Frontiers in Retreat


Frontiers Reads

reading list around art and ecology

HIAP’s Frontiers team is happy to announce Frontiers Reads, an accumulating reading list around art and ecology, compiled by the artists and curators participating in the project. The list includes non-fiction and fiction from writers such as Donna HarawayRosi BraidottiJussi ParikkaT.J. DemosKim Stanley RobinsonBenjamin Bratton, and Antti Salminen.

We wish you an inspiring read!


VALENTINA KARGA / ELENA MAZZI / LA JETEE: Media works - local dialogues on global change, February 1 – 14 at Maunula-Talo

Frontiers artists Elena Mazzi is part of the "Media works - local dialogues on global change" exhibition realised at Maunula neigborhood in Northern Helsinki. Read more


mirko nikolic: burning hearts of a thousand tiny matters, February 1–5 at Ambika P3

mirko nikolic's Doctoral degree show in Arts & Media Practise in Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM), University of Westminster

burning hearts of a thousand tiny matters

mirko nikolić with araucaria araucanas, carbon-dioxide, copper, Mynydd Parys, Duško Jelen, Isidora Spasović Lebović and Tuomas A. Laitinen

The exhibition is introduced with a text by Elina Suoyrjö, available in the gallery.

“Matter comes to matter”, Karen Barad invites us to think about the world’s becoming. Through differences, bodies—inorganic, vegetal, animal—find modes to do things with one another, to ‘come to matter’ through shared practices. From these entanglements emerges a necessity to reconfigure what is deemed to be exterior or interior, the boundaries of the (human) body and of the social.

The doctoral degree show assembles two constellations of works developed in various locations throughout the research. The constellations address two complex techno-socio-economic networks: the European Union mechanism for trading with carbon emissions, and mineral mining complexes in Northern and Eastern Europe. Through a series of material and discursive performative acts, the works interpellate atmospheric, biospheric and lithospheric elements and processes, seeking to reproduce possibilities of common futures, before and beyond the historically determined figure of the ‘human’.

mirko nikolic’s art and research aims to re(con)figure power apparatuses that extract, capture and control life and non-life. His works develop through fieldwork along the frontiers of extraction, materialising on sites through different media, performative and philosophical elements. Recently he has developed site-specific and collaborative works in Southern Finland (with the Helsinki International Artist Programme), Saari (Saari Residency), Røst archipelago (Røst AIR), and Bor (Cultural Front GRAD, Belgrade). He is a member of Posthuman Art & Research Group; Frontiers in Retreat, a network on multidisciplinary approaches to ecology in contemporary art, and COST Action New Materialism. At the moment he is developing a long-term art and philosophy project in the Kainuu region, Finland with support from the Mustarinda Association.

Facebook event


Wednesday 1 February 2017, 6 - 9 pm

Opening performance with Tuomas A. Laitinen

Hospitality by Cinzia Cremona

Saturday 4 February 2017, 4 - 8 pm

Arts, ecologies & new materialisms microsymposium: facing the inhuman

The symposium gathers practitioners from visual arts, performance, writing, curating, philosophy, and hybrids thereof, that in different ways attempt to “face the inhuman” (Karen Barad). Over the recent years, across the humanities and the arts, a significant attention has turned to a-, non-, extra-, in-, other-than-human bodies and their agencies. The ‘actors’ or ‘subjects’ of our inquiry are changing, different agencies take centre stage. But, with Karen Barad, “what if the point is not to widen the bounds of inclusion to let everyone and everything in?” It is perhaps a matter of accounting for a palpable sensation that the inhuman might have ‘always already’ been facing towards us, or that it might not desire to do that at all. In other words, what is it that these multispecies modes of socialisation do to the arts and humanities, and to the natural-cultural practitioners themselves? 

The symposium will feature a diversity of modes of research and artistic presentation by: Arendse Krabbe (Copenhagen), Bartaku (Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland), João Florençio (University of Exeter), Larval Rock Stars (enfolding the orbifold twins Pilarva and Larvaidya), Matterlurgy (Mark Peter Wright + Helena Hunter, London), Nina Trivedi (Royal College of Art / Syracuse University), Taru Elfving (Frame Contemporary Art Finland / Goldsmiths University of London), Tom Corby (University of Westminster), Sam Skinner (Manchester School of Art).

For symposium details and RSVP, visit the event page

The research and the exhibition were supported by the University of Westminster, Helsinki International Artist Programme, Cultural Front GRAD, Technical Faculty at Bor and the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Serbia.


Open lecture by Mirko Nikolić

today at Theatre Academy, Helsinki, 6–8pm

MA in Ecology and Contemporary Performance presents and open lecture by Mirko Nikolić

minoritarian ecologies: performance before a more-than-human world

Following ecofeminist and biopolitical critiques, the dominant economic and political apparatuses can be understood as a web of material and discursive strategies geared at managing, disciplining, eventually normalising difference. Bio-political/-capitalist apparatuses of modernity are based on a premise that difference can be translated into an axiomatics of binaries, they operate ‘as if’ the world is codeable and determineable. To a degree it is, but there is a surplus that withdraws from capture, and this excluded side matters.

