News Archive 2010


26-28 November, 2010

Unruly Ecologies: Biodiversity and art
Perth and Mandurah, Western Australia

A symposium exploring the possibilities and difficulties of the diversity of life through critical investigations in art, ecology and activism.
The ecology of biodiversity is based upon an uncertain definition, incomplete statistics and the need to act in a world without balance. While multiple flora and fauna databases have being established and are being coordinated, there is an urgent need to engage even more proactively with complex ecosystems and human responses. Artists, scientists, humanities scholars and conservationists will come together to talk of the ‘matters of concern’ around the potentials and futures of biodiversity.
Confirmed Speakers include Professor Bruce Clarke (Professor of Literature and Science, Department of English, Texas Tech University), Professor Timothy Morton (Professor of English (Literature and the Environment), Department of English, University of California, Davis), Associate Professor Anas Ghadouani (School of Environmental Systems Engineering, The University of Western Australia), Greg Pryor (Artist and Lecturer, School of Communications and Arts, Faculty of Education and the Arts, Edith Cowan University), Dr Lesley Instone (Lecturer, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, Newcastle University) and British Artists Dr Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson.
Registration: Symposium sessions free but please RSVP for catering purposes
Call for contemporary artworks for a survey of examples: Artist whose work explores the idea of biodiversity are invited to post links to their work under the following categories or email an image and paragraph of text to:
1. as a concept or idea (eg taxonomy and classification, issues of scale in ecology, resilience)
2. as an issue (habitat loss, over-exploitation of resources, alien species, pollution and climate change)
3. as a way of thinking — diversity (human/nonhuman), complexity and interconnectedness, compositionist strategies (Latour), resilience thinking and contingent decision making


8-14 November, 2010

Gentle Actions, Final week
Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway

This week is packed with weird, wonderful, poetic, political and aesthetic happenings for a changing world at Gentle Actions. Multi-artist author and philosoper David Rothenberg has arrived, sharing interspecies communications that bridges the gap between humans and other living creatures. The philosopher and author David Abram is also here and will talk about his latest book Becoming Animal - a conversation on Cultural Metamorphosis with ecophilosopher Per Ingvar Haukeland. Jane Trowell and others from Platform has arrived and will give us an insight on how oil is infiltrating our lives. Every evening, from 5 - 8pm, you are invited to travel to parts of the world acutely affected by oil and gas extraction, and experience how this is connected to finance, and to our own lives. Anonymous Petroholics (Anonyme Petroholikere) will facilitate everyone who wants to confess their oil-addicions. Politicians are especially invited! Fermentation revivalist Sandor Ellix Katz is coming to teach people about the wonderful world of fermenting everything from cabbage and milk to cultural fermentations. The artist Rebecca Beinart will host teaparties with hot infusions and teach sourdough breadmaking and artist Jana Frøberg invites you to join her for remarkable porridge meals spiced with stories and butter. The economist Irene Nygårdsvik will speculate on the economics of generosity and consciousness and physicist whale activist Rauno Lauhakangas will talk about human meetings with whales and share wonderous whale stories from Karelia, and the biologist and whale researcher Heike Vester is conversing about whale culture and language in the amazing yurt made and inhabited by artist Tuula Nikulainen who also has come to join us. The environmental historian Hilde Ibsen invites you to Walden for conversations about nature, health and green living toghether with artists Anna Widén and Walter van Broekhuizen.

And if that was not enough: Join Karen Kviltu Lidal and Runa Carlsen for a readingcircle about the hand-made, reading texts by Richard Sennet and Lee Ufan. Sørfinnset skole/the nord land is hosting conversations about the role of the arts in a changing landscape in their birch teabar. The author Freddy Fjellheim will be presenting his latest book and asks the question if literature can help save the world. Musician Bendik Hofset will be there. So will climate researcher Rasmus Benestad, sharing his universe, and our ever vibrant and brilliant film program by Oslo Dokumentarkino is rolling on every day FOR FREE!! On Friday night the yurt will be rockin´with Mungolian Jet Set DJ´s alias Pål Nyhus and Knut Sævik
Hold your breath for the Bumblebee Anti-Gravitational See-You-Off Finnissage on Saturday where interspecies clarinetist David Rothenberg meets Karelian master of glitch: electronica artists Cycle Hickups alias Alexandr Velikoselsky. And last but foremost saddle your horses and wake up your creative potential for the Art and Activism day on Sunday the 14th!
Take the week off work, cancel your appointments and bring your friends and family and join us for Gentle Actions at Kunstnernes Hus in this final week.
For a full program for this last week download here: Gentle Actions Program week 45


October 2010


Helsinki, Finland

The research group for arts-based environmental education is sending in an application this week at the Academy of Finland for a grant to start an international research project, called eARThbound. Commonly, when art activities are practiced as part of environmental education or of education in natural science in general, it is thought of as an “extra.” The aim could for example be to awaken enthusiasm, or to loosen the learners up. In such a context, art practice is seldom seen as in itself a complementary form of learning, a type of meaning-making and knowledge-building about phenomena in the natural world in its own right. In a time when pedagogues and scholars call for an urgent renewal of environmental education practices, developing practices and evolving epistemologies in arts-based environmental education may provide interesting source material for a rigorous evaluation of potentialities, challenges, but also of the risks of an arts-centred redesign of environmental education. As part of eARThbound, different collaborating research institutions worldwide will analyse this theme in an exploratory way, from diverse angles and focal points, ranging from the paradigms of environmental education in its strict sense, to approaches stemming from art pedagogy, to arts practice and artistic research proper. The strength of eARThbound is that it will actively search for common denominators and contrasting viewpoints across disciplines. To our knowledge, a similar undertaking has not been performed before.

International project partners are:

Finland: Aalto University, School of Art and Design, Department of Art, Helsinki, Finland,
Canada: The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy & Department of Language and Literacy Education,
United Kingdom: Research in Art Nature & Environment research group at Falmouth University College,
Norway: Dept. of Mathematical Sciences and Technology, University of Life Sciences, Ås. Section for Learning and Teacher Education,
Netherlands: Education and Competence Studies Group of Wageningen University, Wageningen,
Ireland: School of Art and Design, University of Ulster, Belfast,
United States: Florida State University, Department of Art Education, Tallahassee,
United States: Arts in Education Program, Plymouth State University, New Hampshire,

For more information, contact Jan van Boeckel: jan.vanboeckel(at)

25-29 October 2010

The Seventh International Conference on the Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena (INSAP VII)
Bath, England

for all Artists and Art-Academics with an interest in the Cosmos, Planets and Stars

This interdisciplinary conference will explore humanity's fascination with the sky, a strong and sometimes dominant element in human life and culture. Scholars from a variety of disciplines, from the humanities and sciences, as well as artists, are invited to present and discuss their work on the cultural impact and inspiration of astronomical phenomena. The list of topics discussed at previous INSAP conferences is available at the INSAP website. Attendance is limited to 100 participants.

