Looking for Mr. Blue video installation - documentation at Seinäjoki Kunsthalle in August 2020.
In LOOKING FOR MR.BLUE Mia Makela explores the cultural history of geese, which manifests in their ancient migration routes across the globe. The flocks led by the old females have flown over present-day Europe before there was any human-made marks on earth. Throughout its millions of years of history, geese have seen the retreat of ice, the rise of mountains, the emergence of agriculture, and humans taking over more and more space. In the midst of all this change and chaos, geese seek to continue their lives in environments that provide nutrition for their species. In this way the migration routes also reflect the food culture of the geese.
The artist follows the Norwegian-born Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Goose named Mr. Blue, who is equipped with a GPS / GSM collar. With the help of monitoring, it has finally been possible to determine the movements and feeding places of these geese, such as Siikajoki, Oulu region in Finland.
The artist spent the Covid-19 spring exploring Mr. Blue’s journey and contemplating the sensory world of the bird. How does it feel to fly 70 km per hour in the headwind towards the coastline of the Gulf of Finland, moving your wings up and down. What does the earth look like from a goose perspective, showing not only UV light but also the sun’s arc and magnetic fields? What Mr. Blue remembers, tastes and what landmarks he recognizes on his way to his birthplace in Finnmark, Norway.
During her work process, Makela wondered upon how marginal human experience ultimately is in the multitude of thousands of beings. Could we allow this endangered goose to continue his culture on our planet, where his ancestry has survived long before our arrival?
The work was commissioned by Kunsthalle Seinäjoki for an exhibition "What´s it to be an Animal" based on the book written by the biologist Helenä Telkänranta. Each invited artist based their working process on a chosen chapter from her book. The starting point for Looking for Mr. Blue was the chapter on Culture and learning. Geese are one of the birds species who pass the knowledge of migration routes from generation to generation, thus share learning culturally.
Script, director, animation, video edit, postproduction:
Mia Makela, Rodrigo Morris Claramunt
Rodrigo Morris Claramunt
Kristiina Vahvaselkä, JP Salo, Mia Makela
JP Salo / Chicken House Productions
Soundsnap, Xenocanto, Motion Array, Stock Footage, Google maps, Europe 3D Lite, Wikipedia
Mia Makela, Leigh Ann Lindholm
Esa Hohtola, University of Oulu
Risto Karvonen / WWF
Helena Telkänranta, University of Helsinki
Piskulka.net - The Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted goose project (BirdLife Norway,WWF Finland)
The Åland Archipelago Guest Artist Residence, Kökar
Vanha Paukku Artist Residency, Lapua
Kunsthalle Seinäjoki staff
Finnish Cultural Foundation, Kunsthalle Seinäjoki
Looking for Mr. Blue video installation - documentation at Seinäjoki Kunsthalle in August 2020 Photo: Jenni Latva.