OPEN CALL: More-than-Planet residencies in 2023




Open call for More-than-Planet residencies 17.1.2023–28.2.2023

Photo North – Northern Photographic Centre announces an open call for artists into two residency programmes as part of the international More-than-Planet project for 2023. 

What kind of future are we headed towards? In a world where 75% of the Earth’s land area is under direct human influence the way we understand and imagine the planet has a fundamental impact on the environment. Imagining the future of our planet is based on underlying concepts, value systems, visual cultures and technologies used to describe the Earth’s environment. 

What new perspectives, knowledge and novel solutions can we imagine in an era of accelerating environmental change? The Earth’s climate is changing at an unprecedented rate due to human influence. Man-made technosphere is merging with the cycle of life from microbes down to Earth’s bedrock and from the depths of the oceans to atmosphere and space, resulting in an interdependent, hybrid environment. We must change the way we do things in terms of energy, resources and the living environment – to name but a few of the challenges – and adopt more sustainable practices. How to adapt to the changes that are already happening? How to prepare for those that are likely to come? What is the role of local knowledge, on one hand, and information acquired from space, the depths of earth and through satellites and remote sensing, on the other, in describing our hybrid landscapes and lifeforms?

The residency programme calls for artists and workgroups who approach future studies, change detection and environmental change broadly through art and science. The More-than-Planet project and its residency programmes aim to re-examine our understanding of the bigger picture on the planetary level. The themes of the residency are observation of environmental change and artistic exploration of alternative futures and solutions through questions concerning climate, ecology, land use patterns, water ecology, the carbon cycle and social and cultural change. We look for artists who develop and challenge traditional forms of collaboration of art and science, questioning and offering new perspectives. The artists are expected to work in collaboration with both researchers and local communities. The residency is open to all forms of art but places an emphasis on artistic practices that employ lens-based techniques. The residencies will take place in 2023 and 2024.

This open call for artists seeks proposals that open new perspectives and develop novel ideas for works that draw on different methods, technologies, scenarios and identifiable experiences leading to a deeper and broader picture of the change and the solutions it calls for.

The artist or the group selected will be invited to a two-month residency for artistic research and exploration at the 1) Callio Lab underground research station in Pyhäsalmi mine and the surrounding communities or 2) the multidisciplinary research station in Oulanka National Park and the local communities. Our satellite and remote sensing data collaboration partner is the European Space Agency’s earth observation unit ESRIN (ESA Centre for Earth Observation) located in Frascati, Italy.

The artist or group will be paid a total of 15,000 EUR for a two-month period of residency and independent work resulting in a new artwork. The residency period will run from April 2023 to May 2024. Along with the artist fee the residency programme finance the accommodation and travel expenses of the participants and support the production of the works in terms of content, production and technology. Duration of the continuous working period in the residency location is 2-4 week depending on the situation, contract and schedules.

During the residency, the artist will create a new work or body of works for the More-than-Planet exhibition at the gallery of Photo North – Northern Photographic Centre in Oulu, Finland in autumn 2024. The works will also be part of the Photo North – Nordic Photographic Centre’s Oulu European Capital of Culture 2026 project. 

In addition, the residency projects of the More-than-Planet project aim for participation in the Ars Electronica festival in Linz, Austria in September 2023, where the processes and the finished works (if available) will be presented. Ars Electronica is an annual digital art festival that explores the future through art, technology and social phenomena. 

Selection criteria
The resident artists are selected by a jury of four members: Antti Tenetz, More-than-Planet project manager (Photo North – Northern Photographic Centre), Darja Zaitsev, executive director, curator (Photo North – Northern Photographic Centre), and Emmi Itäranta renowned Finnish fiction author.

In addition to the previous works described in bio and external links of the applicant or the group, the selection will be based on evaluation of the concept of the work, its artistic quality, the feasibility of the plan and its relation to the themes of the residencies of the More-than-Planet project. We welcome mind-blowing, novel ways of thinking and provocative perspectives. The jury may contact the applicants for further information prior to selection. The implementation and the content of the works will be developed in collaboration with the project participants. 

Deadline for applications 28.2.2023

Residency #1: Deep
Location: Pyhäsalmi Mine, Pyhäjärvi and Oulu, North Ostrobothnia, Finland
Time: May 2023 – April 2024, regional work in May-September 2023

The More-than-Planet // Deep residency provides access to the 1,444-metre deep Pyhäsalmi Mine. The station and the environment provide opportunities for research and art across an extensive range of fields including extreme environmental conditions, geology, particle and space research, analogue astronautics, industrial transformation, underground safety, security and testing, biotope art, renewable energy (geothermal and hydroelectric), and remote sensing as well as the past, the present and the potential futures. The site allows for the study of the impact of the mine and its closure on the local population, the nature and the vitality of the area. The residence partner is international, multidisciplinary research and development centre Callio Lab.

The Pyhäsalmi Mine, which became the deepest mine in Europe, opened in 1962 and produced copper and zinc. Active underground mining operations ended in fall 2022, and the local community now faces structural change. The mine is currently being developed into a pump energy storage station for research, novel uses and renewable energy balancing power with the aim of creating the largest energy reserve in Finland in the future. 

The More-than-Planet // Deep residency is a fully supported two-month residency. The residency programme includes a pre-residency “research mission” named Deep Earth Lab – Research Stage, in which the artist(s) will work together with researchers, artists and local experts. Deep Earth Lab provides the artists with access to knowledge based on the research done in the mine and opens a channel for dialogue between the different participants. During the residency period, the artist or workgroup will be offered the opportunity to visit the Pyhäsalmi mine and work with the local community.

NOTE! Working underground is challenging both mentally and physically. Details related to safety and underground work will be discussed with the applicants prior to selection. Underground work will be planned and conducted in collaboration with the residence and the Callio Lab staff. The work will be done through pre-planned visits and stays after the completion of a mandatory safety training.

The activities and the work at the mine will be carried out with the selected project and Callio Lab’s multidisciplinary research unit. Callio Lab has underground laboratories at different depths as well as above-ground activities.

Work at the mine will be undertaken at a depth of 1,400 metres on the main level of the mine, where facilities for temporary stay and working are available. During the residency it will also be possible to visit, photograph, document and work on the other levels of the mine, in other areas and in various laboratories for short periods. Long-term tests, growth environments and processes can be built on the main level of the mine. An above-ground office and workspaces are available. Residence accommodation will be arranged in cooperation with the local village association. 

Deadline for applications 28.2.2023

Residency #2: Meander/Boreal Forest
Location: Oulanka Research Station, Kuusamo, Kainuu, Finland
Time: Regional work: 8 June – 1 July 2023 and 8 July – 8 August 2023. Autumn and winter 2023–2024 are also possible.

The More-than-Planet // Meander/Boreal Forest residency provides access to the Oulanka Research Station for artists interested in intersections of art and science. The research station and its surroundings provide opportunities for research and art in a wide range of fields including climate, biodiversity, extreme conditions, stream ecology, coniferous zone research, land use change and transformation, biology, remote sensing and past, present and possible futures. The area provides opportunities for study of the various impacts of climate change on local populations, nature and the vitality of the area.

During the residency, the artist(s) will be able to research and work with long-term research data and real-time research environments, such as the EcoClimate sensor and testing fields in a hillside swamp and a pine forest.

Oulanka Research Station is in the northern coniferous forest zone in Oulanka National Park along the Oulanka River. The station provides a modern research and training environment for researchers and artists alike. The EcoClimate climate and environmental change monitoring study, funded by the Academy of Finland and the University of Oulu, is ongoing at the station. The station’s research towers and measuring sensors provide information on variables such as temperature levels, humidity, precipitation, air pressure, wind speed, radiation balance, heat flux, snow depth, carbon dioxide and methane levels and soil heat and moisture. 

The station also provides the ability to work in various laboratories and to conduct field research. During the residency, the artist(s) can explore, photograph, document and work in the research areas and the sensor fields and in the surroundings of the Oulanka River, Oulanka National Park and Kuusamo. Long-term tests, growth environments and processes can also be built at the station. The station has a small cleanroom available for microbiological work, a PCR cabinet, a deep freezer at -82 C, stereo microscopy and micro imaging systems, a thermal camera, a multispectral camera, and hyperspectral materials and equipment available. Residence accommodation will be arranged at the research station.

The More-than-Planet // Boreal Forest residency is a fully supported two-month residency. The residency programme includes a pre-residency “research mission” named Boreal Forest Lab where the artists will work together with researchers, artists and local experts. Boreal Forest Lab provides the artists with access to knowledge based on research done at the station and opens a channel for dialogue between the different actors.

The two-month residency will take place partly in the city of Oulu and partly at the Oulanka research station in Kuusamo.

Deadline for applications 28.2.2023

Edited 3.2.2023: Clarification to the fees and evaluation criteria

The international research project More-than-Planet develops environmental literacy through space exploration, artistic work and collaboration between 2022 and 2025. This project receives funding from the European Union’s Creative Europe programme under grant agreement No 101056238 and national match funding from the City of Oulu and the Finnish National Agency for Education.

Additional Information