Aalto ARTS Books

At the cusp of immortality: field notes on hydra

"Immortal", the artbook by Maija Tammi and Ville Tietäväinen combines scientific research, art and storytelling. Immortal pulls the readers into the world of forever-young hydra – and under the surface of Cornelia Dulac’s mind.

Biologist Cornelia Dulac has been missing since 2014. Her audiotapes, notes and drawings were discovered at a remote cabin in Eastern Finland. It is more than probable that something had deviated from Dulac’s plans. She had been researching hydra, a biologically immortal freshwater polyp that can regenerate into a full animal from just a small cluster of cells.

Immortal takes the reader on a journey through Cornelia Dulac’s mind. Scientific research, photographs, hand-drawn sketches and laboratory notes meld together as Dulac’s obsessive quest strays off course. This gripping journey of experimentation and discovery addresses mankind’s age-old fascination with cheating death.

The innovative format of this artbook presents real scientific research alongside Maija Tammi’s hypnotic photographs of hydra and Ville Tietäväinen’s vivid sketches. The reader is invited to learn about the forever-living hydra, reflect upon Greek myths and grapple with mortality.

The mystery of the immortal
cover for book immortal

Maija Tammi & Ville Tietäväinen

Lost Memoirs of Cornelia Dulac Concerning the Freshwater Polyp Hydra

Buy Immortal

The book is part of the Immortal’s Birthday exhibition that will be presented later in the Forum Box Gallery by Maija Tammi and composer Charles Quevillon. The exhibition will be opened once the corona situation allows.

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