pollen analysis – opening & talk

~ in the fields: pollen analysis
Opening & Talk
7 November 2013 · 7pm
Sir Duncan Rice Library
University of Aberdeen

Exhibition 8 – 17 November 2013
Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri 10am – 7pm
Sat 10am – 5pm
Sun 12pm – 4pm

Category exhibition, installation, sound, talk, ~ in the fields

floating stones featured

videostill: Herwarth VoigtmannThe sea-based installation floating stones is featured on the inspiring Cape Farewell Seachange website as a ‘profiled project’: www.capefarewell.com/seachange/in-the-fields-artist-collective/

Category works, ~ in the fields


floating stones in the moonlight (photo: Ken Cockburn)

Ken Cockburn and Alec Finley are visiting us on their ‘tour to the hebrides’, inspired by Boswell & Johnson. They see the floating stones in the moonlight, just a couple of days before we dismantle it again.
photo: Ken Cockburn

Category award, environment, installation

under water

Sibylle, Moni and Herwarth are in Tarbert, so this is the time to install and document the work. Friends (thank you Ed, Karina and family!) and some neighbours help us with their boats and patience. The divers and underwater photographers go diving despite the reputation of Scottish seawater temperatures… Many thanks to the landowners Mr and Mrs Barker and Tarbert Harbour Authority for allowing us to install in White Bay!

Category award, environment, installation

cups, rings & circles

This is not the first time for ~ in the fields to visit Kilmartin Glen, but the first time to see the Temple Wood Stone Circle. And noon is not the best time to visit the rock art – cup and ring marks – in Achnabreck, as the sun is too high up and does not allow the rings to cast the shadow. But they are stunning anyway, still – after 5,000 years.

Category ~ in the fields


Time for a summary of what this Natural Bennachie art & science collaboration is about – we are interested in the methods how the scientists are working, but mainly the part of the process where they start to make decisions, where knowledge is been made. Also how it is further visualised and designed through diagrams or in the display of artefacts in collections. In short – the aesthetic of knowledge order systems. Then there is Bennachie with all the made-ness of landscape and it’s history of being created (and called ‘nature’).
 Also interesting is the relation between micro and macro in this project: Bennachie with the prominent heights of hills like Mither Tap and Oxen Craig in Aberdeenshire, but then to look into microscopes to see pollen grains – to find out something about the Bennachie’s (anthropogenic) past environment.
Apart from that, the pollen grains look really beautiful.

Category art & science, artists in residence


Meeting with Jackie (Forestry Commission) – she knows 1001 stories about Bennachie, it’s landscape, history and culture.
Then we revisit the School of Geoscience again to hear more about pollen analysis, to understand the process and what the scientists are looking for. We are particulary interested in the part of the process where the scientist (in this case: Ed) has completed all the generally accepted procedures (there is lots of centrifugation involved) and starts with his interpretation, based on his own knowledge. How does he, the scientist-author creates new knowledge. Additionally we are interested in the process of visualising data, what kind of decision making (what kind of aesthetic decisions) are involved in the process of creating the diagram?

Category art & science, artists in residence

field trip

So this is the field trip – our third trip to the hills, this time the Oxen Craig route – with Dr Ed Schofield, Dr Tim Mighal and Laura McHardie – and lots of other interested people of Balies of Bennachie (which is important as someone has to carry all the equipment!). The field trip was about taking cores out of the peat. The team was able to take cores until it was 4.90m below surface. All are quite excited about how old the material might be – but this is something where the radiocarbon dating will deliver proper data.

Category art & science, artists in residence


After making tests and models, we are preparing the real structure.

Category award, environment, installation

floating stones – dates

The date for the sculpture in the sea is confirmed: 14 – 27 July the stones will float in Loch Fyne, near Tarbert (White Shore/Port Ban). Two underwater photographer will join us and document the work: Monika Franck and Herwarth Voigtmann. ~ in the fields are collecting plastic litter (finding canisters full of oil occasionally) – mainly on beaches between Oban and Campbeltown.

Category award, environment, ~ in the fields