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[trɒfɪk], from Greek τροφικός, 
relating to feeding or nutrition

Trophic Verses is an artistic exploration into the life and phenomena in and around of Earth's body of soil. The project spans a period of nearly four years and has commenced in summer 2018. Each year the project manifests in different kinds of artistic and curatorial practices, and launches new collaborations with other art, research and environmental initiatives.

The project journal tracks the process and presents documentation of the outcomes as they are available.

Welcome Aleksandra Kiskonen

October 4, 2018

Aleksandra contributes to the project in the form of 'Excerpts from the Field Diary'. Among other things, the approach consists of observations, notes, reflections, key words and questions in the course of the journey. Additionally, Aleksandra provides the project with curatorial support.

Aleksandra Kiskonen is a writer, researcher and experience collector. Currently she is pondering on language, materials, feminism and friendship. The relation between micro and macro, abstract and concrete, part and whole has intrigued her for years and still does. Aleksandra is currently enrolled in the Praxis Master's Programme (Exhibition studies) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, Finland.

Field_Notes workshop at
Kilpisjärvi Biological Station

September 17, 2018


Teemu Lehmusruusu is joining a group of philosophers, scientists and artists for a workshop arranged by the Finnish Bioart Society at Kilpisjärvi Biological Station. The HUMUS Sapiens work group, hosted by Marc Dusseiller, includes Toru Oyama, Aravin Chakravarthi, Heather Davis, Antti Salminen and Teemu Lehmusruusu.

The aim of the group is to create a shared sensitivity of soil and the processes in soils. While the landscape around Kilpisjärvi might look monotonous from afar, getting more closer to it and dig into the ground itself might unveil another level of diversity and myriads of activities, insensible to us humans, on an ultra micro-localized scale. How do this microscopic ecosystem below the ground reveal themselves on the macro-landscape? What are the processes which form and inform the soil? How can we formulate a human–soil-relationship?

For more information visit Finnish Bioart Society.

Trophic Verses going doctoral

September 10, 2018

Teemu Lehmusruusu starts the doctoral programme at the Aalto ARTS research field of Contemporary Art. The art-practise-led research consists of the outcomes of the Trophic Verses project as well as of a written thesis on the philosophy of the earthly encounters. The dissertation is planned to be published by 2023.

For more information visit Aalto University.

Soil on a rocky planet

August 28, 2018

A commissioned work for EMMA Museum's collections will be published in the end of November. The installation consists of pico-projections on free formed glass objects, clay and mineral-rich aspen, and is inspired by the speculative early stages of soil formation on our rocky planet. The installation is having it’s premiere at SEB lobby (Eteläesplanadi 18, 00130 Helsinki), 26th November onwards.

Felicity Mangan & Christina Ertl-Shirley start working on soil music at Qvidja

August 9, 2018

Early August marks the first field work week of the autumn in Trophic Verses project. We are exploring the fundamentals of soil life and interspecies creativity with sound artists Felicity Mangan and Christina Ertl-Shirley at the Qvidja ecological test site situated in Parainen, Finland. For the moment we are primarily working to create a voyage into soil’s soundcape, equipped with sensors and imagination.

Felicity Mangan is an Australian sound artist and composer based in Berlin, Germany since 2008. In different situations such as solo performance, collaborative projects with other musicians or installation, Felicity plays her found native Australian animal archive, either through stereophonic system or often via hand-made speakers made from re-cycled or displaced objects.

Christina Ertl-Shirley works with sound in form of sound installation, radioplays, concerts. workshops and radiofeatures by putting experimental sound and sorytelling into a dialogue. In her project plants and empire she deals with soundsproduction with plants, utilizing this sounds to narrate cultural and colonial stories around plants and to engage with the entaglement of culture and nature.

Joining the streering group of Carbon
Action pilot project

April 5, 2018

Teemu Lehmusruusu/Trophic Verses is invited to be an artist
member in the Carbon Action steering group to have a view into the field of Finnish soil science. Carbon Action is a pilot project that aims to find ways to speed up the sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere into agricultural soil, to verify the soil-carbon sequestration scientifically, and to make climate smart farming practices widespread in Finland.

The scientific research in Carbon Action is coordinated by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. LUKE, SYKE and the University of Helsinki are taking part in the research network, which is developed and expanded with science workshops and discussions.

A group of one hundred voluntary farms, willing to promote research on carbon sequestration and to introduce research-related practices in Finland, are admitted to the pilot project.

Read more about Carbon Action.

Trophic Verses funded by Koneen Säätiö –
Kone Foundation

December 8, 2017

We are very happy to announce the beginning of the four-year artistic project into the life, phenomena and philosophy of soil. Kone Foundation is funding the artistic work in the project consisting of permanent position of artsist Teemu Lehmusruusu, as well as annually invited artist(s) and curator/writer to contribute from the viewpoint of their own artistic, curatorial or philosophical practise.

The project is produced and managed by Telling Tree art+rsrch, and it's main partners are Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) and Ilmatieteenlaitos (Finnish Meteorological Institute). The project will start April 2018 and run until the end of 2021.

Read more about Kone Foundation.

Copyright Telling Tree art+rsrch 2018.