Images from the Warehouse Tech exhibition in L3 Gallery


Antti Granqvist: Pointless Media





Georgia Panagiotidou: Keystrokes





Hanne Aho & Salla Salin: Shadowplay





Jenni Kokkomäki: Four Variations To The Theme Song





Kaarlo Kajalainen: Fugly





Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka: It’s Not Just In Your Head





Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka: It’s Not Just In Your Head







Lassi Haaranen: Amplification





Paula Lehtonen: Full of Nothing





Warehouse Tech in the L3 Gallery




Warehouse Tech in the L3 Gallery





Warehouse Tech in the L3 Gallery



© Images: Paula Lehtonen

Art and Technology studies in the academic year 2013-14

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The MA level study module Art and Technology, which was kicked off the present academic year will continue in the academic year 2013-14. It brings media art and electronic art as independent subjects to the curriculum of the university. It’s also an example of new multi-disciplinary collaboration that is made possible by Aalto.

The study module combines media artistic thinking and practice with the aesthetic and philosophical foundations of the field. Students are encouraged to cross over boundaries between technology, art and design.

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Aalto University Art & Tech students’ media art exhibition Warehouse Tech opens 14.5.2013

When: May 15-29, 2013.
The opening of the exhibition is on Tues May 14th at 18. Welcome!

Where: L3 Gallery, Tyynenmerenkatu 6, Jätkäsaari (tram 9)
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 12-18

The pilot programme Art & Technology that started in fall 2012 brings together a group of talented students from within Aalto University to test their skills and experiment in the multidisciplinary field of media art, combining technology, art and design. The result of this experiment will be showcased in the Warehouse Tech exhibition that presents media and electronic art over two weeks in L3 Gallery, in Jätkäsaari.

The emphasis of the Art and Tehcnology pilot programme is on interactive artworks that are either spatial, embodied, or mobile. Some themes are interactive installations, experimental user interfaces, wearable electronics and ubiquitous technology. The programme combines media thinking and practice with the aesthetic and philosophical foundations of visual arts. Students are encouraged to cross boundaries between art, technology, and design.

A wide variety of working methods have been used, such as a study of ‘fugly’ phenomena on the Internet, and the recording of personal everyday data, to EEG brain scans controlling non-newtonian liquids. The exhibition is sure to bring surprise and delight to all visitors!

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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: ). 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 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: Fugly

I’ve been a huge internet dweller for all my life and for this installation project I’d like to create something that revolves around the word “fugly”. Fugly is an abbreviation from the words fucking ugly and one can refer to quite a lot of things with it. I’ve learned to understand fugly as something painstakingly unaesthetic or puke inducing when looked at. While my goal is not to drive anyone on the verge of feeling sick, I do plan to create something highly unaesthetic. I’ll be limiting my subject area to the fugliness of graphic design, pictures and video.

Fugly is indeed a spawn of the almighty internet and thus to find what it symbolizes I have to dive into the dark recesses of the bit caves. This diving is in practice carried out by utilizing the social media and other useful mass gathering sites and applications such as Facebook, Reddit and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

My plan is not to define the word fugly in its purest form but to collect a large enough sample of definitions to be able to create something of a fugly defining mash up. The creation will be a mixed technique piece containing print, video and some other stuff I’ve still to determine.


EDIT ONE, 25.3.2013:

I’ve contacted Espoon Palvelutalo and they’ve agreed to let me interview some of the elderly people living there. I’m planning to do about 15 – 20 relaxed interviews about ugly things and I’m hoping that the old and wise people at the elderly home can give me glorious insight into the subject.


EDIT TWO, 7.4.2013:

So I actually visited the Espoon Palvelutalo on Wednesday 3.4. and interviewed the elderly people residing there. I have to say that the visit was quite a disappointment. I managed to interview about ten of the residents and the rest of the folks were just way too old or on heavy medications which rendered talking to them very challenging. In this case interviewing also meant listening to mumbles about the second world war and distant relatives.

My quest for answers about aesthetics in photography or cinematography couldn’t have been more ill placed in the Espoon Palvelutalo. None of the elders was truly interested in answering me about anything even remotely related to the subject. I had to modify my questions as far as asking them what they liked to view on TV and what kind of pictures they’ve generally seen throughout their lives. Even these questions sank into a bombardment of answers like “You know, just the usual.” and “Anything that’s on.”

Now, I must admit that my skills with the elders might not be honed to maximum efficiency but the whole experience was quite discouraging. Thankfully I had a sudden surge of inspiration after the unfortunate events leading to this moment.

I decided to make a video installation. It requires two projectors, two laptops and two speakers. The pictures of the projectors will be displayed next to each other, possibly overlapping each other. The left picture shows an array of men talking to the right (only the chin and nose showing, big closeup) and the right picture correspondingly women talking to the left. They all say different variations of “You’re so fucking ugly.” The variations can be quite elaborate but they all convey the same message.

I’m planning to shoot and record ten of these statements for each gender. When displayed next to each other, the videos with different lengths loop and start running at different times in relation to each other.

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.