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February 6: trip to Utö

Both of our studio projects, one to be built and the other a standard hypothetical project, were sited on the island of Utö (Swedish for "Outer Island"), which is the most remote inhabited island in the Finnish archipelago in the Baltic Sea. We spent nine days at the beginning of February on Utö to get to know it; we would return at the end of the semester to install the built work we designed. It's an involved trip to get there from Helsinki.

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To start out, we rode a bus toward Turku, which is Finland's old capital city, at the southwest corner of the mainland. Here we are still in Helsinki, riding northwest on Mannerheimintie; the white building in the background is the Oopperatalo (Opera House).

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Further up Mannerheimintie is this distinctive row of large apartment buildings.

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Quite unintentionally blurry shot of the woods by the highway outside of the city, but it ended up looking kind of neat.

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A typical view of the farmland between Helsinki and Turku; the patchiness of fields and farms often leads to these fleeting long views.

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Shallow snow reveals all the tracks in the field.

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This is something I don't think I'd seen before: a neon sign with characters shaped like those of an LCD, which gives it the same flexibility in representing a variety of characters.

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It's like some kind of modern music score.

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Receding poles aid in the otherwise difficult perception of depth.

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An interesting variety of farm buildings; these nearly whiteout conditions would continue through most of the remainder of the trip.

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Getting out into the archipelago, which near the mainland is such that water and land are nearly equal in area, similar in fact to Eastern Finland, where lakes are ubiquitous and connected in complex ways. Here: the Bridge to Nowhere.

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The second bus leg included a hop over water on a car ferry; this is the superstructure of the ferry viewed through the bus window.

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Finally we arrived at Pärnäs, where we got on this ferry that stops at some of the more remote islands, including Utö.

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The hold of the ferry.

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Up on deck while underway.

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The radar spinning around, captured with a long-exposure shot.

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The dock at one of the islands, Aspö, along the way.

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Whoa! That's bright.

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Upon arrival on Utö, canine disembarcation.

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This TV screen in the cafe on the ferry displayed what was going on outside.

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The dock at Utö; gathering our belongings.

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Heading up the path to the hostel we were going to stay at, which, thankfully, was right nearby.