Accelerate Finland 2019
Erich Berger is an artist, curator and cultural worker based in Helsinki Finland. His focus is on the intersection of art, science and technology with a critical take on how they transform society and the world at large. Throughout his practice, he has explored the materiality of information, and information and technology as artistic material.
Berger's current interest in issues of deep time and hybrid ecology led him to work with geological processes, radiogenic phenomena and their socio-political implications in the here and now. He moves between visual arts and science in an area which he also investigates and develops as director of the Bioart Society in Helsinki. His installations, performances and interfaces are exhibited widely and received awards from renowned institutions such as Prix Ars Electronica (AT), ZKM (DE), Vida Telefonica (ES), and Files Prix (BR).
He was awarded the Accelerate Finland Residency Award 2019 - a programme organised with the curatorial platform Capsula and supported by the Saastamoinen Foundation. In his research proposal Spectral Landscapes, Berger investigates how radioactive processes produce landscape. The first work of this project - 'Kovela-REE, gamma radiation intensity mapping' has been exhibited in the exhibition Splitting the Atom at Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius, Lithuania.
During his residency at CERN in 2021, Berger will continue his research in a Uranium ore in Sápmi, in the sub-Arctic part of Finland. He aims to investigate the shape and form of the unseen landscape by the radiation produced via terrestrial decay and space-earth interaction. Through conversations with particle physicists and detector engineers at CERN, he intends to develop a device to experience these naturally occurring radioactive processes. Berger’s work is motivated by radical witnessing strategies - artistic attempts to facilitate experiences and phenomena where the human sensorial comfort zone can't meet the scope of the real.