30 October 2010

Symposium "Naturen i människan" ("Nature in the human being," symposium partly in English)
Sigtuna (Uppsala), Sweden

Vilken roll spelar vårt biologiska och kulturella arv för vår naturuppfattning? Hur påverkas vi, fysiskt och mentalt, av olika typer av miljöer? Kan naturen bidra till hälsa och välmående? Vad är det i naturen som tilltalar oss? Har vi en nedärvd fallenhet för att tycka om levande varelser och trivas i naturen? Vad finns det för kulturella skillnader på hur vi uppfattar naturen och handskas med den? Symposiet kommer att ta upp och belysa dessa och andra frågeställningar som rör vårt förhållande till naturen ur olika perspektiv.
Medverkande är Henrik Ekman, journalist och fotograf; Caroline Hägerhäll, landskapsarkitekt; Stephen Kellert, samhällsekolog; Hans Landeström, psykolog; Ernst Pöppel, psykolog och neurofysiolog samt Laila Spik, samisk kulturarbetare.
Symposiet hålls delvis på engelska.
Symposiet ingår i den mångåriga serie om människans natur som Sigtunastiftelsen och Agora for Biosystems samarrangerar.
För ytterligare information kontakta Alf Linderman,
I samverkan med Agora for Biosystems och Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien

1-3 November, 2010

Conference: Climate Existence
Sigtuna, Sweden

CEMUS and the Sigtuna Foundation welcome you to Climate Existence. What are the existential aspects of the climate crisis? What do our values and visions have to do with the current crisis? Who are we as humans in this age of environmental crisis and what is our responsibility? Do we need to change the way we perceive nature and our role in society?
Today, most of us know that climate change poses a real and serious threat to our societies. Information reaches us in the shape of numbers and facts in new scientific reports and in media coverage of political meetings and international summits. The message: we need to make deliberate changes in the way we live our lives in order to minimize our environmental impact.
But the changes proposed are often focused on the implementation of economic or technologic solutions and a lot of emphasis is being put on the physical and infrastructural aspects of this new challenge humanity faces. Very little is said about a need to challenge our minds, mindsets and lifestyles to respond to climate change or the moral, ethical and psychological aspects of the changes needed.
This conference will deal with the underlying moral, existential and psychological aspects of human and societal responses to climate change. This will be a follow up Conference to a similar successful venture held in Sigtuna in 2008. The conference is going to run for 3 days and during that time we will not only be listening to inspiring keynotes and participating in rewarding workshops but also be listening to poetry, music and enjoying social events.

Keynote speakers

David Abram
David Abram, cultural ecologist, philosopher, and performance artist, is the founder and creative director of the Alliance for Wild Ethics. He is the author of The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World (Pantheon/Vintage), for which he received the international Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction. An accomplished storyteller and sleight-of-hand magician who has lived and traded magic with indigenous sorcerers in Indonesia, Nepal, and the Americas, David lectures and teaches widely on several continents.

Bill McKibben
American environmentalist and writer Bill McKibben, founder of, an international climate campaign. His first book, The End of Nature, was published in 1989 by Random House after being serialized in the New Yorker. It is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has been printed in more than 20 languages.

Harald Welzer
Professor Harald Welzer, is head of the Research Group "Interdisciplinary Memory Research" at the KWI Essen. He teaches social psychology at the universities of Hanover and Witten-Herdecke.

Call for papers/essays
You are warmly welcome and encouraged to submit papers or essays for the conference, preceded in both cases by an abstract. The theme is Climate and Existence and can include key issues such as; spirituality, power, leadership, politics, arts, eco-criticism, ethics, education.


23 September - 15 October 2010

Course: Art and Environmental Education
Aalto University, Department of Art, Helsinki, Finland

Main trends in environmental education of children are studied and presented in lectures: Joseph Cornell, Earth Education (Steve Van Matre), Richard Louv, David Sobel, etc. The assignments to the class are to envisage themselves how these approaches can be altered/enriched/improved from an arts-based perspective.

Learning Outcomes
Through fulfilling the requirements of this course, students should have acquired a basic, but comprehensive, understanding of different current approaches in environmental and outdoor education, mainly based on practices in the English speaking world.

tk0215, Art and Environmental Education, 5 credits
Teacher: Jan van Boeckel. Teaching language English
Time: Thu 10.00-12.00 & Fri 10.00-12.00
Place: PR7010 TKO 7010 Maalaustila TaiK päärakennus
Organisation: Department of Art, Type Course Grading 0-5
More information via: jan.vanboeckel(at)

October 2010

Relationship between nature and culture artistic points of view
Spain - Canarian Islands - Lanzarote - Haria
Session 1: 18.10. - 23.10.2010, Session 2: 25.10. - 30.10.2010

The main objective of the course concerns itself with an exchange of opinions on the far-reaching theme of the 'Relationship between Nature and Culture' worked on in an intercultural context and on a European level.
European countries – as represented by the participants - have an enormous richness of regionally grown cultures that are perfectly preserved in some parts but destroyed in others. This 'Inconvenient Truth' offers endless material for discussions. With the exchange of positive and negative examples we can lead ourselves to broadened insights that can flow back into educational programmes back in the participant's home countries. The central focus of the presented course is to emphasise a positive attitude for a symbiosis between 'Nature and Culture' and using this as a main goal in education on any level. To strengthen this attitude we will work in Lanzarote with individual artistic practice and process oriented group work. Pedagogic concepts can be developed as a group effort and as we progress through the week.

The tools of inspiration will be:
- lectures and group discussions
- practical creative work according to the theme
- excursions of particular relevance to the theme

Together we will discuss questions such as:
- How does the culture and landscape of Lanzarote influence me?
- Why do we find the worst destruction of nature and culture precisely where people prefer to go for recreation and enjoyment?
- What is my personal position on the matter and how is it tied to my experiences within my own cultural background?
- How do creative individuals express their thoughts about nature, culture and tourism and can I connect with these works?
- How do I anchor my objectives within my teaching practice?
- How can I transfer my individually acquired insights to my educational work at home?
The preservation and sustainable treatment of remaining natural and cultural goods in all regions of Europe should be further enhanced through the participants acquired knowledge.


Read course description

7-24 October 2010

The Arctic Circle residency
High Arctic

Where: on a sailing-vessel in the High Arctic
When: Oct 7 - Oct 24, 2010

Program Outline: The Arctic Circle is a series of artist and scientist-led expeditions to remote and fascinating destinations aboard a specially outfitted scientific-research sailing vessel. Our expeditions are followed by an international exhibit schedule.
Expedition: The Arctic Circle 2010 (Oct 7- Oct 24, 2010): Aboard an ice-class, traditionally rigged, sailing-vessel artists of all disciplines, architects, scientists will voyage 17 days and nights into the High Arctic.
The Arctic Circle aims to empower the creative individual while fostering the collaborative. Our emphasis is on providing a variety of opportunities to our participants through thought provoking programming and professional development prospects.

Read a blog of the 2009 expedition by David Rothenberg



Starting October 2010

MA Art & Environment
University College Falmouth, United Kingdom

For centuries artists have interpreted and represented the natural environment. It has provided materials and subject matter, as well as inspiration and knowledge.
In recent times – particularly since the growth of the environmental movement – there has been a dramatic change in our understanding of the many ways our society impacts upon the Earth. This awareness has galvanised around the fact that the relationship between humanity and our life-giving planet is in a critical state.
This change in knowledge has been reflected in contemporary art practice. MA Art & Environment, at University College Falmouth, encourages a focused engagement with ecological and environmental issues. Designed to give you the skills, expertise and confidence to operate as a professional artist in this critical area of practice, the course will also enable you to develop strategies and practices that use art as a cultural agent – as a tool for knowledge, understanding and change.
Students on the course have opportunities to benefit from our relationship with Cape Farewell, The Eden Project and University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute.

