Field_Notes -The Heavens 2019

AIR group


hosted by Hanna Husberg & Agata Marzec

Air is inherently multiple. As a medium and an assemblage it carries information, radiations, vibrations, and diffused substances. Air is never exterior to us: mingling and mixing it permeates our cavities and porosities, and forms spaces where species meet. While the advent of climate change has, arguably, brought humanity back within planetary horizons—re-inscribing the atmospheric layers as a condition and indispensable necessity for planetary life and human well-being—the planetary atmosphere is predominantly an imperceptible and inaccessible phenomenon. ‘Knowing the atmosphere’ is contingent on techno-scientific apparatus, epistemologies, and infrastructures of the “military-industrial-business complex” that cannot be thought of as separate from the histories and politics of capitalism and scientific thought. Hosting satellites and automated communication systems and technologies, increasingly vulnerable to space weather and disturbances, the atmosphere of the 21st century is a technoecological infrastructure entangled with existing patterns of social inequality and charged with hidden layers of power relations. Atmospheric imaginaries infiltrate our daily practices and global politics. How we imagine air and the atmosphere has material consequences - it legitimises certain practices over others, and influences how boundaries are drawn. The group will inquire into the political and aesthetic practices that allow for apprehending and sensing the atmosphere in new ways. Using Kilpisjärvi, and its connections to the EISCAT space weather research infrastructure as a point of departure, the group will explore how the global atmosphere is constituted through local contingencies.

Hanna Husberg is a visual artist, graduated from ENSBA, Paris, and currently developing her doctoral research project ‘Troubled Atmosphere - On noticing air’ at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her research has developed through several art projects, that through a focus on air inquire into how humans perceive, relate to, and imagine their immediate, and expanded, surrounding. These issues are addressed through narratives of entanglement and material exchanges, through questions of perceptibility and visual representations, and through reflections on how changes in the atmosphere are (in)visibly transforming specific places, influencing the socio-economic as well as the territorial realities of these locations. Hanna has established long term collaborations with ecologist Agata Marzecova and with art historian and poet Sria Chatterjee. Bringing theory, criticism and scientific research together with art and poetics these collaborations have resulted in outcomes such as lecture performances, poem installations, digital essays and analytical papers.

Agata Marzecova is an environmental scientist studying long-term environmental changes associated with the transition from Holocene to Anthropocene using paleoecological methods. Having background in photography and new media, Agata has participated in a range of projects at the intersection of science, technology, art and theory. Her installation project “Vernacular geology” was presented in the Baltic Pavilion (15th International Architecture Venice Biennale, 2016) and The Baltic Material Assemblies (Architectural Association & RIBA London, 2018). In collaboration with the artist Hanna Husberg, Agata has been developing an art-science research that explores technoecological infrastructures of air and atmosphere. Their project has been developed through residencies at SeedBox Environmental Humanities Collaboratory (Linköping University, 2017), Ars Bioarctica Residency (Finnish Bioart Society, Kilpisjärvi, 2018) and Mustarinda AIR residency (2019), series of lecture-performances, conference talks, essays and teaching.