Over the next two years, the support of the Alfred Kordelin Foundation will enable the realization permanent exhibition, based in multidisciplinary artistic and scientific research in forests, peatlands and a lake, at the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station of the University of Helsinki in Juupajoki.
The artworks of the exhibition, curated by Ulla Taipale will be located in the vicinity of the field station, in the historic log buildings and in the new main building to be completed in 2022.
The upcoming exhibition consists of existing works, such as the site-specific poetry intervention IÄI by IC-98,carved into the woods of Lake Kuivajärvi, the Tealemetree Station sculpture by Agnes Meyer-Brandis, and a permanent public version of Terike Haapoja's artwork Inhale-Exhale. In addition to this, completely new works will be commissioned by several artists, such as Band of Weeds, textile artist Kustaa Saksi and architect Juhani Pallasmaa.
The project team is formed by INAR professors Timo Vesala (meteorology), Jaana Bäck (forest-atmosphere interactions), reserach coordinators Anna Lintunen and Pauliina Schiestl-Aalto (SMEAR II-stations), curator Ulla Taipale, and project manager Eija Juurola (Finnish Meteorological Institute).
The opening of the as yet unnamed exhibition is scheduled for summer 2023!
Peatlands and other ecosystems are going through unimaginative shifts due the climate change. We are used to think that peatlands change only because of the direct human action such as drainage and peat harvesting. However, the scientific long-term observations reveal that little by little the bogs are being occupied by trees and other plants that in earlier times could not grow in the soft and wet ground. Drying happens because the Northern climate is getting warmer and the evaporation of the peatlands is faster.
There are several other examples of other ecosystems where plants are changing places in search of better life conditions, little by little but – indisputably.
Agnes Meyer-Brandis studies the phenomena of the Wandering Trees in different spots of the world and captures the moving of the trees through audiovisual, long-term shootings or via existing phenological webcam networks.
Pine trees in motion have been detected in the vicinity of the SMEAR II Reserach Station at Siikaneva. and during 2021-22 an observation site for The Office for Tree Migration by Meyer-Brandis will be set up to the peatland.
After the shooting period the artist will gather the material achieved in order to create a multichannel movie installation, that will be shown for a wider public.
The working team consists of peatland experts such as professor and peatland reseracher Eeva-Stiina Tuittila, post-doc researcher Aino Korrensalo, professor and climate reseracher Timo Vesala, equipment designer Topi Pohja, and curator Ulla Taipale.
We are grateful to Finnish Cultural Foundation / Pirkanmaa Regional Fund for the “Spearhead Project Grant”, and for the support of Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station and Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research at University of Helsinki for the project, as well as Taike and Alfred Kordelin Foundation.
As Joseph Beuys stated in 1971: “Bogs are the liveliest elements in the European landscape, not just from the point of view of flora, fauna, birds and animals, but as storing places of life, mystery and chemical change, preservers of ancient history. They are essential to the whole eco-system for water regulation, humidity, ground water and climate in general.”
Agnes Meyer-Brandis at the Siikaneva peatland, October 2020.
The Band of Weeds visited Hyytiälä in September to get further with their idea to sonificate trees and create sound art using research data, generated in SMEAR II station located in an economic forest. Recently thinned research forest inspired the artists to imagine how did the act of logging trees affect the apparently invisible and inaudible soundscape of the site? How did trees react and how does the stress of trees sound like?
The new art work Puiden itku ( The Cry of the Trees) is in process and will mix existing research data and long-term time series with real-time data flow, and be combined and composed with the sound of the emissions, originated from VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions during the act of thinning the forest. Forest ecologist Anna Lintunen (INAR) has been supporting the artists to find ways to sonificate trees: the earlier works by the Band composed by Kalle Hamm, Hermanni Keko, Olli Aarni and Lauri Ainala feature soft stemmed plants using a sound recording method developed by Soviet botanist Ivan Gunar. Check out the earlier works of Band of Weeds here.
The Cry of the Trees resonates with the Rune 44 called Koivun itku (The Cry of a Birch Tree) from Kalevala, Finnish epic story from 1835. In the poem a birch tree laments the way how people treat trees using them as a mere resource.