For further information please contact
Dr Daro Montag:
+44 (0)1326 211077

course website


16 September 2010 - Summer 2011

Course: Environmental Investigations
Aalto University, Department of Art, Helsinki, Finland

A series of lectures, laboratories & workshops, divided into 6 lecture meetings and 6 workshop meetings
(5 ECTS).
Environmental Investigations critically examines the human position and education within the man-created world. Every unit takes several thematically related (environmental) works of cultural production as point of origin and explores from there methods of interpreting the environment. The discourse will be made in the fields of art, literature, music and dance vs. science, philosophy & aesthetics placed in historical and contemporary context of ethics, education, ecology and economy.
Connected to the themes different creative methods of investigation, communication, interpretation, (re)presentation and experimentation are introduced. It is important to underline that each human sense allows for a different spectrum of information and as such results in very different possible methods.
Other 'discussion cores' are also the making, recording and practising of (about, in-between, mis-, ...) ‚of-this-time‘ communication nodes/modes within society such as cultural hacking, bio/geo/city-tagging, flash-mob, memes, (guerrilla) interventions (e.g. g-gardening, parkours, non-place-claiming...), augmented reality, etc.
Each theme block (PART 1 & PART 2) will evolve into one theoretical or practical work (students' choice) that can be done in the 3-week workshop period intersecting with the lecture period. Methods are open to student's preferences.

PART 1: Creation of space and time
1. Concepts of time and space
2. Means of orientation and mapping
3. Negative space and elapsing time
PART 2: Memory ON/OFF // Recording and Play-back
1. Language, letters and libraries
2. Memory, memorial and museums
3. History is written by the winners

Environmental Investigations will continue with PART 3&4 in the spring term and then deal with perception, 'ordering' of the world and global effects (action vs. reaction). All students' projects will be presented at the end of the year in the framework of an exhibition.

TEACHER: Cathérine Kuebel
FIRST MEETING: 16.09. 2010, 13.00-15.00, classroom 7002A, Department of Art
MORE INFORMATION: e-mail: catherine.kuebel(at)


14 September 2010

Seminar: Model for Evergreen Environmental Education from Vihti

Aalto University School of Art and Design, Annala Garden, Helsinki, Finland

Time: Tuesday 14.9.2010 at 9.00-16.00
Place: Aalto University School of Art and Design/TAIK (Hämeentie 135 C Helsinki) and Annala Garden/Association for useful plants (Hämeentie 154)

The Model for Evergreen Environmental Education has been developed in Vihti in collaboration with schools and local Vihti 4H-association. The model gives profound and hands-on possibilities to accomplish the school curriculum in the outdoors. It means learning environments including school garden, farm, forest and the water as places to learn by doing and by experience. Nature art education is one important element to enlarge use of the model in school every day.
The aim of the seminar is collect together outdoor and enviromental educators and decision makers – school headmasters, teachers, officials on municipality and state levels, researchers and students.

Program of the seminar on Tuesday 14.9.2010
9.30 Registration and morning coffee in Aalto University School of Art and Design/TAIK (Hämeentie 135 C Helsinki)
10.00 Wellcome to the seminar, Professor of Arts Pirkko Pohjakallio.
10.15 Evergreen Enviromental Education Model of Vihti, Mirva Lindfors Vihti 4H-association.
10.30 In the beginning there is did. Lic.Soc.Sci, MA Jaana Venkula.
11.15 The model of living learning in Norway. Farm as a pedagogigal resource. Prof Erling Krogh and researcher Linda Jolly, UMB Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
12.00 Comment speeches from the representatives of official of the ministeriums of education, environment, agriculture and the Aalto University.
Walk to Annala Garden 12.15-12.30
Lunch and presentation of the Annala Garden in two groups.
Examples of different possibilities of outdoor learning – exhibition in the Annala Garden.
13.45 The connection between learning and gardening. Anu Ranta Association of useful plants.
14.15 Nature Art Workshop. Teacher of environment art and Pauliina Ruokokoski, Taidelipas.
15.30-16.00 The future visions of the possibililties for use of the Model of Evergreen Environment Education.
The seminar is organized by the Vihti 4H-associaton and The Model of Evergreen Environment Education in collaboration with the Aalto University School of Arts and Design/TAIK and Annala Garden The Association of Useful Plants.
The seminar is financed by the Ministery of Environment and the Municipality of Vihti.


Aika: 14.9.2010 klo 9:00-16:00
Paikka: Aalto-yliopisto Taiteen laitos/TAIK Sampo-Sali (Hämeentie 135 C Helsinki) ja Annalan puutarha Hyötykasviyhdistys (Hämeentie 154 Helsinki)

Ympäristökasvatuksen ikivihreä toimintamalli on kehitetty Vihdin 4H-yhdistyksen ja vihtiläisten koulujen yhteistyönä. Ikivihreä mallin avulla on kouluilla mahdollisuus luoda itselleen ulkona oppimisen kokonaisuus, jossa puutarha, maatila, metsä ja vesistö toimivat oppimisympäristöinä sekä tekemisen ja kokemisen paikkoina. Ympäristötaide sekä kädentaidot ovat kiinteä osa ikivihreän mallin ympäristökasvatusta. Ulkona oppimisen seminaari on suunnattu ympäristökasvatuksen ja ulkona oppimisen tekijöille sekä aiheesta kiinnostuneille rehtoreille, opettajille, kuntahallinnon ja valtakunnan tason päättäjille ja vaikuttajille, tutkijoille ja opiskelijoille.

9:00 Ilmoittautuminen ja aamukahvit Aalto-yliopisto/ TAIK
9:15 Tervetuloa seminaariin, prof. Pirkko Pohjakallio
9:30 Ikivihreän toimintamallin ympäristökasvatus TJ Mirva Lindfors Vihdin 4H-yhdistys
9:45 Alussa on teko. VTL, tiedekirjailija Jaana Venkula
10:30 Maatila oppimisympäristönä Living learning mallissa prof. Erling Krogh UMB, Norjan bio- ja ympäristötieteiden Yliopisto, Oslo
11:15 Maatilaoppimisen vaikutus oppilaisiin pitkäaikaistutkimus tutkija Linda Jolly UMB
12:00 Kommenttipuheenvuorot YM, OPH/OPM, MMM, MTK, SEED-hanke ja Vihdin kunta
Siirtyminen Annalan puutarhaan (Hämeentie 154)
12:30 Keittolounas ja tutustuminen puutarhaan kahdessa ryhmässä.
13:45 Puutarhan ja oppimisen yhteys. MMM Kirsti Salo, Vihdin malli ja TJ Anu Ranta, Hyötykasviyhdistys
14:15 Ympäristötaidetyöpaja taidekasvattaja Pauliina Ruokokosken ja Jan van Boeckelin johdolla
15:30-16:00 Yhteenveto, ulkona oppimisen tulevaisuuden näkymät ja tutkimus

Osallistumismaksu 20 euroa sisältää kahvi- ja ruokatarjoilun.
Ilmoittautumiset 6.9. mennessä osoitteeseen ikivihreamalli(at)
Lisätiedot Kirsti Salo +358 40 7199336.
Järjestäjä: Vihdin 4H-yhdistys/ Ikivihreän mallin ympäristökasvatus
yhteistyössä Aalto-yliopiston Taiteen laitoksen ja Hyötykasviyhdistyksen kanssa
Rahoitus: Seminaarin rahoittaa Ympäristöministeriö, Vihdin kunta ja Vihdin 4H-yhdistys


2-10 September 2010

Exhibition on Environmental Art workshop
Helsinki, Finland

Exhibtion by artists who participated in the Environmental Art workshop to Kilpisjärvi Biological Station last spring. The location is Gallery Atski, on the 8th floor of Aalto University School of Art and Design, Hämeentie 135 C.

1-4 September 2010

Conference Environmental Change - Cultural Change
Bath, United Kingdom

Contributions are invited for an international conference on "Environmental Change - Cultural Change". The event is organised on behalf of ASLE-UK and EASLCE, the British and European affiliates of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, and supported by the University of
Bath's Institute for Sustainable Energy and Environment (I-SEE), the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Department of European Studies and Modern Languages.

Attention will focus on two aspects of the relationship between environmental change and cultural change: the cultural, social and historical framing of environmental communication, and in particular of discourses of climate change and loss of biodiversity the challenge to contemporary environmental literature and film, and their potential contribution to ecological education and consciousness.

Public understandings of and attitudes towards global warming and other environment-related issues including GM foods, nuclear power and wilderness preservation vary in sometimes surprising ways from one country to the next. They also change over time. Apocalypticism, the environmentalist master narrative of the 1960s and 1970s, has given way, as Frederick Buell has written, to acceptance of environmental crisis as a way of life. We have learned to live with a multitude of daily ecological risk scenarios, preventing, mitigating or simply accommodating ourselves to them. The assumption that sustainability demands cultural change has been challenged by powerful resistance to radical lifestyle change: in practice, environmental problems have tended instead to be subjected to progressive reframings. Key questions for the conference will be how historical experience, physical circumstances and imaginative construction combine in the cultural framing of individual issues, how norms and expectations change, what cultural understandings of 'nature' and the human subject have stood or still stand in the way of constructive engagement with environmental change, what alternatives the reservoir of contemporary and historical images and narratives of nature and culture has to offer, and what rhetorics and art forms might be adopted as strategies in facing environmental change today. The conference will seek to gain new insights into the potential role of environmental literature, film and other media in generating environmental knowledge (Peter Swirski).

Provisional acceptance has been received from the following invited speakers:
- Prof Sidney Dobrin (University of Florida, Dept of English; a specialist in ecocomposition)
- Dr Georgina Endfield (University of Nottingham, Dept of Geography; a leading researcher in the historical conceptualisation of climate change, social responses and adaptation)
- Dr Robert Macfarlane (University of Cambridge, Dept of English; critic and nature writer, author of Mountains of the Mind)
- Dr Timo Maran (University of Tartu, Institute of Semiotics; a leading writer on biosemiotics and Estonian nature writing)
- Prof Robert Watson (UCLA, Dept of English; author of The Green and the Real in Early Modern Literature)
Proposals for papers and panels are now invited.


August 2010

Spirit of Place. The Shaman Sanctuary of the Kalevala
Washington, USA (January 2010); and Seurasaari/Helsinki, Finland

Fifteen years ago architect Travis Price created an initiative to train architects to see the world differently: he founded Spirit of Place/Spirit of Design (SPSD), a design-build, educational expedition for undergraduate and graduate architecture students. The program provides students the opportunity to research, design, and construct a project in a remote landscape, in places such as Peru, British Columbia, Ireland, Nepal, and Italy.
The goal of SPSD is to explore the design and construction of architectural forms that respond to natural and cultural settings in a contemporary language of design. With 15 projects over the past 15 years, SPSD has been successful in meeting this goal, and has resulted in a series of architectural installations, which have received coverage in the architectural press, and mainstream media.
Students designed and built installations all over the world. The next Spirit of Place project is:
The Shaman Sanctuary of the Kalevala.
Come to the opening events at Seurasaari on Thursday, Aug. 26 at 6:00 pm, which will also be the launch of Helsinki Design Week. An exhibition of the student design work will be at Helsinki City Hall ’s Virka Gallery, which will run through mid-September. The exhibit will open on Night of the Arts on Friday, 27 Aug. from 5-7 pm. Follow our daily progress of construction on our blog: please tune in and comment!



16-18 August 2010

Sustainability Education: Connecting Art, Science, and Design
Berkeley, California

How can we help students understand nature? And how can understanding nature help us design more sustainable societies?
This three-day seminar examines these vital questions at the intersection of art, science, and design. It's no accident that many great scientists have been great artists. Art and science are powerful, complementary means of visualizing and communicating an understanding of nature.
The seminar will explore a range of approaches and techniques for improving science education by using art and for combining art and science to help students better express their relationship with the natural world.
Some of today's most exciting advances in design are grounded in recognizing nature as model and mentor. Seminar participants will explore design as a form of critical thinking as well as expression and creativity and investigate strategies for applying bio-inspired design to student projects.
The seminar will be led by a distinguished faculty of educators, artists, and staff to be chosen from leading institutions, including the Center for Ecoliteracy, California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum, Biomimicry Guild, and River of Words. They will engage participants in hands-on experiences using the arts to deepen understanding of the natural world.
The seminar will be offered at the David Brower Center, Berkeley's stunning new LEED-certified home for environmental and social activism.



29 August - 3 September 2010

Jotunheimen National Park, Norway

At this 5 day painting course, participants will draw and paint the rough and
breathtaking landscape along lake Gjendebu in the Jotunheimen National Park
in Norway. Teacher Jan van Boeckel, himself a landscape painter, will facilitate
a form of painting which he calls "wild painting", connecting with nature in new
and exciting ways, in an effort to see the world around us with fresh eyes. All
participants will get personal instructions and feedback, in either English or Swedish.
This course includes delicious food and accommodation at Gjendebu hytta.
The painting medium that is used is acrylic paint. Participants bring their own painting
easel, 50 x 70 cm board and brushes. Paint and painting paper will be provided and are
part of the course fee.

Course fee: 4400 NOK
Course 1: 4 - 9 July, 2010
Course 2: 29 Aug - 3 Sept, 2010

Gjendebu DNT hytta:
Travel to Gjendebu:
For more information send an e-mail to: polarstarcentre(at)

Download flyer (in PDF)

See images of Wildpainting in Norway in 2009


August 2010

Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation (ASSiST): International Summer School
Balkan mountains, Bulgaria

The International Council for Cultural Centers (I3C), the International Network Cultura21 (Cultural Fieldworks for Sustainability) and the Latin American Network of Art for Social Transformation are organizing the first international summer school of arts and sciences for sustainability in social transformation. The event is planned for August 2010 in Bulgaria, in the beautiful Balkan mountains.

As part of the program of the Summer School, a limited number of workshops will be organized for participants. We are seeking workshop proposals from experienced practitioners and thinkers from the wider academic and artistic fields, who are engaged in the advancement of sustainability (i.e. goals of social justice, ecological awareness and environmental action, human rights and self-determination, cultural and biodiversity, among others), particularly with inter- or trans-disciplinary methodologies or with a potential for inter- and trans-disciplinary dialogues.

We are also particularly looking for action-research methodologies based on Walking and Places: building transformations, which will be the thematic focus of the first edition of the Summer School. These methodologies can include academic as well as artistic, creative processes, or both. They may further explore how movement also relates to place and community development, with the dynamic between movement and place, traveling and home, transnational flows of ideas and people and site specificity (whether individual houses or collective places).



1-3 August 2010

Conference: “The Spirit of Place”
Sami cultural heritage center – Arran, Tysfjord municipality, Nordland, Norway

We would like to invite you to attend our upcoming conference, “The Spirit of Place”. The conference is happening in conjunction with the project, “Stetind Declaration". The key topics for the conference, as expressed in “Stetind Declaration” include:
* Nature friendly living in the coming society
* How to foster a nature friendly way of living

You are invited to present a paper at the conference, and take part in conference discussions.
We encourage you to write your paper in one of the following languages: German, English, French, Spanish. Please note, however, that the discussions at the conference will be in English.
If you intend to present a paper, please send us its title by March 1, 2010. Final sign up for the conference is June 1. The same date is the deadline for sending a complete paper.
Please use one of these mail addresses: or

Received titles pr. December 1:
* Kazushi Maeda, Japan: “Traditional local cultures for our future”
* Andy Thompson, New Zealand: “What were Amundsen and Scott really doing in Antartica?”
* Anna Thompson, New Zealand: “Aoraki Mt Cook – cultural icon or tourist “object”
* Jana Hoffmannova & Ludek Sebek, Czech republic: “Transforming Cultural landscapes”
* Torbjorn Ydegaard, Denmark: “Culture as learning, learning from culture”
* Seaton Baxter, Scotland: “Natures Contribution to the Spirits in the Sand”
* Trond Jakobsen, Norway: “From Science to Human and Eco-Emancipation”
* Kumanga Andrahennadi, Sri Lanka: “Water; The Essential Spirit of Place”

There are a number of related events planned for the week prior to the conference that you may also wish to attend: Wednesday July 28 - Friday July 30: “Peach March for Nature”
A hike that follows an old trail from Gällivarre (Sweden) to Tysfjord (Norway)
Friday July 30, 2010: Anniversary dinner, 100 years since the mountain of Stetind was climbed for the first time.


6-12 July 2010

Villmark og blomsterprakt på Engeløya. Et todelt kurs med botanikk, tegning og maling
Sjøhaugen farm, Engeløya, Nordland, Norge

Wilderness and blooming flowers. A course in two parts, comprised of botany, drawing and painting
on the island of Engeløya in northern Norway

Teaching languages: Norwegian, Swedish and English
Teachers: Linda Jolly (Teachers education dept., UMB, Ås), 6-9 July
Solveig Slåttli (Teacher and artist), 6-9 July
Jan van Boeckel (University of Art and Design Helsinki), 10-12 July
Place: Sjøhaugen farm, Engeløya      Locate on Google Maps

10 to 15 participants join in a course with a group of teachers who approach the blooming plants on the beautiful island of Engeløya from two different perspectives: the first three days the focal point of the creative process will be stemming from botany and biology in general, and in the second three days the focal point will be on the creative process of painting in wild nature. In this way it is hoped that the course will provide a rich cross-fertilization of perspectives on connecting to nature from biology and from art. The teachers of the first part will be participants in the course of the second part, and the other way round.

Read more:
in English     på norsk

Download the flyer:
   på norsk  in English

Download the poster: på norsk   in English

Contact information: Jan van Boeckel polarstarcentre(at)




21-24 June 2010

InSEA European Congress TRACES: Sustainable Art Education
University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland

The InSEA (International Society of Education through Art) European Congress 2010 will offer you an artistically and intellectually inspiring meeting in a fascinating context. The main purpose of the InSEA Society is the encouragement and advancement of creative education through art and crafts in all countries and the promotion of international understanding. Focusing on vital present and future issues and challenges of art education, the scientific and artistic programme of the congress is designed to improve dialogue from diverse perspectives and to offer a platform for generating new visions and methods for the research and practice of art education at all levels and sectors.
For all congress details, please visit the following link:
We look forward to seeing you in Rovaniemi in June! The organising committee.

Sustainable Art Education

The theme of the congress challenges art educators and researchers to present, compare, and develop functions that support the goals of sustainable development through art. Sustainable development is understood as continuous and controlled societal change taking place at global, regional, local levels. Its aim is to secure good living possibilities for present and future generations.
Traditionally, sustainable development has been connected with the environment and economy, but it also entails a strong social and cultural dimension. Art and education are changing at the national, regional, and global levels, which poses a challenge for art educators to check and update their views and practices and to develop art education that supports social wellbeing, equality, prevention of alienation, cultural interaction, and diversity.
The congress sets a challenge to examine how the education of art, in pursuance of sustainable development, creates teaching and learning situations in which the sociocultural reality of local communities encounters wider cultural consciousness and deeper social observation. Thus, the congress breaks down the superimposition of the local, the glocal, and the global. It also explains how artistic activity becomes part of concrete and responsible interaction, reflexion, dialogue, critical thinking, and change orientation.
Sustainable development also requires an interdisciplinary, interartistic, and holistic approach. The congress encourages the participants to treat the theme from many perspectives and welcomes the representatives of various fields of science and art to examine and shed light on the relation of art education to the subsections of sustainable development, which are the following:

- Ecological and environmental sustainable development
- Social sustainable development - Cultural sustainable development
- Economic sustainable development

We believe that art educators, artists, and researchers play an important part in the creation of culturally, socially, and ecologically more sustainable culture.


Click here for list of inspiring post-conference events in Lapland

24-28 May 2010

Aesth/Ethics in Environmental Change, transdisciplinary workshop
Hiddensee, Germany

Aesth/Ethics in Environmental Change is an international workshop joining ethics, arts, religion and science in an attempt to reach a combined and deeper insight in nature, landscape and its changes. We invite scholars from different disciplines to participate in this workshop on the beautiful island of Hiddensee!

The following questions will be addressed
* What does the perception and awareness of the environment and ourselves within it contribute to our understanding of and dealing with nature? How can arts widen our perception of nature?
* How are aesthetics and ethics connected to each other in habitats, places and spaces? Can both be entangled into an integrated “aesth/ethics”? Can such a view be incorporated in the aims of nature conservation?
* How and where to seek, find and express the Sacred in nature? How are worldviews, values, rituals, visons, belief systems and ideologies at work within the human ecology?
* How can humans in general encounter an accelerating and expanding environmental (incl. climatic) change? How can they perceive, experience, reflect and adapt to it?
* How can aesthetics, ethics, religion and ecology transcend contemporary political modes of environmental protection? How could they catalyze a truly transdisciplinary environmental science?

The workshop will alternate between lectures, seminaries, discussions, practical art work and excursions,and it will offer varying options to let the island itself intervene. Scholars and postgraduate students from all faculties and regions around the world are welcome to attend the workshop, and we expect all to stay during the whole workshop. The numbers of participants is limited to 30 persons.
Please register as soon as possible, using the registration form at:

Keynote speakers
* Sigurd Bergmann, Religious Studies/Theology, Trondheim, Norway
* Irmgard Blindow, Ecology, Hiddensee, Germany
* Emily Brady, Geography, Edinburgh, UK
* Forrest Clingerman, Theology, Ohio, USA
* Celia Deane Drummond, Theology and Religious Studies, Chester, UK
* Thomas Jaspert, LandArt artist, Bokel, Germany
* Konrad Ott, Environmental Ethics, Greifswald, Germany
* Thomas Potthast, Ethics in Science, Tu:bingen, Germany
* George Steinmann, Artist, Bern, Switzerland
* Heike Strelow, Curator, Writer and Art Historian, Frankfurt/M., Germany

31 May – 4 June 2010

Children and Nature: Rediscovering a sense of wonder
Schumacher College, United Kingdom

Richard Louv, Kathy Louv, Jan van Boeckel
One-week course

Course overview
The alienation that many young people feel from the natural world has become a major concern. It was beautifully articulated in Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods, which has spawned an international children and nature movement. This course looks at why nature is important for children’s development and creativity, and how the “nature gap” can be bridged. It includes outdoor arts-based workshops and experiential exercises which can be used in many environmental education contexts.
The course is intended for: teachers at all levels, environmental educators, childcare and family services professionals, and parents.

