Frontiers in Retreat


Nabb+Teeri: Mapping the insignificant 2.-25/2/2018

Titanik Gallery, Turku, Finland

In the autumn before retreating to their anthill to overwinter, the wood ants eat all the energy-containing eggs and cocoons that would otherwise not survive the winter. Deep underneath the anthill, below the frost line, the wintering ants huddle together in large heat-storing lumps, their size similar to that of a clenched hand. The ants continue to change their place in the formation so that everyone in turn can get inside to keep warm. The queen ant is kept in the middle. 

The works on display, however, have formed in dry, rigid, and rectangular spaces. Things that are barely 

perceptible move slowly on the edges of the field of vision, while others melt together in the middle of the room. There may have been a 56-hour blackout. Then the primates too gather in the warmest room of the house. Friends have deliberately forgotten some translucent materials in the studio. Texts have piled up and now form snowdrifts on both sides of the corridor. The workroom chaos has been simplified to an abstract, visual conundrum with a lossy compression; a sharp-edged polygon mesh; a porous, ruined space; a limitlessly scalable object that moves with the help of a mouse. The neighbours that are of different species have been in touch. The possibility of sculpting things, either in the dark or with completely closed eyes, remains to be taken into account. 


Whiteness in its righteousness 
bleaches creatures colorless 
tolerates no 

- Ursula K. Le Guin / Whiteness. Meditations for Melville, part II 


Nabb+Teeri is an artist duo formed in 2008 whose practice is characterized by the preconditions of working in changing locations. Alongside of borrowed, recycled and remodelled or found materials and objects, their stratified, mesh-like works include elements created with 3D modelling or other digital technologies. Nabb+Teeri are graduates of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki (MFA, 2011). They live and work in Övermark, a village in Finnish Ostrobothnia. The exhibition is part of the Frontiers in Retreat Project. Frontiers in Retreat is funded with support from the European Commission’s Culture Programme. Artists’ working has also been supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Finnish Cultural Foundation.


Further reading and listening: 
Ursula K. Le Guin / Whiteness. Meditations for Melville, part II. First appeared in Los Angeles Review published by Red Hen Press in 2014. The poem is included in the Keynote 5/8/14 Deep in Admiration by Ursula K. Le Guin at the Conference on Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet at Santa Cruz in 2014.


Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects | Centre d’Art i Natura de Farrera CAN

Online exhibition Edge Effects: Natural movements at Farrera's Edge, has now been launched!

The site is curated Lluís Llobet, Lluís Sabadell Artiga, Pere Báscones and Marta Prunera, and it presents works by artists Frontiers artists Anna Rubio, Quelic Berga, Joanès Simon-Perret, Kati Gausmann, Nabb & Teeri, Tuula Närhinen, and Tracey Warr.


Edge Effects – Active Earth in AQNB


Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects | KC GRAD | 27/11 – 03/12/2018

Edge Effects exhibition by KC GRAD presents several Frontiers and Serbian artists at KC GRAD in October 27 - December 3, together with an extensive side programme. Curator of the exhibition is Ljudmila Stratimirović, art director of Cultural Center GRAD.


Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects | HIAP @ Art Sonje Center | Programme

Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects - Active Earth exhibition at Art Sonje Center, Seoul by HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme presents it's public programme, including performance-concert by mirko nikolić and Tuomas A. Laitinen, and two Learning Sessions co-curated by Bora Hong, Haeju Kim, Hyejin Yeo. Click to read more 

Full Edge Effects Programme:

Tuesday, November 7

Exhibition Opening
4–6 PM, Art Sonje Center Project Space & Parallax Hanok

Active Earth Séance by mirko nikolić & Tuomas A. Laitinen
6–7 PM, Art Sonje Center Art Hall

Wednesday, November 8

Artist Talks:
Nabb+Teeri, Elena Mazzi, mirko nikolić, Tuomas A. Laitinen
Moderated by Jenni Nurmenniemi
Held in English with spontaneous Korean translation
4–6 PM, Art Sonje Center Art Hall 

