Spectres in change

"Spectres in change is an artistic investigation reflecting on acute planetary challenges of the present against complex historical trajectories, on the island of Seili in the Archipelago Sea. Several artists and collectives, including FoAM Earth, are invited to develop long-term research-based projects that take the myriad questions raised by the island context as their starting point. Long-term scientific mapping of changes in the local ecosystem entwines here with centuries of institutionalised othering and biopolitics through the histories of illness and gender. The island has been a home to the Archipelago Research Institute since mid-1960's and holds a unique scientific collection of data. This provides now the basis for interdisciplinary modelling of future impacts of climate change as well as for analysis of the complex co-dependencies between different species including humans. Prior to the establishment of the Institute, the island served as a hospital, or a site of confinement, for lepers since the early 17th Century and then as a mental hospital for women.

The project approaches spectres as constituent phenomena in a modern society. According to Avery Gordon, haunting is neither pagan superstition nor individual psychosis, but a particular way of knowing. Following spectres - in the shadows and between disciplinary boundaries - the project sets out to draw to light a multiplicity of entangled environmental and societal transformations that call and allow for modes of active participation rather than mere implication. The island of Seili offers a deeply resonant context for transversal approaches to ecology via the different yet entwined registers - environment, social, mental - as defined by Felix Guattari. It allows for insights into climate change that address also the structures and values in need of fundamental rethinking.

The project is urged on by the capacity of artists to weave together otherwise incompatible perspectives and positions, while drawing out points of friction and leakage between different epistemologies, across micro and macro, or local and planetary scales. Spectres in Change is thus committed to supporting artistic practices and processes that leap towards the unknown - that holds promise both in the past and the future - amidst the urgencies to predict and model the impacts of escalating climate chaos."

Taru Elfving


FoAM's contribution to Spectres in change:

Post Glacial Rebound, soundwalk

How the terms mind and matter..., audiovisual work

Fieldnotes, writing and photography

Exercises in Attentiveness, curator's review

Documentation of the process on the Libarynth.

In collaboration with CAA (Contemporary Art Archipelago) and Archipelago Research Institute of the University of Turku