Drawing on quantum physics, Karen Barad tells a different story of how bodies engage in ‘spacetimemattering’, of how matter ‘comes to matter’ through a co-constitutive ‘intra-action’ of different agencies. In line with this understanding, philosophers of difference (Gilles Deleuze, Rosi Braidotti) claim that worlding is powered by a generative force of differentiation. What would it mean to re(con)figure and reorient social practices ‘as if’ they aimed to maintain and (re)produce difference instead of reducing it? How to perform naturalcultural assemblages of difference within contexts of appropriation?

This talk will outline a transversal ‘material-discursive’ praxis, a performative mode of entangling heterogeneous bodies and concepts in a posthuman(ist) continuum of ecological praxis, in an attempt situated in the here-now of apparatuses of ‘capture’, but oriented towards alternative, hopefully more just, naturalcultural intra-actions. These alternative ‘re(con)figurations’ are not ecotopias beyond yonder, they are possibilities that effectively constitute the very here-now, yet they are minoritised.



Artists Hanna Husberg and Mari Keski-Korsu at HYBRID MATTERs exhibition

Forum Box 25.11.2016 - 18.12.2016

In biology the term hybrid is used to describe the cross-breed of two species. HYBRID MATTERs expands this to address different concepts, materials, or ideas which have been until recently thought separate or independent of each other, but which we can now observe as coming together, converging, to form new constellations with new qualities.

HYBRID MATTERs investigates the convergence of our environment with technology, it explores the term hybrid ecologies, which is a thought vehicle to talk about the intentional and unintentional transformation of our planet through human action.

Read more


Bartaku and Antti Majava gave talks at Residencies Reflected Symposium on November 18th, 2016

read more about the symposium 


Mirko Nikolić and Marika Troili at Saaren Kartano residence

October-November 2016

Swedish artist Marika Troili and Frontiers artist Mirko Nikolić will be working at the Saaren Kartano residence (Hietamäki, Finland) on their joint project which deals with the requirements that self-help literature create for people today and considers tactics to resist them. Their project is not, however, ironic. Rather its aim is to test affirmative reversal as a method. The background to the development of the inverse idea it is their belief that we should get beyond the notion that the ultimate goal of life is survival. Read more


FiR Artist Interviews: Tracey Warr

Tessa Aarniosuo met with Tracey Warr during her autumn 2016 residency at HIAP, to discuss her projects relating to Frontiers in Retreat, her relationship with Fine Art, water, and the world’s end. Link


Company in residency at GRAD

Within the artists in residence program as well as part of the project "Frontiers in Retreat” during November Cultural Center Grad will host artistic group from Finland, Company.

Company are Aamu Song and Johan Olin. They are artists, designers, producers. Beside running their own art studio Aamu and Johan are  founder of Salakauppa design shop where they exhibit their products.  Their work in the field of visual art and design is presented in many international art and design events. Despite the large number of projects they have carried out so far we would like to point out  "Secrets of ...". Their exceptional commitment to the work is  reflected in this very project that they have so far carried out in Finland, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Belgium. In cooperation with local producers they are creating a collection of objects. Collection itself is actually in a way the final result of a large research process. During their stay in the country where they want to find inspirational secrets Aamu and Johan are exploring a new environment, learning about the local customs, they communicate, study the materials, meet artisans… Currently they are cooperating with the Amish community in USA on  new Secrets collection.

Their stay in Serbia will be in two phases. During the first phase Aamu Johan will try to discover the "secrets" of Serbia ….


Opening of Nabb+Teeri's exhibition today at 14-15

October 25 – 29, 2016 at TI-LA2016, Jyväskylä, Finland


Kun selviää, että me molemmat olemme taiteilijoita, taksikuski kertoo loistavalla englannin kielellä kaupungin molempien taidemuseoiden olevan suljettuina. Nikola Teslan nimikkomuseo on kuitenkin avoinna ja ehdottomasti vierailemisen arvoinen. Kuljettaja ylistää Teslaa väärinymmärrettynä nerona, jonka maineen sekä suurimman osan jäämistöstä amerikkalaiset veivät. Mies kertoo meille, kuinka Tesla oli parisataa vuotta aikaansa edellä, mitä tulee kaukosäätimiin, sähkömoottoreihin tai langattomaan sähköön. Langattoman sähkön kehitystyö jäi kuitenkin Edisonin kuparijohtimien varjoon. Kuski maalailee kupariteollisuuden salaliittoa, joka sai unohtumaan Teslan utopian kaikille ilmaisesta sähköstä. Lopuksi mies varoittaa kulkukoirista, jotka voivat tappaa jopa ihmisiä. Kuulemma lauma nälkäisiä koiria on syönyt 12-vuotiaan tytön jossain talvisella syrjäseudulla tämän ollessa matkalla koulusta kotiin. 

Perillä Zemunin Pregrevicalla on lämmintä ja pimeää. Hepokateista lähtee huumaava surround-ääni yhdellä poikkikaduista, jonka ylle kaartuvat suuren, tuntemattoman puun liuskaiset sormilehdet. Tonava erottuu pimeässä tummanharmaana vyöhykkeenä. Taloa ympäröivän muurin sisäänkäynnin kohdalla, metalliportin alla kulkee loputon vyö punaruskeita muurahaisia. Betonilaatan pintaa halkovat kevyet, aaltoilevat urat.


Nabb+Teeri 43/52

October 25 – 29, 2016

Kauppakatu 19, Jyväskylä 
Open Tue-Sat 12-18

Opening will be held on Tuesday 25th at 14-15. Both artists will be present.



