Rotating stereophotogrammetry of a grain from Pompei laid out on multiple screens, floating grain brought from Pompei, seismometer, sound composition based on seismograms from Vesuvius Observatory and seismometer on display, light boxes and postcards with documentation of field work
Artist in Collections is a format curated by Maarin Ektermann and Mary Talvistu in which an artist is paired with a museum to produce a work based or inspired by their collection. I was invited to work with the University of Tartu Museum, involve a scientist in the process and produce an exhibition to a space covered by Pompei style wallpaintings. After a short residency in the collection amongst 19th century scientific instruments and models, I found myself reading up on how Pompei was being 3D scanned for digital conservation in response to deterioration by weather and increasing tourism. This also happens on the ground as well as parts of Pompei are being reconstructed, dissolving it into some sort of a physical model.
Being fascinated by this uncertainty between the model and what is being modelled, I was curious what role a narrative has in conservation and datafication processes, and if narrative could also be used as an measuring instrument. I planned a field trip to Pompei to collect an insignificant object, a grain of sand, and also to record seismic activity in the vicinity. In collaboration with physicist Siim Pikker we turned the sample into a three-dimensional model using stereophotogrammetry. Whilst being insignificant per se, the small, practically invisible object and its over-sized representation invites to consider their relation and how narratives turn datafications into datafictions.
The grain of sand from Pompei was included to and belongs now to the collection of University of Tartu Museum.
Installation views at University of Tartu Art Museum:
Special thanks to Jaanika Anderson, Siim Pikker, Tiina Vint, Heidi Soosalu, Stefano Carlino + Anna Tramelli from the Vesuvius Observatory, Mirko Pavleski