Date: 27 March 2010, 13.00-17.00
Location: Kiasma Seminar Room
Organisers: Ulla Taipale (FI/ES), Andrew Gryf Paterson (SCO/FI)
Language: English, (exception: Dyykkaus Round-table in Finnish, with English text channel)
Links: Herbologies/Foraging Networks Programme

Presentations and discussions

// 13.00: Introduction to full Herbologies/Foraging Networks programme

// 13:15: *Cultural Heritage* theme // duration 45 mins

Signe Pucena (LV): Herbs and cultural heritage, Baltic expeditions -project

Interdisciplinary Art Group SERDE’s artistic research approach combines ethnographic interviews and intangible cultural heritage studies and with performative cultural production, and self-published cultural heritage booklets. This presentation will share early research in relation to the living traditions of herbs- gathering, preparing and using in Latvia. Pucena has found published materials in medical and pharmacy books, but little which combines the herbal recipies with the stories about the people who keep the tradition alive. Pucena will also introduce the midsummer Baltic expedition which SERDE will organise as part of the ‘Herbologies/Foraging Networks’ programme, open for a limited number of people to join.

Kultivator (SE): The Wedding between Art and Agriculture

As an experimental platform, Kultivator has the last five years initiated, and participated in a number of projects, exhibitions, conferences etc, where the connection between art and agriculture is explored. A network of practitioners in this field is about to take shape, and a need of a critical discourse that raises the ethical, historical and political aspects of this line of work. As an answer to this, Kultivator will arrange a meeting at their farm on Öland, and give it the form of a wedding. In their talk Malin and Mathieu will share the preparations and mapping, and connect to the question posed by Herbologies/Foraging Networks programme on whether it is possible to reconnect to traditional knowledge through contemporary information sharing, by doing the opposite; using traditional ceremonial forms to build new networks and share information.

// 14.00: *Urban Space* theme // duration 1hr 15 mins

Christina Stadlbauer (AT/BE): Honey foraging in urban environments

Parking lot daisies, green-roof-apple-trees, balcony-tomatoes – all you can eat for city-bees! The presence of honeybees beneficially influences conservation of floral species and encourages city inhabitants to re-nature their lives by greening backyards and terraces. Urban apiaries boost the city’s agricultural productivity and provide deliciously divers honey with characteristic city-scape tastes. An exploration on how bees connect to local vegetal and animal wildlife and alter the experience of urban public spaces altogether.

Dyykkaus Round table featuring Sirpa Kurppa, Nina Nordström and Jessica Suni (all FI)

Kolme eri näkökulmaa, jotka valottavat pääkaupunkiseudun virallisia ja epävirallisia ruoanjakeluketjuja ja elintarvikkeiden kulkureittejä, dyykkaajien urbaania ruo´ankeräilyä ja asioiden syy- ja seuraussuhteita. Mitä johtopäätöksiä voidaan tehdä samalla viikolla dyykatusta ruokatavaravalikoimasta, joka on näyttelyssä paneelin aikana?

Three different viewpoints about Helsinki region’s official and unofficial food-distribution chains, the itineraries of provisions, the reasons and consequencies of urban foraging done by dumpster-divers. What conclusions can be made of assortment of dumster-dived food, exhibited in Kiasma during the panel discussion?

Discussion in Finnish with projected English text ‘side-channel’.

// 15.15: Break for 15 mins

// 15.30: *Information & Sharing* theme // duration 1hr 30 mins

Andrew Gryf Paterson (SCO/FI): Foraging networks online

In many places, and especially Northern Europe and North American, online maps and information-sharing are democratising, maintaining, and challenging the traditional thresholds of who knows what about a local environment. Do they help in finding and knowing about wild or domestic food, where it grows, its use or production, indeed its accessibility to glean, gather or pick? Andrew applies his online foraging skills to uncover a variety of different projects and platforms encountered exploring the ‘Foraging Networks’ theme. In online and on-ground landscapes of every-person’s right to access, how much (food, energy, nutrients, information, common-good) can we share?