Zooetics interview on the Icelandic newspaper DV

The Icelandic newspaper DV interviews Zooetics about the recent Future Fictions Summit that took place in Ásbrú and the LISTASAFN REYKJAVIKUR REYKJAVIK ART MUSEUM in Iceland. Read the interview (Icelandic)


Future Fictions Summit

A zooetic gathering in the high Noth Atlantic on October 22, 2016 at Reykjavik Art Museum

During 13 – 16 October, 2016 A___Zooetics (a project exploring intersections between human, non-human and poetic knowledge spheres—, invited an international group of scientists, artists, designers, theorists and writers to stay and work at Ásbrú, the site of a former NATO base on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland. The three days of explorations that took place on and near the base will be staged and performed at Reykjavík Art Museum in conversation with a keynote lecture by sociologist Jennifer Gabrys (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK, author of Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet).

The transition of Ásbrú from a fenced-off military zone to a creative-economy incubator inspires a lot of questions about the technoscientific imaginaries feeding this transition and fueling our sense of the future. These kinds of military infrastructures are already incorporated into the future fictional narratives of a seamless transition towards innovation, resource extraction and subservience to global market forces. The Future Fictions Summit enacted a think tank that performed a variety of excavations into past and future narratives of Ásbrú as a laboratory of Iceland and the high North. The findings of this gathering comprise of a series of models that invite a reprogramming of relations between the body, territory and nonhuman forms of life, opening up alternative temporalities and uncanny sensorial powers. In these models, algae that resides on Hafnir shores in the vicinity of Ásbrú are offered as a source of transformation on a variety of scales—from the intimate to the oceanic. 

The Future Fictions Summit will be finalized with Gabrys’s lecture “Sensing Environmental Conflict with Lichens: Bioindication and Expressive Modes of Environmental Politics”. She will present the notion of bioindication as a process that reorients environmental sensing toward engagements that are less focused on singular entities and directed more towards the sprawling affiliations and milieus established by environmental pollutants.

Future Fictions Summit contributors: Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, artists (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA), Tinna Grétarsdóttir and Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson, anthropologists (University of Iceland, IS); Oksana Anilionytė, fashion designer (Royal College of Art, UK); Nikola Bojić, designer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA); Garðar Eyjólfsson, designer (Iceland Academy of the Arts, IS); Lucas Freeman, writer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA); Eydís Mary Jónsdóttir (IS); Ashley Rizzo Moss, performer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA); Thomas Pausz, designer (Iceland Academy of the Arts, IS); Kristupas Sabolius, philosopher (Vilnius University, LT); Hildigunnur Sverrisdóttir, architect (Iceland Academy of the Arts, IS); Viktorija Šiaulytė, curator (LT); Sigrún Thorlacius, designer (IS); Tracey Warr, writer (UK).

Future Fictions Summit is brought together by A___Zooetics project, a five-year-long art-led interdisciplinary program of lectures, workshops and exhibitions exploring new ways to engage human knowledge and research with other forms of life in the biosphere in order to imagine new interfaces for future interspecies ecologies. The gathering and summit were co-developed and hosted by Occupational Hazards project, an initiative of scientists and artists based in Iceland, investigating the site of Ásbrú, unresolved narratives of the present and concepts of ecology, active citizenship and the future that unfold in shifting geopolitical conditions and emerging new waters in the Arctic.

Supported by: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and Lithuanian Council for Culture, Nordic Culture Point, University of Iceland, Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, The Icelandic Art Fund, Kadeco and Uppbyggingarsjóður Suðurnesja. A___Zooetics is part of the Outreach and Education Program of the Frontiers in Retreat project (2013–2018, EACEA 2013-1297). Frontiers in Retreat has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained herein.


FUTURE FICTIONS SUMMIT / 22 October 3–5p.m. Reykjavik Art Museum / Tryggvagata 17, Reykjavík

More information:

info [​at​] +491759293971



Animal Cosmopolitics: The Art of Terike Haapoja

T.J. Demos on Terike Haapoja's art on creativeecologies.ucsc.eduAugust 2016


Special Powers: from the frontiers of Frontiers in Retreat

a duel screening at KC GRAD on October 18, 2016

Carl Giffney & mirko nikolić

Special Powers :  a duel screening of two new films produced through multiple residencies within the project Frontiers in Retreat, a 5 year project supported by the EU Culture Programme that involves a network of 8 artist-in-residency organisations across 7 European countries, focused on investigating relationships between art and ecology. In different ways, the two films relate to the topics of material and spiritual dependency, the politics of freedom and of desire.  Human, and more-than-human, companionship and many relationships we as humans are making with nonhuman elements of our environments are central to these works.  


Carl Giffney

I really don’t feel them, HD + stereo (2016), 98 min.

I really don’t feel them is a feature length documentary shot in The Netherlands, Scotland and Finland. The film forms part of Frontiers in Retreat supported by the EU Culture Programme, Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Mustarinda (FI) and the Helsinki International Art Programme (HIAP). The film documents the making of a unique pair of bronze Dutch clogs that are forged in Scotland as the Independence referendum is taking place. These special shoes are eventually brought on a trip up the length of Finland, travelling North to the Saami people, the only indigenous people in Europe, who live in Northern Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia.


mirko nikolić & dr Aleksandra Mitovski, Duško Jelen, Marika Troili, Tuomas A. Laitinen, Technical Faculty in Bor, RTB Bor, E-reciklaža Niš

mineralizacija, (2016), 75min.

