Lecture performance by Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney
Spectres in Change:
Hints, traces and resonances – experiencing ecological uncertainty.
The first public event of Spectres in Change featured a lecture performance by Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney of FoAM, followed by a conversation with curator Taru Elfving. Seasonal refreshments including spring teas and trans-local spirits were served. The event was organised by CAA Contemporary Art Archipelago in collaboration with the Bioart Society.
At the inaugural Spectres in Change Salon, FoAM offered a contextual and aesthetic backdrop for their fieldwork on Seili. Through an interplay of sound, text and image they suggested varied relationships with animate, inanimate and partially animate critters inhabiting the world. It was an invitation to pay attention to a multitude of voices, omnipresent but often too quiet to notice amidst the noise of human activity. A lure for listening and noticing the Earth unfolding at different timescales. Attuning to matter in its myriad forms and flows. Unexpected resonances lurking in the gaps of a seemingly seamless reality. Liminal disturbances and barely audible crumblings hinting to a perpetually wavering restlessness. Composed with/by/for the beings and phenomena encountered in the Sonoran Desert, the sacred forests of Kumano Kodō, and the coastal habitats of the Adriatic and Archipelago Seas.
Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney are co-founders of FoAM, a transdisciplinary network of labs at the intersection of art, science, nature and everyday life. They currently work as the nomadic entity FoAM Earth, exploring futurecrafting as a way of re-enchanting the present. True to FoAM’s motto “grow your own worlds”, they create propositions, immersive situations and (peak) experiences. As an act of resistance against dystopian fears of uncertainty, they cultivate kinship networks and circumstances for conviviality and collaboration, while exploring animist approaches to time, attunement and interconnectedness as transformative practices for contemporary techno-materialist culture. Their works and ways of working invoke new worlds, summon echoes of voices otherwise unheard to entice collective imagination and solidarity. In order to align the work itself with their ways of living and working, FoAM experiments with distributed forms of financing, administration and sharing infrastructure, while navigating between open-resource ethics and mainstream economic realities.
Bioart Society is a Helsinki-based association developing, producing and facilitating activities around art and natural sciences with an emphasis on biology, ecology and life sciences. It runs SOLU Space, an artistic laboratory and platform for art, science and society in Katajanokka, Helsinki, and – together with the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station of the University of Helsinki – Ars Bioarctica, an art & science program with focus on the sub-arctic environment.