edited by: Laura Beloff, Erich Berger, Terike Haapoja – Field_Notes – From Landscape to Laboratory – Maisemasta Laboratorioon


Printon Printinghouse Ltd, ISBN-13: 978-9529323135, English/Finnish, 256 pages, 2013, Estonia

This is the first in a series of publications originating from a specific “field” laboratory at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in Lapland/Finland. Invited by the Finnish Society of Bioart, a significant group of artists and scientists develop their work over a one week residency, structured in groups and led by experts, testing their specific approaches to art and the environment. This book is meant to document the “Cultivating Ground” lab, which took place in Kilpisjärvi in 2011. The extremely specific environment and the consistent number of Finnish artists involved give the ‘fieldwork’ significant value. The collection of raw data in the field is not only scientific methodology, but here it functions as an effective art practice that roots the artists in a specific place. The sections of the book group different types of work: in “Rooting The Practice” there are more general texts about bio art (whose connections with media art are detailed by the editors), while in “Probing The Terrain” there are real case studies and field reports, exposing new projects with practices and results, whilst in “Impressions From The Field” there are often stimulating personal accounts of time spent at the lab. Finally it’s worth noting the dedicated genius of sadly departed Beatriz da Costa, who spent her last residency in Helsinki and whose brilliant work will be a further source of inspiration. Alessandro Ludovico