Troubled Landscapes

“…maybe, and only with intense commitment and collaborative work and play with other terrans, flourishing for rich multi species assemblages that include people will be possible. I’m calling this the Chthuluscene – past, present and to come.”
Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble, 2016.

The anthropocenic effects on the environment are the backdrop for this larger body of works in progress, some even express the post-apocalyptic, but just as Haraway I oppose the concept of the Anthropocene and would like to envision a different model where we take an active role in “staying with the trouble” – realizing the situation we’re in and making the best of it in collaboration with the other-than-human world. The quote by Haraway was very much the starting point for this larger body of works I call Troubled Landscapes, re-configuring relationships and using collaborative play. Though also the “other-than-human” or “more-than-human” concepts can be conflictive, as aren’t humans also nature? as the anthropologist Tobias Rees points out. As an artist I don’t intend to define concepts, but allow my practice to be inspired by all these different thought patterns and concepts. They influence the work often happening in relation to other animals. I have a curiosity for these other than human beings and I am impressed by their “embodiedness” – or then, they might also inspire to speculate new future species altogether.

One series of works, The Forest, is made directly immersed in nature, in a Finnish context, while another, The Beach, is based on a number of investigations during some months spent in Saint Louis, Senegal – a completely different context, where the city is alarmingly close to the rising sea level, thus the results contemplate this extreme near future. As Jane Bennett mentions in her essay Odradek, “to live in the age of the Anthropocene is to live with the thought of extinction”.

Both series are exploring a tactile epistemology, a knowledge based in the body: in the gut, in the heart, in the hands. Thus different embodied and haptic methodologies are used – such as analogue film and photography, photo collages, voicing and self made wooden instruments. In different combinations, these methods unfold together with the digital, as we need to make use of what is already there. The idea of re-visiting and recycling is reflected throughout the works.