Frontiers in Retreat


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



Frontiers artist Saara-Maria Kariranta part of an exhibition 'Weight of Air' in Gallery Ama, Helsinki.

Opening on Thursday, August 10th, 5–7 PM

Ama Gallery
Rikhardinkatu 1

phone: +358 50 589 4969

Opening Hours
Tue-Fri 11–17
Sat-Sun 12–16


Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects | Artist Film Programme | SSW at Edinburgh Arts Festival 2017 | 02/08/2017

Scottish Sculpture Workshop presents a selection of artist films at that were produced at various sites across Europe during the five year EU partnership project Frontiers in Retreat the Edinburgh Arts Festival. 

Where: The Saltire Society 
When: 7pm - 8.30pm Wednesday 2nd August
Booking: Tickets are free, to book please visit EAF website: here

Films include: 
we  copper & copper  us vol. 3: mineralizacija, Mirko Nikolić (video, 24 mins)
An tSeirbia (They knew them), Carl Giffney (video, 17 min )
Thinking of Invertebrates, Janne Nabb & Maria Teeri (3D animation, 30 min)

About the artists:
Janne Nabb's (b. 1984) and Maria Teeri's (b. 1985) joint practice is based on observations of encounter, interaction and fusion between artists and other things, which often happen to be commodities. Nabb's and Teeri's works and projects, many of which are temporary, examine in particular the levels of artistic labour in the relationship with everyday society. The physical matter they work with is often the material surplus or in-situ material traces left by human or non-human activity.

Carl Giffney’s work as a visual artist investigates social capital through empirical and performative research, carrying out activities like mining, beekeeping and modifying cars. He works in eclectic settings which have recently ranged from sea horse farms, to churches and motorways. Physical materials play very important roles in his socially engaged practice.

Mirko Nikolić (b.1984, lives and works in London and Belgrade) works with diverse combinations of mediums galvanised by a performative approach. Currently he is a doctoral candidate in Arts and Media practice at the University of Westminster, London.


We are pleased to announce the Frontiers in Retreat booklet, now available online!

Read or download here:

This booklet offers an insight into the multidisciplinary project on art and ecology, Frontiers in Retreat (2013–2018), formed around 7 residency centers at the edges of Europe, the work of 25 artists, and 1 art-led interdisciplinary research project. The booklet contains photos of the participating artists' projects, introduces the partner organisations, and features two texts by Jenni Nurmenniemi, the curator of the project (HIAP; Frontiers in Retreat) about the project and the multipolar exhibition series 'Edge Effects' (Jun–Dec 2017). This booklet is also available in print at each Edge Effects exhibition site.

Editors: Salla Lahtinen & Jenni Nurmenniemi (HIAP)
Design: NODE Berlin Oslo 


Anna Rubio at Arts in the Environment – Nordic Symposium 31/8/2017

Current HIAP's Frontiers resident Anna Rubio performs a dance with a tree on the first evening of the Environment – Nordic Symposium, organised at HIAP on 31st of August.

Arts in the environment – Nordic symposium invites environmental artists, scientists, thinkers and the public to participate and discuss the most current environmental topics. The symposium program will combine keynote talks and discussions, video art evenings, workshops, environmental art works and performances to engage with current developments of environmental art and sciences.

Arts in the environment – Nordic symposium is a multidisciplinary, international and forward-looking art symposium that focuses on the intersection between environmental art and the sciences. The event will take place August 31 – September 2, 2017 at various venues across Helsinki, Finland. The Artist Camp for the artists will take place from August 25 to September 3, 2017.

The project is organised by LARU ART Association, an artist-driven non-profit organisation based in Helsinki. In operation since 2005, LARU ART produces international environmental art events in which both media art and performance art are prominently featured. In collaboration with Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

More programme to be announced soon!


Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects | SSW | 27 – 30/07/2017

Ximena Alarcon | Brett Bloom | Sylvia Grace Borda | Mele Broomes | Charismatic Megafauna | Taru Elfving | Fernando Garcia-Dory (INLAND) & Alex Wilde (Open Jar Collective) | Carl Giffney | Mari Keski-Korsu & Maaria Alén | Maarit Laihonen & Petri Ruikka | Janne Nabb & Maria Teeri | Mirko Nikolić | Áine O’Dwyer | Nuno Sacramento | Richard Skelton | Simon Yuill

Scottish Sculpture Workshop presents Edge Effects; a programme of workshops, walks, film and performance that explores the complex co-dependencies between ecological, social, economic, and political phenomena.

Edge Effects maps out artistic processes developed in response to seven international residency sites across Europe through Frontiers in Retreat and brings them together with wider artists practices to ask: What multiple forms of knowledge, discourse, and models of action would construct a viable future for humans and other forms of life? What kinds of boundaries should be dismantled, so that change in the direction of an ecologically sustainable future could be possible?

Read more: facebook


Zooetics: Mycomorph Laboratory Workshops at Print Screen Festival

Thursday | 22/6 | 09:30 - 13:30 | The Israeli Center for Digital Art | Viktorija Siaulyte and Paulius Vaitiekūnas

Zooetics: Mycomorph Laboratory

"Mycomorph" could be considered as a material searching for its own components. It comes into being when mycelium, the rhizome-like underlying network structure of what we know as mushrooms, colonizes other organic materials such as wood or straw. A mycomorph could also be an element of the fiction of J. G. Ballard, "psychotropic house" - an everchanging, adaptable and neurosensitive architectural structure. During the workshop, the participants will explore together the biotechnological fictions and create a mycomorph of their own, using live mycelium.

Mycomorph Laboratory has been conceived as part of the exhibitions Psychotropic House: Zooetics Pavilion of Ballardian Technologies, organised by artists Gediminas & Nomeda Urbonas. It is part of Zooetics, a cross-disciplinary exploration of future environmental fictions and models. ‘Zooetics’ is a word in progress to explore new ways of engaging human knowledge and research with other forms of life and to imagine designs, prototypes and interfaces for future interspecies ecologies.