MOBIUS and new forms of collaboration

The MOBIUS fellowship program enables multidisciplinary collaboration between professionals and organizations in the fields of visual arts, museums and archives in Finland, New York, Great Britain and Ireland.

The program is organized by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and the Finnish Institute in London.

MOBIUS identifies, initiates and supports motivated, long-term partnerships that are based on mutual interest and active communication. The program enables two-month working periods within a hosting organization in other country. The working period between the collaborators in New York and Finland includes a realization of a thematic project that has been planned in advance in collaboration with the fellow and their hosting organization.

Project-based work is increasingly common in the fields of arts and culture, but as a result of tight schedules and insufficient resources, the actual collaboration may often turn out to be quite conventional and superficial. As opposed to that, MOBIUS relies on slow, in-depth processes and carefully customized framework.

What makes the program especially pioneering is the fact that the opportunities it offers are targeted for the intermediary actors – curators, producers, researchers and the like – and a multitude of professional organizations in the field of visual arts, humanities and research. The program doesn’t fill the slots but aims on supporting meaningful, motivated collaboration.

The MOBIUS program incorporates two different fellowship profiles. The fellowships offered by the Finnish Institute in London are intended for museum and archives professionals, and strive for updating and exchanging the current practices and modes of communication in these fields. The Finnish Cultural Institute in New York focuses on professionals in contemporary art, design and architecture, with a special interest in transdisciplinary approach and most recent modes of curating. Within both profiles, new forms of collaboration are implemented with both institutional and non-institutional organizations and actors.

Some of the most recent Mobius collaborations have been focusing in a research about the post-fossil society; comparative study on different residency organizations; audience work at museums; preparations for a design triennial; and research about alternative communities.

In November 2015, three MOBIUS fellows are working in New York: Paavo Järvensivu at the James Gallery of the City University of New York, Taina Laaksonen at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Johanna Hyrkäs at the Better Farm community. Forthcoming fellowship projects taking place during Spring 2016 include Anna Mikkola’s, Markus Åström’s, Suvi Saloniemi’s and Andrea Lipps’ projects, which have already commenced within each respective partnering organizations in 2014 or 2015.

Over the following months, the MOBIUS program will announce more participants and projects.

In the fall 2016, the MOBIUS program will organize a seminar titled There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch with Res Artis, a global residency network based in Amsterdam. The seminar will focus on reflecting on the most novel forms of mobility and residency programs, as well as analyzing funding practices in the field of art and culture.

Kone Foundation has supported the MOBIUS programme since its establishment.


Contact person and more information:

Ilari Laamanen, Finnish Cultural Institute in New York

Project website: