CRISPR Fabulations in Finnish Arctic Nature

Marianne Mäkelin, University of Helsinki; Emilia Tikka, Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Toronto 2021: Multispecies

The session presents two art projects that connect a speculative approach to genome editing technologies with attunements to Arctic nature in Northern Finland. The collaborative art projects are results of two residencies: Emilia Tikka at Art4med/Ars Bioarctica in Kilpisjärvi and Jenny Penna and Marianne Mäkelin at Mustarinda house in Kainuu.

The first project is an on-going collaboration between transdisciplinary designer and reindeer herder and his partner living in the Finnish Arctic. The art and research project is part of a 2-year Art4med residency connecting art and biomedical research. The work uses speculative and autobiographical storytelling and temporality to re-imagine human-nature-technology relations and histories of survival in the arctic reindeer herding culture. More-than-human ethics of the nomadic past, are guiding the imaginaries of biotechnological human futures.

Insectarium is a project combining sound and text as nature writing. It pays attention to the spaces and rhythms of sensory encounters with insects in two different Finnish arctic forests: in Paljakka old growth forest in Northern Finland, and at a site of a recent forest fire in an island on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Making use of bioacoustic ecosystem monitoring devices, it is a meditation on perceived, enhanced and possible sounds of the forest.

Published: 01/30/2023