Residency Artists 2020

Lotta Aarikka

Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa

LOTTA AARIKKA
doctoral researcher and freelance writer

During my residency at Saari, I will write my doctoral thesis which is close to finished and deals with the history of Finnish dialect research from the perspective of materials, methods and language ideologies.

Spending time at the residence isolated from the rest of the world suits me just fine. Although the common stereotype of a researcher toiling alone in her chamber is untrue, I have discovered that, especially in the final stages of a long doctoral thesis, I’m an introverted and cranky person who longs for peace and quiet. At the residence, I will be able to clear away all the normal everyday tasks that seems to get in the way of doing my research. I will have room to think.

Bio
Born in Pori in 1987.
Loud, but kind.
Has studied comparative literature, folklore, creative writing and Finnish.
Graduated with a Master’s degree in Finnish in 2014.
Writer: blog and other social texts, attempts at fiction.
Most interested in: language, politics, society, universities, equality and non-discrimination, reality TV, everything that glitters, my dogs


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Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Photo: Tomiwa Ajayi

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
Writer

While in residence, I will be working on themes of grief, memory, gender and digital media. I am working on sections of a novel which is tentatively titled The Daughters. The Daughters‘ primary preoccupation will be with four sisters who take care of their mother in turns as she succumbs to degenerative eventualities of Alzheimer’s disease. Through their narratives which will take the form of letters, diary entries and social media posts, the women confront their resentments towards their mother, each other and their only brother–their mother’s favoured child who was murdered as a teenager. Although this novel will focus on the intimate details of a family’s grief and loss, it will also interrogate the preference for male children in quite a number of Nigerian families. At the moment, this project is in the conceptual stage as I’m completing another novel. However, by the time I hope to be in residence, I expect to have more clarity about its particulars and direction. One of the four sections of this novel will be made up entirely of social media posts in a deliberate attempt to create and communicate a consciousness primarily through a persona’s engagements via social media. Some of these will include the youngest daughter’s flower photography.

www.ayobamiadebayo.com

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ is the author of STAY WITH ME, which won the 9mobile Prize for Literature. It was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction, the Wellcome Book Prize and the Kwani? Manuscript Prize. It was also longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the International Dublin Literary Award. STAY WITH ME was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and a Best Book of the Year by The Guardian, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and other publications. It has been published or is forthcoming in 20 languages and 24 countries. Ayọ̀bámi has written for The New York Times, Wasafiri, Elle, the BBC, The Guardian, and others.  She has received fellowships and residencies from MacDowell Colony, Ledig House, Sinthian Cultural Centre, Hedgebrook, Ox-bow School of Arts, Saari Residence and Ebedi Hills. She holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. Ayọ̀bámi also has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia where she was awarded an international bursary for creative writing.  In 2017, she won The Future Awards Africa Prize for Arts and Culture.


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Klaus Maunuksela

Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa

KLAUS MAUNUKSELA
dramaturge and writer

During my residency, I intend to find out what an algorithmic libretto is and explore its potential as an art form.

An algorithmic libretto is a speculative concept I use in an attempt to discern the impact of technology and automation on language and the way this impact appears, will appear or could appear in contemporary music and performance art. The essence of algorithms refers not only to the algorithms that existing digital platforms, services, and tools are based on, but also to the more or less imperceptible effects that operating in environments dominated by algorithmic logic has on thinking, speech and the building of human agency, for example, for a viewer, consumer or dramaturge/writer.

Libretto is the text type, sector and field from which I approach these effects. During my residency, I will develop principles and guidelines that are suitable for producing performance texts performed aloud and I will test these texts through various practical and thought experiments. I will study language in its various forms: sounds, vibrations, syntactical structures, material and rhythm. At the same time, I will develop my theoretical understanding of the relationship between technology, power and language by reading literature on the subject.

My work during the residency on algorithmic libretto will serve as a theoretical and practical platform for future processes of creation, where language-based experiments are combined with new forms of sound, music performance and reception. My discursive goal of sorts is to expand the concept of ‘libretto’ and inspire its use in new contexts outside traditional opera and musical theatre.

In addition to my own work, I hope my time at the residence will also open up space for non-digital communication and encounters that are not determined by the terms of digital platforms. This possibility (or impossibility) may be something that is only highlighted by geographical distance and disconnection.

klausmaunuksela.wordpress.com

Klaus Maunuksela (born 1993) is a dramaturge and writer who works with theatre, modern music and literature. His work with various forms of art works often share a theoretical interest in the relationship between language and power, as well as the issue of the presentation as a potential space for thought. He has written two plays, libretto texts and, in collaboration with nine other authors, Työstäkieltäytyjän käsikirja (Manual for People Who Refuse to Work, 2019, in Finnish). He graduated with a Master of Arts (Theatre and Drama) degree from Uniarts Helsinki and has studied writing at the Critical Academy.


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Anthea Moys

Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa

Anthea Moys
Artist, educator, PhD candidate

During my residency at Saari, in taking advantage of the unique, quiet and beautiful natural surroundings, I will be working on writing up my thesis for my practice-as-research PhD. This practice-as-research thesis adopts a performance studies approach to play and critically revisits and re-enacts the performance work Boxing Games that was made thirteen years ago, engaging themes around power and privilege. As most people know, a PhD can be quite a lonely experience. On this residency, I look forward to learning from the other artists and researchers in residence and sharing my practice and research with them too. There is also a dance studio which I move and breathe in every day. I am not sure what I/we will make with/in this space, but as I largely work in a process-driven manner… we shall see!

Website: www.antheamoys.com

FB Anthea Moys

IG: @antheamoys

Anthea is an artist, an educator, a play facilitator, a lifelong learner, runner and a PhD candidate at Northumbria University. Anthea wears many hats, but her main interest lies in the diverse streams of playful practice as an artist/facilitator/researcher/educator in a variety of contexts. In 2008 she completed her Masters at Wits with a focus on play and performance in public space. In 2013 she won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Performance Art (inaugural) where she created her “Vs.” series, which embraced failure and reimagined winning as the act of learning itself. She has travelled widely as an artist and play facilitator. In May 2015 she participated in the Johannesburg Pavilion residency at the 56th Venice Biennale. In August 2018, Anthea was selected as one of the three performance artists from Africa in the travelling residency History Will Be Kind To Me For I Intend To Perform It where she was commissioned to create a new performance for three performance art festivals in Finland, Sweden, and Norway. In 2018 Anthea was a resident artist and researcher at The Capital of Children as part of the LEGO Foundation in Denmark and in February 2020 she facilitated a play session at the Wellcome Collection in London. Anthea is now in the 3rd year of her practice-as-research PhD with a focus on play, privilege and power within the performance studies domain. Anthea currently lives, learns, works and plays in Newcastle, U.K.


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Sara Pajunen

Sara Pajunen
violinist, composer, sound and visual artist

‘Mine Songs: Sounding an Altered Landscape’ is a personal long-term project that explores the altered landscape of Northern Minnesota (USA), the artist’s childhood home. Over the last century and a half, the earth of the Mesabi Iron Range has been gutted through the process of iron ore mining for the production of steel – the same steel that fueled American efforts in World War II and that built much of the infrastructure of the United States. The project uses various media (including traditional composition, graphic scores, moving image, archival voice, environmental and/or processed sound) to create a complex and provocative depiction of a region steeped in American narratives and currently mired in political divide.

During my home residency, I will be creating a sound installation under the ‘Mine Songs’ umbrella, composing Mine Songs audio work, and experimenting with the relationship between image and sound sourced from the Mesabi Iron Range region. In my work I am interested in the subjugation of the person and the reversal of the current relationship between the environment and the human, which has placed the human in the position of dominance. Using environmental recordings captured with a variety of microphones as the basis for all composition, I let the characteristics of the sound dictate my musical response. I, human, take a secondary role to amplify the inherent power and musical properties of the environmental recording. With image, I search for perspectives (often from above) that highlight both great destruction and great beauty, challenging our current American obsession with dualistic conclusions.

www.sarapajunen.com
sara@sarapajunen.com
MINE SONGS


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Perttu Saksa

PERTTU SAKSA
Artist

I will focus on working at Saari Residence with photography techniques from the 19th century. I’m interested in how the medium and the object being photographed affect each other. What happens when traces of chemicals, corrosion and analogue photography techniques that contain errors and organic traces begin to dominate the photograph over the subject itself? Historical layers and the presence of materiality refer to the history of making – and viewing – photographs. When we look at a photograph, do they make us more aware of the impact that memories, history, presence and absence have on us?

I look forward to having the peace at Saari Residence to stop and examine what I do. Alongside analogue photographs, I will work on the material for my upcoming exhibition and edit the texts for it at Saari Residence. I hope that my time at Saari will open up new paths for me and, at the same time, carry my unfinished processes towards completion.

My working process typically consists of overlapping things – I work on several projects at the same time, which may be very draining as they pile up, but at the same time, the layers and overlaps often help me work and think.

www.perttusaksa.com

Perttu Saksa is a Master of Fine Arts (Academy of Fine Arts, 2008) and has held exhibitions in Finland and abroad since the early 2000s. Saksa’s works can be seen in numerous public collections, and he was a candidate for the Ars Fennica award in 2017 and the winner of the Fotofinlandia Award in 2014.


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Isaac Chong Wai

© Innsbruck International/ Mia Maria Knoll

Isaac Chong Wai
Artist

I will be doing my residency as a Saari home residency and I will be working on a project called “Re-enactment of Dictators’ Death” investigating the memorialisation, commemorative methodologies and historiography of the death of dictators as a stigmatic historicity, while, through artistic practice, using the re-enactment as a means to remember how we shouldn’t forget for the future. The research focuses on the historical fact of how dictators have died, the relevant memorials or monuments and the reaction of the public after the decease announcement of dictators.

The home residency is a period where I would like to read and think while discussing regularly with fellow artists and stipend holders. It would be interesting to understand also how everyone works and produces artistic work. I aim at focusing on research and developing the project during the residency period.

About my working methods: I take time to read and contemplate through which my imaginations of forms, arrangements, and connections tangle and become new representations. In the development phase of the work, I tend to research in order to answer questions such as: how is it formed? If it is man-made, why do people call it natural? How the lies are constructed and what is it for? I might not be able to find an answer, but I always find the unanswered questions more interesting than questions that always have clear answers. I work on those questions and construct a conceptual framework for the art work. 

www.isaacchongwai.com

ISAAC CHONG WAI graduated from Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University with a BA in Visual Arts and Bauhaus-Universität in Weimar, Germany, with a MFA in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies. He had solo exhibitions at Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong (2019); Zilberman, Berlin (2019); Kunstraum München, Munich (2018); Goethe Institut Hongkong, Hong Kong (2018); Bauhaus Museum, Weimar (2016). His work has been shown at National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Innsbruck Biennial and IFFR, Rotterdam (2020); Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei and Guangdong Times Museum in Guangzhou (2019); M+ Museum and Para Site in Hong Kong (2018); Stiftung Brandenburger Tor and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin (2017); Deutsche Künstlerbund, Berlin and Gwangju Media Art Festival (2016); Kunstfest Weimar and Macura Museum, Serbia (2015); Moscow Biennale for Young Art in Museum of Moscow (2014). His works across a range of media, including performance, installation, painting, video, photography and multimedia. He transforms the tensions, intervention and interactions of human bodies into a microcosm of human relationality in social systems. Influenced by personal events and global phenomena, he engages themes of collectivism and individualism, geopolitics, migration, historical trauma, identity politics and public sphere. He works and lives in Berlin and Hong Kong.


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Catherine Sarah Young

Catherine Sarah Young
artist and writer
current affiliations: Scientia PhD scholar at UNSW Sydney Art and Design, Obama Leader for Asia-Pacific

During my Saari home residency, I will work on themes on climate change and our environmental futures, especially in the context of the Arctic.
This is my first home residency—the travel ban and Covid-19 situation is unfortunate—and so I am trying to catalyze my creativity by looking at my current city, Sydney, in a new way. I moved here in September 2019 for a PhD program and am relatively new, and so I can still see it with fresh eyes. I have a very supportive PhD supervisory team and academic and artistic community worldwide and hopefully these constraints and circumstances will inspire new ways of working.
About my working methods: I get inspiration from nature, books I read, and advocacies I support. With my foundation in molecular biology, art, and interaction design as well as a journalism background, I tend to use various mediums for exploration with outcomes that are usually interactive and sensory.

 

Catherine Sarah Young is a Chinese-Filipina award-winning interdisciplinary artist, designer, and writer who creates works that investigate nature, our role in nature, and the tensions between nature and technology. Trained in molecular biology, contemporary art, and interaction design, she has various artistic bodies of work, investigating climate change and our environmental futures (The Apocalypse Project), science and society (Wild Science), and Future Rx (sustainability). She has an international exhibition, awards, and fellowship profile and works with scientists, industry, and communities, most recently in Berlin, Vienna, Beijing, and the Amazon rainforest. She writes science fiction and has been practicing taekwondo for more than twenty years. She is a Scientia scholar at UNSW Art and Design working on climate change and sustainability and an Obama Foundation Leader for Asia-Pacific. She was most recently an artist at the Space Art Summer School hosted by the Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow.


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Tuomas Kettunen & Theodosia Roussos

Music of Decolonization is an art music project of two artists from two sides of the globe; Tuomas Kettunen from Helsinki, Finland and Theodosia Roussos from Los Angeles, California. Both artists share a background in the field of classical music as performers and composers, but also have their own individual cultural background and expertise.

In this project we aim to interview women from all over the world asking the question, what does decolonization mean to you? These answers and stories from real people serve as a starting point for our creative process, where we will create our own music and text (in English, Finnish and Greek) inspired by these interviews but also use recordings of these interviews by sampling. The project will illuminate the ways in which individuals defy social constructs, defy colonial powers, and defy oppressive regimes. These are all forms of de-colonization, especially of the mind. We are fascinated by the idea of individualism and artistic expression as a rebellion against patriarchal and colonial systems of oppression.

