Landscape Machines

osmo/za, Slovenska cesta 54, Ljubljana
07 – 21 December 2022

Exhibition opening and a tour with the artist: Wednesday, 7 December at 19:00

The exhibition is on view every weekday from 8 – 21 December, 15:00 – 19:00.

With his second solo presentation at osmo/za, Erich Berger continues to investigate the topics of radioactivity and the landscape he addressed in his Spectral Landscapes exhibition last year. Deep time, spectral phenomena, innate and anthropogenic landscapes are still at the center of his attention, only this time explored in the local context of Slovenia and its nuclear contemporary.
The exhibition titled Landscape Machines focuses on the Žirovski vrh uranium mine and the human and nonhuman processes that shape its past and futures. The exhibition is part observation and part observatory. It is itself a device of sorts for making perceivable the processes of the planetary machine that churn on spatial and temporal scales below and beyond the threshold of our senses. This is a landscape machine, you can enter, only to discover that you are already placed and entangled within one.


The exhibition installation consists of:

– introductory text and graphics
– seismic and gamma radiation observatory situated at osmo/za
– visual examination of the landfills Boršt and Jazbec augmented by observatory data
– sonic and electromagnetic environment of the landfills Boršt and Jazbec augmented by observatory data
– proxy Landscape Machine Boršt in a cloudchamber

The uranium ore field at Žirovski vrh was discovered in 1960. Sixteen years later a mine was founded, with the purpose to produce nuclear fuel for the Krško Nuclear Power Plant. The mining was suspended in 1990 and eight years later, the mine was shut down and an intensive remediation program began. Today, two landfills remain, Jazbec and Boršt. They are maintained with the idea of long-term stewardship carried out under the responsibility of the public company Rudnik Žirovski Vrh. Long-term stewardship currently entails 400 years of monitoring and maintenance needed to ensure protection of the environment and nearby residents. The half-life of uranium is about 4.5 billion years.

You stand on the southeastern slope of Črna gora, the Black Mountain. A short, late summer rain has just cleared the air, and the old asphalt road releases an aromatic smell of petrichor. You are about to position an array of microphones and sensors to capture the many audible and inaudible frequencies of the sonic and electromagnetic spectrum. You attune yourself to your surroundings and their different scales. You hear the insects and the wind and on the opposite hill, the harvesting machines. Church bells and a barking dog briefly interrupt the steady hum. With some of your circuitry, you soon expect to listen into the ghostly emissions of the atmosphere, the radio data transmissions and the ever-ongoing radioactive decay.


Erich Berger: Landscape Machines
Installation, 2022

Curator: Tjaša Pogačar
Production: Projekt Atol Institute

With the collaboration and assistance of:

Marko Peljhan: conceptual conversations and fieldwork
Arts at CERN / Accelerate Finland / CAPSULA (art-science-nature) / Saastamoinen Foundation: initial cloud chamber experiments and conversations
Till Bovermann, plonk GmbH: field recording, audio production and postprocessing, multichannel audio programming, fieldwork photo documentation
Laura Kaker: video editing
Jože Zajec: cloud chamber build
C-Astral: aerial photography
Nuno Sousa: Blender 3D work
Sushant Passi, Aalto Design Factory: 3D printing
Maija Fox: aluminium casting
Marko Damiš, Wild: graphic design
Valter Udovičić: exhibition setup and tech

Supported by:
konS ≡ Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art, University of California: Systemics Lab – Media Arts and Technology, Kone Foundation Finland, Arts Promotion Center Finland, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, European Regional Development Fund of the European Union, City of Ljubljana

With gratitude to:
Rudnik Žirovski vrh and all collaborators


Erich Berger is an artist, curator and cultural worker based in Helsinki Finland. His focus is on the intersection of art, science and technology with a critical take on how they transform society and the world at large. Throughout his practice he has explored the materiality of information, and information and technology as artistic material. Berger’s current interest in issues of deep time and hybrid ecology led him to work with geological processes, radiogenic phenomena and their socio-political implications in the here and now. He moves between visual arts and science in an area which he also investigates and develops as director of the Bioart Society in Helsinki. His installations, performances and interfaces are exhibited widely and Berger received awards from renowned institutions such as Prix Ars Electronica (AT), ZKM (DE), Vida Telefonica (ES), Files Prix (BR) and Arts at CERN (CH).

Erich Berger