Richard Louv is a journalist and international recognised expert on the connection between family, nature and community. His book “Last Child in the Woods” has stimulated a global debate about the relationship between children and nature. He is the chairman and co-founder of the Children & Nature Network.
Kathy Louv is a nurse practitioner whose current interest focuses on the relationship between physical exercise, health and brain development.
Jan van Boeckel is a researcher at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, where he and his research group are studying practices and theoretical underpinnings of so-called arts-based environmental education. He is also a practising visual artist and regularly conducts “wildpainting” courses in the mountains of Norway.


8 June 2010

Lecture: The Point of No Return: Artistic Vulnerability and the More-Than-Human World
Falmouth University College, United Kingdom

In his lecture, Jan van Boeckel will explore how art can encourage us to seek a ‘deep identification’ in nature. Jan’s talk, entitled A Point of No Return, will try to formulate some pedagogical implications for encouraging an attitude of radical amazement and vulnerability in arts-based environmental education.

One of the characteristics of arts-based environmental education is that it encourages participants to be receptive to nature in new and uncommon ways. To approach the world afresh through art, to look at a plant, an animal or even a landscape as if we see it for the first time in our life. In this, the participant is encouraged to immerse him or herself in nature, to seek a 'deep identification' (Arne Naess).

In this presentation Jan will explore if there could be cases where such immersion may reach – or even go beyond – a point of return. A point, where the 'intertwining' with nature causes the subject to sever the 'life lines' to the world which would enable him or her to maintain the psychological, cultural and spiritual integrity of the ego.
The dissolving of the ego’s boundaries through artistic practice can be seen as having certain shamanistic qualities, specifically in case when this transgression involves efforts to connect with other animal species such as Joseph Beuys famous studio encounter with a coyote in his performance I Like America and America Likes Me (1974). Such undertakings may constitute – at least in the perception of the shaman-artist – a form of 'going native', becoming 'one' with the non-human Others.

As a case in point, Jan will discuss the 'trespassing' from the world of culture to the world of nature by Timothy Treadwell, entering the ecosphere and live world of the grizzly bears in Alaska, for which he ultimately paid the price of the death (the tragic story was documented by Werner Herzog in his film Grizzly Man, 2005). Finally, he will try to formulate some pedagogical implications for teachers and facilitators encouraging an attitude of radical amazement and vulnerability in arts-based environmental education.

24-26 May 2010

Geo-Aesthetics in the Anthropocene
Salisbury,  Maryland. United States

The International Association for Environmental Philosophy is holding its second biennial summer conference from May 24-26, 2010 at Salisbury University in Salisbury Maryland. Keynote lectures will be given by Irene Klaver, director of The Water Project at the University of North Texas, and John Murungi, co-founder of the International Association for the Study of the Environment, Space and Place at Towsend University. James Hatley, SU Department of Philosophy, and Derek Bowden, SU Department of Music, are the conference directors.


3-6 June 2010

Conference  “Environment, Aesthetics, and the Arts”
Lahti, Finland

Annual Conference of the Nordic Society for Aesthetics 2010

The International Institute of Applied Aesthetics (Lahti, Finland) in association with the Nordic Society for Aesthetics and the Finnish Society for Aesthetics will arrange the 2010 annual conference of the Nordic Society for Aesthetics in Lahti, Finland.

The environment has been a focus of increasing interest within aesthetics for the last decades. At the same time, there has been growing recognition that the term ‘environment’ has come to have multifarious meanings, referring not solely to natural environments but also to forms of human environment. This recognition has revealed a wide array of questions which the notion of environment raises for aesthetics. Do all things called ‘environment’, for example, in virtue of merely being environments therefore share enough aesthetically to warrant a uniform type of aesthetic appreciation for them all or do different environments call for different forms of aesthetic appreciation?

Focus on the environment has led also to an enlargement of the scope of aesthetics to include questions which have initially been raised in such fields as environmental and architectural studies, ecology, cultural geography, and sociology. This enlargement has increased the potential impact of aesthetics on other academic subjects.

Focus on the environment is in many ways relevant also to the philosophy of art. Natural scenery has been a subject of the visual arts for centuries, but we usually respond to landscape paintings differently than we do to natural landscapes. Why is that so, and what does this difference in response tell us about differences between the aesthetics of art and the aesthetics of nature? Also, various forms of contemporary art incorporate objects from the environment within them, and, consequently, raise from another angle the question of the relationship between different aesthetic realms. What sort of relevance, for example, do the putatively-unique features of nature have for the questions regarding the relationship between art and aesthetics?



10 May - 18 June 2010

10 Figure in a Mountain Landscape
The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada

Faculty: Silke Otto-Knapp
Guest Faculty: Jan Verwoert

London-based painter Silke Otto-Knapp will lead participants into the landscape around Banff National Park. On arrival at various scenic locations the group will ready themselves, like generations of artists before them and begin to make art. What they see will be shaped by the sun’s position and the weather. Each artist will be reminded of the time contract as the light changes and fades to darkness.
Working plein-air has a long history and first became popular among landscape painters in 17th century Rome and Naples. Since the late 1800s artists have been visiting the Canadian Rockies for the landscape; those visiting include the photographer Mary Schäffer and painters Lawren Harris and John Singer Sargent. Their work is remarkable, but we inhabit a truly different place and time. Glowing screens promising satisfaction hum around us: information and machines travel at lightening speed; we have so many more complex methods of imaging; and the nature these artists once sought out is now disappearing.
Given such shifts, Otto-Knapp will consider each group trip into the wilderness an experiment. How do artists living in this age and working in a variety of media approach the landscape and the notion of plein-air? What processes will they engage? During these expeditions, Otto-Knapp will propose a move away from a purely experiential approach to a conceptual one. Together the group will explore methods and media ranging from water-colour and easel painting to performance and text-based practices.

Image from


11-12 June 2010

LAND ART course at Dømmesmoen
Grimstad, Dømmesmoen, Norway

Land art is an art form derived from the meeting between man and nature, and performed in nature. With materials, shapes, colours and textures from nature, or by applying new elements to create an artwork. The course will introduce land art ideas to the participants, and give them practical experiences with land art. On the second day we will also work with aesthetic visual documentation by using photos from the course in aesthetic compositions.
Participants are teachers in schools and kindergartens, and people who are in general interested in learning in a hands-on way about the exciting possibilities of land art.

