Down to Earth II

21 — 22 Apr 2022

Location: SOLU

Soil chromatography workshop with Aino Johansson and Sirja Moberg

Down to Earth II is a two-day hands-on workshop at Bioart Society's SOLU space on the 21st and 22nd of April. This is a second edition of a workshop first organized in December 2021. During the workshop participants will go through the process of how to make a chromatography and prepare some with their own soil samples. While working they will enter into conversations and discuss different aspects with the aim to cultivate our understanding of soil. They invite the participants to explore together our relationship to the soils we inhabit - their role in the networks of the manifold ecosystems of planet Earth and the different kinds of agencies within. 

Down to Earth II dives into exploring our planet Earth and the richness and complexity of it's soil through learning a hands-on biochemical method of making a soil chromatography on paper. The technique was developed by Ehrenfried Pfeiffer in the 1950's and it was considered groundbreaking as a pictorial method for portraying biological processes. The method was first developed to provide farmers and composters a snapshot of the biological activity and health of soil. The workshop reflects upon how the chromatographies can open up multiple aspects on soil to us and in our (artistic) practices. 

Ten participants are selected to join this workshop through an open call. The detailed program will be sent out to the participants. As preparation for the workshop we will kindly ask all participants to collect and bring a sample of your chosen soil.

This workshop is unfortunately full and we are not accepting anymore applications.


Sirja Moberg (b. 1989) is a contemporary artist from Helsinki, Finland. Moberg graduated as a Master of Arts in Photography department from Aalto University in 2020. Her multidisciplinary practice is video, installation, experimental photography and sculpture based. In her latest project The Crater Lake Project she ponders upon human understanding of nature, unknown natural phenomena related with the crater lakes and the connection between natural sciences. Moberg is a member of Bioart Society ry, MUU ry and Photographic Centre Peri. She has participated in several group exhibitions in Finland, such as Unfold group show in The Finnish Museum of Photography in 2020. Moberg gratuated as BFA from Turku Arts Academy 2015 and has also been studying in Emily Carr University of Arts + Design in Vancouver in Canada.

Aino Johansson (b.1984) is a multidisciplinary visual artist, performer and facilitator. Johansson graduated with an MA in contemporary art from Aalto University in 2015 and BFA from Lahti Art Institute 2008. Her practise and body of work includes painting, installation, sculpture, performance, bioart, text, theater and collective art praxis. In her work she explores the relations of intimate experience, planetary agencies, states of our ecosystems, and social structures through  combining material and intellectual exploration to embodiment. She is a member of Bioart society ry., Muu ry., Artist association Yö and Helsinki artists association. Johansson works currently on project <<Maan>> Puolustusvoimat (Earth Forces) in which she combines multidisciplinary art to environmental activism. She has taken part in exhibitions both in Finland and abroad.

The workshop is part of BioFacts - a programme that consists of a series of artistic research work labs. The programme introduces fundamental techniques of working with biological arts and serves as a vehicle to discuss art and science, materials, techniques, safety and policy, biopolitics, ethics as well as artistic examples through hands-on work. 
BioFacts is supported by the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.