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Alma Heikkilä opens up our eyes to the invisible worlds we depend upon

We might not be as human as it seems. Human cells make up only 43% of the body’s total cell count. The rest are bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea and other microscopic organisms that colonize both the inside and outside of our bodies and form the human microbiota.

Even though we are not conscious of it, this microbial material affects our mental and physical well-being in ways science has only just started exploring. The microorganisms facilitate digestion, regulate the immune system, protect us against disease and manufacture vitamins. We live in such inter-dependency with our microbiome that some talk about holobionts, making us an assemblage of a host plus the resident microbes that inhabit it.


Alma Heikkilä. Kiasma Commission by Kordelin 2019. Installation view at Kiasma. Image courtesy the artist

Making cheese from the black mould on your wall

Stachybotrys chartarum, aka black mould, is one of the nastiest guests you can find in your home. The microfungus grows inside damp buildings and produces toxic spores. Its presence in your home can affect your health and expose you to greater risks of suffering from respiratory problems, allergies or even immune system disorders.

The problem seems to be particularly common in London rented accommodations. Landlords are either too stingy or too sloppy to take the necessary measures to limit the moisture in the air. When they are not just plain greedy and let the flats deliberately rot so that tenants will move out and the property owner can renovate the building and turn it into lucrative Airbnb accommodations.


Avril Corroon, Spoiled Spores, 2019


Avril Corroon, Spoiled Spores, 2019

Concrete Jungle produce ‘Ice and Light’ a show on a Frozen Lake in Vladivostok

A frozen lake in the Russian city of Vladivostok. A circle of 18 LED’s hammered into the thick winter ice with the use of drills and chainsaws. Lights flashing to the intense electronic rhythm of music from Denis Kazakov. The stage set for a show of ice and light.

Created by Concrete Jungle. They describe themselves as working at the “borderline of street art, architecture and engineering.” According to Feliks Mashkov, the co-founder. The project wanted to take advantage of the opportunity presented by producing art in an area with extremely long and cold winters. “Ice is the only translucent solid material that can be found in abundance in nature” says Feliks. Vladivostok is known for it. “Five months of winter allow for experiments with negative temperatures.”

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