Tuomas is a Finnish composer of contemporary classical and media music currently living and working in Helsinki. He holds a Master of Music in music composition from the Sibelius Academy and has  also studied music composition in Los Angeles, California, at USC Thornton School of Music. Great focus of his latest works has been to explore the possibilities of multimedia works that combine music, video, choreography and lighting design to create even more comprehensive experiences for audience. His musical textures combine rhythmical loops and microtonality with historical and non-musical quotations. His works include pieces for full orchestra, chamber ensembles and solo instruments, many of which have been performed by the most notable musicians and ensembles in Finland and abroad. He has written multiple songs for texts by Finnish and American poets as well as music for film, theatre and radio drama.

Theodosia is a Greek Cypriot American Soprano, Oboe/English Horn player, Improviser, and Composer internationally. She has performed with orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony and studio orchestras at Warner Brothers, Sony, EastWest Studios, and Coachella. She recently recorded on several projects with composer Emile Mosseri, playing oboe, English horn, voice and contributing original improvised melodies for the film The Last Black Man in San Francisco, recording oboe for the Netflix show Homecoming, and as the soprano soloist for Miranda July film Kajillionaire.  She starred as Maria in West Side Story with USC, and Songfest in 2018. This season’s engagements have included premiere roles with The Industry’s new opera Sweet Land, New Opera West, a virtual solo oboe premiere with Synchromy for Bird Day LA. Theodosia’s passion for contemporary and improvised music has lead to solo vocal and oboe performances at Pafos 2017 European Union Cultural Capital, Banff Center, Bang on a Can Festival, soundSCAPE, and Songfest. Upcoming in 2021, Theodosia is looking forward to performing the premiere of her new opera Polymnia, commissioned by the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture, headlining as the Soprano/Oboe soloist in Dots+Loops Nonstop Festival in Australia in 2021, as well as playing oboe for Spoleto Festival USA and Songfest in 2021. Theodosia is a frequent guest lecturer at her alma maters USC, UCLA, and Oberlin Conservatory. 


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Hiljaisuus ry

Photo: Pia Bartsch

HILJAISUUS RY (SILENCE ASSOCIATION)
DEVELOPMENT RESIDENCE FOR AN ART ORGANISATION

During our residency, we will work intensively to develop the Silence community and our art organisation, to put sustainable and ecological operating models into practice and to increase the well-being of our community.

We want to develop new kinds of operating models, new organisational thinking and sustainable models for action that promote well-being. Every artist, designer, producer and other art professional in the Silence community has a huge amount of expertise based on their education and experience, and we want to leverage it in our development work. In addition, we have invited three external experts specialising in the operation and development of art organisations to join our working group so that they can guide us through the development process.

We feel it’s important to withdraw from everyday life (which working at a residence offers) and to focus on listening, discussing and working together to develop the Silence community into a player that reflects our values and expectations and enables our artistic work. We work all over Finland, relying on remote access, which is why genuine presence is of paramount importance to us. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also been learning about presence and intensive teamwork via remote access, and we believe that we will be able to utilise what we have learned in the aftermath of the pandemic, which is currently preventing the entire working group from gathering at Saari Residence.

We want to create a new kind of organisational thinking that takes artistic thinking into account in our operating procedures and organisational structures. We want to participate in developing the idea of platform-based agency in the art sector and we intend to explore what kinds of enabling structures an artist needs in order to be able to focus on making art. In addition, we want to find sustainable and ecological practices that could be put into practice in the everyday operations of our art organisation.

The period of work at Saari Residence is part of the year of organisational development for the Silence Association. During 2020, we have worked ambitiously and intensively to develop the Silence Association into an art organisation that serves people who make art, the village of Kaukonen and the Silence community in the best possible way. The association’s employees, Board members and invited experts have participated in this development work, each with their own area of expertise within the activities and development of the art organisation.

We hope that the development process of the Silence Association will create a new kind of organisational thinking in the field of art and also help other art communities in their development work. We plan to share information about the process and its results in late 2020.

The Artists’ Association Silence promotes opportunities for making art in Lapland by organising performance activities, art events, networking and providing a framework for artistic work and the creation of new multidisciplinary partnerships. The Artists’ Association Silence was founded in 2012 and currently serves year-round as a regionally and nationally significant platform for artistic work, events and projects. In less than ten years, the association has evolved from a background organisation for the Silence Festival into a wide-ranging and diverse production and development platform for the arts and artistic work.

The association’s activities focus on the annual multi-disciplinary Silence Festival held at the beginning of June, the Silence residence that supports the implementation of new works of performing arts and year-round performance and concert activities, whose main event concept is Seasons of Silence in Särestöniemi, Kittilä. In addition, the association acts as a regionally important art expert in Lapland, as the voice of art actors in Finland outside the Helsinki metropolitan area in decision-making that concerns the arts and cultural policy, and as an expert in networking both regionally, nationally and internationally. The Silence Festival was awarded the State Prize for Circus Art in 2017.

A total of 15 people will participate in the work on site at the Saari Residence, as well as via a remote connection: Silence Association’s artistic directors, producers, Board members and invited experts specialising in the operations and development of art organisations.

Artistic directors:

Taija Helminen is a playwright and dramaturge. Taija wrote and directed Unia Ounasjoen mutkasta, a multidisciplinary trilogy arising from the history and stories of the Kaukonen village for the Silence Festival’s programme in 2019. Now Taija is a member of the working group that is planning the programme for the 2021 Silence Festival.

Henna Kaikula is a circus artist, performer and designer of concepts. Henna acted as the artistic director of the Silence Festival from 2017 to 2019, developed also other activities within the Silence Association and created several multi-disciplinary performances specific to the performance space in the Kaukonen village. She has been the junior artistic director of the Seasons of Silence events since 2018.

Mikko Perkola is a viola da gamba player and performer. Mikko started working for the Silence Festival in 2019 as junior artistic director and as a designer of other Silence activities. He is a member of the working group that is planning the programme for the 2021 Silence Festival.

Lauri Sallinen is a clarinettist and a versatile performer. Lauri has performed at the Silence Festival and the Seasons of Silence events over the past years. He has been the junior artistic director of the Seasons of Silence events since 2018.

Riikka Vuorenmaa is a scenographer and lighting and space designer. Riikka has held various positions within the Silence Festival and the Silence Association, such as technical officer and chairman of the Board. Now Riikka is primarily working as the artistic director for the 2021 Silence Festival as part of its planning team, specifically taking care of curating and planning the spaces.

Producers:

Jonna Leppänen has been the producer of the Silence Festival and the Silence Association since 2017. She works as the executive director’s work partner, being responsible for all the operations and daily office duties of the Silence Association. In addition, Jonna is responsible for the operations of the Northern Network for Performing Arts, which is coordinated by Silence, as well as for other international projects.