Humans share tissues and destinies with metals, we are mineralisations ourselves. Despite or perhaps because of this deep interweaving we are obsessed by the lure of crystals and minerals, ready to turn mountains upside down for them.... Other than projects of domination, these processes of desire for the nonhuman, harbour other, more mutual, intimacies.

mineralizacija documents a metallomorphic performance of a handful of copper molecules, conceived and realised in collaboration with miners and metallurgists of the Mining and Smelting Concern Bor, scientists and technologists of the Technical Faculty in Bor, and staff of e-recycling facility in Niš. Through an asymmetrical conversation with the red metal, the performance enacts a withdrawal away from the collective techno-capitalist rush.

mineralizacija was realised during the residency with Cultural Center Grad, and was supported by Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia.



Notes on a Scene: The Museum of Nonhumanity

Elspeth Mitchell on Museum of Nonhumanity and Finnish art scene on One Quart Magazine

Curator Elspeth Mitchell reviews Terike Haapoja & Laura Gustafsson's Museum of Nonhumanity and shares her impressions of the Finnish art scene on One Quart Magazine. What she noticed was, that today and for long time, there has been an attention to ecology, new materialisms and non-human others, and a desire to rethink the relation or hierarchy between humans and other living things.

"I could go on for days about this installation. It was rich, diverse and difficult. I felt held by the installation in a way not usually experienced in the black box of gallery films but also undone by the words, images and associations. What do you do after seeing something different and important? Well, write about it is one thing. Yet, as a final word I was left wondering how much this ‘museum’ actually spoke of non-humanity (if we can even know what that word means) and how much it told us about humanity, or ourselves, instead. To be sure, this is no failure. Instead, I suggest that the Museum of Non-Humanity and its accompanying programme highlighted how much work there is to do before the universalised human subject (read: white, heterosexual, male subject) can really, truly rid itself of its own centrality and its own ego." Continue reading



Terike Haapoja at Creative Time Summit: Occupy the Future October 14 – 16, 2016

Haapoja's speach is part of “Enter the Anthropocene” sessios, moderated by May Boeve from, with presentations from Nut Brother and Newton Harrison.


The Creative Time Summit-the world’s largest international conference on art and social change-is headed to Washington, D.C.! Creative Time Summit DC: Occupy the Future will be held at D.C.’s historic Lincoln Theatre on October 14 – 16, 2016.

Occurring in the nation’s capital just weeks before the 2016 Presidential Election, the Creative Time Summit DC will take this important moment to collectively consider what it might mean to radically transform the current state of democracy. Around the world both the left and the right are making their dissatisfaction with the center known, setting the stage for a virulent electoral season. Shaking up the political landscape, worldwide social movements — from Arab Spring to #BlackLivesMatter — are now ingrained in popular discourse. The 2016 Summit offers a platform for citizen-led strategies and grassroots movements working within, as well as disrupting, electoral politics. As we work to push forward the ideals of human rights in practice, what does it mean to actually occupy power in a future as yet unwritten?

Creative Time Summit


Today at KC GRAD: Renderings

Presentation by Nabb+Teeri

Artist duo Nabb+Teeri have spent six weeks in Frontiers in Retreat residency at KC GRAD. On Wednesday 12th of October they will give a presentation Renderings that will feature works and ideas inspired by their stay in two locations in Serbia: Belgrade and Sirogojno. Nabb+Teeri will share their thoughts, photos and stories, verbal and visual displays about their journey in Serbia, and the latest developement in their 3D animation and collage works

6–8pm, KC GRAD, Braće Krsmanović 4, 11000 Belgrad



Zooetics: Future Fictions

During 13 – 16 October, 2016 Zooetics invited an international group of artists, designers and writers to stay and work at Ásbrú, the site of a former NATO base on the Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland.

Its transition from a fenced-off military zone to a creative-economy incubator inspires a lot of questions about the technoscientific imaginaries feeding this transition and fuelling our sense of the future. One core element of such an imaginary could be called the ‘quantified self’ with its ‘technologically enhanced body’. This workshop scales up ‘the self’ from the human body to the ecological and the geopolitical. It considers a range of forms and practices—from wearable technologies to bioindication to social engineering—that weave and mash together past and future fictions for Iceland and the greater Arctic.

Contributors: Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, artists (MIT, USA), Tinna Grétarsdóttir and Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson, anthropologists (University of Iceland, IS); Oksana Anilionytė, fashion designer (Royal College of Art, UK); Nikola Bojić, designer (MIT, USA); Garðar Eyjólfsson, designer (Iceland Academy of the Arts, IS); Lucas Freeman, writer (MIT, USA); Ashley Rizzo Moss, performer (MIT, USA); Thomas Pausz, designer (Iceland Academy of the Arts, IS); Kristupas Sabolius, philosopher (Vilnius University, LT); Viktorija Šiaulytė, curator (LT); Sigrún Thorlacius, designer (IS); Tracey Warr, writer (UK).



Tracey Warr at HIAP Open Studios September 15, 2016


Conquest: Daughter of the Last King

Artist and writer Tracey Warr’s new novel is now published

It’s interesting to think about how contemporary details find their way into historical fiction. I’m not talking about errors and anachronisms, but how writers use what they see and hear around them and turn it into something else in their fiction. The locusts kept in a classroom by the creepy tutor in my new novel, for instance, are based on my own schooldays in north London when we had a huge vitrine of chirping locusts down one side of the classroom.

