Matters of Lives: Notes and Records on the Pluriverse: Kangas

Heidi Pietarinen, Melissa Grant, Noora Sandgren, Anne Youncha

Tutkimustuotokset: Kirja/raporttiKokoomateosTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


Text about our piece "Kangas": The jacquard woven fabric, “Kangas”, is a collage by Heidi Pietarinen, Noora Sandgren, Melissa Grant, and Anne Yoncha. The work literally stitches together images from drawings, photographs, and microscopic slides, culminating in a digital jacquard weaving.

Our group was interested in the Finnish idea of “kangas” - a word which translates to both “fabric” and “forest type” - and the way it describes the intricate enmeshment of species (both human and non-human, aerial and terrestrial) in our exploration of “the Heavens”. After collecting and identifying our microbial collaborators in Kilpisjärvi, this piece is an attempt to come closer, understand, get in touch, and get to know materialities other than humans. We asked: who are these microbes, what are their abilities, what are the bridges between us? How did a bacterium first isolated in Antarctica make its way to the air above the Arctic circle? Is the microbe widespread, or did it travel this distance?

This still-incomplete process of understanding involves many translations, moving from analog to digital, and back: flying our helikite with wind socks to collect samples, then translating those samples via PCR into genetic data we can use to identify them; taking our drawings of these microbes and “planting” them in a digital environment, then making these digital images material again through the jacquard loom - arguably the first computer. What do we gain and lose in these translations?

We also want to engage with the problematic concept of “bio-prospecting” and questions about our processes of building and sharing knowledge. Our drawings borrow from the language of Flemish still-life, and an era of microbial naivete - a means of image-making which contemplates the fleetingness of life while also focusing on non-human life-forms. The jacquard medium and its positive and negative sides allow us to show both the more organized and intentional image on the front, and the more complex, rhizomatic, web-like image on the back.
TilaJulkaistu - 30 toukok. 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiD6 Toimitettu ammatillinen kokoomateos


  • bioart
  • textile desing
  • Jacquard


  • Kuvataide ja muotoilu

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