Joonas Martikainen is one of the founders of the association and the Silence Festival and has been the producer and executive director of Silence for more than ten years. He creates multidisciplinary networks and is responsible for the organisation’s activities, the festival and the Seasons of Silence event concept together with other Silence employees.

Members of the Board:

Tuija Alariesto is a cultural association activist and a museum professional who has held several different positions in the sector. Tuija has observed Silence’s activities from the point of view of a partner when she was the museum director of the Särestöniemi Museum from 2018 to 2019. Tuija brings versatile expertise in the management of art and cultural organisations and the Lapland cultural sector to the Silence Board.

Konsta Huusko is an artist and a skilled woodworker. Konsta has worked for many years as a volunteer and a team leader at the Silence Festival and has been an invaluable help in the renovation of the Kaukonen people’s hall.  He brings the voice of a Lapland artist and experienced Silence volunteer to the Board of Silence.

Katariina Imporanta is an expert in marketing and branding. Katariina worked in communications, marketing and production positions within the Silence organisation in 2019 and started the development of the Silence organisation at the beginning of 2020. She brings brand expertise, extensive tourism and marketing networks, cultural tourism expertise and knowledge of the Silence organisation to the Board of Silence.

Anu Niiranen is a graphic designer and marketing expert. Anu has worked as the designer of the Silence brand and its visual look, as well as a festival volunteer from time to time over several years. She brings brand and communication expertise and a business-world perspective to the organisation’s development work.

Salla Santanen is a circus artist, dancer and dance teacher. Salla has worked at the Silence Festival as a leading volunteer for several years and knows the anatomy of the festival well. She brings the perspective of circus art and artist to the Board of Silence.

Invited experts:

Tuuja Jänicke is a theatre director, gestalt therapist and work advisor. Tuuja has worked at Silence and with the employees of Silence during 2020, laying the foundations for abandoning burdensome work methods, creating a work community that supports health and well-being and ensuring the professional development of Silence employees.

Esa Kylmälä is the expert of the art organisation’s administration, production and finances and an experienced leader. Esa works especially with the Silence Board to develop the Board’s activities and helps board members to create board and administrative practices that match its new operating culture and organisational model.

Antti Majava is an artist and founding member of the Mustarinda Association. Antti is distinguished at consolidating research and the arts and promotes multi-perspective thinking in the arts and society. He brings ecological thinking to the Silence development process and challenges Silence’s operating models from the perspectives of a sustainable future, ecology and resource wisdom.

Kati Sirén is a community theatre director and facilitator. In 2020, she has led the development of the Silence organisation through workshops. Kati creates the optimal working environment for the development of Silence and walks the people at Silence through this development process, creating an opportunity for new kind of development of organisational thinking and putting consistent decision-making and implementation of decisions into practice.

WWW.HILJAISUUSFESTIVAALI.FI


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Deep Time Transcestors

Deep Time Transcestors (working title) is a performance project celebrating non-binary prehistory and is carried out by Ana Teo Ala-Ruona, Even Minn, Camille Auer, Alvi Haapamäki, Satu Kankkonen and Eeti Piiroinen. In addition to the above-mentioned core working group, the project includes producer Riikka Thitz, performance dramaturge Santtu Uuttu and LARP consultant Pihla Lehtinen.

Deep Time Transcestors explore our evolutionary prehistory and find kinship in early life forms. Using LARP (live action role-playing games), play and somatic methods, the project examines what a prehistoric non-gendered and multi-species body might have been like and what it feels like to incarnate it in the modern day. Deep Time Transcestors speculate on the radical physicality of our prehistory from a transfeminist perspective. Some key questions for the project are: How could we rewrite and understand our history and evolution in a way that doesn’t acknowledge the binary concept of gender or strengthen cisgender and heterosexual norms?

At Saari Residence, our core working group have played, done reading and somatic exercises and read and discussed texts on queer ecology and on the cis and heteronormative nature of biological and evolutionary stories. In addition, we have had in-depth discussions on the safety of the working group and developed common consent technologies for both touch-based and other exercises and discussions. We have also pondered the cis and heteronormative elements within the canon of somatic exercises and worked to make somatic exercises as trans-inclusive as possible. Above all, we have spent time getting to know each other and forming a safe, permissive and caring work atmosphere.


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Springroll Media

1976 was an important year for China – Chairman Mao dies and the Cultural Revolution ends. In Chengdu, five young women find 2 Yuan on the street. They treat themselves to an ice cream and decide to take a photo in a studio. Every 10 years they take another photo in the same position. To this day the tradition continues. Although their lives have taken different routes and their political views don’t align, they remain close friends.

Title of project/film: Mao’s Ice Cream
Title of group: Springroll Media.
Website: www.springrollmedia.com


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Kivikokoelma

KIVIKOKOELMA (STONE COLLECTION)

The working group of the Stone Collection consists of dramaturge Emil Santtu Uuttu, performance and video artist Ilmari Paananen, producer-curator Riikka Thitz and sound designer Tatu Nenonen.

Uuttu and Paananen started collecting material for the work in 2019. Their field trips to Western and Eastern Finland and cooperation with the Geological Survey of Finland, the Department of Geology at the University of Helsinki and various stone associations have laid the foundations for this artistic work.

At Saari Residence, we will display the material we have collected. We will explore how to see something special in what seems common and something unfamiliar in what seems familiar. We will examine something particular, some isolated manifestation, this.

The Stone Collection is an essayistic work depicting time. By exploring stones, the presentation strives to change the viewer’s experience of time and make them observe the world for a moment through the interspecies time perspective of stones. The work will consist of an exhibition and performance. and will be organised as a tour in collaboration with the Lakeus, Nurmijärvi, Tampere, Joensuu and Jyväskylä stone associations in the autumn of 2021.


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EXE / IKBAL LUBYS & AII WIJAYANTI ANIK

STARRY NIGHT TO NOISY DAY

The combination of sound art, painting and lighting, inspired by Van Gogh’s ”Starry Night”, which is a reflection of the condition in a particular place. By using 2 and 3-dimensional painting material, coupled with sound and lighting, this work becomes multi-dimensional installation so it will be able to present the atmosphere of a particular city by referring to the ”Starry Night” style of painting. The initial idea is Jakarta the capital of Indonesia, from the atmosphere of the city contained in Starry Night’s paintings then reflected on the condition or atmosphere of Jakarta, from starry nights to morning and then to a smoky afternoon. In this work, the city presented can be city from anywhere and with a different title series. The atmosphere of the city will be created from the sound and lights gradations so it can bring time travel from night to afternoon, between trips from the ”starry night” side to the ”noisy day” side.


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HANNA HUSBERG & AGATA MARZECOVA

TOWARDS ATMOSPHERIC CARE

Towards Atmospheric Care is a long-term art-led research project by visual artist Hanna Husberg and researcher in ecology, photography and new media Agata Marzecova that explores air as a naturalcultural and technoecological phenomenon situated in the nexus of media, science and technological mediation. By extending the notion of care to air and the atmosphere, we ask: How can we care for what is inaccessible to direct experience, but still structures our daily lives?

