Field_Notes is an art and science field laboratory organized by the Bioart Society at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station of the University of Helsinki in the Sapmi region in Lapland / Finland since 2011. The previous Field_Notes editions include Cultivating Grounds (2011), Deep Time (2013), HYBRID MATTERs (2015), EOS (2018), The Heavens (2019) and Traces (2021). During Field_Notes – The North Escaping, three groups of five will work in the sub-arctic Lapland for two weeks developing, testing and evaluating specific interdisciplinary approaches under the theme of The North Escaping. The groups are hosted by artists Till Bovermann, Elizabeth McTernan and Erich Berger.
Former Field_Notes participants have described the experience as a habitat in which ideas are planted and new partnerships are nurtured and fermented. Field_Notes is a unique opportunity for artists, scientists and other practitioners to set things in motion through intense fieldwork.
The Field_Notes field laboratories have previously lasted only for a week. Based on feedback and our former experiences, this time the experience is stretched into two weeks full of experimentation, testing, gathering data and networking.
The current climate crisis is transforming our world rapidly, with the most rapid transformations seen in the northern latitude. As the climate changes, it not only alters habitats and livelihoods but affects entities in a much deeper way. The North Escaping captures this mental state, which not only includes fear and anticipation of change, but also the loss of a certain world and the birth of a completely new one. Something is slipping away, slowly, and we are not sure what this all means.
Changes in weather, ecosystems, agriculture, human settlements and cultures are ahead because of the redistribution of water, plants and animals – including people, across natural and artificial borders. We know that the North is already escaping, with the number of snow-cover days decreasing and new species entering the country from the south as the range of native species narrows. It is not an overstatement to say that the way we answer to this change – how we ignore, resist or adapt – will define the future of the existence of the northern cultures and livelihoods.
Field_Notes – The North Escaping is funded via Rewilding Cultures. Rewilding Cultures is a Creative Europe collaboration project aiming to reposition the wild after COVID-19 and focus on inclusivity and ecology within the art, science and technology.