Synopsis of the Project[edit | edit source]

The Center of Contemporary Art Pispala will create a series of geographically accurate virtual spaces in Second Life. The spaces are based on disputed maps and satellite pictures of forest conflict sites in the Northern hemisphere. These virtual spaces existing in the Internet are open to everyone via a web-site. The audience of Inter-Cool 3.0 has a possibility to visit the sites by entering an installation in the U-gallery. Visitors of the virtual sites can study the virtual environment and interact with others, including the forest activists and other participants of the conflicts who are invited to provide up-to-date information and an insight to the selected conflicts. In the exhibition space this is possible either by entering the virtual world as an avatar specially designed for the installation or by writing short text comments to other visitors of the virtual sites on a computer, which is part of the installation. On the webpage the selected conflict sites are shown on a map, which provides a direct link to their virtual counterparts in Second Life.

Virtual Forest Conflict Sites is a contribution to solving the recent crisis in our relationship to nature. The crisis is caused by the rapidly emerged Internet-based media sphere, which has challenged the traditional mass media's ways of representing the world. The basis of our understanding of nature is partly in the remote wilderness locations, which are traditionally rendered to us as an almost eternally static and calm background, the sublime beauty of which has not yet been ruined by industry-based civilization. This picture has been a basic tool for global forest industry in building its deceptive eco-friendly and socially responsible brands. Since contents of the new mass media of the Internet era are not controlled by few anymore but created and distributed mainly among the fellow users, new kind of information is changing the way we see the remote nature locations and forests which arguably are the most iconic element of wilderness.

Many independent activist-run web-projects have brought to our consciousness voices from the forests. These voices have traditionally been silenced by corporate mass media. They include biology researchers, ethnic minorities, indigenous people and various groups for social and environmental justice. What will happen when forest conflict sites are expanded to virtual reality, which allows new kind of participation for those who cannot be on the physical site? Can Second Life's culture of playful fantasy give us new tools for resolving conflicts, for challenging the authority based on formal expertise and for dealing with the growing global anxiety caused by the way developed countries are destroying our planet's natural resources?

Summary:

Metsäkiistat virtuaalimaailmassa

Hirvitalo tarkastelee pohjoismaisia metsäkonflikteja viemällä ne online-virtuaalitodellisuus Second Life:en. Osallistu teokseen Werstaan näyttelyssä, Second Life:ssa tai työpajassa.

Yöpiknik hävitetyssä metsässä -työpaja Museoiden yönä 15.5. klo 18-22 Luonto-Liitto esittää Werstaalla dokumentit Luonto ei tunne rajoja (Kari Kemppainen, 2004), Viimeinen joiku Saamenmaan metsissä (Hannu Hyvönen, 2008) ja Sateenkaaren pää (Ritva Kovalainen & Sanni Seppo, 2007). Hirvitalo järjestää näytöksen yhteyteen yöpiknikin, jossa tutkitaan nykykaupunkilaisen metsäsuhdetta.

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Virtual Forest Conflict sites

Hirvitalo is exploring conflicts that appear in Nordic forests by extending them into the online virtual world of Second Life. You can participate and explore the conflicts in Second Life or in the exhibition and a workshop in Werstas.

Twilight Picnic in the Devastated Forest - Workshop in the Night of the Museums in 15.5. at 18-22

Luonto-Liitto will present the following documentaries at Werstas: Luonto ei tunne rajoja (Kari Kemppainen, 2004), Last Joik in Sámi Forest (Hannu Hyvönen, 2008) and Sateenkaaren pää (Ritva Kovalainen & Sanni Seppo, 2007). As a part of the screening Hirvitalo will organize a twilight picnic in which the relationship between present day city dwellers and the forest is investigated.

Back to project's main page: Dortmund

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Published 2010
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