Kalle Hamm at SMEAR II - reasearch forest, Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station. September 2020. Photo: Ulla Taipale
Finnish artists Patrik Söderlund and Visa Suonpää, known as IC-98, have created, together with poets Mikael Brygger, Henriikka Tavi and Olli-Pekka Tennilä, a conceptual artwork called IÄI that immerses the viewer in the forest. The work is located in the 22-hectare protected Kuivajärvi forest next to the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station in Juupajoki, as well as in the Forest Sciences Building on Viikki Campus in Helsinki, where a small section of the work can be found. The work was debuted on 20 August 2020 at the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station as part of the 25 years anniversary party of SMEAR II station. Read more about the artwork here:
IÄI, Kuivajärvi forest, September 2019. Photo: Ulla Taipale
News now are that almost all the activities for the following months have been postponed. University of Helsinki has taken all the activities online at least until 31st May, 2020 due the risk of Covid-19 and all planned artist visits to Hyytiälä forestry field station have been re-scheduled, too.
Before having time to write and publish about the Climate Whirl spring calendar, now instead I am telling what we were supposed to do!
Finnish artist Kalle Hamm and The Band of Weeds are studying with Anna Lintunen (adjunct professor in Tree Ecophysiology, INAR) the methods and ways to sonificate trees. The explorations started in February at laboratory conditions at Viikki Campus and are supposed to continue in Hyytiälä with real trees. The visit is postponed until next possible dates, hopefully in the end of the summer.
German visual artist Agnes Meyer-Brandis takes her long-term tree observations to the Siikaneva wetland. The visit of the artist, scheduled for April 2020, is going to take place later, in early fall.
Agnes has studied for some years now the topic of tree migrations worldwide, and has set up an Office for Tree Migrations. She has observed and documented wandering trees in several locations, like in Denmark, in Germany, in California and now in a Finnish wetland. Trees, like other beings in many places on the Earth, find their living conditions changed because of the changing climate. To continue their lives in suitable livinghoods, trees also, migrate.
In this video by Meyer-Brandis, a wandering spruce was documented at one of the towers of SMEAR II, at Hyytiälä forestry field station.
Our recently selected artist-in-residence, Irish Siobhan McDonald´s first stay in Hyytiälä was going to take place during the first week of June. However, now we don´t know if in June she is able to travel from Dublin to Juupajoki so her visit is still unconfirmed.
And, the last but not least, IC-98´s not yet published new work, commissioned by Climate Whirl and INAR and supported by Kone Foundation, will be concluded by August 2020. IÄI is a conceptual artwork, located in a natural forest of 22 ha at Hyytiälä and at Viikki Campus in Helsinki. It consists of 30 words syllables, carved and cut on trees, rocks and stones. The visitor will have the pleasure of merging the forest into the subjective and personal mind map and meanings, depending on one´s values, life experience and background. The working group behind the work are poets Henriikka Tavi, Mikael Brygger and Olli-Pekka Tennilä and craftsmen Kaius Paetau and Andrei Baharov, nature cartographer Jyrki Lehtonen and IC-98, Patrik Söderlund and Visa Suonpää. The site-specific works in the forest and at Viikki Campus are finished, and the last piece of the entire work, a leaflet with introduction and map is being realised before August publishing moment.
Quoting INAR director Markku Kulmala, the state of alarm can also be seen as a possibility:
Now it is time to analyze data, read literature, and make research! Be merciful to yourself and do not feel bad if your working efficiency suffers due to this exceptional situation.
Siobhan McDonald, Irish visual artist will be invited as artist-in-residence for Climate Whirl arts program in 2020. The international open call received 168 applications by 18th November 2019 and the jury, composed by Jaana Bäck, professor in Forest-Atmosphere Interactions (INAR, University of Helsinki), Timo Vesala, professor in Meteorology (INAR, University of Helsinki), Henna Paunu, chief curator at EMMA (Espoo Museum for Modern Art), Paula Toppila executive director at IHME Helsinki and Ulla Taipale, curator of Climate Whirl had a demanding task to choose one applicant for the 2020 residency.