Read more about Tracey Warr's reflection on the new novel on her website

Impress Books



Kati Gausmann: nordlicht / light from the north

at Kunsthalle Emden October 2, 2016 – January 22, 2017

Frontiers artist Kati Gausmann is exhibiting her work nordlicht at Kunsthalle Emden, Germany. Using the medium of drawing, the project nordlicht / light from the north examines the progress of shadows as a temporal-spatial phenomenon.  


Kuntshalle Emden


The Lumen Prize 2016

Sylvia Grace Borda and her collaborator John Lynch for won the first prize in the Web Based art category

"Farm Tableaux marks the first known and on-going artwork created specifically for Google Street View. Farm Tableaux illustrates food culture in a way that moves us beyond lifestyle magazines and TV reality shows.  The images of Finnish farming and food production captured in Farm Tableaux reflect the on-going realities of farm work from field labour to food processing. Each of the various scenes have been produced collaboratively with food producers and in a unique partnership with Google Trusted Photographer, John M Lynch."

The Lumen Prize


New FiR Artist Interview featuring Mari Keski-Korsu is published!

Mari Keski-Korsu has recently co-directed the Pixelache Festival 2016 "Interfaces for Empathy" and continues working through creating environments for empathy to happen.

Humanity, empathy and alpacas text by Tessa Aarnisuo


Sylvia Grace Borda with her project 'Farm Tableaux' shortlisted for The Lumen Prize

The winners will be announced on September 29th at the The 2016 Lumen Winners' Gala

Sylvia Grace Borda's project Farm Tableaux, realised as a Frontiers project, has been shortlisted for The Lumen Prize in Web Based category. The Lumen Prize, established on 2012, celebrates the very best art created digitally. It's goal is to goal is to focus the world’s attention on this exciting genre through an annual competition, a global tour and associated activities including workshops, seminars and special events.

The Winners' Gala will be held on Thursday 29th of September in London. 



Janne Nabb & Maria Teeri on Serbian National Television

introducing their work, stay in GRAD residency and Frontiers in Retreat


Tracey Warr's workshop on Water and Writing

16 & 19 September 2016 at HIAP Project Space

Frontiers artist Tracey Warr - currently in residency at HIAP - held a workshop for University of the Arts Ecology & Contemporary Performance MA students at HIAP Project Space.

More images here


HIAP 2015 Publication now available online


We are very happy to announce that HIAP 2015 publication is now available online!

Download the publication (173 pages, 11,5 MB) here:

The publication features a selection of HIAP residencies and events from year 2015 + a special section dedicated to Frontiers in Retreat project.

PUBLICATION CONTRIBUTORS (text / images) in order of appearance:
Juha Huuskonen, Judit Schuller, Pasi Autio, Salla Lahtinen, Paavo Lehtonen, Paola Anziché, Tuomas Laasanen, Juuso Noronkoski, Residency Unlimited, Jasper Bruijns, Juhyun Choi, Teresa Dillon, Aino Salmi (Archinfo), Tuomo Tammenpää, Academy of Fine Arts, Anne Ferran, Hanna Husberg, Angela Jerardi, Jenni Nurmenniemi, Heidi Kilpeläinen, Barbara Knezevic, Karel Koplimets, Jenny Marketou, Piia Ahonen, Katri Naukkarinen, Katrín Ólína, Sebastian Jansson, Georgios Papadopoulos, The Dogecoin Foundation, Alexis Rodolphe, Jenna Sutela, Danae Valenza, Katie Lenanton, Triin Valvas, Paul Flanders, Jana Vasiljević, Disa Wallander, Ruth Waller, Elizabeth Willing, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Tracey Warr, CAC Vilnius, Nomeda Urbonas, Sylvia Grace Borda, Carl Gi ney, Tuomas A. Laitinen, Ari Karttunen (EMMA), Mirko Nikolić, Dahlia El Broul, Pontus Kyander, Kolme Perunaa, Helen Korpak, Jesse Auersalo, Anna Mikkola, Matilda Tjäder, Noora Lehtovuori, Michelle Lacombe, Antti Ahonen, Oskari Niitamo, Irmeli Aho, Olga Jitlina, Tokamak, Marita Muukkonen, Ashraf Atraqchi

Managing editors: Juha Huuskonen & Jenni Nurmenniemi
Graphic design: Salla Lahtinen & Jasmin Islamović
Editing & proofreading: Jasmin Islamović


Frontiers in Retreat & Zooetics: Non-human, Non-animal

Seminar at Museum of Nonhumanity on September 24th

Rock, water, mushroom. How far can we go in our definitions of ‘life’, and where might its extension take us? Human relationships with other species, other life, have already changed and evolved towards greater empathy and the notion of rights and legal standing. What might a next evolution of relationships amongst all life forms look like? The non-human, the non-animal; how can we get beyond binaries and taxonomies? How might notions of the discrete, which are so deeply ingrained in our assumptions and language, shift towards better understandings of symbiosis, mutualism, and interdependence?