The Saari residency will be used to work on From Aurora to Geospace, one of three case studies developed in the context of Towards Atmospheric Care. By looking at large-scale techno-scientific infrastructures for sensing atmospheric phenomena in the Fennoscandian Arctic, the project inquires into their role in constructing new imaginaries that allow for apprehending and sensing the environment in new ways. Our intention is to produce an audiovisual essay, based on materials collected in the context of our Ars Bioarctica art-science residency at Kilpisjärvi Biological Station 2018-19.  Exploring different technoscientific modes of visualising the environment, and in particular the atmosphere, we will use the essayistic format to, combining text and audio-visual materials, engage with the poetics and politics of ‘visibility’ and ‘perceptibility’. ‘Essay’ derives from the French word ‘essayer’, to try or attempt, and is here understood as the vehicle for an open-ended, evaluative search and testing of ideas and formats.

The Saari Residence will also provide a preparatory phase for our long-term collaborative work and nourish the elaboration of new outcomes developed over a longer timespan (2020-2022) with the support of the KONE Foundation.

 WWW.TOWARDSATMOSPHERIC.CARE


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FRIENDS IN COMBAT / ISOBEL DRYBURGH & BILJANA RADINOSKA

During Saari Residence we propose to work towards articulating and creating a series of shocks in the public landscape. The series will take different durational and artistic form; a hybrid of performance, visual arts and social choreography. How does one begin to explain an idea or more so an urge that is fueled by a personal experience, an event lived, when one doesn’t want to profile herself as victim and at the same time, has over the course of 18 years. An abuse took place in one our youths, the experience of which has produced the monitoring and experiencing of a certain landscape, an internal dramaturgy strongly connected to the perception of the self as victim. How does one express a sensation of accumulated revolt, a strong political disagreement and at the same time an artistic appetite to define, articulate in a precise form? The intention being to develop a precise art form, one that would communicate the experience, while being absolutely and unapologetically precise in this manoeuvre. One has to gather friends and plan an attack, this is how we see our collaboration, we are planning an attack. Our tools and background come from theatre and the visual arts. We think in time and space using fiction as a tool for coagulation of the two. We are considering the strategy, audience and will enter this project with inputs from painting, military and theatre. Creating expanded images using broadcasting forms already in place as platforms to re-instrumentalise. Our initiative is bold in the content it addresses but furthermore in the unique fusion of approaches we will pull from. However, we don’t perceive ourselves as bold and this question has brought us troubling thoughts. There is a contradiction: how do we, those who don’t perceive ourselves as bold, plot an attack? We want to come to terms with our own contradictions, not to solve them, but to get to know these contradictions and embrace them in an artistic language.


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RABOTA

Nonknowledge Zones: The Tunnel by Rabota

Media Studies in collaboration with SAARI Residence

The Nonknowledge Zones project belongs to the genre of media studies, which, in the conditions of the lockdown that lasts more or less everywhere, Rabota is going to conduct in the badlands of the uninhabited peninsula Meganom the extreme northern frontiers of the ancient Greek world. Finding themselves in relevant circumstances, artists interpret the Internet as labyrinth in the realm of the dead, in which they are going to lay the tunnel communication.

„Nonknowledge is an option. Choosing Nonknowledge means going on a journey, an adventure from which there is no return. Nonknowledge is an escape or exodus. Our escape intends speedy migration along labyrinth, which during the overall disease is thought by us as an underground tunnel filled with moon gardens and a river through which we navigate in fast canoes. Nonknowledge is a flickering speech in which words are made up of forms of silence. Nonknowledge is a homecoming.“

Rabota was established in 2014 by artists Marika Krasina and Anton Kryvulia to combine their work into common artistic practice. From the very beginning of the joint work, artists focus on the topics of autonomy, global mobility, media phenomenology and media ecology using their own personal things as artistic means. Like the Labridae fish, which can change sex in extreme circumstances, Rabota had set up the curators from themselves, providing a full-fledged workflow, theorizing and curating their events, publications and objects. For six years of continuous wandering around the world, Marika Krasina and Anton Kryvulia have created a practice that includes isolation, insecurity and constant risk; Rabota turns circumstances into an instrument.

Website: HTTP://NONKNOWLEDGE.SPACE

On photo: Marika Krasina and Anton Kryvulia, founders of Rabota.


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ANNE NAUKKARINEN & MAARIT MUSTONEN

ANNE NAUKKARINEN & MAARIT MUSTONEN

We have been working as partners in art since 2014. What unites us is our interest in questions of the body and language, the relationship between remembering and imagining, and work that cuts across art forms. Naukkarinen has a background in dance, performance and visual art, and Mustonen in visual art and poetry. Our previous works have taken the shape of performances, installations and publications.

At Saari Residence, we will continue the working process we started in the spring of 2020, using various methods of taking notes and recording material, such as bodily, verbal and visual recording. Our working process takes a year, during which we note our observations and experiences of the time we are living in. Based on this work, we then prepare a presentation and publication, which we will share in 2021.

Our work takes place within a process that is entwined with the materiality of time and life – what are the different ways can we record them? What kind of worlds do the combined notes of two different people create? What is the relationship between private notes and the public space?

We feel that the method of note taking involves horizontality and we think it has the potential to dismantle hierarchies: the same notebook page, one body or image may end up bearing a grocery list, some theorist’s thoughts, doodles and outbursts of emotions. Notes are, of course, also a method used in many different fields – it’s a shared method of working. Yet everyone’s notes are unique.

“… and I suppose that keeping in touch is what notebooks are all about.” – Joan Didion

Our method is linked to the process of remembering, which is constantly reshaping – it can call into question established, ruling stories, images and bodies.

At Saari Residence, we are working on material for the Notes 1.4.–9.8.2020 performance draft and trial publication, which we will share as work-in-process versions at the group exhibition Surrender? Surrender at the Exhibition Laboratory in Helsinki from 3 July to 9 August 2020. Our work during the residency will also focus on the time following the summer exhibition: how will we continue to work on the final versions of the performance and publication?

We hope for an intense and inspiring time at Saari Residence! As the only artists in the residence at this time, the experience will certainly be different and special. After leaving the Saari Residence, we will continue our residency for a while at home, for example by hanging up our works in the exhibition space.


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Zden Brungot Svíteková

dance artist, performer, dance maker and researcher.

During the stay in Saari I will be diving deeper into the role of senses, especially touch, in somatic practices and the ways these various methods are distilled into creative processes. The touch has long time been inherently present in my practice and as part of a resent research-creation fuelled by geology and focusing on tectonics, formation and deformation of matter, the need to understand the workings of touch became a necessity. As part of the research I decided to address peers practicing various somatic approaches. And so in Saari I will be continuing and processing interviews, researching theory from the medical point of view as well as the one of philosophy and social sciences. I will be documenting myself on the methods and techniques in somatic and hands-on practices as well as spending time in the studio in order to test and practice the research with a vision to collect material for a new work examining the sense of touch and its nuances. And last yet not least, the residency in Saari would be a place to start a concept for a platform for critical reflection and a symposium on touch.

