Category Archives: Notes

Ars Bioarctica Revisited

Returning to Kilpisjärvi for two weeks in June 2021, for an Ars Bioarctica residency, I did of course remember my first visit at the biological station in Kilpisjärvi in 2014, which was divided into two parts, one week in April and the other week in June. But I did not realize I would be here in the very same week. I noticed it because I had gathered material from that first visit as an appendix for an article called “Data, Material, Remains” on a page on the Research Catalogue, called Ars bioarctica residency 2014. There I found out the exact dates when I performed some of the works with Malla, the mountain at the western end of the lake. I also found links to the posts I wrote about my visit on this very same blog: Malla – Mountain in the North, describing the first visit in April, and Meeting Malla Again as well as Mountain Brooks Once More from my second visit in June.
Now I am here for other purposes, performing with the dawny birches or mountain birches in the area, as part of the project Meetings with Remarkable and Unremarkable Trees (see post on the project blog, here). I could not resist the temptation to revisit the site where I performed “Looking at Malla” on 5 june 2014 as well as “Day and Night with Malla” on 7-8 June 2014 and try to recreate the images, in order to see if something had visibly changed – besides my camera. Not that much, actually. Yes, there is less snow on the slopes of Malla, and perhaps slightly less ice on the lake, as could be expected due to global warming, but surprisingly much remains the same. Wearing a black pullover rather than the dark blue scarf that I originally used makes quite a difference, though. Recreating “Looking at Malla”, or rather one of the sessions of the day-long time-lapse video, was not as easy as I thought. Here is the first image of the original work:

I made several attempts before finding approximately the right spot in front of the camera in order to be visible, and cover only part of the view.



Recreating the first image of the time-lapse video “Day and Night with Malla” was easier.

The rock was there, although I could not place the tripod as far back as I did before, perhaps because there was no ice now, or perhaps there was some sort of wooden construction before, or then I had a different objective in my camera, a different camera, too, I suppose. The one I use now I got that same year, but probably did not have with me at the residency yet.

The session today was actually closer to the one-off session “Moment with Malla” recorded on 7 June 2014. There you can really see the importance of the scarf in repeating the form of the mountain and the rock:

The most interesting thing, the real reason why I thought the revisit was worthwhile, was the birch growing next to the rock, and barely visible in the original images. Turning the camera only slightly to the right brought the birches into full view, and I thought standing next to the birch and holding on to its trunk would make a perfect pair to the image of sitting on the rock.

I did not even bother to make a test, because I thought I could easily picture my position next to the small tree. I did not realize how big I am, and that my hand would be covered by the rest of my body, so the image is not at all what I imagined.

Well, of course not, I would like to add, but it seems like I never learn…
PS. I did a new attempt, later, which is documented here.

Exposition and / as Method

These links are related to the public zoom webinar lecture at SKH Stockholm University of the Arts on Monday 22 June a 2 pm
Structure of the talk:
What is an exposition?
Method, or way of doing things
two quotes – composition and concept
Two expositions of my current research project, in process
Meetings with Remarkable and Unremarkable Trees (archive on the RC)
Meetings with Remarkable and Unremarkable Trees (blog)
Two examples of recently published expositions related to previous research projects
Annette Arlander, ‘Behind the back of Linnaeus – Bakom ryggen på Linné‘, RUUKKU – Studies in Artistic Research, 14 (2020) [accessed 19/06/2020],
(if interested, see also the archive/timeline of the whole project Performing with Plants: )
“HTDTWP presents: The Transformative Potential of Performance” Annette Arlander, Hanna Järvinen, Tero Nauha and Pilvi Porkola in Leena Rouhiainen (ed.) Proceedings of CARPA 6 Artistic Research Performs and Transforms: Bridging Practices, Contexts, Traditions & Futures Nivel 13 (2019)
a script of our performance in four parts, including a link to a page on the RC with the video shown as a background to my part of the performance, “Revisiting the Juniper”
(if interested, see also the archive/timeline of the whole project How to do things with performance
Examples of methods
The above expositions include examples of one of my main methods, performing for camera with trees in order to create rough time-lapse videos. The video Dear Firethorn Rhus II (with text) 6 min., here as a low-resolution file, is a recent example of trying out a new method, writing to trees next to them.
Two quotes related to “Concept and Composition”
“Two dimensions are combined in a performance. A performance is both a work and an event, both composition and exchange. The dimension emphasized can vary. Therefore, it could me more meaningful to speak of a performance composition and a performance event rather than a performance plan and a performance.[or script and mise-en-scene] /–/ A performance composition is a compound of all the material that is meant to be seen, heard, experienced through touch or kinesthetic sense, rhythms or references to meaning, a kind of base for the performance. A performance composition is not only a mental object or structure, but consists of material, physical and living elements, a collaboratively constructed world or entity, whose core or “soul” can be called the performance world. In an ideal case the performance world is the part of the performance composition, which everybody strives to recreate and embody in each performance event.
The performance event is the performance itself, what takes place in the performance space between performers and spectators. This event is influenced by many other things besides the performance composition. The amount of space in the performance composition left for improvisation or chance occurrences is variable. The performer can change or apply the performance composition according to circumstances and respond to the mood of the moment during the performance event or situation. Correspondingly, the spectator can choose another position or perspective in relationship to the performance, than the one proposed by the performance composition. Two performance events based on the same performance composition, can be very different, or very similar.”
Arlander, Annette “Esitys Tilana” [Performance as Space] Acta Scenica 2 Helsinki: Theatre Academy 1998, p 16. (translated by AA)
“According to Bohr, theoretical concepts (e.g., “position” and “momentum”) are not ideational in character but rather are specific physical arrangements. For example, the notion of “position” cannot be presumed to be a well-defined abstract concept, nor can it be presumed to be an inherent attribute of independently existing objects. Rather, “position” only has meaning when a rigid apparatus with fixed parts is used (e.g., a ruler is nailed to a fixed table in the laboratory, thereby establishing a fixed frame of reference for specifying “position”). /–/ Similarly, “momentum” is only meaningful as a material arrangement involving movable parts. Hence, the simultaneous indeterminacy of “position” and “momentum” (what is commonly referred to as the Heisenberg uncertainty principle [which is about indeterminacy rather than uncertainty] is a straightforward matter of the material exclusion of “position” and “momentum” arrangements (one requiring fixed parts and the complementary arrangement requiring movable parts).”
Karen Barad “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 2003, vol. 28, no. 3, p 814.
Other sources mentioned
Arlander, Annette. Performing Landscape – Notes on Site-specific Work and Artistic Research. Texts 2001-2011. Acta Scenica 28. Theatre Academy Helsinki 2012.
“Om metoder i konstnärlig forskning / On methods of artistic research” in Torbjörn Lind (ed.) Metod – Process – Redovisning Konstnärlig Forksning Årsbok 2014 Vetenskapsrådet 2014, Method – Process – Reporting Artistic Research Yearbok 2014 Swedish Research Council 2014, 13-25 / 26-39.