Andy Best (MFA) is a media artist, sculptor and researcher, specialising in playful and provocative interactions in physical spaces such as galleries and museums, in the public city space, as well as in the online virtual realm of cyberspace. Andy is one half of the internationally acclaimed artist duo Andy and Merja, a collaboration with his wife and partner Merja Puustinen. Andy’s work is powerful, provocative and often tackles social and political themes in playful, physical ways.
During the last ten years Andy has turned his attention to the interface between the physical and virtual, through research and development of artworks exploiting physical computing and embedded technologies. Recent projects have utilised “bouncy castle” inflatable techniques to create large, physically interactive sculptures and installations, which also combine sound, video, robotics and the space itself.
Barbara Sonvilla (MA) works as lecturer on Contemporary Art and History of Media Arts at Aalto University. She studied in Vienna and Salzburg (Austria) and has been living and working in Helsinki since 2003. In her career since the early 1990′s she has worked as educator, curator, and co-author of publications. Her interests are in course development and teaching at the intersections of art, science and technology. She recently received the AALTO Innovative Teaching Idea Award for the course development and teaching of ‘Key Thinkers at the Intersections of Art, Science, Culture and Technology’, which was a mobility course open to all Aalto schools.
Vesa Kantola works as Lecturer of audiovisual communication at the Department of Media technology, at Aalto School of Science. He was born in Salla (Lapland). He lived in Kuusamo during his school years and started his university studies with Mechanical Engineering in Oulu. Soon he changed his mind and started studies in philosophy and the history of ideas. In the end he graduated from the film department at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki.
Vesa started teaching at Helsinki University of Technology in 1991, then also visited as a researcher at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology. His teaching activity has ranged from multimedia to concept design. The scientific activity has dealt with user centric design and interactive theatre, design games and services.
Vesa is also the producer in a film production company which specializes in long documentary films.
Matti Niinimäki is an artist and interaction designer currently living and working in Helsinki. His works often combine everyday gestures and phenomenon with state-of-the-art technology and recycled materials, creating new and sometimes absurd collages. Everyday things – such as cooking and cleaning – turn into playful performances or interactive installations. He also works with animation and real-time video where recycled materials are also often the key ingredients.
Matti has worked as a lecturer in Media Lab Helsinki and University of Lapland. He has also taught several workshops dealing with art and technology in Finland and abroad.
Laura Beloff (MFA; PhD pending.) is an artist working in the cross section of art/technology/science. Over the last decade her primary topic has been a human in the global society trying to adapt to complex technologically enhanced world. Many of her recent works have been participatory and wearable in their form.
Beloff exhibits widely in museums and events in Europe and worldwide: Hamburg 2012, Vienna 2011, Brazil 2008, the Venice Biennale 2007. She is a frequent lecturer at universities: 2002-06 she was a professor at the Art Academy in Oslo, Norway. In 2009-2011 she has been Visiting Professor at The University of Applied Arts in Vienna. She was awarded a five-year grant by the Finnish state for the years 2007-11. She will get her Doctorate in 2012 from Plymouth University.
Laura is the teacher in charge in the Wearable Technology course (optional course in the study module), and a visiting teacher in the Media Art Installation course.