unfolded roadmap

documentation of the event

Navigating Turbulence ~ Towards the Making of Place, 2023

Helsinki Biennial Art Mediation Forum

Mediation events and sound piece

12.06-17.09.23 - Vallisaari Island, Helsinki (FI)

Curated and produced by Cyane Findji and Myriam Gras.

Listen to the sound piece here.

Navigating Turbulence ~ towards the making of place is a multifacet project developed by Cyane Findji and Myriam Gras, with the intention of expanding the visitor’s experience of the Helsinki Biennial, located on the island of Vallisaari. Anchored in the late winter of Helsinki's coastal area, ice-related recordings merge with the surrounding ambient sounds as the Baltic waters throw themselves against the hull of the roaring ferry.

The site-specific sound piece Navigating Turbulence focuses on ocean ecology, exploring natural and human-made ice formations through the sounds their presence produces. It delves into research, stories and activities related to these local waters. Along with field recordings, poetry and dialogues with researchers at the Aalto University’s Ice and Wave tank, a number of complex insights into the sea are revealed, including scales, materialities, agencies and interdependent layers of knowledge. The sounds emanating from different seasons and real-time experience embrace the listener through a physically embodied experience. The sound piece is received in a feeling of positive confusion, where the line between simulation and reality fades. Through sound, new places and times can emerge, exist and coexist.

The sound piece is intended for the ferry to Vallisaari and lasts for about the length of the trip. For the full experience, we recommend to start listening with your own device as soon as you get on board and enjoy the scenery. 

We warmly thank Associate Professor Arttu Polojärvi (interview) and Doctoral Researcher Marek Muchow (interview) from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Aalto University, Doctoral Researcher Tim Hammer from TU Delft (poetry), Antoine Flahaut (sound editor) and Essi Pellikka (voice) for their openness and contributions.

Helsinki Biennial 2023 is curated by Joasia Krysa, with other curatorial intelligences — Museum of Impossible Forms, TBA21–Academy, Critical Environmental Data, ViCCA@Aalto Arts, and an AI entity.

Bringing together established and emerging artists and collectives from Finland and across the world Helsinki Biennial 2023 comprises exhibitions, public programme, film screenings, and publications. It takes place on Vallisaari Island, HAM Helsinki Art Museum and other venues and public places in the city, and online.

“As contamination changes world-making projects, mutual worlds - and new directions - may emerge.”  Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

Helsinki Biennial 2023 - New Directions May Emerge adopts its title from a quote by anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, who proposes learning from (the art of) “noticing”. With close attention to other people, animals, plants, the environment, data, and other entities around us, the biennial explores how we might find new ways of living in, and understanding, the world. The biennial unfolds through multimodal acts of noticing, sensing and sense-making. Moving from humans to non-humans and between varying scales – a spectrum spanning data as the smallest scale, through to islands and speculative new worlds denoting the largest – the biennial invites audiences to consider how recognising small or otherwise invisible details might prompt possibilities to act, to imagine differently, and reconcile the impact of human intervention, environmental and technological damage.

New Directions May Emerge introduces three main conceptual threads — contamination, regeneration, and agency — not as themes but intersectional vectors through which practices and conversations convene without the need to settle on a precise direction or position.


The Helsinki Biennial 2023 participating artists are: Matti Aikio, Ahmed Al-Nawas & Minna Henriksson, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Golden Snail Opera, Asunción Molinos Gordo, Alma Heikkil., INTERPRT, Keiken, Sonya Lindfors, Tuula N.rhinen, Lotta Petronella with Sami Tallberg & Lau Nau, PHOSfate (Mohamed Sleiman Labat & Pekka Niskanen), Diana Policarpo, Sepideh Rahaa, Bita Razavi, Red Forest, Remedies (Sasha Huber & Petri Saarikko), Tabita Rezaire, Yehwan Song, Jenna Sutela, Emilija Škarnulytė, Suzanne Treister, Adri.n Villar Rojas, and Zheng Mahler.

Helsinki Biennial is produced by HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

© cyane findji 2024