Friday, October 29, 2010

ARTIST RESEARCH: Platforma 9.81 (August 2010)

Dinko Peracic, Miranda Veljacic and Tomas Träskman (moderetor)         photo Lotta Petronella

After the discussion on Economy in Korpoström Dinko Peracic and Miranda Veljacic continued their long weekend in the archipelago. We took the five hour journey, in the darkness of the Autumn evening, to Utö and experienced the commuter boat at its busiest. The last weekend on the islands for many visitors and part-time residents before the quiet winter season.

As members of the Croatian architect collective Platforma 9.81 Dinko and Miranda were here interested particularly in the built environment, its development, conventions and regulations. For example, the private ownership of waters and shores was in stark contrast to Croatian coast. With an insight into the Croatian islands and what they termed the logic of archipelago, they found tourism to be a big topic in the discussions about the future of Turku archipelago while in practice it still appeared very small scale. Yet in the misty November landscape of Utö, with only a handful of bird watchers around, it was hard to imagine 500 people on the small island during the height of the summer. The intense high season of only 6 weeks has its benefits both for the locals and the off-season visitors.

Hanna Kovanen guided us in the lighthouse again, while her mother Solveig treated us to an unbeatable fish soup and pancake lunch and her father Topi served us coffee at Hanna’s café. The chair of the island association Mats Bergman was luckily home this weekend and took Dinko and Miranda around the museum and other buildings the association takes care of and continues to develop. Mats also kept us company on the long journey back on Sunday through the grey and foggy seas. But before departure we managed to test the most southern indoor swimming pool in Finland, in the 70’s built military base turned hotel.

Dinko Peracic and Miranda Veljacic at the Ekonomy diskussion       photo by Lotta Petronella
The artist Sussi Henrikson and Johan Skibdahl of Lanterna in Nagu presented their personal take on tourism on this so-called party island of the archipelago. Katja Bonnevier (Biosphere Reserve) gave Miranda and Dinko an overview of the ecological issues of the area before their discussion with Katriina Siivonen (future researcher) at the CAA lecture series at Turku University and a very speedy tour of Turku.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

ARTIST RESEARCH: Tellervo Kalleinen & Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen (Oct 2010)

Tellervo and Oliver presented their practice in an artist talk at CAA lecture series in Turku University. They continued to another visit to the islands, beginning to collect material for their project on science fiction archipelago. They interviewed a number of locals in a few days across the islands, from Korpo and Houtskär to Aspö, about their fears and dreams for the archipelago – imagining what it could possibly be like in one hundred years: a paradise of simple quality living, all dressed in woollen flying suits, or a gated community for the rich where the majority language is English or German, perhaps inhabiting huge skyscrapers on tiny isles. Or, perhaps nothing much changes after all.

Monday, October 4, 2010

ARTIST RESEARCH: Arja Lehtimäki (October 2010)

Arja took part in a cross-disciplinary discussion with Katja Bonnevier (Biosphere Reserve) on the topic of sustainable fishing at the CAA lecture series in Turku University. This launched her research for the art project on local food for CAA, the complex situation of fishing as a starting point: why is there no longer much fish in the area, or why are we not eating the fish there are still plenty or even increasing amounts of?

On a quick first visit to the islands we checked out a number of restaurants that were nearly all closed, out of season. And in the end we run out of time to taste pizza with wild local chantarelle mushrooms in the Korpo pub and restaurant Hjalmar’s. Alongside the question of fishing, we discovered a wealth of issues to do with other local food production, in particular on our drive around the island of Wattkast in Korpo. Huge greenhouses are currently being built there, while we visited next door the farm of Thomas Johansson and Johanna Franzen. They shared their experiences and insight of running and developing their farm of up to two hundred beef cattle and hundred sheep. The animals spend their summers taking care of the landscape and its biodiversity on the outer islands, for example on Aspö.