Place: University of Agder (UIA), Grimstad, Dømmesmoen, Norway
Time: Friday 11 June 2010, 16.00 pm until 21.00 pm, Saturday 12 June 2010, 10.00 am until 16.00 pm
Fee: 1500 NOK + 325 NOK for a single room including breakfast, and 570 NOK for two persons in a double room, including breakfast. Course instructor: assistant professor Jan Erik Sørenstuen.
Last day for registration: 11 May 2010. For registration contact: Anna Marie M. Roaldstveit

e-mail: anna.m.roaldstveit(at), phone: 004738 14 11 27




1-8 May 2010

Restoration of long-distance transhumance
Eastern Bulgaria

Although the Transhumance is of high importance for the maintenance of grassland habitats and culture conservation, the annual migration of stock from high pasture to low pasture and back has almost disappeared in Bulgaria. That’s the reason why FWFF-Bulgaria (Fund of the Wild Fauna and Flora) in partnership with RebelFarmer decided to support the restoration of one of the ancient long-distance transhumance route in Bulgaria.
- Join a shepherd family, for the fourth edition, as they take a couple of days to move their stock of 250-400 Karakachan sheep between their summer base in the Kotel Mountains up to the Balkan summer highland pastures.
- Walking with the sheep over the slopes of the Stara Planina Mountains (about 1100m)
- With an experienced shepherd family and the director of the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna’s organisation
- Protective Karakachan dogs against a potential bear / wolf attack
- Main luggage pieces (sleeping bags, tents, mats, food) carried by horses/mules
- Catering organised
- Celebration of the St. George’s shepherds’ festival in Kotel
- Lodging in tents and accommodation
- Return transport to Kotel or Sliven to take the bus/train back to Sofia or Burgas.

Overall goals of the trip:

- A better knowledge of the pastoral activity in terms of territory and landscape management, biodiversity
conservation, valorisation of the cultural and building patrimony.
- The discovery of shepherd’s work: breeding techniques, reading the landscape, the dog and the herd.
- The understanding of the highest importance of transhumance for the local community that is facing economic problems in the mountains. And the possible support of this tradition towards representatives of the minorities in Bulgaria (Karakachan, Roma and Turkish) that are benefiting by participating in shelter’s building, milking, lamb breeding, etc.
- A better understanding of the pastoralism/predator problem
- The new system of compensation given to farmers for damages caused by predators is believed to be a way to reduce the illegal use of poisoned baits towards large predators such as wolfs and bears
- The understanding of the interest of rehabilitating and conserving large carnivores but also autochthone
endangered breeds such as the Karakachan Sheep.
- The discovery of traditional transhumance “paths” passing through the Stara Planina Mountains
To make traveling photos promoting the Transhumance towards local shepherds / herders / farmer, and towards national and international ecotourists.

Download the flyer



5 March - 23 April 2010

Arne Næss - den smilende filosofen. Stemninger fra Arne Næss' siste år
Arne Næss - the smiling philosopher. Impressions from Arne Næss's last year

Oslo, Norway

Fotografier: Petter Mejlænder, Galleri Sverdrup, Oslo, Norge


More on Arne Naess and deep ecology


18 April 2010

Wildpainting in Nuuksio National Park
Nuuksio, Finland

WILDPAINTING means two things: to paint wilderness and wild landscapes, and to paint in a different, surprising way. The aim is to open up to the aesthetics and the energies of the landscape through trying to see (and smell, know etc.) as if one perceives it for the first time.
The workshops last five hours, with regular breaks for tea and coffee, for lunch, or for taking some time to talk about what had happened to that point. Every participant gets also personal comments and advice (if so desired) from the workshop facilitator.
The idea is that we all gather at 10.00 am at Helsinki Railway Station, at the platform of the train to Espoo. From there departs a bus that takes us right into the wilderness. Everybody takes along their own painting materials: paints, brushes, paper or canvas, mixing pad, etc. I will give an open assignment which you can join in or you can follow your own ideas.
Write me an e-mail if you want to join. We can then together decide on dates. Eight is minimum amount of participants.
More information : Jan van Boeckel, polarstarcentre(at)

Download the flyer
View location in Google Maps
See images of Wildpainting in Norway (July 2009)
Sign up here (The Public School Helsinki)

New: click here for images of the actual workshop


16 April 2010

Defence of doctoral thesis: Meaning-making in Visual Culture. The Case of Integrating Ganda Indigenous Knowledge with Contemporary Art Practice in Uganda
Helsinki, Finland

Kabiito Richard will defend his doctoral thesis on April 16th at noon in Sampo Hall (Hämeentie 135C).
His opponent will be DA Kärt Summatavet, Tartu University, and present as custodian will be Prof. Helena Sederholm. The main purpose of this research is to show how indigenous knowledge about form, patterns and colours can improve visual reading in certain communities. In other words storytelling is used as a communicative tool . The author is integrating ugandan art forms into contemporary art practise. He uses the case Buganda in this study, but this system can be adapted in any community.
Richard Kabiito has studied art education at Aalto University’s School of Art and Design. At the moment he works as Lecturer at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Meaning-Making in Visual Culture:  Available at Taik Bookshop


1 April - 2 July 2010

Art Education at the Top of the World

Rovaniemi/Helsinki, Finland

The course (12 ECTS) is arranged by the School of Art Education (TaiK, Helsinki), together with art education students from Ohio State University (USA) and the University of Lapland.

Spring 2010 On Thursdays 1/4, 22/4, 29/4, 6/5, (13/5 holidays) and 20/5 from 5 pm to 7 pm.
Summer 2010 18/6-20/6: participating in an environmental art workshop in Rovaniemi (University of Lapland). 21/6- 24/6: attending InSEA Conference in Rovaniemi. 28/6 -2/7: participating in a seminar at TaiK, Helsinki.
Objectives: To perceive the special features in Finnish art education and visual culture against the international context. Participating in an international InSEA conference and preparing presentations as teamwork. International cooperation.

The course consists of three parts:
1) The first part of the course (1 April - 20 May 2010) focuses on developing individual and group perspectives of the theme: "sustainable art education" for InSEA conference presentations. During the course the features of the Finnish art education and visual culture will be perceived with relation to international and especially North American art education, through literature and seminar discussions. The spring part also includes preparations for the summer seminar's teamwork, receiving and hosting the American students, and examining different representations of the Finnish culture and the concept of "Tourist Gaze."
2) Attending an environmental art workshop (18-20 June) and InSEA conference (21-24 June) in Rovaniemi. Participating in the 90 minute symposium together with the students of Rovaniemi and from the US.
3) Seminar (28 June - 2 July) at TAIK on Art and Visual Culture in Finland and in USA: Gazing and learning in Helsinki.

Persons responsible: Mira Kallio (TaiK), Kevin Tavin (OSU)
Teaching languages: English and Finnish
Requirements: All students must be (student) members of InSEA.

More information:
juuso.tervo(at), mira.kallio(at)


9-19 April 2010

North Sea

For artists living or working on an island: This is an invitation to join in a sailing expedition with the schooner Helena in April 2010. The voyage starts in Cherbourg, France, on 9 April and ends in Kiel, Germany on 19 April.
The purpose of the expedition is to continue and expand the co-operation between artists living and working on Finnish, Swedish and Scottish islands. We will be spending ten days together to experience sea, wind, sails, navigation, harbours and a trip through a canal connecting the North and Baltic Sea.
In the autumn of 2010 we will organise an exhibition entitled Ars Navigare. All participants are invited to make an artwork that will be part of the exhibition. We will plan the exhibition together and possibly it will be shown at several different places.

The sailing expedition is organised together with the Sail Training Association Finland ( The participants will take part in the sailing activities as sail trainees. No previous sailing experience is required. The sailing fee is €390 and it includes food, lodging and use of sailing gear on the ship. It does not include the travel to the harbour Cherbourg and from Kiel back home.
Art and environment eucator Mari von Boehm, Suomenlinna/Helsinki, Finland
mari.v.boehm(at), tel: +358 (0) 44 56 09 240.
Visual artist Pive Toivonen, Isle of Hogsara, Finland, pive.toivonen(at)

See and read about Wind and Water (2009)
See and read about Art and Sea (2008)

24-25 March 2010

Art and Technoscience: Practices in transformation
Helsinki, Finland

A conference by the Academy of Fine Arts in Finland, in collaboration with the Finnish Bioart Society and Pixelache festival. Helsinki. Location: Auditorium, Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, Kaikukatu 4.