In the HIAP-led five year art research project, Frontiers in Retreat, these questions are being raised in artists’ projects including recent works by Urbonas Studio, Tracey Warr, Mirko Nikolic, Richard Skelton and Terike Haapoja. In the seminar, Tracey Warr and Dionizas Bajarunas will present the mycelium Zooetic Pavilion by Urbonas Studio, which was inspired by J.G. Ballard’s fictional living plant technologies. Tracey Warr will talk about her water exoplanet fiction, Meanda, where water is one of the main protagonists. Mirko Nikolic will discuss his project Lives of Metals: ‘Copperlove’. Richard Skelton’s short film ‘In Pursuit of the Eleventh Measure’ (2016), will be screened. 

The programme is co-curated by Jenni Nurmenniemi (HIAP; Frontiers in Retreat) and Tracey Warr (artist and writer, Frontiers in Retreat; Zooetics). The event will be moderated by artist, Professor Kira O’Reilly (Master’s Programme in Ecology and Contemporary Performance at Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki).

Programme 13:00–16:15

13–13:15 Introduction
Tracey Warr: Frontiers in Retreat & Zooetics
Kira O’Reilly, moderator: session programme
13:15 Mirko Nikolic: Lives of Metals: ‘Copperlove’ (2014–)
14:00-14:30 Coffee Break
14:30–14:45 Richard Skelton: ‘In Pursuit of the Eleventh Measure’ (video, 7 min) with an introduction by Tracey Warr
14:45-15:30 Dionizas Bajarunas & Tracey Warr: Mycelium Zooetics Pavilion
15:30-16:15 Tracey Warr: ‘Meanda’


Museum of Nonhumanity

Suvilahti, Buidling 5

Kaasutehtaankatu 1



Museum of Nonhumanity: Weekend Seminars

Museum of Nonhumanity will host a series of weekend seminars, where invited Finnish and International practitioners discuss and develop possibilities for an inclusive society. The seminars are free of charge and will take place at the café of the museum.


SATURDAY 10.9. 12–16PM
Re-imagining the Future Through the Past

(In English)
Seminar curated by: journalist Maryan Abdulkarim
Discussion: Suvi West, Pauliina Feodoroff and David Muoz
Moderator: Maryan Abdulkarim

The known history of human kind is one of oppressions and
transgressions against all living things. What is it to build a future through a past? What terms do we use to describe the systematic destruction and oppression which we fight? For whom are words
significant and how do we bring about a vision for a future that is rooted in the past relationships with all living things?

SUNDAY 11.9. 12–16PM
Over the Borders! Gender and human rights
– towards freely flowing gender identities?

(In Finnish)
Seminar curated by: Pia Puu Oksanen, director of human rights issues, Amnesty Finland
The seminar is supported by Amnesty International – Finnish Section
Discussion: Pia Puu Oksanen / Amnesty, Juha Kilpiä, Maru Hietala, Aro Mielonen / Transforces

At the seminar we will hear statements; we will have open discussions; and we will enjoy the performative elements that the collaborators and participants create in the space. What would our reality look like if gender diversity and gender fluidity guided our understanding of gender and human rights? During these four hours we will ponder, empathize, and give room for this positive utopia.

SATURDAY 17.9. 14–16PM
Empathy, sociability and morality

(In Finnish
Seminar is curated by:
Elisa Aaltola – philosopher, and Sami Keto – activist / researcher

Empathy is a term which is rapidly becoming popular, but which still is seldom defined. The seminar explores the meaning of empathy and its different varieties. It will also map out empathy's function in the history of human species, various problems related to empathy, and empathy's role in the development of morality and sociability. The seminar will also offer different methods for increasing empathy skills.

SUNDAY 18.9. 12–17PM
Rights for the Majority! – How to make our society recognize animal rights
(In Finnish and English)
Seminar by Animalia / Salla Tuomivaara and Mai Kivelä
The seminar is supported by Animalia non-profit association.
Speakers: Jeff Mannes, Visa Kurki, Liisa Kaski, James Nikander
Moderator: Mai Kivelä

The human being is only one species amongst the animals, but we have excluded all the others from having any fundamental rights. Nonhumanity has meant inhuman behavior towards animals. However, the profound and clear distinction between humans and other animals is being challenged. Already some countries, such as U.S. and India, have declared certain rights for some of the other species. Is it possible in a human society to recognize animal rights? If so, how can we move towards such society?

Frontiers in Retreat & Zooetics: Non-human, non-animal
(In English)

Seminar curated by: Tracey Warr and Jenni Nurmenniemi
Speakers: Tracey Warr, Dionizas Bajarunas, Mirko Nikolic, Saara Hannula
Moderator: Kira O'Reilly
Other program: Richard Skelton's short film – In Pursuit of the Eleventh Measure

Rock, water, mushroom. How far can we go in our definitions of ‘life’, and where might its extension take us? Human relationships with other species, other life, have already changed and evolved towards greater empathy and the notion of rights and legal standing. What might a next evolution of relationships amongst all life forms look like? The non-human, the non-animal; how can we get beyond binaries and taxonomies? How might notions of the discrete, which are so deeply ingrained in our assumptions and language, shift towards better understandings of symbiosis, mutualism, and interdependence?

SUNDAY 25.9. 12–16PM 
Decentering History – Artistic Interventions
(In English)
Seminar by History of Others / Laura Gustafsson and Terike Haapoja
Speakers: Giovanna Esposito Yussif, Minna Henriksson, Laura Gustafsson & Terike Haapoja

The seminar discusses artistic practices and projects that, by re-writing history, aim at mapping the blind spots of our culture. The common thread to all these approaches is the critique of western modernism, and the ways in which institutions of knowledge have normalized and justified discriminative practices. The series of seminars in the Museum of Nonhumanity will conclude with a panel discussion in which we will ask what does it take to decolonize a museum display, and how to include one's own position in the critique.