Key words for the Saari time will be: soma, touch, corporeity, communication, violence, security, intimacy, mutuality, power relations.

I am looking forward to have space-time to read, process and write. To have an uninterrupted time in the studio for a continuous daily practice and creation.  A coming wit great curiosity to meet and interact with the fellow residents to meet their themes, visions and approaches. I am also grateful to again be spending time in the countryside, which will allow me to continue the ongoing work rooted in geology and deep time of earthly movements.

Zden Brungot Svíteková graduated with a Master degree in dance from the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia. Her artistic work is anchored in movement research fuelled by a deep interest in the body, where somatic practices and philosophy provide a language she speaks to talk about palpating events happening in a micro and macro level. By her open collaborative way of work Zden experiments with the frame of black box by directly questioning the apparatus of Theatre. Her choreographic work takes the form of performances set in and for various spaces such as theatres, galleries or public spaces. It is bound together by long term interest in interdisciplinary dialogues across art forms and scientific disciplines, touch, memory, communication, process and the nature of collaboration.

One of the leading interests in her artistic approach is to create and to cultivate a space for personal, embodied expression of each individual. Since 2010 Zden has been in a close artistic dialogue with Barbora Látalová and is a founding member of association OSTRUŽINA z.s.

She also collaborates on projects in frame of young audiences, community art and mediation/transmission oriented activities in form of performances, creative projects in schools and participatory events or workshops.


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Jennifer Katanyoutanant

Jennifer Katanyoutanant, artist and producer

Food is as migratory as the people who eat it. ‘Traditional’ cuisine is not always comprised of ingredients local to the region. The modern pizza is Italian in origin, but tomatoes came from the Aztecs. American hot dogs came from German style wieners, but the act of stuffing ground meat into casings goes all the way back to the ancient Sumerians and Chinese. This contradictory notion of foreign ingredients in traditional local cuisine call into question the origin stories of ‘authentic’, regional food, and what defines authenticity.

“Home” Cooked, our edible board game, is a physical manifestation of how distinct cultural traditions have been founded upon a longstanding history of global exchange and migration. It looks at how a foreign ingredient makes its way into a new country and integrates into a region’s existing food vocabulary.

I’m excited to meet the other residents, learn about Finnish food culture, and start integrating these histories into the game. I’m also excited to learn about the history of migration within Finland and see how its affected the food culture.

I’m big on research and spend a lot of time reading and talking to people. My favorite form of research is a cup of tea with people from the surrounding community. Then I take that research and make a quick prototype, test it with people immediately, and iterate. Sometimes this process takes me down tangents I end up treasuring forever.

Jennifer Katanyoutanant is an artist, producer, and community builder using immersive experiences to build creative communities. She makes installations, games, ARVR experiences, and loves imagining all the weird things we’ll be doing on the Internet in 10 years. Her work explores tangible manifestations of complex data structures, the reciprocal relationship between personal and global systems, and their influence on culture, identity, and media.


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Jazra Khaleed

Jazra Khaleed (b. 1979) lives in Athens, writes exclusively in Greek, and is known as a poet, translator and filmmaker. His works are protests against the injustices in contemporary Greece, especially the growing nationalism, racism and social exclusion. During his stay at the Saari Residence, he plans to work on a poetry cycle with the provisional title Haya said. With this work, he aims to explore immigration, trauma and xenophobia and, at the same time, speak about the impoverishment of life in Greece, unemployment, the bread lines and violence on the streets of Athens. He intends to demonstrate that poets can present through their art a new reading of the reality of immigration, giving emphasis to democracy, diversity and inclusion; they can challenge the anti-immigrant narrative, and create a basis for oppositional readings of xenophobia as expressed in news reports and social media.

As translator and founding co-editor of the Athens-based poetry magazine TEFLON, during his stay at the Saari Residence he will translate into Greek poems from Zaina’s Alsous book “A Theory of Birds” and he will edit the 23rd issue of TEFLON that will include, among others, poetry by Chairil Anwar (Indonesia), Marie Silkeberg (Sweden) and Nathalie Quintane (France).

In his work, Jazra Khaleed integrates knowledge and methods from various disciplines, seeking new forms of expression. He aims to combine different creative forms in new and unusual ways, working with fellow artists from different disciplines such as cinematographers, visual artists, musicians and actors, making movies and videos, creating installations, organizing performances, and publishing magazines and books. His poems have been widely translated for publications in Europe, the US, India and Australia. His newest short film “Kordelio Concentration Camp” premiered at the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival.


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Ginta Tinte Vasermane

Ginta Tinte Vasermane
Visual artist

Born in Riga (Latvia), she received B.F.A in audiovisual arts from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and M.A. from the Netherlands Film Academy, in Amsterdam.  She works in the field of motion pic­ture, multi-channel video installation, sculp­ture, per­for­mance, and social commentary. Her current works examine human behavioral and gestural choreographies in public places, rules and roles, the relation of bodies to space and in diverse structures.

Besides her artistic practice in 2015, she created VIDEO DRAMA, a nomadic artist’s platform, which makes traveling exhibitions and represents artists working in the field of moving picture.

At the residency Ginta will work in the surroundings of the Saari Residence and Mynämäki, she will observe time, landscape, human daily habits, rituals and movements through the lens of a camera. Those observations, as well as staged theatrical videos filmed at Saari, will be transformed in the form of video installation.

www.gintatinte.info

https://www.instagram.com/videodram.a

www.facebook.com/VIDEO-DRAMA-107805460841998


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Salome Tuomaala-Özdemir

Research fellow, activist

During the residence, I will be writing about neighbour relationships. I have been studying them in Hervanta, Tampere for almost three years in the Naapurijurtta (Neighbour Yurt) project funded by Kone Foundation. We collected stories and observations for the study, for example, in a yurt, which we moved to eight different locations in the suburb over the year. Hervanta is more to me than just a research subject; I have lived there for about four years and have been working on social projects since 2012. Taking a concrete step back from your own neighbourhood is necessary in order to refine your perspective. Residence work offers a great opportunity for this. During the home residence, I will be focusing on writing about performing ethnography.

While taking a step back from my research subject and home, I hope to get closer to good old-fashioned research: reading in peace and writing contemplatively. My texts are not created in a vacuum, but through dialogue with others. That’s why I’m very happy that the residence also offers the company of thoughtful and creative people. In the project, we have combined research and art, and during the residence I will continue to outline my ideas by writing, but also by drawing and painting.

I am a researcher at the University of Tampere’s Peace Research Institute TAPRI. In the past, I have studied ethical agency and changes in agency and have worked in several community projects. In the project Hervannan Uusi Paikallisuus (New Locality in Hervanta), I worked with artists and researchers to develop a multilingual community. In the Neighbour Yurt project, I have observed community development, neighbourly help as a daily dialogue and the spread of good practices among neighbours. I have also gathered experiences and thoughts about neighbourly help while living with chronic pain. The pain has interspersed my research work, changed my agency and activism, and intensified my relationships with the people and places near me.


