“HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE – A Journey to a Media Landscape” by Marikki Hakola

  • ©, Marikki Hakola, HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE - A Journey to a Media Landscape
  • ©, Marikki Hakola, HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE - A Journey to a Media Landscape


    HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE - A Journey to a Media Landscape

Artist(s) and People Involved:


Artist Statement:

    HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE is an arts and media project in three parts: live tvbroadcast show, documentary project and interactive CD-Rom project. HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE studies the language, esthetics and contents of electronic and media environment. HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE will be realizied by 40 professionals on media and 70 finnish art students of Theatre Academy, University of Art and Design Helsinki, Sibelius-Academy, Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki University of Technology and Radio- and TelevisionInstitute of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE). The patron of HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE is the Director General of Finnish Broadcasting Company, mr. Arne Wessberg.

    HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE is a large collaboration on media art and media culture between KROMA Productions Ltd, the Finnish art academies and main national tv-channel TV 1. Project will be completed and produced within a centre of media arts, The Magnusborg Studios where the high quality production facilities will be provided by the companies of the centre. The production company in charge, KROMA Productions Ltd. is spesialiized in media arts and cultural programs.

    Project in three parts
    The first part of the project will be released in Helsinki 22nd – 25th August 1994 during the 5th International Symposium on Electronic Art – ISEA ’94. The live tv- show will be tv-broadcasted from the Cultural House STOA in 24th August 1994 at 7 – 8.30 pm. It is an interactive tvexperiment containing six different works. Blue Box is a electronic staging where the performers can be set into the environments by trick images made on video and computer techniques. The tv-broadcast presents a telematic concert and an interactive dance performance during which the audience can vote and changes into the choreography via tele voting.

    The second part completes the 52 minutes tv-documentary “Mediascape”. It will present the work process, realisation and the back grounds of the project. The art students portrays their concept of the world and ideas about media culture. Documentary collects also the high lights of the live tv- broadcast. The material will be collected during the work process in the summer 1994.

    The third part completes an interactive CD-Rom documentary. The contents will be a collection of the mediaworks, interactive applications of the parts of the live tv-broadcast show and information about the works and authors.

    From idea to realisation
    The production team of HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE consists of several producers of audiovisual culture and media arts. Besides of the artistic activity they are also known of their long experience as teachers in art academies and institutions. In fact, the basic idea of completing HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE was brought up in discussions about art education. The discussions launched a wish to create collaboration in the field of media art in interaction with the arts and between the academies. Because of its nature, media art education calls for an act which crosses the boundaries of conventional forms of arts and education.

    Art students joined HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE with enthusiasm. The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE TV 1 joined right after and showed an interest towards this experimental project. The final scale of the realisation was created when Telecom Finland Ltd made the descission to provide the telecommunication network system. A similar media project has never been carried out before in the Nordic countries. HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE will get an international forum within the ISEA ’94 conference.

    Selection of the works and towards the final completion
    The idea to complete the HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE works was based on various ideas and propositions made by the students. The selection criteria were based on the variety of applications of contents and esthetics. The concept of media culture presented by the works of art students is not homogeneous nor it doesn’t represent the today’s media flood. On the contrary – the propositions represented the variety – and even an opposite picture of the world and ideas about the language and communication. The young artist generation owns a critical ability to read the audiovisual language and courage enough to create a new media expression.

    Carrying out HELSINKI MEDIASCAPE as a three part project is a challenge for students and the production team. The working groups have had interesting discussions about the future, esthetics and forms of art and media culture. The audiovisual language and dramaturgy will inevitably undergo a great change because of alteration from the unidirectional mass communication, linear story into the intercative communication. I am glad to state that the students have accepted the challenge without prejudice and with courage. All the six works have their own theme which as an entity presents fairly well the general content of the propositions.

    The works
    INTERFACE is a ‘media theatre’, analyzing today’s information environment in the spirit of Jean Baudrillard. The video staging is scratch – grated audiovisuality. Fragments of images are picked from ordinary tv programmes (news, sports, documentaries, The Bold and the Beautiful-simulation). The work studies the act of watching tv and the onthology of viewer and the object. It makes a statement about tv’s internal logic and criticizes the unidimensional world picture of the mass culture. Where goes the board between the fact and the fiction?

    PARADOX goes into the history of image, observation and interpretation of the visible. It compares the images of the classic art history with the painting act of children. The authors build tension between the scientific analysis and subjective observation. In the words of Dziga Vertov: “I am an eye. A mechanical eye. I, the machine will show you the world as I can see it…My way leads to creation of the fresh observation of the world. So this is how I explain you the unknown world in a new way.”

    EMMENTHAL SOCAPEX is a telematic concert performed by the performance group with the same name. It uses sources of synthetic sounds but also selfmade instrumets. The work creates three different and interactive music events. Performance debates the sound reality of the natural environment, mechanic and electronic environment. The group calls for the audience to become more sensitive to listen and observe in a versatile way. Emmenthal Socapex don’t fear to use the newest technology nor the primitive instruments or sound sources which are not included as music instruments.

    THE INSULT THAT MADE A MAN OUT OF MAC studies the dimmering boundaries between man and technology. The performance proceeds in a rythm of techno beat and creates a viewer a vision of cyber space which questions the sense of balance and the ability of outlining the space. The authors debates the development of man and technology. The development is inevitable and far beyond from the individual to control the process. The role of the machines as a part of the modern human existence is quite unconscious. So it is also quite impossible to abandon the machines.

    “…THROUGH AN EMPTY SPACE” , the series of songs composed by Johan Tallgren is based on the poems of Göran Sonnevi. Music is performed by the soprano vocalist, the vibraphone and oboe. The metaphors of the lyric poetry were as the wells of the inspiration for the themes of image: rooms, spaces, urban landscapes… The elements forms a serial entity presenting the landscape of the mind. The work studies the concept of the time and space and stresses the preseptible observation. Realisation is abstrac and leaves space into the sensual lyrics and the association of the viewer / explorer.

    MEDEIA is an interactive dance work. TV audience tele votes three times for the continuition of the story and representation. The choice will be made in one go between two different scences.So there will be many recreations of the choreography. The performance is based on the classic myth of Medeia – the barbar queen who killed her children because of her husband remarried a younger wife. The issue is approached in every scene from a different view and with different representation. The structure debates the affect of the interactive narration into the dramaturgy.

    There are three additional student groups in the project. These groups concentrate on the dramaturgy of the entity, documentary work and the design and lay out of the publications. ESCAPE produces the vignettes and the signs of the dramatised entity which will work as audiovisual guides. ONE MAN CAMERA UNITS makes a documentation of MEDIASCAPE realisations and gathers the thoughts behind the project. FULL POWER LIFE designs the lay out of the publications. This very moment, seventy art students and the production team are preparing towards the highlight of the project, live tv- broadcast from STOA. The work process has been outstanding and intensive experience for the group. We deeply thank all individuals, institutions, communities and companies for their support. It is time to welcome the audience to the journey to the media landscape.

Other Information:

    Mediascape is realised by 70 art students and performers, 40 media artists and producers, in collaboration with Magnusborg Media Art Studios, Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius-Academy, Radio and Television Institute, University of Art and Design, Theatre Academy and Helsinki University of Technology.


All Works by the Artist(s) in This Archive: