Happy Ever After ­– media art exhibition at Kaapelitehdas in May 2014

Kaapelitehdas gets its HAPPY EVER AFTER in May. The opening event will be held on Friday May 16th at 17-20:00 and you are warmly welcome to join us at the Turbiinisali of Kaapelitehdas. Happy Ever After is a media art exhibition put together by the students of Art & Tech minor study programme of Aalto University. It will run on 17.-29.5.2014.

Being so lucky, that Ravintolapäivä is taking over Helsinki on Saturday May 17th, the students will have a special Ravintolapäivä event planned for the afternoon of the 17th. What a perfect way to enjoy the art exhibition, served with snacks!

As a space, Turbiinisali provides the opportunity for large installations in the intriguing environment of an old industrial space. The projects will include for example a video face mapping to a giant statue and an analogue visualization of the electronic signals that surround us.

The Art and Technology study programme, tutored this year by Andy Best and Matti Niinimäki, focuses on media art and especially electronic art. The emphasis is on interactive artworks that are spatial, embodied, or mobile.

The exhibition is open daily at 12-18:00. No admission fee.
Turbiinisali, Kaapelitehdas, Tallberginkatu 1, 00180 Helsinki

The art pieces and student artists exhibiting at Happy Ever After:

A Fortune-telling bird is the first product of my thesis, which is called Supersti+tech Project. The idea of A Fortune- telling bird is originated from the traditional Chinese fortune-telling bird, which tells one’s fortune from a card randomly picked by the bird. In my project, the robotic bird gives an answer to participant’s question, which is actually linked to the real-time Twitter and randomly chosen based on computer coding.

Amulet-drawing Robot, the second product of Supersti+tech project, is a device creating the amulet paper. Amulet was believed to protect body from devil and bring good luck if you carry it at all times. Amulet paper derives from Chinese traditional superstition and was originally drawn with chicken blood on a yellow paper. In my project, Amulet-drawing Robot draws random patterns on a yellow paper after reading participant’s palm, which actually reads electrical resistance through each participant’s body and draws random patterns based on the data with computer programming.

Ghost Whispers is a sound installation that taps into the constant stream of Internet information. It prowls the matrix searching for catastrophes, death, famine, terror and the general misery of humankind. The fleeting moments of data are chimed out on furin bells, in order to ward off the evil spirits and mark the passing of an event. The work reminds us of the constant presence of the outside world and its myriad of interactions affecting millions of lives. Everyday tragedies that are as easily lost and forgotten as yesterday’s news.

The second study project of Mechanical Cartoon, exploring the possibility of comics in the space not on the page. This is also the experiment with the movement using linkage mechanism. By this, I tried to draw a sketch of the calm but dynamic city, Helsinki.

An invisible burst of electromagnetic waves constantly surrounds us. This hertzian space is at the same time beautiful and terrible, unknown, yet part of our daily life. Superficially it is meaningless noise, yet it carries meaning and emotion that fascinates and fixates the gaze.

This project maps cartoon images onto French macarons. This project contrasts the garish colours and forms of children’s’ cartoon and the notoriously fussy, but elegant, cookie. The taste for sugar and sweetness is wired into us at a very primal level, this project hopes to contrast the values we place on childish and primal desires with the values of social class and good taste.

Humans have forever been keen to erect statues for someone important. In case of revolution they’ve often been the first victims. Most human beings wish to, by their nature, become immortal. The monument gives the exhibition visitor the experience of 15 minutes of immortality. Their faces are projected on to a monument with neutral, androgynous characteristics. For a short moment, the exhibition space will turn into a temple of (your)self.

***LIABILITY WAIVER: The artist holds 80 shares of Nokia.***
“Teknokupla” brings back memories from the early 2000′s when ordinary people (cynically named as “tuulipuvut” by bankers and investors) queued for the shares of IT companies. Since then the value of the share of Nokia – our former national pride – has dropped from 65 e to the today’s about 6 e, which is anyway +90% within a year. My work refers to the possible stock market bubble as several market indexes have recently hit their records. The installation monitors the price of Nokia share by blowing the bubble when it lifts at Nasdaq OMX Helsinki. If the head remains quiet the market crash may have just begun…

Furniture can play role for communication with others and space. When people seat and swing their legs on the bench, this changes condition of surrounding. Also this movement suggests solution for relaxation.


For more information, please contact
Leena Närekangas
Tel. 050 342 7114

The scale of relativity, part II

At this point I have tried to transform my idea into requirements.

This has been a bit tricky to do, as it often is with art concepts. At the moment I am still attempting to document:  a microscopic organism , a small animal (maybe indoor cat), myself and a plane. Each of these needs a separate method for tracking!

More specifically what I have found so far:

  •  Outdoor Tracking (of my movements): Could be done with an app in iPhone (there are several around mostly for monitoring children and teenagers ). Only issue is to find (a free) one that allows you to export the path.
  •  Indoor Tracking (of a small animal’s movements): This is more tricky, but since I don’t care about actual location (GPS style), but rather the movement path, I can attach the phone (!) to the animal, and use the gyroscope / accelerometer (in this way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBjlE3oTSyQ ). I would probably have to code the app myself, since it would need customization. I decided on OpenFrameworks, and this (links to github) plugin which taps into iphone’s core motion stuff. I still have to get some feedback on feasibility of that though cause I have the feeling it would include quite some maths!!
  • The flight tracking: This is somehow under control, I will try to “tap” into the database that the website http://www.flightradar24.com or similar. There are still some parameters to consider for example the longest flight non-spot flight (currently) is between Newark and Singapore (almost 19 hours), which is considerably less that my first conversion table. So maybe I will not choose it to be non-stop or I will just reduce the whole experiment time..
  • Microscopic tracking: This is a bit weirder, I have contacted the Biofilia Lab and they informed me that they have a microscope that allows video recording and time-lapse movies which is great news! But I still have to consult them in what is the most kinetic and easily isolated organism so as to be able to easily track it..

Conclusion: I need to do some experiments and research (online and around) a bit more.

As an experiment, if it works it should be very interesting !
I am imagining a static version of this:

Portrait of the ghost drummer from odaibe on Vimeo.

(But I am also trying to find plan Bs)

Project plan: a room that protects itself

My idea would be to use a room, and create a self-protecting system to it. When visitors enter the room, they’d launch an airbag-like-balloon that would fill up, pushing the people away. This could be done maybe by using an industrial fan and a plastic bag or sails..

If it’s not possible to use or to make a whole room, a smaller scale version of the smae idea would be to make a floor spot that when stepped on, would trigger an alarm, done with light and sound. Maybe using a simple pressure sensor..

I wan’t to play with people’s instincts and learned behavior. How do people behave and what is interaction anyway..


Project Plan: The scale of relativity

I aim to collect movements from live beings and objects both smaller and bigger than me in size. The length in time of the movement readings will be relative to the average life span of the individual object/animal.

Meaning that if I plan to track my own movements for a week, I will track a cat’s movement for 30 hours and 14 minutes and so on according to the conversion plan below.

This project is inspired by the short film “The Powers of Ten” (1977) by Charles and Ray Eames, and attempts to give the movement (include therefore time aspect) of different scaled objects in our environment.

However, even though this process follows a scientific logic, it will not be based on actual scientific facts. Most of the information about life spans, sizes and volumes come from simple online question answering forums, wikipedia entries and my own measurements.

In the end, the shady information collected will be presented in a static scientific way, to contradict the actual experiment.

More details to come!

Conversion Table 1:

1 week human life =

0.18 weeks cat life  = 1.26 days in cat life = 30.24 hours in cat life =

30 hours and 14 minutes in cat life  =

0.004 weeks in blood cell life = 0.0028 days in r.b.c. life = 0.0672 hours in r.b.c. =  4.032 minutes in r.b.c. life =

4 minutes and 2 seconds in r.b.c. life =

0.3075 weeks of an airplane’s (B747) life = 2.1525 days of an airplane’s (B747) life = 51.66 hours of an airplane’s (B747) life =

51 hours and 40 minutes in an airplane’s (B747) life


Conversion Table 2:

4000 weeks in human life (75 years)

1230 weeks on airplane life (20 years active and another 3.07 years retired*)

720 weeks in cat life (13,5 years)

16 weeks in red blood cell life (4 months)


* human average retires at 65 and dies average at 75 so relatively an airplane is has an average economic life of 20 years and based on human relation it “dies” at 23.07 years.

Project plan: Computing 101

This work plans to bring neuronal cells, the basis of mammalian and thus human computation, to the foreground. There are about 1011 neurons in the brain which are connected by 1014 to 1015 synapses. Through their interaction we are enabled to coordinate movement, speech, remember, plan and express ourselves. The connections neurons form differ in each of us – they are the basis of our individuality.

Inspiration is drawn from the works of Spanish histologist Santiago Ramón y Cajal(1852-1934) who today is revered as the father of modern neuroscience. With Golgi’s silver nitrate preparation technique he examined cells in the central nervous system and using only a microscope, drew them with amazing detail in ink, displaying even smallest structures.

This project aims to connect the work of Santiago Ramon y Cajal, whose work spawned the fast growing field of neuroscience, with materials we today have at our disposal such as optical cable and embedded processors. To show the communication between individual neurons and thus express the flow of information through the brain optical cable will be used. The plan is to have multiple neurons since they are the only cells in the body that, on their own, do not fulfill any kind of function. Multiple neurons have to connect and work together, form a network if you so will, to perform tasks.

Project Plan: Alternate Reality Game

As my final project for Media Art Installation course, I am planning to create an alternate reality game. Originally, I was inspired by an ARG called Year Zero, which was created to promote the new Nine Inch Nails album with the same name.

The concept for the game is not yet completely clear, but I’ve got a few ideas already.

Target audience:
The target audience will be limited to people living and/or studying in Otaniemi. This way the hints and clues can also be designed with this in mind.

Selecting players:
The players will be selected more or less randomly by creating (laser-cutting?) a set of some kind of physical objects that are spread out in multiple places in Otaniemi for people to find. These objects are equipped with the first clue for the game, and they have a critical role in engaging the finders with the game.

Playing the game:
The game will consist of a set of hints and clues, one hint leading to the other. Various media will be involved in the game.

The materials and information created and gathered during the whole process will be collected and displayed in the exhibition.

Media art exhibition “Altered States” opens on Monday 14th January

A mid-term exhibition by students from the Art & Tech minor programme Media Art Installation course (led by artist & doctoral candidate Andy Best)

Department of Art’s 5th floor gallery, Hämeentie 135C (Aalto ARTS, Arabia campus)
Exhibition opening Monday 14th January 16.00 – 17.00 followed by artists’ discussion and presentation of works (17.00 – 19.00)

Exhibition runs daily during normal university opening hours from 15th until 25th January 2013


The works:

Paula Lehtonen
Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka

Lecturer’s break room is an emancipatory interactive wind installation. The installation comments on the increased bureaucracy in the newly formed Aalto University and let’s you play with day-to-day overload of paper pollution.

The installation takes place in soon-to-become, glass-walled  teachers’ workroom on the 5th floor. When a person passes by, he creates a gust of wind in the space sending the papers flying around.  One can also start to mess around with the mass of paper, that normally fills our desktops. The wind is created by small Kinect-controlled fans that cover the floor area, and loads of A4 Aalto forms spread on top of the fans.

Lassi Haaranen
Leo Holsti
Georgia Panagiotidou
Juan Duarte Regino

“Show me / Data Smog” includes an endless stream of information from different locations worldwide (we have chosen the four most popular news channels). Whether you are noticing it or not, the flow keeps on going. But what happens when you stop for a second to pay attention and you come closer to the facts and see the raw data? A cloud of smog covers the information you are trying to retrieve and it is not as comprehendible as you would have expected.

This fog (a visual filter) represents the content filters that are either applied on purpose by external parties or by our own internal barriers in processing the information accurately. This installation tries to raise the question of what is “real” from all information we gather and if it is even possible to process the content as intended.

* The term “Data Smog” is by David Shenk’s same titled book

Kaarlo Karjalainen
Tomi Dufva

The installation is a set of eight monochromatic pictures which describe a life of Seppo during eight different decades of his life. The pictures are 8x8cm in size and each picture has a different frame. In addition the pictures are covered with a film of black thermochromatic paint which turns transparent when heated (by e.g. touch).

Laura Aalto-Setälä
Antti Granqvist
Hanne Aho

A video sculpture installation.

For further information please contact:
Andy Best, mr.andy.best (ÄT) gmail.com
Leena Närekangas, Aalto Media Factory: leena.narekangas (ÄT) aalto.fi