Reconnect & Rewild

Fri, Learning Centre, Juho

13:00 Elizabeth McTernan: Squaring the Circle
13:30 Wioletta Piascik & Kalle Ahonen: More than political
14:00 Sanna Lehtinen: Sustainable Urban Aesthetics: Focus on Materials
14:30 Antti Tenetz: Wild Aesthetics – Time is not on our side


Squaring the Circle

Elizabeth McTernan
Fri 13:00, Learning Centre, Juho

The phrase “seeing things” is about literal physical observation, while it is also about seeing what is not really there, the “hallucination” of objective representation – like our eyes tricking us when we try to see in the dark. The point of departure for the current research is human observation and the subjective act of counting – in all its inherent imperfection and error – as forming the empirical basis for all so-called “objective” knowledge and data collection. This project took place at the Ars Bioarctica residency, above the Arctic Circle in Finland, in summer 2017.

Artist Elizabeth McTernan (b. 1981, NY, USA) performs research over land and sea, processing it through actions, installation, drawing, printmaking, text, and artist’s books. She exhibits and speaks internationally, and has been invited as an artist-in-residence at numerous reputable institutions across Europe and the United States. Recently, a paper she coauthored with her collaborator, mathematician Dr. Luke Wolcott, has been published in the MIT Press Leonardo Music Journal. She currently lives, works, and walks in Berlin.

More than political

Wioletta Anna Piascik, MA; Kalle Ahonen, MA
Fri 13:30, Learning Centre, Juho

The world with its environmental crisis, overpopulation and failing political systems calls for a radical change. Is political activism an effective agent of radical change or is it merely the deployment of moral repression? Is there another way to transform our world, which is not based on fear or guilt? Art can be seen as a form of radical existence, that challenges the repressive restrictions of the political and symbolic order. Creative Rewilding activities, as a method of collective art, have the possibility to stop the bodily restrictions and allow self-realization.

Wioletta Anna Piaścik, shortly Wiola, is a doctoral student at the Department of Art, Aalto University. With her work in various fields, she explores a relationship between wildness and creativity. Website:, contact:

Kalle Ahonen is an artist and a designer based in Helsinki. He graduated as a Master of Stage Design from Aalto University. Kalle works on a variety of projects ranging from museum exhibition design to puppet theatre and painting. He also keeps a blog, currently focused on the historical development of Dadaism. Contact:

Sustainable Urban Aesthetics: Focus on Materials

Sanna Lehtinen
PhD, University of Helsinki
Fri 14:00, Learning Centre, Juho

Urban environments are developed in layers: change, evolution and fluctuations form a central part of the aesthetic side of urban lifeform. Yet, inevitably, many aesthetic choices are made based solely on current preferences even though the time span of these choices will ultimately be much longer. These long-lasting effects of our choices acutely force a reconsideration of the urban temporal dimensions. Longevity of built spaces, high costs and ecological burden related to building activity as such underline the future-oriented nature of aesthetic choices within the urban realm.

Sanna Lehtinen is a postdoctoral researcher at University of Helsinki (PhD 2015) focusing on urban aesthetics (in 2017–18 in collaboration with Architects Davidsson Tarkela). Lehtinen’s current research topics include aesthetic sustainability, philosophy of urban technologies (research project Urban Aesthetics in Motion, UrAMo) and urban forms of art. She supervises doctoral students and teaches aesthetics at AaltoARTS and AaltoSCI. Lehtinen was a recipient of the Young Scholar Award by the International Association for Aesthetics (IAA) in 2013.

Wild Aesthetics – Time is not on our side

Antti Tenetz
Fri 14:30, Learning Centre, Juho

We live in a hybrid relationship with nature, simultaneously in the technosphere, among technologies and interpretations, and in the biosphere, which encapsulates us in nature. The core idea of western science as the mediator of knowledge is crumbling. It seems that decision making in our societies nowadays leans for the most part on information coming from different lobbying parties and interest groups. In cases like environmental and climate change, these tend to focus, select and shape data towards their own aims rather than relying on commonly agreed, research-based facts and the rigour of sciences. The problem this presents to artists and researchers is how to shape reality through visual language and how to communicate effectively about the environment and its changes through our craft and knowledge.

Antti Tenetz is  regional artist for bioart in Finland – a position in Finnish Arts Promotion Center. Regional bioartist strenghten a nationwide art and science and bioart network and thereby increase international co-operation and increase the artists’ working conditions. Working interdisciplinary in his private art practise, his work often utilizes scientific methods in order to render natural and cultural phenomenons such as climatic change, environmental issues and biodiversity. Employing technological equipment such as drones, his documentary work can border on surveillance.