Ossi Kakko (FI): Intellectual property and Biopiracy

Intellectual property is understood as patents, copyrights, licenses and trademarks. Biopiracy refers to unauthorized commercial exploitation or misappropriation of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge and culture from indigenous peoples and local communities. This issue was for first time globally addressed by Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) in 1992 with an expectation that ‘bioprospecting’ (search for biological resources) implies a prior informed consent and must result benefit sharing between the biodiverse countries and prospecting companies. Since then 2/3 of the world has been calling for a single legally binding international agreement on the issue with recognition of governance also for local communities and regional bodies. These negotiations are currently going on in Cartagena, Colombia. In his talk Ossi Kakko will explore the different mindsets behind the negotiations and how these are reflected in contexts of human societies, world trade and destruction of our planet.

Sinikka Piippo (FI): Mielen ja kehon kuntoa kasveilla / Health of mind and body with herbs

Sinikka tells about how to use plants to improve the health of both body and mind. The adaptogens, herbs that heal the body and mind as the whole are dealt with, as well as stimulating and relaxing herbs, and plants that release anxiety, depression, insomnia. Plants that improve memory and cognitive functions and lessen the risk of dementia are also covered. Plants that affect the mind and body are medicinal plants, herbs, spices, ordinary food plants and e.g. berries with their high antioxidant capacity. The lecture deals with the plants from Finland but also those from abroad but sold here.


++ 17.30: Vivoarts Workshop by Adam Zaretsky follows the Seminar..

Adam Zaretsky (US): Vivoarts Workshop

Renowned bioartist Adam Zaretsky (US) leads a hands-on lab in Pixelache Festival entitled: ‘How to Extract DNA from Anything Living in the Laboratory or in your Kitchen: A Compare and Contrast Vegetarian Laboratory and Hobbyist Workshop’. It will include a bio-political discussion on the difference between whole plant preparations and purified, ‘isolated’ extracts, with a risk assessment of intentional release ‘utilisation’ of Hybrid DNA.

The workshop will take place in Kiasma Seminar room on Saturday 27th March, from 1730-1900, and is free of charge. Held in English language, it has a limited number of spaces for involved persons (Maximum 25 participants), although another 15 are welcome to watch the proceedings.

Please register for involvement before 25.3. Look here for more information.


Biographies of speakers

Signe Pucena is executive director and programme curator of The Centre for Interdisciplinary Arts SERDE in Aizpute, Latvia, founded in 2001. She has gained her higher education at the Latvian Academy of Culture in Folklore and Traditional Culture, aswell as a MA in Cultural Management. Between 2000-2008 Pucena was project manager at RIXC Centre for New Media Culture, Riga, producing various new media events, festivals and workshops. Since 2005 she has been participating in the expeditions and fieldwork research in the Latvian countryside, learning about the traditional cultural forms still existing in the contemporary age. Her creative and innovative approach to cultural heritage work with SERDE was recognised with the Latvian Folklore Grand Prize in 2007. Signe Pucena is co-organiser of ‘Herbologies/Foraging Networks’ project, as the coordinator of the Latvian midsummer fieldwork expedition.


Kultivator is an experimental cooperation of organic farming and visual art practice situated in rural village Dyestad, on the island Öland on the southeast coast of Sweden. By installing certain functions in abandoned farm facilities (including a white cube made of cow dung, for exhibition and gatherings) near to the active agriculture community, Kultivator provide a meeting and working space that points out the parallels between provision production and art practice, between concrete and abstract processes for survival.

Founded in 2005 by Mathieu Vrijman, Malin Lindmark Vrijman and Marlene Lindmark, artists, and Henric Stigeborn and Maria Lindmark , farmers. With support from Swedish governmental Foundation for future culture, Agricultural ministery of Sweden and Provincial funds. Kultivator has under 4 years of activity hosted around 30 visual artists from more than 10 different countries for longer or shorter periods, and as an artist farmer collective set up projects, exhibitions and screening on site on Öland or internationally. Kultivators organic farm has 30 milking cows, 30 mother sheep and production of vegetables, forestry and rape seed oil, running since 1995.


