Environmental crisis – from words to deeds in the field of art. Eco-seminar on Nov 19

Alma Heikkilä: these processes include plasticity, mutualistic symbiosis, and extinction, 2019. Contemporary Art Centre (CAC). Kuva: Andrej Vasilenko.

The environmental crisis is also a crisis of the artworld, requiring concrete action instead of mere words. The contemporary art organisations Frame Contemporary Art Finland, IHME Helsinki, Mustarinda and HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme are holding an open, free, one-day webinar Environmental Crisis – From Words to Deeds in the Field of Art on 19 November 2020.

The seminar will ask: How can we reduce climate emissions in the field of art? What can an individual art organization, curator or artist do? What can we do together? During the day, we will focus on concrete action: How can ecology be integrated into strategy and funding? How do we travel by land or calculate an organisation’s carbon footprint?

The seminar day begins with a welcome from Minister of the Environment Krista Mikkonen. Then, Mari Pantsar, Director of The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra’s Carbon neutral circular economy theme, talks about the seriousness of the environmental crisis and why everyone is needed to solve it. The keynote speech will be given by Alison Tickell, CEO of London-based Julie’s Bicycle, a pioneer in promoting environmental issues in the cultural sector. She will describe the steps needed to achieve carbon neutrality in an art organisation, with concrete examples.

The organisers of the seminar will share what they have done over the years to reduce their own emissions in international modern art and residencies. Also speaking will be Head of Helsinki Biennial Jonna Hurskainen and visual artist Alma Heikkilä.

The online seminar is aimed at art institutions, artists and other artworld actors. It will benefit anyone interested in the state of the environment and in taking concrete climate action in their own work or organisation.

“Culture and the arts have an essential role in reframing our relationship with our ecology, becoming a crucial stakeholder in the global mission to take positive climate action. Creativity and activism help culture steward the transformation we need” — Alison Tickell.

“Climate change will alter our lives decisively in the future. The sustainability crisis is affecting operating environments in Finland and globally. The artworld is no exception”  — Saara Korpela.


Register for the seminar using the online form at https://forms.gle/NgCP8KDQvWSrouXU7, you will then be e-mailed a Zoom link for the event on the day. Sign up by the 16 November latest.

The event will be broadcast live on Thursday, 19 November 2020 from 9 am to 5 pm on Zoom. The seminar languages are Finnish and English. Videos and texts of some of the speeches will be published later on IHME Helsinki’s YouTube channel.


9:00 Opening remarks
Paula Toppila, Executive Director, IHME Helsinki
Raija Koli, CEO, Frame Contemporary Art Finland

9:15 Krista Mikkonen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

9:35 Mari Pantsar, Director, Carbon Neutral Circular Economy, Sitra

9:50 Discussion and questions

9:55 Break

10:00 Alison Tickell, Founder and CEO, Julie’s Bicycle (in English)

10:30 Discussion and questions

11:15 Jana Winderen, sound artist, IHME Helsinki 2020 commission artist

11:30-12:30 Lunch break

12:30 Paula Toppila, Executive Director and Curator, IHME Helsinki

12:45 Juha Huuskonen, Director, HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme

13:00 Sanna Ritvanen, Artist, Mustarinda

13:15 Raija Koli, CEO, Frame Contemporary Art Finland

13:30 Jonna Hurskainen, Head of Helsinki Biennial, HAM Helsinki

13:45 Discussion and questions

14:00 Coffee break

14:30 Alma Heikkilä, visual artist and Antti Majava, visual artist

14:50 Discussion and questions

15:00 Saara Korpela, Eco-Coordinator, IHME, Frame, HIAP and Mustarinda

15:15 Group discussions

16:15 Summary of working-group discussions

16:45 Closing remarks


The programme is subject to change.