Governing Bodies Helsinki


- The Bioart Society and Vision Forum invite you to five days of performances, lectures, concerts, workshops, sauna trips and a mixture of these expressions.

Each human being lives in symbiosis with 1,5kg of microbes. They live in and on our body and because they are so tiny they outnumber the amount of cells that make up our bodies. They influence our health and probably also our personality. Governing Bodies is an international group of artists from multiple genres (visual art, dance and music) who work closely with researchers in biochemistry, psychiatry and material sciences. Together they share a deep interest in how humankind’s growing understanding about the microbes in the human body influence humankind’s understanding of itself and our place in the world.

The group has met, discussed, cooked, eaten and made interdisciplinary art events about microbes since 2018. During this time they have also changed how they eat, how they understand their bodies and the world they inhabit. In May 2022 the groups will travel to Helsinki where they will share their knowledge, experience and also learn from you. The work (with artists and institutions in Finland) constitutes a collective effort to inspire new thinking, new eating habits and new perspectives on art.

In Finland special focus will given to microbes and emergence. Nature is filled with examples of how complex behaviours arise from relatively simple elements: we see this in how ants behave, or in how fish shoals or bird flocks interact. The term emergence is used to describe these fascinating manifestations of self-organisation that can, at first glance, seem inexplicable. Where does the extra injection of complexity suddenly come from? One thing is clear: these emergent phenomena can only be understood as collective behaviours — there is no way to make sense of them without looking at dozens, hundreds, thousands or more of the contributing elements. These wholes are indeed greater than the sums of their parts.

In Governing Bodies Helsinki we will investigate how emergent properties influence our relationship with the microbes that we live in symbiosis with. For instance, the group has noticed that when they change their eating habits it affects the microbes in their gut, which influences their health and overall mood, which affects what they eat etc. creating infinite feedback loops.

Wednesday, 1.6. evening
Listening in — diving into an ocean of emergent behaviour.
* 19.00 performance / deep listening at SOLU
* 20.00 EEG-synth experience / meditative one-on-one sessions (2-3 EEG synth sessions) – seperate room at SOLU.
* 21.00 Food at SOLU

Thursday, 2.6.
Emergence is surrounding us — examples of emergence on macroscopic and microscopic levels and how they influence us and our life world.
* 10.00 breakfast at SOLU
* 11.00 Introduction to Emergence at SOLU
* 13.00 Lunch
* 14.30 Open for BioArt Society contribution
* 16.00 Riina Hannula, Microbial Medi(t)ation (Yoga for Microbes, group exercise) at SOLU (or outside, weather permitting) Please bring/wear comfortable long-sleeved clothing.
* 19.00 Sauna, venue TBA
* 21.00 Dinner

Friday, 3.6.
On microbes and macrobes — scales of observation, behavioural patterns, and inter-system similarities.
* 10.00 breakfast at SOLU
*  10.30 Discussion with Veikko Jousmäki at SOLU
* 11.30 Till Bovermann Performative talk – City as Organism. (Departure from Solu.)
* 14.00 Lunch on the way
* 15.30 Open for BioArt Society contribution
*  19.00 book release at SOLU
* 20.30 performative event at SOLU
* 21.00 Dinner

Saturday, 4.6.
Politics of emergence — layers of consciousness, layers of interpretation.
* 10.00 breakfast at SOLU
* 11.30 Carola Uehlken- walking through city, landscape, building? (Departure from SOLU)
* 13.00 Lunch
* 14.30 Freddie Ross – ethics of microbes at SOLU
* 17.00 Concert at Akusmata (with Tina Mariane Krogh Madsen and more.)
* 21.00 Individual dinner

Sunday, 5.6
Beyond emergence? — dispersion and re-formation.
* 11.00 breakfast at SOLU
* 12.00 Summary and departure

The project has developed out of a collective investigation called The Nature Inside and is supported by The Nordic Culture Fund in Copenhagen Längmanska kulturfonden, Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki as well as Kulturfonden för Sverige och Finland. Photo by Till Boverman.