Climate Whirl thank all the applicants for their interests towards to the Open Call for Entries. The response exceeded all our expectations in number and in quality.
Siobhan McDonald´s work manifests in many forms including painting, drawing, film and sound, and draws attention to contemporary topics dealing with air, breath and atmospheric phenomena. Her recent projects explore the origins of life and the information held within plants and rocks. Her research-based practice calls on notions of what is still unknown to science to confront environmental issues to pose questions on ways to embrace a cultural shift.
In Hyytiälä Forestry Field station McDonald continues her open-ended process to explore the notion of air across Europe. She is interested in examining the chemical signals and defense mechanisms of trees, and stretching the project to cover a selection of forests in other parts of Europe.
“My work is about the spirit of discovery of what is still unknown to science, going beyond the edge of the universe and exploring the layers that go back to our origins.”
She an artist in residence in the School of Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin (2017-2020) and working with world-leading research facilities such as The European Space Agency (ESA) and The European Commission. Her recent shows have been exhibited at Bozar, Brussels, 2020; Deutsches Hygiene-Museum DHMD, 2020; Volta, Basel 2019; Limerick City Art Gallery, 2019; Deutsches Hygiene-Museum DHMD, 2019; The National Trust-Fox Talbot Museum, UK, 2018; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, 2018, among others.
She is represented in many international collections, both public and private such as The Arts Council of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, The Ulster Museum and Trinity College Dublin.
More info: www.siobhanmcdonald.com
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.
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 the Institute 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
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:
Please send your application before midnight in Finland (GMT+2)
More information about the call for residency applications is available from
Curator Ulla Taipale, phone: +358 50 476 2483, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE CALL FOR ENTRIES PDF >
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.
Climate Whirl: http://climatewhirl.fi/en
Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/research-stations/hyytiala-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’)
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 Climate Whirl project is rooted in the cross-disciplinary research being undertaken at the Helsinki University Hyytiälä Forestry Field station and SMEAR II station in Finland. We look for new models of though and action, that might shake traditional ways of making, but that enable encounters in new, different levels (experience-emotions-knowledge).
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, artist group IC-98 (FI) and professor emeritus of Environmental Politics Yrjö Haila (University of Tampere). Forest Cocktail by chef Sami Tallberg. The workshops are lead by forest ecologists 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 Goethe-Institut Finnland.
Phd (For.) Eija Juurola and curator Ulla Taipale
Professor Vesala presents excerpts of films and parallels those to his research around greenhouse gases, forests, peatlands, rivers, aerosols and energy.
Performance lecture by Berlin based artist Agnes Meyer-Brandis, on her ongoing projects developed at the SMEAR II research station at Hyytiälä (FI), and other forest research stations in Europe. The lecture will speculate on a cup of tea and take the audience into the woods, the clouds and the hovering matter in between. Its a journey into the realm of smallness.
Lotta Petronella, artist and filmmaker moderates a session with former director of the Seili Archipelago Research Institute of University of Turku, professor emeritus Ilppo Vuorinen, historian Laura Hollstén (Åbo Akademi),
and sound artist Lau Nau.
Artists Patrik Söderlund and Visa Suonpää (IC-98) present their animation film Nekropolis (2016) and the thinking behind the work.
Yrjö Haila, professor of environmental policy (emeritus) at the University of Tampere.
Forests are in continuous interaction between the atmosphere. Forests give, but they also take. These phenomena can be studied by measuring the exchange of gases between forests and the atmosphere. Janne familiarizes how this invisible processes can be measured, and discuss what do the measurements tell us, and what do they not. Kourosh gives an introduction to the growth of the trees, the hidden knowledge and meanings that can be found and read in the tree rings using the scientific method. In the end of the day artist Mari Keski-Korsu introduces to the inter-species forest communication trough whisking treatments at Vuosanta sauna, in Beat to the Balance workshop.
The lunch is prepared at a fire and the dinner at sauna. Each participant brings their own food.
Please send a short motivation letter by 17th March to ulla at capsula.fi. Max 15 participants.
Participations fee 20€. The payment instructions are given after the registration.
The program is subject to change.