Friday, November 10

Learning Session 1

Reading Art & Ecology: Artistic Practices for Symmetrical Life
7 – 9pm, Art Sonje Center Parallax Hanok
Panel: Rohwa Jeong, Kyounghee Lee, Bora Hong, Haeju Kim, Hyejin Yeo
Music: Gyepi sisters
Co-curated by: Bora Hong, Haeju Kim, Hyejin Yeo


Saturday, November 11

Learning Session 2
Reading Sympoiesis (Donna Haraway)
7 – 9pm, Art Sonje Center Parallax Hanok
Lecture: Yoomi Choi
Co-curated by: Bora Hong, Haeju Kim, Hyejin Yeo



* RSVP / Pre-registration for the Learning Sessions:


Interview with Kati Gausmann

by Tinna Guðmundsdóttir

New Frontiers artist interview by Tinna Guðmundsdóttir, Director of Skaftfell – Center for Visual Art:


Interview with Richard Skelton

June 14 2017 in Seyðisfjörður, by Tinna Guðmundsdóttir

An interview with Frontiers artist Richard Skelton by Tinna Guðmundsdóttir, Director of Skaftfell – Center for Visual Art, is now available online:


Zooetics: Future Energy Summit 3/10/2017 11am–6pm

Energy Summit Conference and workshop

Silver Screen Cinema, Cinema 2 Folkestone Town Hall, Guildhall Street, Folkestone CT20 1 DY, United Kingdom

Free entry, registration required:

Future Energy Summit brings together professionals and enthusiasts from the fields of art, design, life sciences and the humanities to Folkestone, UK for a meeting on the opening weekend of the Folkestone Triennial 2017, to re-imagine and re-script future models of energy, and its role and impact on citizenship and culture.

The ever growing appetite for energy that leads to extreme fossil fuel extraction is being disrupted by a number of revolutionary processes including the rapid transition to renewable energy, and the digitizing and networking of energy production and distribution infrastructures. Massive consumption of energy, demand for new kinds of energy storage, and the development of smart grids are changing the way these networks operate. In this context of increasing demand and the ever-moving target of fossil fuel exhaustion, the future of energy is determined by our capacity to reprogramme our energy dependencies.

In order to undo the way in which modernity has dictated energy provision, Future Energy Summit will emphasize two key perspectives: first, relearning the numerous ways that living organisms produce and store energy — for example, microbes producing energy when breaking down glucose with the help of enzymes, which occurs in both human andnonhuman bodies — and second, reconceptualizing energy independence and energy grids by looking at ‘maker culture’ inspired production models. Testing these models is crucial for the future of the planet in our era of dramatic climate change because not only do they transcend the role of the passive consumer — they also create alliances and associations across disciplines, fields and ontologies.Future Energy Summit, joined by academics, artists, designers, makers and inventors, looks for productive fictions, prototypes and models that can imagine a new diversity of energy interdependencies.

The invited participants of the Summit include prominent researchers and scholars from the fields of energy and science humanities, such as Jelena Martinovic, a historian of science, who will discuss energy, threat, and adaptation strategies, by considering near-death experiences and their relevance in scientific and clinical research in the 19th and 20th century; Tere Vadén, a philosopher whose work inquires into the relation between the humanities, energy, and the project of modernity; and Imre Szeman, the author of Energy Humanities: An Anthology and a key figure in these debates.Artists and designers Cédric Carles and Thomas Ortiz of Paleo-Energetique, will discuss their energy archaeology project, amassing an archive of a multiplicity of energy production patents and inventions which have been previously neglected, censored, or forgotten. Artist and researcher Rasa Smite (a collaborator with Raitis Smits and RIXC in Riga, Latvia) will introduce the artists’ approach in building a “techno-ecological” perspective, and will demonstrate the findings of RIXC's Biotricity research. Also, discussing the sonic expressions of “Pond Battery”, aninstrument that is fuelled by bacteria living in mud, Rasa will give a hands-on workshop on how to make your own mud battery. Stephanie Karpetas, a social entrepreneur and activistwill share her expertise and experience of engaging communities to be part of a local energyrevolution, helping people take ownership and control of their own local energy generation, distribution, and use. The Summit respondent is Asa Calow, a creative technologist and a co-founder of the Institute of Unknown Purpose – a new US-UK technology research initiative working on new forms of post-transition digital infrastructure. New materiality in battery production will be discussed by Viktorija Makarovaite and Sofia Perez-Villar, research scientists at Kent University and scientific advisors for the mushroom batteries deployed at the Folke Stone Power Plant, a work commissioned from Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas for Folkestone Triennial 2017.

