Residency artists and researchers

Multidisciplinary art

Niko Tii Nurmi Sipiläinen


Artist Niko Tii Nurmi Sipiläinen enjoys the peace of the rural manor milieu and works with their new ebook.

Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa

During my residency at Saari I’m writing and coding a sort of ebook called The Scroll. It’s my attempt at figuring out what electronic literature could be if it didn’t have to look the same as literature that’s printed on paper. E.g. the piece is called a scroll because it makes more sense to scroll on an electronic display than it does to “turn the page”. The Scroll will consist of several chapters that each deal with a similar characteristic of printed literature and in each chapter I’ll try to suggest something that would make more sense in the context of electronic literature.

In 2018, for my Master’s thesis for the Visual Culture and Contemporary Art program in Aalto ARTS, I made a PDF version of this piece because the written part of the thesis had to be submitted in that format. It combined the artistic part and the written part of my thesis into one. It was basically only like one page long but it was the longest single page PDF you could make at the time. In this earlier version of the Scroll the text was limited by the file format’s limitations. A PDF is made to be printed (that’s the whole idea of the file format) so I guess my attempt at making a truly electronic piece of writing was doomed from the beginning as in the end the text could’ve just as well have been printed on a roll of paper. In the web version I’m doing here, I’m looking to make something that would be impossible to print.

I’ve previously used website code only in a piece called Parasites that can be viewed on the Pori Biennale 2020 website. For this new piece I’m working on I spent a few months in the winter learning the basics of frontend development with an app called Mimo that’s like the Duolingo of coding. On a project like this where you’re trying to develop something new, it kinda makes sense to at least be aware of what is possible with the code language you’re gonna be using. As opposed to just trying to come up with ideas and handing over the actual coding work to someone else. Being directly involved in both the ideation and the execution I hope will help the writing and the coding somehow feed each other.


Niko Tii Nurmi Sipiläinen makes art, writes stuff, shoots TV shows, (micro)invests in real estate and stocks, puts up posters and for the better part of the year also collects unemployment benefits. Niko Tii (or Niko or Tii) is from Tampere and currently lives in Helsinki. They occasionally make YouTube videos (“subscribe to the channel and turn on the notifications by clicking the bell button”) and they’ve also recently published a few things including the short story The Grand Design in Kontur magazine and the poem(?) This Is Meant To Be in No Niin magazine. Currently they’re working on the above-mentioned Scroll and a kind of Formula video that might come out next year.