The beginning of the 21st century is characterized by an overwhelming awareness of environmental issues. Facing the threat of global warming, the findings of scientific research have become a subject of intensive political debate. The ethical questions traditionally discussed in the green-wing marginals have become mainstream, as science has become a coffee-table topic.

The field of art that interacts with the practices of science and its technologies is commonly referred to as art&science. During the past decades, this hybrid field has become more or less established, with landmark works, major institutions and written histories. However, with the new wave of environmentalism, a further wave of artists working with methods and questions related to scientific research has also emerged. The mediators of science and technology are unavoidable, whether dealing with global economy or animal rights, computer modelling or carbon emissions. Research has become a key concept in art, not only in the field of art&science, but also in university-associated art schools in general, with the development of practice-based PhD programmes around the western world. The front-lines between art and knowledge-production seem to be in transformation. The conference seeks to contextualize the practices of art&science both in the contemporary political atmosphere and the history of contemporary art.

The first day of the two-day conference focuses on the practices in transformation as a result of research-orientation and cross-disciplinarity, characteristic to the field of art&science. What challenges and possibilities do artists, curators, residency programmes or art schools face, while trying to address questions coming from the field of sciences? What can scientific research gain from collaboration with artists, and what kind of research is done in the artist’s laboratory?

The second day of the conference looks at the technologies of encounter between human and non-human worlds. The aim is to address the ethical discourse taking place in art practices which look at the interaction between humans and non-humans. How is the traditional understanding of agency, community, interaction or collaboration challenged in these works of art? What are the political implications of these approaches? On the other hand, how are these practices dealing with the questions of manipulation, objectification and abuse of non-humans?

Speakers include Roy Ascott (artist, theorist, UK), Jill Scott (artist, researcher, AUS/CH), Andy Gracie (artist, UK/ESP), Ingeborg Reichle (art historian, DE), Adam Zaretsky (artist, US), Tuija Kokkonen (director, FI), Terike Haapoja (artist, FI), Pau Alsina (researcher, ESP), Ulla Taipale (curator, FI/ESP), Anu Osva (artist, FI), Erich Berger (artist, coordinator ArsBioarctica, AUT/FI), Helena Sederholm (head of department of art Aalto University, FI), Laura Beloff (artist, researcher FI), Manu Tamminen (microbiologist, FI), Eija Juurola (forest researcher, FI), Raitis Smits (artist, curator, LV), Jan Kaila (artist, professor, FI), Antti Sajantila (professor, medical doctor, FI), among others.

Contact: Erich Berger, Coordinator ArsBioarctica. e-mail: eb(at)



15-27 February 2010

Isstjärnan, Icefestival on lake Sörälgen, Sikfors
Hällefors, Sweden


Call for artists in residence

Isstjärnan is a cultural festival taking place on the ice of lake Sörälgen in Hällefors in Sweden.

 Like last year, Isstjärnan will offer a variety of activities during the creation of the ice and snow sculptures. On Saturday evening 27 February there will be a closing night with music, show and fire. We want the festival to develop into a center of joy, playfulness and sense of community.

It will be a place to engage in a dialogue with different cultures.
For an impression please have a look at the festival webpages. You will find a
gallery and a video of last year's festival.


March – September 2010

Glow Co-Create - Sought: Visual Artist
North Uist, Scotland

Deadline: 15 February 2010

Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre on North Uist is seeking a visual artist to form an integral part of a creative team, which will deliver an innovative arts education project in the Uists. The project is funded through the Glow Co-Create Project, a partnership between Learning Teaching Scotland and the Scottish Arts Council.
Taigh Chearsabhagh, in partnership with North Uist Woodland, is planning an exciting education initiative involving S2 pupils from Lionacleit School investigating aspects of the biodiversity and heritage of Langass Woodland on North Uist. The selected artist will work with a team of staff and pupils to creatively interpret aspects of the Langass woodland that encourage understanding and appreciation of the area. The project will result in the creation of permanent artwork for the woodland created by the artist in collaboration with the pupils.

Timeline: 15th March 2010 – September 2010. For a full project brief please contact Sarah MacIntyre, Cultural Access Officer for Taigh Chearsabhagh on email: access(at) or tel: 01876 500240.

8-10 February 2010

 Seminar: Sustainability Education: Connecting Art, Science, and Design
 Berkeley, California

The Center for Ecoliteracy
This seminar will probe the implications for education of Leonardo da Vinci's science, examine ways to deepen students' understanding of the natural world through art and science, and apply ecological principles and processes to student projects to design solutions to environmental issues. Center for Ecoliteracy education program director Carolie Sly; cofounder Fritjof Capra; and other experts in integrating art, science, design, and education will be featured.


16 February 2010

Seminarium om "konst för ett ekologiskt hållbart samhälle" (Swedish)
Wij Trädgårdar, Ockelbo, Sweden

Tisdagen den 16/2 kl. 9.00-16.00 på Wij Trädgårdar

Klimathotet kan lösas bara med mycket radikala, världsomspännande regleringar av utsläpp och energikonsumtion. Nödvändiga politiska beslut förutsätter en genomgripande beredskap till omställning hos oss alla. Tekniska och politiska lösningar finns, men den viktigaste förutsättningen för en hållbar utveckling är vår mentala omställning. I konsten och kulturen kan vi gestalta, bearbeta och forma en livshållning för framtiden.

Ecology/ technology av Anders Thyr 2005

Vad händer med klimatet efter Köpenhamn? Hur mycket är det individers ändrade konsumtionsmönster eller politiska beslut som behövs? Mikael Malmaeus
(Mikael Malmaeus är forskare på Svenska miljöinstitutet och aktiv i organisationen Klimataktion.)

Konstens betydelse för förståelse av vårt förhållande till naturen. Rörelser och personer som inspirerat det ekologiska tänkandet. Jan van Boeckel
(Jan van Boeckel är knuten till en forskargrupp vid Helsingfors universitet för Konst o Design, som sysslar med konstbaserat lärande om naturen.)

Vad betyder konst, teater, musik etc. för opinionsbildning och samhällsförändringar? Gunilla Kindstrand
(Gunilla Kindstrand är journalist med inriktning på kultur och samhällsfrågor. Hon är även verksam som redaktör, dramaturg, utställningsproducent och föreläsare.)

Avslutande diskussion:
Hur når konsten människor som inte är vana ”kulturkonsumenter”? Ett ekologiskt konstcentrum i Ockelbo, vad skulle det betyda för kommunen och regionen?

Kostnad för seminariet är 100:- (inkluderar lunch och fika)
Anmälan senast 25/1 via e post till eller telefon 070 3766062.
Antalet deltagare är begränsat.

7-20 February 2010

Isflamma, international ice & fire festival
Grythyttan beach, Hällefors, Sweden

Photo: Sonia Jansson

For 14 days the Grythyttan beach in Hällefors Kommun (Sweden) wil be the scenery for inspiring courses and impressive art. Isflamma will end with a spectacular presentation on the 20th of February, arranged and executed by many artists specialised in a wide range of disciplines.
During the festival artists and students can create their own works, participate in courses and participate in creating the spectacular presentation.
Isflamma is an international festival for contemporary art with high quality standards, but approachable for everybody, professional artists from around the world and local population.

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