Residency artists and researchers

Media and video art

Martta Tuomaala

multidisciplinary artist

I’m a multidisciplinary artist (Master of Arts) living and working in Helsinki. I focus on various forms of film, video and installation. My artistic practice involves also socially engaged art and militant research. Common themes in my artworks are workers’ everyday life, the struggles of different individuals and communities, and ‘divide and conquer’ tactics. I’m also a big fan of long monologues, harangues and manifestos.




Finn-Spinning-Soumi-Perkele! deals with Finnishness – the culture, the language and the generalised ideas of the so-called Finnish identity during a 45-minute virtual spinning (indoor

cycling) class. The artist is the instructor and the viewer is able to participate in the multi-disciplinary spectacle by riding an indoor bicycle.

The video resembles basic workout programmes, in that it includes ten rhythmic rap songs and workout instructions. It is also a tragi-comedy, one woman’s gritty protest against the all-male austerity politics in Finland today. The virtual fitness programme with its pumping sound and rap music consists of more or less moralistic lectures, wallowing in self-pity, and self-esteem boosting in an embarrassing manner.

The main elements of the script are the words of the spinning instructor/artist, and the background music with its radical lyrics. The music will be produced in collaboration with rap artist LeppäKerttuTerttu and musician Julius Valve. The script is a dialogue between the instructor and the lyrics with several different themes (e.g. obesity, nationalism, relations between the neighbouring countries etc.). The instructor is all over the place: spouting her own monologues, interfering with the lyrics by shouting, and also singing along once in a while.

The final installation contains a 45-minute video of a spinning class projected onto the wall, with stereo sound and 1–4 spinning bicycles that enable the viewer(s) to take part in the work out. There will be mirrors on both sides of the projection, which is a typical set-up in today’s workout classes – the person is able to see their own movements.

There will be two separate versions of the work – gallery and theatre versions.


I’m currently writing the script here at the Saari Residence, and will also soon start testing the structure of the fitness programme and parts of the script in practice, by riding a spinning bicycle.