Christine Hvidt travelling to Kilpisjärvi for The North Escaping residency
posted by Milla Millasnoore on 2 June 2024

During her The North Escaping residency, Chrstine Hvidt will approach Kilpisjärvi as an entwined network of electrical bodies. Focusing on three niche ecosystems within the area, the project aims to develop ecological listening methods – via embodied ecological sensing and a group of sensors that register and logs electrostatic charges. Impressions from the three or more niche ecologies of Lapland / Sápmi will be honoured and composed as a spacious multichannel audiovisual installation exhibited in Helsinki later. This project operates with an approach between science and the artistic/poetic and presupposes an understanding of life as a flow of charges bypassing the notion of the individual.

The research is part of an ongoing exploration into methods for experiencing the ecological aspects of our reality and essentially asks How to make kin with and include a wider variety of lifeforms and their lifeworlds into our human awareness and experience?

Hvidt builds a body of knowledge based on experimental methods strengthening both the capacities of bodily senses and technological perspectives that expand beyond the bodily range of perception. During the residency Hvidt will explore the chosen ecologies of Kilpisjärvi through a group of electrostatic charge sensors and embodied ecological sensing. Video capture binds together these methods in an aesthetic documentation that witnesses and helps explore correlating events of different environmental parameters such as the electrostatic data and weather changes, moving bodies and other factors.

Multiple sensors attached to bodies in an ecosystem (i.e. plants, fungi, mosses, trees, rocks or other beings) register and log the electrostatic charge relative to earth. The sensors model different electric ecologies in the area – electrical bodies as point cloud body of electrical values. This set up maps the electric ecology in a variety of places at the Kilpisjärvi. These sensitive electrical measures each reveal an entangled electrical ecology that bypasses the borders of the individual and flows between the symbiotic nature of an ecosystem.

Sensing these electric bodies is an open experimental exploration of the ecologies and can reveal connections and correlations with other environmental events that might be registered via video capture.

the Earth is electric
with a beating heart of iron
the spinning globe is electrical
with fluctuating fields of magnetism
bodies of bioelectrical flows
with souls of electrical charge
and wires and veins and endings of bodies
circulate in continuous complicated commitments
as conditioned conductors
in fluctuating or stable connection to
the great grounded network of
electric ecologies

Christine Hvidt is a multidisciplinary artist from Denmark based in Den Haag (NL). Within her work, she explores situations that allow for overlapping lifeworlds between different people and planetary creatures – situations that nurture sensibilities across different scales of time, space, and scopes of perception. With a fascination for systems thinking and ecology, her practice currently unfolds through computational organisms, sonic attention, and situated bodies.

Photos: Lilli Weinstein