Art For Bones – Where Art and Natural Science meets
The Art for Bones event concludes the 100th-anniversary celebration of the University of Helsinki’s Natural History Museum. The audiovisual works created for the museum address the diversity of nature, species extinctions, and reflect these against future scenarios. The Natural History Museum transforms into an art gallery during the Art For Bones event, where art and natural science are uniquely combined. This one-of-a-kind exhibition opens on November 15th and continues until the 25th, offering the public an opportunity to experience the museum in a new light after dark. The exhibition is centred around audiovisual works that raise questions about the diversity of nature and species. Through these works, viewers dive into the depths of the past and the questions of the future.
The exhibition features works from artists who utilize modern tools in their art, from game engines to artificial intelligence and various animation techniques. Featured artists include Juho & Matti Vesanen, YSI, Otso Reitala, Maisa Immonen, Ville Leppänen, and Aliina Kauranne.The exhibition offers visitors a chance to experience science and art in a new way, evoking thoughts and emotions related to our planet’s unique yet vulnerable nature.
Juho & Matti Vesanen
The Capture of the Moon
This artwork has been inspired by a book written by our grandfather Eijo E. Vesanen (1912–2005). In this book, Earthquakes Unveiling the Earth’s Past, he uses a research paper about the origin of the Moon, written by Aarno Niini (1905–1972), as the base of his “scientific detective story”.
There are currently four theories of the origin of the Moon.
- 1. Capture theory suggests that the Moon was a wandering body (like an asteroid) that formed elsewhere in the solar system and was captured by Earth’s gravity as it passed nearby.
- 2. The accretion hypothesis proposes that the Moon was created along with Earth at its formation.
- 3. The fission theory suggests Earth had been spinning so fast that some material broke away and began to orbit the planet.
- 4. The giant-impact theory is most widely accepted today. This proposes that the Moon formed during a collision between the Earth and another small planet, about the size of the planet Mars. The debris from this impact collected in an orbit around Earth to form the Moon.
The capture theory is the one that solved most of the topics that our grandfather was interested in, including the extinction of dinosaurs, which is why he used it as the main protagonist in his scientific detective story.
This Capture theory also inspired us to do this art installation. The projected animation abstractly represents the sheer havoc that occurred when the Moon entered the Earth’s gravitational pull and circled it twice before settling to its current position at 384,400km from Earth. During the event, the closest the Moon had been from the Earth’s surface was only 6,000km – close enough that the Moon’s face almost filled the whole sky.
Screen 1 – Capture Theory
According to the theory, the Moon was originally an asteroid-like wandering object that orbited the Sun. When the orbits of the Moon and the Earth met at the optimal moment, the Earth’s gravitational pull pulled the Moon from its original orbit and thus intercepted the Moon to orbit itself.During the capture, the Moon first circled the Earth twice very close until it settled into its current orbit at a distance of 384,400 kilometers from the Earth. At the time of the event, the Moon had been at its closest point only 6,000 kilometers from the Earth’s surface – so close that the Moon’s surface filled almost the entire sky.
Screen 2 – Archive material
Eijo E. Vesanen (1912–2005)
Our grandfather obtained his doctorate in philosophy in 1942, the first in the field of seismology in Finland. He served as the first director of the Department of Seismology from 1961 to 1975. Vesanen also studied dentistry at the University of Helsinki and graduated with a licentiate in dentistry in 1953.Painting was his passionate hobby for almost his entire life, and this exhibition features one of his favorite works, which also served as the cover of a book he wrote: Earthquakes Unveiling the Earth’s Past (1992).
The soundscape derives from eating 750 grams of candy the night before it was created—imagining my stomach being grumpy and growling at its vessel’s poor pilot.
The musical parts are dedicated to the video game Tekken, specifically the move Electric Wind God Fist by the Mishima characters. It’s f*cking hard to execute consistantly; in a couple of hours, your fingers will hate you. But, as with all good things, a little perseverance builds character.
YSI is a platform curated by Tuomas Soppela, a DJ and multi-instrumentalist from Helsinki. YSI creates lingering, meditative, and even spiritual music using the tools of pop aesthetics. YSI is known as a mystery in Helsinki’s club and music scene and has released two EPs on PME Records.
The soundscape created for the exhibition stems from the night before its creation, when Soppela ate 750 grams of candy – he imagined his stomach being angry and growling at his poor piloting of the vessel.
The musical parts are dedicated to the video game Tekken, especially the moves of the Mishima characters, Electric Wind God Fist. It’s damn hard to execute; within a couple of hours, your fingers will hate you. But as with all good things, a little perseverance builds character.
The sound work was created as part of Juho & Matti Vesasen’s ‘Capture of the Moon’.
Ville Leppänen is a 3D artist whose multi-dimensional worlds captivate the viewer. Numerous details and carefully created lighting give an almost lifelike impression. The commissioned work for the Art For Bones exhibition was specifically created for the arched windows of the Hall of Life’s History. These windows offer viewers views into different realities, the past, and the future. In the past, we see a reality inhabited by dinosaurs, where everything seems to be well. But what happened afterwards? ‘Chroma rex chronicles’ explores this. By the year 3500, Earth has dried up and become almost uninhabitable. People are forced to live in large capsules, integrated into massive green-toned structures, which also serve as coolers for the dwellings. The climate has become so extreme that nothing grows properly on the surface anymore. ‘Iglu living’ shows a bleak scenario, but is it really so hopeless? People have found a way to preserve some of the past’s natural biodiversity. They have built so-called ‘bubbles’, which are small ecosystems acting as isolated environments. In these capsules, with the help of artificial intelligence, plants and animals that lived in the early 2000s are recreated. Each bubble is dedicated to reviving and maintaining a certain ecosystem.
Maisa Immonen is an artist specialized in 3D art, whose work features captivating characters and worlds. She delves into emotions and identity, drawing inspiration from self-expression, performance, and the relationship between humans and nature.
Ancient, peculiar creatures and plants come to life in Maisa Immonen’s fairytale-like work. The piece is set in the Paleozoic era, a time when life evolved in the seas and moved onto land. Creatures inspired by the hundreds of millions of years old fauna remind us of the layered nature of life. Each surviving species and fossil is a window to the past and a reminder of life’s long and astonishing journey. The sound landscape of the video piece is composed by multi-instrumentalist Ilmari Rönkä.
Otso Reitala is a multimedia artist and designer rooted in Helsinki, fusing themes of digitality, internet and nature.
His creative voyage seeks to explore the junctures where all these themes intertwine into an unrecognisable form of our current reality.
Artist Otso Reitala has created a vibrant video canvas that’s continuously searching for barely functioning memory of aquatic beings.
A brain trying it’s hardest to recapture the feeling of the ocean. How was it to swim with the seas. Did they even exist?
Harmony Loop” is a 3D animation that delves into the web between humanity and nature, nostalgic memories and the looming fear of the uncertain future.