Bettina Schülke with Icy waters (Acrylic on canvas) Photo: Daniel Schneerson

Bettina Schülke, Doctor of Arts, is working on the intersection of art, science, technology and textiles.  In her current  research she focuses on secret systems of languages as expressed in historical and contemporary textiles in analog and digital forms. The interdisciplinary research takes place in various geographical and cultural contexts and is looking into different methods of how textiles are used to communicate.

SECRET LANGUGEs is the introductory project in collaboration with Nina Czegledy. The project explores the sophisticated pre-electronic memory device presenting us today with a secret as of yet unsolved language. Most of the surviving khipu appears to be from Inka times, however it has become evident that khipu has a much longer pre-Inka history. Current literature considers that the khipus did not only serve as an accounting device but were also tools for legal procedure, rituals etc. Are their any similarities with other forms of secret languages?  How much is recorded of this extended history? These any many more questions are part of the research. The artworks developed to these topics can be seen as poetic interpretations.

Talking Knot #3. 2020 Textile, painting. 60 x 20 x 15 cm. © Bettina Schülke
The Language of Zeros and Ones. 2019. Textile Print, Punchcards. Detail. © Bettina Schülke
Dots/Printingbase-Composition. 2013. Textile Print, Canvas. 150 x 213 cm. © Bettina Schülke

Schülke´s second focus of research investigates the relation between textiles and space. In her practice based artistic doctoral thesis Transaction as Interaction: Art as an Extended Sense of Space (University of Lapland), she suggested that we are in the need to develop new spatial concepts. Therefore, it focused on how space can be understood in visual artistic expression and how previous spatial understandings are in the process of change. This implements how space is constructed, inhabited, and perceived.

The research is published by the Acta Universitatis Lapponiensis Press. Online publication:

In the Blink of an Eye/Extending Space. 2013. Drawing, paper. 150 x 125 cm. © Bettina Schülke

Schülke has exhibited widely, for example at the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale, GR; De Winkelhaak Design Museum, Antwerp, BE; Kemi Art Museum; Lume Mediakeskus, Helsinki; Galeria Valo at the Arktikum Museum and Arctic Science Centre, Rovaniemi, FI; the MAK-nite (Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art), Vienna, AT; and textile works at the Austrian Pavilion at the International Architecture Biennale in Venice, IT.

Schülke has worked on international collaborative projects, participated in conferences, workshops, festivals, events and has recurrently been teaching in Finland and Austria.