During my working period in Kilpisjärvi (Finland) I gave a workshop at the Small Projects gallery in Tromsø about Arctic food in general and about the FOOD RELATED project in particular. After a short presentation and introduction to the online platform (www.foodrelated.org), a very useful mapping was made with the MAP-it toolkit developed by my colleagues of the Social Spaces research group. The cultural probes that I developed for the FOOD RELATED platform were used for the first time!
In September and October 2011 I am doing artistic fieldwork in Kilpisjärvi for the FOOD RELATED project, while I am at the Biological Research Station owned by the University of Helsinki. Although it is mostly biologists who do their fieldwork in this isolated place within the Arctic Circle, the Finnish Bioart Society runs an artist-in-residence program here as well.
During these months I am developing cultural probes packages that will be used for participatory practices. These probes are made to be used in workshops and at home.
In the meantime I am studying local food and food culture, and do a lot of hiking around on the tundra. I am very happy and thankful for being here!
Some new collected food entries from this region can be found at www.foodrelated.org
Website Bioart Society: http://bioartsociety.fi/
Website Kilpisjärvi Research Station: http://www.helsinki.fi/kilpis/english/index.htm
Residency blog: http://www.kilpiscope.net/residency/
I have exhibited my work in progress for FOOD RELATED and NIVA TO NENETS at DeFKa during ‘INVESTIGATIONS on artistic research‘ from 26 May till 18 June 2011. This exhibition opened with a conference day. I made an igloo shaped cake that was eaten by the participants from hand painted plates with hand written napkins before their debate about the practice of artistic research started. The cake functioned as an icebreaker, while the plates and napkins nourished the discussion.
After the conference reindeer soup was served from a Lada pot to all who wanted to try the daily food of the Nenets, a nomadic reindeer herding people in the North of the Russian Federation. In the meantime I explained my wish to drive my Lada Niva to this people as a gift.
Visit the website of DeFKa /SMAHK: www.smahk.nl
A pre-version of the FOOD RELATED platform is yet online and can be found at www.foodrelated.org. This current version has three mappings: a Geographic View shows the entries in relation to their geographic location, a Foodgroup View shows the entries in relation to their ingredients or food items, and a Historic View shows all entries in order of publication. Future versions will include more mappings and forum options. People will be able to comment on each other’s entries and to start discussions.
In the Geographic View, an image of the area within the Arctic Circle zooms in when an encircled area is clicked. Within this selected area, colored dots function as buttons to open related entries. For artistic reasons the 66° latitude was chosen as the outline, unintentionally excluding certain areas from this mapping. People from more southern areas are nonetheless still able to contribute to the platform in other mappings. The Foodgroup View, for example, will map the entries by their ingredient. Entries are mapped under sea mammals, birds and eggs, land mammals, fishes and other sea products, hoofed animals, bread and pastry, fruits and vegetables, drinks, or snacks. Just like the Geographic View, the selected part of this mapping enlarges when clicked. Thus the entries are visualized and can easily be viewed. The Historic View maps and shows all entries in order of creation, to easily retrieve a particular entry and to find recently added entries.