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Grace Wong

Grace Wong is an artist, architect, builder, and currently a facilitator at the Art Farm Artist’s and Writer’s residency in rural Nebraska, United States.

Along with her collaborator, Jennifer Katanyoutanant, Grace will be exploring the themes of food history, game theory, and Finnish food culture.

During her residency at the Saari, Grace hopes to be able to research and experience Finland’s food history while designing and prototyping an edible board game with fellow artist and collaborator Jennifer Katanyoutanant. She anticipates play testing the food game with other residents, cooking, sharing stories about food culture, and creating documentation of these flavors and discussions.

Trained as both an architect and an artist, Grace’s work interweaves research-driven concept development, the rigorous process of iterative design prototyping, and investigative activities, which may include physical actions, thought exercises, and improvised performance. Her cooking techniques are a reflection her ability to problem solve; utilizing ingredients (sometimes unconventionally) based on their availability to achieve the desired outcomes.

Grace Wong uses site-specific architectural installation, participatory performance, and new media as means of creating playful yet insightful dialogues around local culture and memory. She began her career as a designer in professional architecture in 2013, and expanded into facilitating community-oriented construction projects since 2014. She has made design and construction contributions to the experimental net-positive prototype ‘Techstyle Haus’ (featured in New York Times, Archdaily, Inhabitat, Metropolis Magazine) and currently spearheads a number of projects repurposing discarded old farm buildings into studios, accommodations and facilities at the Art Farm Residency in rural Nebraska. 2017 marked a pivotal point in her career when she transitioned out of the architectural office into developing artistic projects in remotes areas such as Death Valley (California), Koh Lon (Thailand), Marquette (Nebraska), and Sôca (Slovenia). Grace is now the Special Operations and Logistics Strategist at Art Farm. She graduated from UC Irvine with a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Arts and a Masters of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. 


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ALEX ILARI AISSAOUI

PhD Candidate/researcher/lecturer

I work on my dissertation at the Saari Residence – more specifically chapters 2 (ancient international systems of states) and 3 (system vs society problematic) will keep me occupied.

During my residency, I expect to work hard, meet interesting fellow colleagues, and stay fit. It would be also nice to get to know the local community a bit.

I try to maintain a steady schedule between 9 a.m. and 17 p.m. everyday. During weekends it would be nice to do inspiring things with my fellow grantees.

Alex Ilari Aissaoui is a graduate student at the Doctoral Program in Political, Societal and Regional Change at the University of Helsinki. He is currently a member of the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires (ANEE) at the university of Helsinki. His academic interests include international history, international relations theory, the balance of power theory, and the English School. He is currently finishing his thesis on the ancient Near Eastern diplomacy.


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PEDRO HURPIA

Visual artist

During the residency in Saari, I will be working on my project that deals with the relation between faith and science in the use of the ancient practice of dowsing. Also known as ‘water witching’, dowsing is an activity in which people use an age-old technique of divining – usually just a tree branches – to tap into energy fields below the surface of the land to locate ground water, buried metals, ores, oil and other materials. For many it is a popular belief, without conclusive scientific explanations, centered on an apparently useless and fragile object that leads ordinary people from various parts and cultures to use it and believe in its efficiency.

The act of ‘dowsing’ itself resembles a performative action surrounded by rituals, pre-defined commands and methods in order to be successful for those who manipulate it.

These are few questions I am working with – How can belief foresee lost objects or hidden materials? By mentalizing objects or situations, could we redefine geological aspects? Could we elaborate a series of rules to apply it anywhere?

My method is based on developing resignified devices and fictional narratives in order to propose playful ways of generating knowledge that challenge our common understanding.

I expect to find a place connected to nature and creative tools that will allow me to develop these artistic strategies. I like the fact that Saari was an island surrounded by the sea up until the early 11th century. “As a consequence of the land uplift, however, it gradually merged into the mainland. The fields you see here today were once the seabed.” Probably, where we are now was underwater for a long time, hidden from everyone. Somehow this fits in with the poetics of my project.

http://www.phurpia.com/


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ACHIM LENGERER

Artist and editor Achim Lengerer works on questions of political speech and language that he addresses in his live performances, cinematic soundtracks or spatializes within installations and printed matter. Lengerer was educated at the Academy for Film and TV, FAMU, Prague, the STÄDELSCHULE, Frankfurt and the SLADE School of Fine Arts, London and completed his post-graduate studies at the Jan-van-Eyck-Academie, Maastricht, NL.

Currently Lengerer is working on a Ph.D at Goldsmiths, University of London, on the format of the collective rehearsal as an artistic and political model for spaces of social negotiation(s). Lengerer founded different collaborative projects such as freitagsküche in Frankfurt a. M., and voiceoverhead, with artist colleague Dani Gal (ISR). In 2017 he was invited to  to documenta14 with a 21-hour radio broadcast produced by SavvyFunk/Deutschlandradio.

Since 2009 Lengerer runs the showroom, production- and publishing house Scriptings, currently based in Berlin-Wedding. Scriptings functions as a discursive platform additional to Achim Lengerer’s solo-projects. Artists, filmmakers, writers, graphic-designers, performers as well as political activists are invited – all of which are working with the formats of “script” and “text” within their process of production. The use of “script” or “text” does not necessarily head towards the final production of printed matters, but might result in the production of a movie, performance or object generated through processes of reading, writing or verbal and political utterance. The presentations consist of live events (talk, discussion, reading, display, performance) as well as the publishing of the magazine Scriptings. During the residency Lengerer will continue to work on a collaborative project with Finnish artist Niina Lehtonen Braun, the community and library project Scriptings#50:  Learning “by heart” – A multilingual library for Nelly Sachs, a response to the poem of the Jewish-German-Swedish writer Nelly Sachs (1891-1970) and her poem “In deep flight”.


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PEKKA NISKANEN

Visual artist and researcher, doctor of visual arts

I am writing a script for a film that describes the Sahrawi people in the Hamad desert of Algeria, their traditions of oral narrative and the deteriorating ecological state of the Baltic. What the Sahrawi and the Baltic Sea share is phosphate. It is the raw material of the fertilisers that are causing the eutrophication of the Baltic, but also the reason why the Sahrawi are refugees. The work highlights the background and current context of the Sahrawis’ existence as refugees, which relates to the phosphate mines in Western Sahara seized by Morocco. In the film, I discuss the effects of phosphate and the mining industry on the living environment and communities of the Sahrawi with Sahrawi artist Mohamed Sleiman Labat. We also discuss oral and tacit information which helps to uncover the possibilities of these communities to survive the changes they are facing. 

During my residency, I will also work on my research article on the new identity of the Sahrawi. The nomad life of the old Spanish colonial era is being replaced by the passive resistance developed by the new generations of Sahrawi at the refugee camps, as well as by institutional knowledge and art-based types of action. The new narrative includes both traditional and new information and related practices.