Future Energy Summit is brought together by Zooetics, a research platform exploring human, non-human, and poetic knowledge spheres in order to imagine new prototypes and interfaces for future interspecies ecologies. Future Energy Summit is part of Folkestone Triennial 2017, and is supported by theLithuanian Council for Culture, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, and Arts at MIT. Zooetics is an Outreach and Education Program of Frontiers in Retreat, a network supported by the EU “Culture” Programme (EACEA 2013-1297). This communication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained herein.


Finnish Nature’s Day 26/8/2017

Event in Mustarinda, Paljakanvaara, organised by Mustarinda and Frontiers artist Saara-Maria Kariranta.

The event starts with a panel discussion moderated by M.Phil. culture anthropologist Satumaarit Myllyniemi, who has collected heritage of the area from nature and its’ folklore.

The panel has been formed of parties that utilise the forest in different ways, such as a representative from Metsähallitus (a Finnish state-wide agency of forests), an artist, a hunter, and a representative from the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation. The discussion is meant to steer away from issues circling around the identity of oneself and instead focus on the utilisation of the forest. It is irrelevant for nature if one has a moustache, dreads or what one’s political views are.  We’ll try to find a level of discussion where the panellists are able to share their experiences of the forest. We’re hoping the discussion will enable a common ground between opposites.

Art is involved in the discussion through aesthetic language and the nature of perception, rather than through theory. Art is a full mind and body experience just as the forest is. The event is streamed live from Paljakanvaara and projected in Helsinki to the busy by-passers offering a view of the forest and its’ slow, subtle but still significant happenings.  The old-growth forest of Paljakanvaara is also utilised by visual circus group Runosirkus that is seen streamed in Helsinki.

On Nature’s Day in Mustarinda D.F.A mirko nikolić invites plants and inhabitants of Kainuu region to partake in yoga. The event is open for everyone and free of charge, organised by Mustarinda association in co-operation with FiR, Frontiers in Retreat residency program, and the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation of Kainuu region.

In honor of Nature’s Day Mustarinda hoists a proposal for a flag (transl.), Ehdotus Lipuksi (Havuoksan Rauhanviiri) a piece by the artist group Kariranta, Ketola, Sipilä.  

More information:

Saara-Maria Kariranta


mirko nikolić & Tiina Arjukka Hirvonen: hello greenstone! would you like to seek-and-hide with us? 23–24/8/2017

The workshop with elementary school children at Moisiovaara (Hyrynsalmi, Kainuu) will experiment in creating modes of relation between humans and the earth that are alternative to industry and technology.

The context, or rather, the supporting structure, as well as the principal subject of interest of the works is the extraordinary geological formation in which Moisiovaara is situated: Kuhmo-Suomussalmi Greenstone Belt. Starting from the earth sciences that allow us some insights into this unique lithic body underneath our feet, we will think and put to practice intuitive and affective modes of experiencing the presence and way of being of the greenstone complex, without a need to dig or extract anything in order to get to know each others better. What is not accessible to the eyes is admittedly most attractive and interesting to understand, but uncovering it amounts to dispelling its magic. To be more sensitive to the rocky way of being, we focus on intense imagination and playful 'art of noticing' (Anna Tsing) of mineral bodies, all the while keeping their secrets intact.

The workshop is part of mirko nikolić's FiR residency in Mustarinda, and part of Mustarinda's Outreach and Education Programme of the Frontiers in Retreat project.


mirko nikolic