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What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Nature


participatory installation
plywood box, paper, plastic, pencils
Fiskars, Finland

The work consists of a wooden box that contains questionnaire forms, titled 'TEST YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH NATURE!', and pencils. The viewer can open the box, take out a questionnaire, fill it in and take it with her.

How did nature look like the first time you met each other?
Where does nature see itself in five years?
Does nature believe in god?
The questionnaire contains 34 questions and statements.

The work draws parallels with how we talk about nature and how we talk about romantic relationships. Our relationships with nature are social narratives that reflects the norms of our society. The way we perceive, define and talk about nature tells more about us than it tells about nature. The same goes for our romantic relationships. In making the work, I looked into online relationship questionnaires. I'm interested in what kind of views regarding relationships they offer, and how these questionnaires, being part of the current therapeutic relationship discourse, affect our ways of thinking about our relationships. The work presents the viewer a new way to reflect on her own relationship with nature. Everyone can decide for themselves if this way can be any use, and how.

Thank you: Anna-Kaisa Koski, Viivi Koljonen, Kanerva Matveinen

Supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike)