Jenni Nurmenniemi:

Deep Time Séance

DEEP TIME SÉANCE AT RESIDENCY UNLIMITED, APRIL 8, 2015

Deep Time Séance was an event that altered the premises of Residency Unlimited, a former Congregational Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, into a place where rational and mythical perceptions of the Earth collided – and merged. Through seamless interplay of animated image, ethereal soundscape, circulating sculptural elements, and an exchange of stories, the séance took its participants on a meditative journey across crystallized strata of time. It gazed both into the deep history and possible post-human futures of the Earth.

The one-night event begun with a sharing stories session guided by New York based artist Tatiana Istomina. It was followed by a site-specific video installation and live music performance by Helsinki based artist Tuomas A. Laitinen and musician Matti Ahopelto (Siinai), during which the space was activated by a number of small sculptural energy objects created by artist Jaakko Pallasvuo.

A ritual for imagining possible futures
for all the material, the things and beings inhabiting the Earth.

The concept of deep time, introduced by Scottish geologist James Hutton (1726–1797), allows looking into the circulation of matter through the geological history of our planet. It opens up a possibility to understand the dizzying depths of time beyond human comprehension. In the early years of the 20th century, a séance signified a ritualistic session for communicating with the spiritual world. This séance, however, called for poetic contemplation upon the Anthropocene Era, where there is no more "Nature" uninfluenced by or separable from the consequences of human actions, where humans have become a force of nature. Deep Time Séance was a ritual for imagining possible futures for all the material, the things and beings inhabiting the Earth.

The séance was curated by Jenni Nurmenniemi (HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme), who was a curator-in-residence at Residency Unlimited (27 Feb–23 Apr, 2015) as part of MOBIUS Fellowship Program for visual art professionals organized by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York.

The next Deep Time Séance will take place at KIASMA Theatre, Helsinki, on October 18, 2015.

Deep Time Séance at Residency Unlimited, image © Sebastien Santamaria
Deep Time Séance at Residency Unlimited, image © Sebastien Santamaria

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