Museum of Nonhumanity
Suvilahti, Buidling 5
Kaasutehtaankatu 1


HIAP 2015 Publication Launch

The second annual publication of HIAP - Helsinki International Artist Programme will be launched on Thursday September 15th at HIAP Project Space. The publication features a special Frontiers section.

The publication features FiR artists Sylvia Grace Borda, Carl Giffney, mirko nikolic and Tracey Warr, who also contributed a text about 'Zooetics'. Frontiers Curator Jenni Nurmenniemi reflects in her texts the unfolding of the project so far as well as the'Excavations' exhibition that took place at HIAP Gallery Augusta, 'Deep Time Séance' at Residency Unlimited, New York & Kiasma Theatre, Helsinki as well as 'Adaptations Utö' incubator in Turku Archipelago, Finland. 

You are warmly welcomed to the publication launch on Thursday 15th of September, at 4-7pm! On the same day HIAP hosts an 'Open Studios' event at HIAP Suomenlinna Studios and Project space. 


HIAP - Helsinki International Artist Programme


Frontiers artist Tuula Närhinen's Public Examination of Doctoral Thesis in Fine Arts

September 24th, 2016

VISUAL SCIENCE AND NATURAL ART: A study on the pictorial agency of natural phenomena

Tuula Närhinen’s doctoral research is built around an artistic practice that explores tracings and (photo)graphic recordings created by waves, rain and seawater. Re-adapting instruments derived from natural science, she constructs visual interfaces that enable us to move beyond the explicit and to grasp the unfurling of a world invisible to the naked eye.

Public Examination of Doctoral Thesis in Fine Arts
24.9.2016 at 13.00 in SES auditorium Kino K-13, Kanavakatu 12, 00160 Helsinki.
Examiner: professor Yrjö Haila, Chairman: professor Mika Elo



Frame Espresso discussion and book launch: Altern Ecologies

On September 9th at 5-7pm, Frame Contemporary Art Finland organises a discussion and book launch of 'Altern Ecologies' at the Museum of Nonhumanity, Tiivistämö, Helsinki. Frontiers artists Hanna Husberg and Tuula Närhinen have contributions in the book, and Terike Haapoja and Mari Keski-Korsu will participate in the panel discussion chaired by curator Jenni Nurmenniemi. The Altern Ecologies publication is co-edited by Terike Haapoja and Taru Elfving, Programme Drector of FRAME and one of the initiators of the Frontiers in Retreat project.

The first publication of Framed Conversations series, Altern Ecologies. Emergent Perspectives on the Ecological Threshold at the 55th Venice Biennale, edited by Taru Elfving and Terike Haapoja, will be launched with a discussion on Thursday 8 September 5–7pm at Suvilahden Tiivistämö (Kaasutehtaankatu 1, Helsinki). 

In the Frame Espresso discussion Terike Haapoja will be accompanied by curator Jenni Nurmenniemi (HIAP), artist Mari Keski-Korsu (Pixelache), director Erich Berger (The Finnish Bioart Society) and Paavo Järvensivu (Mustarinda). The discussion will be held in English. The new anthology sets out to map an alternative ecology of art practice and research that can be traced in the cacophonic maze that is the Venice Biennale. The state of emergency caused by the current environmental crises has drawn forth the necessity to re-evaluate the centres of gravity in our world, including the means and ends of the arts. It has become evident that the practices within contemporary art are also complicit in the current unsustainable order of things even while critically addressing it.

The Frame Espresso discussion and book launch responds to this call for a thorough rethinking, from the methods and modes of perception to the apparatuses and organizational structures of production. The discussion invites together artistic and curatorial practices arising from and invested in addressing the ecological threshold through their work in Finland. Altern Ecologies presents a number of approaches that artists are currently employing on the task of radical unraveling and complex reimagining of subjectivity and otherness, relationality and representation, codependence and communication in response to the ecological urgencies.

Growing out of the conversations following the symposium A Counter Order of Things, organised in connection to the exhibition Falling Trees in the Nordic and Finnish Pavilions in 2013, the anthology includes a selection of presentations from the symposium. A number of national pavilions from the 2013 edition of the Biennale were also invited to present their exhibitions alongside these commissioned articles.

Altern Ecologies includes contributions by Ursula Bieman, T. J. Demos, Catherine de Zegher, Taru Elfving, Anselm Franke, Simryn Gill, Terike Haapoja, Hanna Husberg, Alfredo Jaar, Harri Laakso, Antti Laitinen, Laura McLean, Tuula Närhinen, Khaled Ramadan, Henk Slager, Syrago Tsiara, and Stefanos Tsivopoulos.

The audience is invited to visit the Museum of Nonhumanity exhibition after the discussion. It is a temporary museum presenting the history of the distinction between humans and other animals. Museum of Nonhumanity is a part of History of Others, a long term project by visual artist Terike Haapoja and author Laura Gustafsson.



