HAA Gallery presents the exhibition Monochromatic Symptoms by Paula Humberg and Joshua Bird 25 January – 17 February, 2024.

Welcome to the exhibition opening on Wednesday, 24 January 5–7 pm! 

Kuva Paula Humbergin ja Joshua Birdin näyttelyn teoksesta Lustre, Afterglow (2022)

Image: Paula Humberg & Joshua Bird – Lustre, Afterglow (2022)


Paula Humberg & Joshua Bird: Monochromatic Symptoms 

Monochromatic Symptoms is a collaborative series that brings together Paula Humberg’s photography and Joshua Bird’s poetry to examine themes such as space research and colonization.  

The photographs were made by “misusing” old analogue photographic papers; normal black and white process was skipped, and rather papers were heavily overexposed and chemically treated. An old typewriter was used to add text. Instead of developing, the papers were scanned for further editing. Following a method vaguely reminiscent of scientific imaging practices, Humberg pushes both the photo papers and scans to dig up otherworldly tones, sometimes reprocessing same negatives or image data to emphasize varying details. For example, a landscape from one negative doesn’t only change colour but also transforms to a satellite image. 

Eventually the series drifts further away from realism, mixing elements from space research with delusions, memories, and dreams. As if typed out of an intrinsic necessity, texts appear on the photographs taking up more and more space. Entwining cryptic scientific notes with personal observations, the texts become evidence of a human mind collapsing and dissociating itself from the vacuum of endless space. 

The series comprises approximately 30 artworks, most of which are displayed as photographic pigment prints. Two installations and a short video are also included. The frames of the video are made with the same technique as the rest of the photographic works in the series. 


Paula Humberg (b. 1983) is a photo and bio artist based in Sipoo. Her major interests include biology, nature conservation, scientific imaging and experimental photography. Her works have been shown at the Finnish Museum of Photography, Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art as well as in several photographic centres and galleries.  

Joshua Bird (b. 1984) is a Florida-based poet. His style leans towards experimental and conceptual poetry in which importance lies with the visual form of text and language itself. Bird’s works often express absurd moods, with recurring themes such as isolation and the destruction of persona. 

The work has been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, and Kone Foundation. 

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