corporaciones, que para la naturaleza, la ecología, las necesidades de la gente. No nos podemos permitir que la ciencia esté al servicio de Wall Street y de las corporaciones. Necesitamos una ciencia independiente, que esté al servicio de la naturaleza, de la gente y de la sociedad.” V. Shiva, Barcelona 07

Vandana Shiva en Barcelona 23 de junio 2007

if that would happen…

thanks to Andy Gracie for the link