Frontiers artist Sylvia Grace Borda is profiling her Farm Tableaux at the UN International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Congress


Frontiers artist Sylvia Grace Borda is profiling her Farm Tableaux work developed as part of her HIAP residency at the UN International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Congress forum "Planet at the Crossroads" this September. The IUCN forum will be host to some of the world's most innovative strategic and global thinkers to discuss how to address the critical challenges and opportunities of our time, including the imperative to scale up action on biodiversity and sustainable development goals.

Sylvia’s presentation in particular will illustrate how the arts can be a catalyst for both innovation in contemporary image making and in social policy.  Sylvia is fortunate to be the only invited artist to present solely on the role of the visual arts in activating conservation action and awareness. Through her participation in IUCN, Sylvia will share outcomes of her dialogues with the Frontiers network on how international and global organisations to grass roots agencies are tackling global environmental and developmental challenges.

Read more about Sylvia’s work and the IUCN World Forum at the following sites


Carl Giffney: I really don't feel them

3 days event at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin

I really don't feel them is a 3 day event at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin. Its central work is a feature length documentary movie by the same name, shot in The Netherlands, Scotland and Finland, produced by Carl Giffney. 

The movie will be screened on the big screen once each evening at a seated viewing starting at 18.00hr. 

I really don't feel them and its related projects were made across five residencies within Frontiers In Retreat (2013 - 2018).


Museum of Nonhumanity Opens in September

A new temporary museum is to open in Helsinki in September 2016. The Museum of Nonhumanity will present the history of the distinction between humans and other animals, and the way that this imaginary boundary has been used to oppress human and nonhuman beings. 

Throughout history, declaring a group to be nonhuman or subhuman has been an effective tool for justifying slavery, oppression and genocide. Conversely, differentiating humans from other species has paved the way for the abuse of natural resources and other animals.

The museum of Nonhumanity will host an extensive lecture program in which civil-rights and animal-rights organizations, academics, artists, and activists will propose paths to a more inclusive society. The Museum of Nonhumanity stands as a monument to the call to make dehumanization history and to the start of a new, more inclusive era.

The Museum of Nonhumanity was launched by History of Others, a collaboration between the writer Laura Gustafsson and the visual artist Terike Haapoja. The first part of the History of Others project, The Museum of the History of Cattle (2013), was awarded the Kiila prize in Finland and is now touring internationally. The second work in the project, a courtroom performance called The Trial, had its premiere at the Baltic Circle Festival in 2014.

Opening: Suvilahti, Tiivistämö September 1, 2016. Open September 2–29, 2016.

Museum of Nonhumanity is co-produced by the project Frontiers in Retreat.



Mustarinda Incubator: Post-Fossil Experimentality

Mustarinda Incubator will take place in Hyrynsalmi, Finland, August 11–16, 2016

During its first years, Frontiers in Retreat has brought together artists and residencies as a Europe-wide network. Skills and knowledge on ecological issues and contemporary artistic work have been generated and circulated. Yet, on a practical and experiential level, there is still work to be done: How to organize the network and its nodes in ways that provide meaningful and inspiring responses to the global ecological crisis? What is the relationship between artistic work and ecological practices in a post-fossil fuel era, which is defined by an increasing realization of how our lives (and work) are conditioned by fossil fuels and attempts to reach beyond their massive use? The Mustarinda Incubator invited artists and residency organizers to discuss and experiment with post-fossil fuel ways of being, drawing on the remote location next to one of the rare still remaining old-growth forests south of Lapland in Finland.


Skaftfell Incubator: Tool-kit for Survivalism at the Edge of the World

The Skaftfell incubator took place on May 20–22, 2016 in Seydisfjördur, East Iceland. The incubator served as a platform for multidisciplinary dialogue, focusing on the intersections of visual art and ecological issues in the context of Iceland.

The key questions were:

WHAT are the particularities of ecosystems, environment, community, and daily life in Iceland?

HOW do artists engage with these issues and what is their contribution to this discourse?

WHAT opportunities and challenges are in store for local ecologies and how can we adjust to them?


The earth wants to be free

The second leg of Mirko Nikolić‘s Frontiers in Retreat artist project at HIAP culminates into a camp-symposium 'The earth wants to be free – On rights, autonomy and freedom of other-than-humans‘ in Kemiö island, Finland, 14–15 May, 2016.

In a two-day camp at the old copper mines in the island of Kemiönsaari in South-West Finland, the symposium will discuss dynamics of shared trans-species conversations, with emphasis on ethico-political questions that present themselves when crossing the imaginary human–nonhuman border. How do we invite nonhumans to take part in conversations initiated by humans? What kinds of rights and freedoms are asserted through these naturalcultural minglings? What are the responsibilities and accountabilities of the humans towards nonhuman persons? The participants, invited by Nikolić, will share their audiovisual performances.


Reflections on Tuula Närhinen‘s LOCAL

“In October 2014 and April 2016 I had the chance to work in Farrera, a tiny village in the Catalonian Pyrenees close to the border of Andorra. I attempted to capture visual and auditory sense impressions engendered by the movement of the winds.

Tuula developed her project Local specifically for Frontiers in Retreat. Her previous works and projects have dealt primarily with water (Seawatercolours, Touch of Rain and Clapotis for example), but for Local she decided to investigate her environment through the other elements as well. She began her research by looking into how wind behaves, then progressed further into the realms of earth, water, rock formations and the colours of the landscape of Farrera, Spain, where she completed two residencies in October 2014 and April 2016.