A Healthy reef purrs, croaks, growls / Terve riutta kehrää, kurnuttaa ja murisee
Beneath the surface I saw fish, turtles, starfish and other wondrous marine life. Completely new, an unknown world opened before me as the earthly sounds disappeared and I sank to the shades of turquoise, listening only to my own breath.
However, the infatuation only lasted for a while, because I quickly realised that everything was not quite appropriate. In a broader perspective, the sea and the reef didn’t even look the same as I had seen as a child on TV in Jacques Cousteau’s amazing nature documentaries.
A healthy coral reef makes sounds, it drains and burbles. Instead of the sounds of living corals, I listened to the crunch and rattle of dead coral washed ashore. This seabed was partly dead and trying to recover from the devastation caused by the recent typhoon.
Corals turn white when the water temperature is above the average temperature for a long time. Some of the corals die as a result of fading. According to scientists, more than 90% of corals are in danger of disappearing by 2050. The warming of the Mediterranean is rapidly changing the marine ecosystem. According to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund, WWF, a thousand alien species have already become extinct to the warming waters of the Mediterranean and displaced native species. In the Mediterranean, fish swim from Africa to the southern shores. Changes in fish species, for example, have already changed fish catches. For fishermen, completely newspecies are now caught in their nets and fishing gear. (yle.fi 2021)
My own experience in the sea and the information I read make me think about how corals survive. I imagine that they will only go further north, to escape from the rising temperatures to sea water in the south.
Eventually, they might appear in the Nordic seas and form new colourful ones here, coral reefs that we can admire in the future.
SWEET WATER, ROUGH WATER
Media art exhibition 6.7 – 30.7. 2023
HAA Gallery, Suomenlinna
Artsts: Emma Fält & Roberto Fusco, Tuula Hara, Jani Heikkinen, Katarina Karppinen, Heidi Kirjavainen, Ulla-Mari
Lindström, Susanna Lyly, Tuukka Pasanen and Johanna Väisänen
The artst working group, which consists of the members of Valmed ry, Northern Savonia’s Photographic and media
art associaton, presents SWEET WATER, ROUGH WATER – a media art exhibiton at the HAA – Gallery, run by the
Helsinki Artsts’ Associaton, in Suomenlinna, from July 5, 2023.
The theme of the exhibiton is to encounter water from nine diferent perspectves. A mult-channel video work,
several single-channel video works about water, on the surface and underneath, as well as photographic works are on
display in the Rantakasarmi gallery space. One mixed-media installaton utlizes data about historical storms in the
Baltc Sea, provided by the Finnish Meteorological Insttute. An audiovisual installaton discusses the connecton
between culture and folklore related to water and how artfcial intelligence understands it.
As a whole, the exhibiton features a variety of forms and media that transcends traditonal defnitons. The sensory
worlds brought forth by the artsts sometmes ripple through the space casually, at other tmes they hit the viewer like
stormy waves on the beach rocks. It also ofers a place to think about how our actons have afected water and its
purity, the place in the landscape as a part of nature and the home of birds, fsh, forest animals, all small aquatc
organisms and people. In our works, water is not just a resource, but has personality, substance and purpose. Water is
the element that connects everyone and everything around and inside us.
The project is supported by: The Art Promoton Center, Pohjois-Savo and the Finnish Meteorological Insttute
Photography and Media Art Associaton Valmed ry aims to support and promote photography and media art. The
associaton is based in Northern Savonia, but the actvity goes beyond the regional borders of Finland. Valmed ry is an
associaton of the growing area of arts, with its members being skilled individuals and professionals from diferent
felds of arts and culture. The associaton was founded in 2012 with a mission to provide networking and collaboraton
opportunites for its members and to enhance the regional expertse, presentaton and recogniton of photography
and media art. htps://www.valmed.f/english/