— identify and return after days and years

Till Bovermann

This method has its origins in my ongoing interest in the region around Kilpisjärvi in Finland, which I have been visiting regularly since 2019. During these visits, I noticed changes in its infrastructure and natural environment. By recognising and revisiting the same place after a longer period of time, it is possible for me to observe and reflect on changes (or lack thereof).

Practice Link to heading

  1. Choose a place you can relate to.
  2. Take the time and opportunity to visit this place at shorter intervals, e.g. several times within a week.
  3. During these visits, you should engage with the place in a way that makes sense to you. This could include spending time there taking notes, taking photos or making audio recordings.
  4. The more time you spend at the place and its surroundings, the more interested you will become in it.
  5. If the place is far away from your everyday environment, you may not be able to visit it for an extended period of time. This is not a bad thing. Rather, longer periods in between visits help you to recognise slow, long-term changes.

Methods Link to heading

  • Photography: Take photos of the place at different times, but from a similar perspective.
  • Sound recordings: Collect recordings of sounds of the place at similar times of the day.
  • Live coding: Practise live coding at and with the place.
  • Drawing: Sketch the place and its surroundings.
  • Writing: Make notes about your observations and feelings both at and about the place.

Findings Link to heading

  • Observe changes: If you visit the same place repeatedly, you may observe how it changes over time.
  • Empathy for a place: The more time you spend at a place, the more interested you become about it and its inhabitants.

Examples Link to heading

Fallen tree in 2019.

Fallen tree in 2019.

Fallen tree in 2023.

Fallen tree in 2023.

Science Trails residency, 2023, Kilpisjärvi, Finland