The main problems in many Finnish lakes are eutrophication and excessive plant growth resulting from nutrient loading. After the point source nutrient loading from industry and communities was significantly reduced in the 1970s and 80s by building waste water treatment plants, the focus shifted to diffuse loading from agriculture, forestry, peat production and scattered rural settlements. Despite actions to reduce diffuse loading, the water quality is still moderate, poor or even bad in many lakes. The goal of river basin action plans made according to EU water framework directive is to achieve good ecological state in all the lakes and rivers by 2015 or at the latest 2027. This requires actions from everybody, since there is no one source to blame. Our installations aims in a subtle way to map each one of us to take responsibilty of our lakes.
Next friday, the 8th of april, new exhibition called Please participate! will open in Saarijärvi Museum. Exhibition focuses on new, mainly Finnish media art and emphasizes interaction and participation. Me together with my brother Mikko will be showing our collaboration there as a part of the exhibition. Our work is called Illuminating lakes and is a large data visualization of water quality in Finnish lakes from 1970’s to 2010. Here’s a little more info on the subject:
We have data of water quality from 5 Finnish lakes: Päijänne, Inari, Vesijärvi, Saarijärvi and Ruovesi. Installation consists of about 80 water buckets with embedded lights which change the color according to the quality of the water in the lake. Visitors can select and choose the year and to view either phosphorus or nitrogen data or both from the user interface. Change in phosphorus and/or nitrogen is a pretty good way to meter the quality of the water.
Saarijärvi Museum is about an hour drive from Jyväskylä and the exhibition is open till 5th of june.