Örö is a small island at the southern tip of the Finnish Archipelago. Closed to the public for over a century after to the establishment of a military base, Örö will fully open again in 2016 as part of the Archipelago National Park. The island’s landscape is transitional: with military structures in slow ruin and rare plants and insects flourishing in a patchy matrix of habitats.
In ongoing fieldwork through 2016/17 – made possible by the Öres residency programme – I am experimenting with the potential of interdisciplinary art-geography practices to narrate the (re)turn of Örö’s island landscape.
This work has three cross-pollinating components. First, research-as-practice using film, sound, photograms and narrative writing to creatively experiment with traditional geographical methods. Second, a collaboration in the landscape with a visual artist, David Chatton Barker, reflecting on daily exchanges and explorations, and the (co)production of creative work. Third, a remote collaboration through an ‘island archive’ of images, sounds and film with painter Jake Bee.
What emerges from such encounters and experiments? How might we design (or create the conditions for) such interdisciplinary approaches? What are the products of such work, how might they circulate, and what work might they do in the world? Most importantly perhaps, can such approaches offer alternative and/or critical perspectives on the ecological and representational politics of a landscape?
The work on Örö will result in an exhibition and publication in 2018/19.