Christina Stadlbauer was born in 1970, in Vienna, Austria. Shi is Dr. nat. techn. (Chemistry) and shiatsu practitioner. Finding myself amidst a large amount of uncontrollable, especially flying, insects used to cause profound fear in me. The resulting paralysis left me with little choice but gazing, in detail, at what was happening around me. This eventually, led to a fascination for honeybees and to becoming a beekeeper. Currently, busy with interdisciplinary projects – honeybees in urban contexts (Vienna, Brussels), research on wild plants and herbal medicine (Assam, India) and, as always, the healing powers of Shiatsu and Yoga. Co-operations with OKNO and Nadine (Brussels) & University of Natural Sciences (Vienna).


Sirpa Kurppa: Olen toiminut Maa- ja elintarviketalouden MTT professorina v.1993 alkaen. Taustanani on MMM ja agronomin tutkinto v. 1977, ja tohtorin tutkinto v. 1990. MTTssä vastannut kasvinsuojelun ja torjunta-aineiden ympäristövaikutusten tutkimuksesta, MTT luonnonvarojen ja ympäristöntutkimuksen ohjelmavalmistelusta (1990-luvulla) ja vastaavan yksikön johtamiseen liittyvistä tehtävistä, sekä palannut v. 2006 agroekologian ja elintarviketuotannon ja kulutuksen ympäristövaikutusten tutkimiseen ja vastaavien projektien johtamistyöhön sekä alan kansainvälisten yhteyksien kehittämiseen. Nykyisiin tehtäviini kuuluvat ruokahuollon kestävyystekijöitä koskeva mittaaminen ja tietoisuuden kehittäminen tuotannon ja kulutuksen rajapinnassa. Toteutusesimerkkeinä ovat myös erilaisten dieettien ympäristövaikutusarviot ja koulujen ruokakasvatuksen kehittäminen. Ulkomaista kokemusta olen hankkinut Skotlannista, USA:sta, Kanadasta, Uudesta-Seelannista, sekä kehittämisyhteistyötoteutuksia maatalouden ympäristökysymyksiin liittyen Kiinaan ja Egyptiin. Olen tehnyt tutkimushankearviointityötä EU-komissiolle ja pohjoismaisille yliopistoille. Lisäksi olen osallistunut mm. EU maaseutualueita koskevan ennakoinnin menettelytapojen kehittämiseen, kansallista ruokahuoltoa koskevan biotalousennakointiraportin valmisteluun (2009) ja parhaillaan osallistun kansallisen ruokastrategian valmisteluun.

I have more than 25 years of research experience incorporating environmental issues into production of arable and horticultural plant biomasses and implementation of the key issues of sustainable development into food and feed chain and rural entrepreneurship. Recently I have been concentrating in my research more into consumer approach, in order to find ways to communicate to clients of food chain and rural enterprises in a more sophisticated way. The taken challenge is to build up common understanding on environmental issues among stakeholders, comprehensively through chains of production and services. The concrete tools in the research of my group have been to supply-demand chain management based LCA (life cycle assessment), ecodesign of food and rural products and, in the communication, a foresight approach. At present I am a member of the steering group of the Finnish National Strategy of Food.


Jessica Suni tuli mukaan Ruokaa, ei aseita -toimintaan vuonna 1999. Hän on toiminut viidessä eri REA-ryhmässä Suomessa (Helsinki, Itä-Helsinki, Turku, Mikkeli ja Savonlinna), joista hän on ollut mukana perustamassa kolme. Asuessaan Arnhemissa Hollannissa vuonna 2002 hän osallistui paikallisen Food not Bombs-ryhmän toimintaan. Jessica on myös kirjoittanut REA:sta kertovan luvun Pasifistin käsikirjassa, joka ilmestyi vuonna 2003.

Jessica Suni joined the Food Not Bombs movement in 1999. She has been active in five different groups in Finland (Helsinki, Eastern Helsinki, Turku, Mikkeli and Savonlinna)and she has been one of the founding members in three of them. In 2002 she lived in Arnhem in Holland, where she participated in the activities of the locak FNB group. Jessica has also written the chapter about FNB in Pasifistin käsikirja (The Pacifist’s handbook) published in 2003.


