In 2013, pristine trace fossils were discovered on the slopes of Mount Saana, Kilpisjärvi, Sápmi. Saana was long known to potentially contain fossiliferous rocks, but previous expeditions and geologic mapping campaigns produced only a few and poorly preserved samples. It took the persistence of two artists from Bioart Society, Antero Kare and Erich Berger, to find the right spot.
During a two-week field trip in September 2021, artists and scientists invited by the Bioart Society formed a group of critical enquirers to find out more about this ever-ongoing activity of tracing. Starting from the Kilpisjaervi Biological Station of the University of Helsinki, the group shouldered their backpacks and followed the geological outcrops in search of the fossils. They practiced trace and landscape reading, orientation, trace-making, documentation and decision-making on sites of bifurcation. They called this a (paleo)ethology of tracing.
Field_Notes – Traces has beeen organized for Arc-hive project by Bioart Society in collaboration with Björn Kröger, Finnish Museum of Natural History (Luomus). The participants of Field_Notes – Traces were Björn Kröger, Elisa Koski, Sacha Marcet, Erich Berger, Lisa Kalkowski, Leena Valkeapää, Judith Van der Elst, Jaakko Pesonen and Sirja Moberg.
Photos by Björn Kröger, Erich Berger, Elisa Koski, Jaakko Pesonen.