Art, Science, Ecology course as a university collaboration


Press Release Nov 16, 2020

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In January 2021, the contemporary art commissioning agency IHME Helsinki will launch an Art, Science, Ecology course in cooperation with the Institute of Sustainability of the University of Helsinki and the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki. Internationally acclaimed artists and scientists act as lecturers for the course and facilitators of the workshops. All lectures of the course are conducted online and are free and open to anyone interested. The course is in English.

“IHME Helsinki’s activities combine art, science and climate work. We want to support our artists and audiences in adapting to the environmental crisis, produce knowledge that supports ecological transition and generate hope. Our cooperation with universities is a natural continuation of these efforts and we are glad that it will materialize.” says IHME Helsinki´s Executive Director and Curator Paula Toppila about the cooperation.

“Using scientific knowledge, we need to move towards sustainable practices in all areas of life, and that’s why we need to educate our students to become the change makers of the world. Enabling the transition to sustainability requires new types of experts with the ability to work interdisciplinary as well as between different sectors of society.” sums up the importance of cooperation Janna Pietikäinen, HELSUS University Lecturer. The Institute of Sustainability Science at the University of Helsinki conducts research aimed at producing information to solve major global problems, such as climate change and biodiversity loss.

Another of the partner universities, the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts, trains visual artists who understand the global and planetary challenges of humanity in future. “The course offers students from both universities an excellent place to experience the collaboration of science and art in perceiving ecological crises and implementing an ecological transition together with internationally acclaimed artists and researchers.“states Hanna Johansson, Dean of the Academy of Fine Arts.

The lecturers of the course and the facilitators of the workshops are artists, researchers and curators from Finland and abroad: artist and BIOS research institute researcher Antti Majava, UK-based researcher and artist Susan Schuppli, IHME Helsinki Commission 2020 artist Jana Winderen, IHME Helsinki Commission 2021 Scottish artist Katie Paterson, professor emerita Jan Zalasiewicz  from University of Leicester, paleoclimatologist J. Sakari Salonen from University of Helsinki, Helsinki based artist Samir Bhowmik and  IHME Helsinki Executive Director and Curator Paula Toppila.

More information: IHME Helsinki’s Executive Director, Curator Paula Toppila:, p.+ 358 45124 0096.

IHME commissions works of contemporary art that unite the worlds of art and science. Each year, IHME produces a public artwork and a series of conversations that offer a vision and hope amid the environmental crisis. IHME’s commissions and events are open and free for everyone. Our work is made possible by our founding foundation Pro Arte Foundation Finland, Kone Foundation and Saastamoinen Foundation in 2020-22.