Slow in Pace or Movement

Research output: Artistic and non-textual formExhibitionArt in coproductionpeer-review

Abstract

Fragility, sustainability, and tardigrada
When in 2013 Porin kulttuurisäätö first started studying tardigrada the most impressive feature was their overall survival skills. It led us to think about the environment, and in this case, more specifically Reposaari. How our surrounding influence our being, how tardigrades react to the conditions around them, and how do we? How Reposaari–as a shared place for thinking and doing–impacts our practice?
Collecting soil, water, earth, materia when not being able to find tardigrade from Reposaari became important aspect of the project. To document and archive the site as a habitat of shared living. The process guided us to think about being, working, living and learning. And, eventually, faking, imitating, sympathising: as we started to be afraid that we were not going to find the animal of our research, the creature we had spent so much time thinking about, we decide to become that creature, to create one according to our knowledge and imagination. What would tardigrade be like, how would they cope in our lived, embodied environment? Would they feel lonely having a beer in the local pub, would they relate to beings like them? Our project became a project of becoming: becoming the resilient slow walkers we had dreamed of.
Jensen and Venäläinen had previously worked with cockroaches as representatives of the resilient species, but tardigrades easily beat cockroaches when it comes to physical endurance. We came to admire how tardigrades can handle such different circumstances and survive without even the basic needs for life. Now, during a pandemic and being isolated and quarantined, revisiting Slow in pace or movement seems accurate: when everything has been happening in accelerated speed for a long time, how does it feel to suddenly stop?
When there is no water, tardigrades simply dry up and start to hibernate until it gets hydrated again. What could we learn from these coping mechanisms and could we become more like them? It seems that since the beginning this has been the core question in our research. What would it mean to become a tardigrade, or to identify as one? Would this help us when the apocalypse nears? Would this help us now, when we are dried and curled up, alienated? Is tardigrada the same after hibernating for ten years? Are we the same after this?
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPori
PublisherPorin Kulttuurisäätö
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020
MoE publication typeF2 Public partial realisation of a work of art
EventPori Biennale: Not to Sing Like a City Bird Sings - Online, Pori, Finland
Duration: 3 Jul 202017 Jul 2020
https://porinkulttuurisaato.org/poribiennale2020

Field of art

  • Contemporary art
  • Film

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