Helsinki – Emergence, Microbes, Governing Bodies mini festival


-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 June 2022 the group 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 An exercise in listening, merging field recordings by friendly.organisms with music by known and less known composers at SOLU
* 20.00 EEG-synth experience / meditative one-on-one sessions (2-3 EEG synth sessions) – separate 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
* 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, at SOLU
* 17:30 Bart H.M. Vandeput (Bartaku Art_Research): Retinalalian Group Hum_1 — breathing-sounding the retinal code, at SOLU
* 18.30 Dinner

* 20.00 Annette Arlander “Letter to a Dead Spruce” video screening at SOLU

Friday, 3.6.
On microbes and macrobes — scales of observation, behavioural patterns, and inter-system similarities.
* 10.00 breakfast at SOLU
* 10.30 Discussion about emergence with neuroscientist Veikko Jousmäki at SOLU
* 11.30 Till Bovermann Performative walk – City as Organism. (Departure from Solu.)
* 13.00 Lunch on the way
* 14.00-16.00 Sauna, Furuvik Rantasauna
* 17.00 Dinner at Kiasma and visit to the museum
* 19.00 Book release “Governing Bodies” at SOLU
* 19.30 The Experiences of Art as We don’t Know It and Governing Bodies. A round table discussion about creating books with trans-disciplinary content with the Freddie Ross, editor of Governing Bodies and representatives from Bioart Society. Moderated by MaiBritt Giacobini Arnér.
* 22.00 Carima Neusser, Performance at SOLU

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) Please bring your own headphones and smartphone.
* 13.00 Lunch
* 16.00 Evening at Akusmata
- Freddie Ross – ethics of microbes – lecture performance
- Tina Mariane Krogh Madsen – performance
- Jean-Louis Huhta and Till Bovermann – performance
* 21.00 Individual dinner

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

The SOLU Space can be found at Luotsikatu 13, 00160 Helsinki. , More info here.

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, in Stockholm; Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki as well as Kulturfonden för Sverige och Finland. Photo by Till Boverman.