The evolutionary development of the social system has triggered vast changes in the natural system. The theory of society-nature coevolution captures those long-term aspects of the interaction between social and natural systems. Beyond is making use of the term society-nature coevolution to depict the interdependent development of humankind and the environment, which is happening parallel in the exact same spot – but on different scales. The aim of this work was to challenge the viewer to experience the full spatial extent of the human impact on the environment. By visualizing different scales, Beyond offers a possibility for a visual journey.
In Beyond the scale tunnels are presented in the form of a circular installation which consists of 11 photographs. The photographs are arranged by the level of closeness to the location; ranging from a very distant image (satellite imagery) to extremely close (microscopic imagery). The locations were chosen to depict environmental issues in the vicinity of the Oulanka national park, Finland. Mining, tourism, logging and forestry, excessive reindeer herding, invasive species, air pollution and light or sound pollution were among the themes discussed.
The spatial interpretation process raises the question on how the viewpoint affects the environmental impact assessment. At some levels the human influence is clearly visible — and sometimes concealed. The mission of Beyond is the viewer’s understanding of the depth and extent of the environmental change.
The final installation was hanged in the Oulanka research station. Concurrent with the still photographs, the team worked on a video titled Above & Beneath.