THE OTHER SIDE Helsinki (Toinen puoli)
by Ulla Taipale
In 2011 Finnish author Johanna Sinisalo published the ecopolitical novel Enkelten Verta (The Blood of Angels). This novel was the source of the inspiration for the Other Side audio space created on a rocky hill behind of Eläintarhan Huvila, in Helsinki Linnunlaulu district. This natural space is a special spot with it’s own flora and fauna in the centre of Helsinki; it is a natural and charming non-place in the city, not destined for any specific use neither taken care as urban parks tend to be.
The Other Side is featured in the Johanna Sinisalo novel as an enigmatic parallel world, where the earthly bees have their own access.The Other Side opens to the visitor through an audio work, that features parts of Sinisalo’s novel, recorded in Finnish and English.
The Other Side can be activated anytime by downloading the free Arilyn app from App Store or Google Play. With the app open and pointing a smart device to the graphic target plates* situated at the rocky hill, you have access to the Other Side and can listen to the text fragments.
The graphics represent the structures of flowers growing at the site. They belong to maple, violet, bird cherry, rose, nettle and elder tree. The floral diagrams were introduced in the late 19th century by German botanist A.W. Eichler.
More images here.
After Helsinki edition, The Other Side was exhibited in Barcelona (2018) as a part of Beehave exhibition by Fundaciò Joan Miró and in 2019 the project was invited to take part of the 1000 Ecologies program by Utopiana in Geneva. In 2020 the virtual aural space was opened at www.theotherside.fi