Nina Nordström on 24 vuotias dokumenttielokuvaohjaaja Helsingistä. Ennen elokuvaopintojaan hän teki pätkätöitä kokkina. Hänen viime projektissaan hän soluttautui kommuuniin pariksi viikoksi ja oppi sieltä käsin roskisdyykkaamaan. Hän teki samalla aiheesta dokumentin nimeltä “fregaani huuma tai elämäni vihreällä sohvalla”. Se näytettiin joulukuussa YLEn FST5:lla ja on ollut mukana erilaisissa ympäristöaiheisissa tapahtumissa, kuten Ympäristötoimintapäivillä Orivedellä. Nina innostui dyykkaamisesta toden teolla dokumenttia tehdessään ja on siitä lähtien elänyt fregaanin elämää. Hän on myös osallistunut aihetta käsitteleviin tapahtumiin, kuten Äiti, minulla on nälkä -näyttelyyn Sanomatalossa sekä puhunut kouluissa ja radiossa aiheesta.

Nina Nordstöm is a 24- year-old documentary film-maker based in Helsinki. Before starting her film-maker studies she worked for periods as a cook. In her last project she infiltrated a commune for couple of weeks and learned there how to dumpster-dive. She realised a documentary about dumpster-diving, named “fregan exaltation or my life on a green couch”. It has been shown on YLE FST5 in December 2009, and she has since participated in different environmental events, such as Orivesi Environmental Days. Nina became fond of dumpster-diving while making the documentary and since then she lives a fregan life. She has also taken part in events around the food-theme, such as ‘Mom, I am hungry’ -exhibition in Sanomatalo, Helsinki, and lectured on the topic in schools on a radio.


Andrew Gryf Paterson is a Scottish artist-organiser, cultural producer and independent researcher, based in Helsinki, Finland. His work involves variable roles of initiator, participant, author and curator, according to different collaborative and cross-disciplinary processes. Andrew works across the fields of media/ network/ environmental activism, pursuing a participatory arts practice through workshops, performative events, and storytelling. He is initiator, producer and co-organiser of ‘Herbologies/Foraging Networks’ programme in Pixelache Festival.


Ossi Kakko (s. 1979) on keräilijä-puutarhurin elämäntapaan erikoistunut taiteilija, joka on aktivistina kampanjoinut videotaiteen ja verkostoivan kurssitoiminnan keinoin mm. GMO:ta ja biorosvousta vastaan, sekä luonnonmukaisen metsänhoidon, keräilytalouden, omavaraisviljelyn ja ekorakentamisen puolesta. Hän on myös kieltäytynyt asepalveluksesta, siviilipalveluksesta ja tästä saamastaan vankilatuomiosta. Viime aikoina hän on toiminut yhteistyössä Intian alkuperäiskansojen kanssa.

Ossi Kakko (b. 1979) has been devoted to forager-gardener way of life since 1997. As an artist he has utilized video and networking courses f.e. to campaign against GMOs/biopiracy and for promotion of eco-forestry, minor forest produce, subsistence farming and ecological housing. He refused finnish military conscription and related civil service including the prison sentence of 195 days. Recently he’s been cooperating with tribal adivasis in India.


Sinikka Piippo (FT, professori, osastonjohtaja / Kasvimuseo / Helsingin Yliopisto) kertoo puheessaan kuntoa ja mieltä parantavista kasveista, kasveista joilla on vaikutusta kokonaisvaltaisesti kuntoon ja mieleen, kasveista jotka lievittävät ja poistavat ahdistusta, unettomuutta, masennusta, parantavat muistia ja virkistävät. Painopiste on kasveissa joita saa Suomesta (mausteyrtit, tietyt villivihannekset ja marjat), niiden terveysvaikutuksissa niin mieleen kuin kehoon.

Sinikka Piippo (Ph.D., Professor, Head of Division Cryptogams Division, Helsinki University) will talk about plants that improve holistically the state of mind and body and that relieve and remove anxiety, insomnia, depression and improve the memory and have an stimulative and activative effect. The emphasis will be given to the plants that can be found in Finland, such as spices, some wild vegetables and berrys, and their effect to the health of our mind as well as to the body.