Current status – art writing in Finland

Frontiers bookletI am currently writer in residence at HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme, on the Finnish island of Suomenlinna, working on a project called Frontiers in Retreat.

Frontiers in Retreat is an art and ecology project I have been involved in for the last four years. A series of exhibitions, titled Edge Effects, has just begun and showcases some of the work produced by the 25 artists and 8 curatorial partners in the project:

June-September, Edge Effects at Skaftfell, Iceland; June-August, Edge Effects at Mustarinda, Finland; July, Edge Effects organised by Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Glasgow; July-September, Edge Effects in Aizpute, Latvia, and opening soon online in July: Edge Effects, Farrera, Spain which includes my work, FORD and my interview series with some of the artists. More Edge Effects exhibitions opening later in the year in Zagreb and Seoul.

HIAP has just produced the beautiful booklet above, designed by NODE in Berlin, and edited by Salla Lahtinen and Jenni Nurmenniemi. You can download a free copy here

https://issuu.com/frontiersinretreat/docs/170605_frontiers_content_web_press

The booklet summarises the work of the Frontiers in Retreat artists and partners and is also available at the Edge Effects exhibition venues. It features the photograph below of my installed text work, MEANDA, from the Exoplanet Lot exhibition organised by Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou, Cajarc, last year.

Frontiers booklet2

Open Call – Ecology of Words Workshop – Helsinki

Heap-of-Language
Robert Smithson, A Heap of Language, 1966

Open call for expressions of interest from writers, artists, and others interested in participating in a workshop exploring the vocabulary of ecology, and taking place Sat 8-Sun 9 July 2017. Deadline for expressions of interest: 31 May.

The workshop will set words off on irreverent adventures and explore subversive approaches to lexicons, dictionaries, taxonomies, and glossaries. We will be developing discursive, de-definitions of terms such as nonhuman, entanglement, symbiosis, boundary, interface, mess, remote, dust, toxicity. Other terms for de-definition will emerge during the workshop.

Workshop Leader: Tracey Warr is a writer who has worked with installed text and published books and essays on contemporary art.

Workshop Contributors: Jenni Nurmenniemi, curator at HIAP – Helsinki International Artists Programme, Finland; Jussi Parikka, new media theorist; Antti Salminen, philosopher, poet, fiction writer and literary critic.

Selected texts from the workshop will be included in a book to be published in 2018.

There will be a maximum of 12 participants in the workshop. You must be able to participate fully on both days (10am-6pm). Please email your expression of interest consisting of a one paragraph biography and another paragraph on why you are interested in participating to: traceykwarr@gmail.com and jenni@hiap.fi by 31 May.

The workshop will take place at HIAP on Suomenlinna Island, 15 minutes by ferry from Helsinki. The workshop is free. Lunch on both days and dinner on the first day will be provided by HIAP. The accommodation and travel costs to/from Helsinki are at participants’ own cost. HIAP can support the travel costs of 1–2 workshop participants from outside of Helsinki (within Finland), please e-mail jenni@hiap.fi for more information.

The workshop is part of the Frontiers in Retreat project.

What comprises non-human life?

Photo: Nomeda Urbonas
Photo: Nomeda Urbonas

An article and extracts from my novella MEANDA have just been published on the Zooetics website. Zooetics is part of the 5 year Frontiers in Retreat art research project. With artists Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas and curator Viktorija Siaulyte, I have been exploring radical future potentialities for interspecies relations and notions of Nature.

Inspired by JG Ballard’s fictional living plant technologies, the Zooetics team has been working with mycelium – the extraordinary mushroom roots network. In MEANDA I made water one of the protagonists in a future fiction story set on an exoplanet.

Zooetics is a word coined to gesture at poetic, artistic, fictional, playful approaches to all life. Mycelium is certainly living. Is water?

I’m currently working with HIAP curator, Jenni Nurmenniemi, to develop a seminar which will take place in Helsinki in September and consider the question of non-human life within the context of the Museum of Nonhumanity.

The role of the writer in contemporary society

141113_Zooetics_press_NEW10I did an interview in Lithuania late last year and thought it worth posting a link to it today since the interviewer, Aldona Steponavičiūtė, asked some excellent questions about writing and contemporary society:

http://www.zooetics.net/blog/tracey-warr-interview/

If that whets your appetite at all do hunt around the Zooetics website which is a rich resource on imagining future biosphere-friendly, organic technologies. There is a glossary, bibliography, links to podcasts and to the Zooetics Facebook site.

A Study Room Guide to Remoteness

London Fieldworks, Outlandia
London Fieldworks, Outlandia

I have just written A Study Room Guide to Remoteness published by Live Art Development Agency. It contemplates what contemporary remoteness is – or where it is. The Guide describes books, articles and websites on artists who are engaging with remoteness.