Merging senses and sensors at Amos Rex art exhibition

Josefina Nelimarkka exhibition at Amos Rex, photo credit Niclas Warius
Miia Lahti, Brand Manager
Miia Lahti
Brand Manager
Published:
Corporate
Innovations and Inspirations

Vaisala is collaborating with a Finnish artist Josefina Nelimarkka on her latest exhibition The Cloud of Un/knowing at Amos Rex in Helsinki. The art is making invisible weather phenomena visible through Vaisala’s environmental measurement data.

Interdisciplinary artist Josefina Nelimarkka weaves together threads of art, science, and imagination. Nelimarkka’s new exhibition ‘The Cloud of Un/knowing’ at Amos Rex explores the complexities of our atmosphere with the help of real time environmental data. Nelimarkka’s art allows us to view weather phenomena in a new light.

“I have been interested in clouds and atmospheric phenomena for a long time and as an artist I am curious on how to connect the artwork and the environment. Collaborating with climate scientists, with academia and various institutions, I have been really engaged in the invisible phenomena that influence the weather and Earth’s climate system, and philosophically in the question of, what is the weather?”
  
In her art, Josefina is making the invisible visible for a reason.

“I believe in the impact of experientiality: when we can have direct access to environmental changes, we become more connected, more aware. I call it atmospheric consciousness. As a viewer, when you become sensitive to the changes, you become sensitive to the environment.” 

Turning weather data into art 

Materiality is a key part of the exhibition. Nelimarkka combines physical materials like silk and glass with the environmental data to create a unique atmosphere that changes with the weather.
  
“The exhibition is all about strengthening the experience of viewers and connecting us more deeply with the environment. Data is not just about the numbers – it’s important to consider what’s actually being measured and what to do with the data. Our own senses cannot detect it all, but sensors can. It is about bridging the gap between the two, bringing them closer together.” 
 
The real time measurement data used in the exhibition is collected with Vaisala's Beam Weather Station BWS500, temporarily installed on the roof of Amos Rex in Helsinki city center. It consists of Vaisala’s weather transmitter and sensors for air quality and carbon dioxide, measuring variables like wind speed, temperature, humidity, and rain. The gathered data is managed with Vaisala Xweather Cloud Services.
 

Image
Beam weather station Helsinki

 

This kind of hyperlocal weather and environmental data also is usually used to assist cities in improving resilience against extreme weather and transitioning towards low-carbon, renewable energy systems.

However, in Amos Rex, the measurement data is rendered into a constantly evolving artwork mirroring the weather here and now. Changes in the composition of the surrounding air are not always perceptible to human senses, but the art brings these shifts to life.

Local data feeds emotional connection

It was important for Josefina’s artistic ambition to have real time data from local sensors, instead of using open data streams.  
 
“There is a lot of data available, but it is the local sensors that make the difference. It adds the emotional connection I was looking for.” 
 
Josefina was looking for a reliable partner to provide the data and had seen Vaisala’s sensors in use in some of the research stations she had visited.  

“I was looking for reliable, long term sensor technology for this exhibition. Vaisala was a perfect choice for me because I felt connected to the values – and since it is a Finnish company with a strong role to play in climate action, it made sense. Overall, I am happy we are aligning ambitions with purpose, and I feel inspired by making the invisible visible together with Vaisala.” 

The Cloud of Un/knowing exhibition is open until September 8, 2024, at Amos Rex, Helsinki. 

Photo credit: Niclas Warius, Amos Rex

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