Skip to content
IC-98: IÄI, 2020. You may not use this photo collage for commercial purposes. © Photo: Patrik Söderlund


© Artist

Latokartanonkaari 5, C-building, Helsinki

Finnish artists Patrik Söderlund and Visa Suonpää, known as IC-98, have created, together with poets Mikael Brygger, Henriikka Tavi and Olli-Pekka Tennilä, a conceptual artwork called IÄI that immerses the viewer in the forest. The work is located in the 22-hectare protected Kuivajärvi forest next to the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station in Juupajoki, as well as in the Forest Sciences Building on Viikki Campus in Helsinki, where a small section of the work can be found.

The work is composed of 38 words or syllables written on stones, rocks and trees in the forest, or in the case of Helsinki, in concrete, on a wooden railing and on a stone transported from Hyytiälä. The words carved in Helsinki, Viikki are UTU ja HAVAH and AVA. Visitors can change upon the carvings, but due to the size of the artwork, experiencing it has been facilitated with a map that helps in locating the carvings.

Immeasurable Forest

This was the order of human institutions: first the forests, after that the huts, then the villages, next the cities, and finally the academies.[1] Our language too originates in the forest – gradually forgetting its origins. Instead of defining, measuring and building, IÄI aims to return a piece of language back to the forest.

Multidisciplinary research is conducted in the forests, peatlands and clearings around the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station and in the nearby lake. The boreal forest ecosystem is measured and translated into data and time series, which are used to interpret events and changes occurring in the environment over time. Also Finnish foresters have been trained at the station from the early 20th century.

Casual hikers perceive the forest through its tree species, plants and topography, but experts look beneath the surface and understand signs which reveal the history of the place and its past changes. An ecological surveyor notices things that laypeople cannot see or are unable to look for and interpret. As their starting point, IC-98 wanted to understand the history of the Kuivajärvi forest and the effects of that history on the forest’s current status. This is why the forest was surveyed, after which writings were made in, onto and with the forest.

In addition to IC-98 and the poets, the IÄI group includes ecological surveyor Jyrki Lehtinen, visual artist Andrei Baharev and Kaius Paetau, an expert in traditional construction, who completed the carvings in the forest. The work is curated by Ulla Taipale and it was completed under the Climate Whirl Arts Programme between 2017 and 2020. The work has been handed over to the University of Helsinki art collection.

Read more..

At map