Climate Whirl is rooted in the cross-disciplinary research being done at the Helsinki University Hyytiälä Forest Station and Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) in Finland. The Arts Program engages artists to interpret and disseminate scientific knowledge about the interactions between forests and the atmosphere. We specifically regard the influence that boreal forests have on the climate, and we wish to enhance the dialogue between researchers and artists working at these stations. Neither research nor viewpoints are tied to certain disciplines or species. Instead, we look for encounters and interplay between sciences, arts, people, trees and other organisms.
In June 2023, a permanent, multidisciplinary art exhibition called Periferia / Forest Art Lab was opened at the forest station. The works in the exhibition are related to cutting-edge scientific research at the station or to the nature surrounding the more than 100-year-old forest station. The first exhibition season attracted plenty of visitors and in spring 2024 the works are all visitable again once the snow has melted. Some of the works are available also during the winter.
The cutting edge research done at the station is documented, and the results are published in international peer-reviewed journals. However, there is a long way from publishing in scientific journals to making the results to public knowledge or discussion. Plenty of interesting research and development does not get the attention it deserves.
Climate Whirl seeks and creates opportunities for interactions between scientific and artistic research. We seek to open up research processes and concrete procedures for wider audience. We look for new models of though and action, that might shake traditional ways of making, but that enable encounters in new, different cognitive levels (experience-emotions-knowledge).
The Arts Program started in 2011. So far the activities have included workshops, exhibitions, seminars and artist residences. The program brings together scientific and artistic research, and tranfer cross-disciplinary knowledge outside the expert communities.
Agnes Meyer-Brandis was selected the first residency artist of Hyytiälä Forestry Field station in 2013. Agnes worked at Hyytiälä during two summers in 2013-14. During the residency she created an installation called Teacup Tools and lead the Tealemetree Workshop. Both are closely linked with the aerosol research done at the SMEAR II research station in Hyytiälä.
In August 2015, the opening of Tealemetree Station by Meyer-Brandis was celebrated as part of the 20th anniversary party of SMEAR II research station. A seminar called Forest-Climate-Time was organized in Helsinki in April 2017.
In 2017 Finnish artist group IC-98 was invited to work at the station. They were commissioned a new artwork that was published 20th August, 2020, as part of SMEAR II station 25th anniversary celebration. The work called IÄI is permanently located in a natural Kuivajärvi forest of 22 ha at the Hyytiälä Forestry Station. A section of this site-specific poetic intervention can be found at the Faculty of Forest Sciences at Viikki Campus, in Helsinki.
The international call for projects resulted 170 applications in 2019 and Siobhan McDonald, Irish visual artist was selected the artist-in-residence for 2020.
Band of Weeds (Olli Aarni, Lauri Ainala, Kalle Hamm and Hermanni Keko) started working at Hyytiälä in September 2020 with the idea to sonificate trees and create a piece of sound art using research data, generated at SMEAR II research station located in an economic forest. The artwork Weep of Trees (Puiden itku) is an sound art piece composed using the research data of SMEAR II forest during the thinning of the forest in 2020.
In October 2020 Agnes Meyer-Brandis returned to the station, interested in observing the phenomenon of tree migration at the Siikaneva peatland. The production of the new work called Wandering Tree started in 2021 and is ongoing.
Climate Whirl started as a project between Department of Physics and Division of Atmospheric Sciences at University of Helsinki, and Capsula (art-science-nature). Project was generously supported by Kone Foundation between 2013-18. From 2018 the Arts Programme is developed under INAR and curated by Ulla Taipale. The permanent Periferia art exhibition was opened in June 2023 and was funded by Alfred Kordelin Foundation.
Forest, peatland and atmosphere related multi-disiplinary research.
Focused on forest and atmospheric explorations.
Climate Whirl workshops facilitate encounters and making in the woods.
Artistic work has become part of the everyday life of the forest station.
Overview of past and upcoming events of Climate Whirl programme.
The project is featured in the international media and publications.