During my residency, I will study various materials and source materials and revise both my film script and research article based on my findings. My work relies on remembering, on the emergence of the conversations, meetings and moments of work that I shared with Mohamed Sleiman Labat during his residency at Kone Foundation’s Lauttasaari Manor from July to October 2019.  I will continue our discussions during my residency and organise virtual meetings with Sleiman Labat, who lives in the Hamad desert. 

Pekka Niskanen is a visual artist and researcher, a doctor of fine arts, who has exhibited his work in museums, galleries and at film festivals in Europe, North America and Asia since 1990. He has curated exhibitions at the Helsinki Art Museum, Ateneum Finnish National Gallery, the cultural capital event in Dortmund for the Ruhr district, Pohjoismainen Taidekeskus (Northern Art Centre) and Werstas Finnish Labour Museum in Tampere. His works can be found in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki Art Museum, the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, the Dutch Art Academy, the City of Espoo and private collectors. In 2012, the Finnish broadcasting company Yle presented the documentary called Virtuaalinen sota, directed by Niskanen. The film focuses on Chechen refugees who fled from Russia to Europe. Niskanen has written two peer-reviewed research articles on the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, and implemented a video piece called Yhteisöterrorit (2017). During the Isis attacks, he was living and working opposite the Bataclan theatre. His video installation about the Antarctica and Burma called Can You Hear Me? was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma between 2016–2017 and belongs to Kiasma’s collection. Niskanen’s latest work, a film called Iranian Metal Coffee, was presented at the Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in Helsinki in August 2019. It tells the story of the Teheran-based heavy metal band known as Dark Matter Band. 


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ROBYN MAREE PICKENS

Art writer, poet, curator, PhD candidate

During my residency I will be working on a research-based poetry project. I will examine Hannah Arendt’s theory amor mundi (love of the world) to see whether it can inform ecological poetry (poetry that is directed towards the unfolding socio-ecological crisis). Theoretically and poetically, can I develop an “eco-poetics of love” based on Arendt’s amor mundi? The location of Mynämäki—with its warming climate and reduced snowfall—is one important place to consider theoretical and creative approaches to the Anthropocene.

At Saari, I expect to develop a nuanced understanding of Arendt’s amor mundi; to read closely the work of eco-poets such as CAConrad; to attune and respond to the unique ecology of Mynämäki, and to write a selection of poems based on these themes.

Robyn Maree Pickens is an art writer, poet, curator, and text-based practitioner. Robyn’s art writing has appeared in ArtAsiaPacific online, ANZJA, Art + Australia online, The Pantograph Punch, Art New Zealand and exhibition catalogues. Her most recent curatorial project (“Bright Cave” 2018) was presented at Blue Oyster, Dunedin (NZ). Robyn’s poetry has appeared in Into the Void, Peach Mag, SAND Berlin, Cordite, Plumwood Mountain, Matador Review, Jacket 2, and at ARTSPACE, Auckland (NZ). She was a finalist of the 2018 Sarah Broom Poetry Prize judged by Eileen Myles, winner of the takahē Monica Taylor Poetry Prize 2018, and a finalist of the inaugural Leeds Brotherton Poetry Prize 2019. Her poetry criticism has appeared in Rain Taxi and Jacket 2. Her most recent text-based work was exhibited at Te Tuhi, Auckland (December 2018 – March 2019). Currently Robyn is a PhD candidate in ecological aesthetics at the University of Otago, and an art reviewer for the Otago Daily Times and Art News (NZ). The UK poet laureate will launch the Leeds Brotherton Poetry Anthology (published by Carcanet Press) in March 2020.


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BENJAMIN SCHWEITZER

composer (also translator, linguist, cultural mediator) 

I will spend my residency composing a chamber concerto for the accordion and a chamber ensemble. What I hope and expect from my time at Saari Residence is peace to work, decent winter weather, interesting conversations with the other artists – and of course a hot sauna! 

My working method is to write in the traditional way using a pencil on music paper. I don’t write up the piece on my computer until it is completely finished. The actual composition phase is preceded by a long design phase, during which I outline the idea of the piece in graphic drafts and small snippets of text. 

I was born in Marburg in 1973. I have studied composition, music theory and conducting in Lübeck, Dresden and Helsinki (under Paavo Heininen). After my degree examination, I have mainly worked as a freelance composer, but also as a teacher of music theory and analysis, concert and festival organiser, lecturer, concert host, science writer, concert reviewer and translator (Finnish-German). I still see myself as a chamber composer, although I have also written operas and orchestral music. I have lived in almost every German state, in Finland and have participated in artist residence tours in Paris, Venice and Visby, but my permanent residence for the past 15 years has been Berlin. 

At first a sideline, translation turned out to be fascinating work and as my interest in Finnish kept growing, I decided a couple of years ago to take three years off from composing and study Fennistics instead in Greifswald and Tartu. In November 2018 I finished my master’s degree and have since slowly but surely returned to composition work. 

I don’t have a Facebook profile or Twitter, Instagram, etc., but I try my best to update my old-fashioned website www.benjamin-schweitzer.de regularly. 


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S-PROJEKTI | HELI KESKIKALLIO AND LINDA MARTIKAINEN

S-projekti is an artistic, long-lasting collaborative project between two solo artists. In it, choreographers and dance artists Linda Martikainen and Heli Keskikallio examine their solo performance practices side by side. 

During our time at the residence, we will continue to work on our solo performances, the Meeting ______ and Phhhhh, and will solidify our personal ways of working solo. We will also start planning our next solo works for this project. 

At the Saari Residence, we will work both independently and together, considering questions about solo work, such as: what is solo performance made of? What are you in relationship with when working alone? How controlled/uncontrolled can the process be? How to act and work simultaneously in different roles, such as choreographer/performer? 

In the solo pieces we are working on, we are constantly thinking about the relationships that we are creating with our surroundings, rather than focusing on the solo artist’s solipsistic presence. We are interested in the agency and authorship of various materials and their impact on each other. 

During our residency, we expect to spend time with the performance materials we have already found and to let ourselves be open to potential new angles. We are grateful for the time and space to work on our project without distractions and interruptions. 

We met each other during our master’s studies and, shortly after graduation, we both began to consider creating a solo piece.  Through this shared interest, we ended up creating a shared working platform we call S-projekti, in which we work side by side on our solo pieces. S-projekti was started in the autumn of 2016. We have been working on this project at residencies in Turku, Tampere and Helsinki. We have performed work-in-process versions of Meeting _____ and Phhhhh about every six months at Taidetila Virgiinia, Haihara Art Centre, Vapaan Taiteen Tila (Free Space for Art) and Performance Center Eskus, among others. Through regular work-in-process performances, we examine the boundaries of the performance event and look for new potential forms for solo performances. We observe the relationship between the performance and the spectator/person experiencing it and we ponder how the audience becomes a part of the performance process. The next solo performance in our project will take place at K&C Tila in Helsinki towards the end of 2020.  

Important themes in our joint work are continuity and maintaining and feeding the long process. Our goal is to increase the appreciation of the unfinished, of learning and insights instead of readiness. We nurture our artistic work by giving our thoughts, materials and cooperation time to mature.

https://www.facebook.com/Sprojekti/ 


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