Ptarmigan existed as a project space in Vallila from 2009-2011 and a mobile curatorial/creative platform until 2014. We no longer exist as an organised collective, but this website will continue to serve as an archive of the activities produced as/at Ptarmigan during these years.
We call Ptarmigan a 'project space' and we like recurring events that can build on existing experiences. Many of our events fall under one or more of these projects. We're always open to proposals for new projects as well as new events under existing themes.
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'Guesting' is a series of live events focused on encouraging cross-pollination between creative individuals and collectives. Guesting live art events began in 2013, to date we have had three events in which artists and arts organisers from various backgrounds came together to share experiences of artistic production and to forge new connections. Each live event involved merging together conversation with performance elements.
The word 'guesting' can indicate: 1) appearing as a guest; 2) participating as a guest; 3) entertaining as a guest. In 2014 Ptarmigan will continue the Guesting series.
Kontaining13: Traces takes place in a shipping container in Lasipalatsinaukio, Helsinki, from the 3rd-9th of June 2013. Kontaining is produced by Ptarmigan ry in association with The Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
This year each of the four Ptarmigan directors will be curating a section of the program according to their own artistic practice. Each artist comes from a different discipline and will produce their own artistic work and/or invite other artists from a variety of genres and backgrounds into the space. One day in the programme will be dedicated to a collaboration between the group in the space.
Kontaining is process-oriented, supports experimentation and encourages interactive and site-specific artwork and cross-media exchange. Each day there will be traces left for the next day’s activities taking into consideration the specific site of the container in Kamppi. The programme will include cross-pollination between diverse categories such as installation, performance, sound, music, screenings and participatory activities.
What is it?
A project that began in 2012 exploring cross-cultural food experiences. 'Our Cuisine=Our Stories' in 2012 took the form of a cooking club during which nine women from diverse cultural and occupational backgrounds met weekly in East Helsinki during a two month period. A blog and a DIY publication were developed from the material collected during the meetings.
In 2013 OC=OS has taken the form of workshops and 'Taste Exchange' events. In March 2013 we presented our first Taste Exchange event as part of IRVi (a night of performances at Stoa Cultural Centre as part of the week against racism). During September and October 2013 we will present Taste Exchange events at Helsinki's open air market (Kauppartori), as part of Art Häme festival in Riihimäki and at Ptarmigan space in Tallinn.
Amal Laala & Sari Kivinen
“Sari is an artist whose projects explore a relationship between storytelling, performance and identity. Amal is a socially engaged artist who works with various groups and communities to instigate and engage in discussion, experimentation and play. Both are working with the artist association Ptarmigan ry, which is a mobile curatorial project based platform.”
THE CITY GHETTOS OF TODAY SUMMATION 2013-2015
Short description of the project
At the heart of the project lies a desire to redefine and re-examine the concept of ghetto in the context of today’s closed migrant districts. Through artistic creation and the sociologic research we aim to create a space where the story of Europe’s migrant ghettos can be examined and discussed. How do we talk about “ghettos” today and is it possible to redefine the word itself? What role does the existence of the ghetto have in constructing the European identity? What are the reasons for the phenomenon of the ghetto in contemporary Europe? Is it a co-operation with traditional society or simply a part of the anonymous city lifestyle? What characteristics define these migrant districts throughout Europe today and how do they connect to the collective memory of Europe’s past? The project consists of a series of workshops open to the local communities in different European cities – Warsaw, Paris, Bologna, Milan, Helsinki and Berlin. Each workshop, run by artists and cultural operators, will be concluded with an art installation and debate on the themes of the project. The final event of the whole project – an art installation and debate that will collect the materials from all the European workshops will take place in Warsaw in January 2015. The project will involve artists, cultural operators as well as academics and social workers who will explore the theme of districts with large concentrations of migrants (the districts where they live, work, or study) in the European cities. The interdisciplinary feature of the Strefa WolnoSłowa foundation is reflected in the character of the project which combines academic and theoretical approaches to the problem with the artistic and cultural creation. Through artistic and academic research the project aims to explore the theme of migrant ghettos of today, reflecting on the various definitions and visions of ghettos within the contexts of Warsaw, Paris, Bologna, Milan, Helsinki, Berlin and Antwerp.
THE CITY GHETTOS OF TODAY comprised of 9 events
1. The project kick-off event took place in Bologna, Italy, from October 9th to 13th, 2013.
Participation: The event involved 71 citizens, including 5 participants from the city of Warsaw, Poland, 5 participants from the city of Milan, Italy, 2 participants from Berlin, Germany, 4 participants from the city of Paris, France, 4 from the city of Helsinki, Finland, 1 participant from Zurich, Switzerland, 50 participants from Bologna, Italy (between them Italians, migrants and refugees originally from Afganistan, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Iran, China, Iraq, Russia, Pakistan, Camerun, Palestine, Marocco, Congo)
Short description: The participants of the meeting discussed different points of view on the phenomenon of ghetto in their local context and created a detailed timetable of work for the coming months as well as discussed the articles – the results of the research part, their construction and content. The meeting in Bologna consisted of the discussions between the rappresentatives of the partner organizations on the project planning and methodology and of the activities open to the local communities - a debate on the theme of the contemporary ghettos in Europe, key-note lecture of Franco La Cecla, creative music, theater and video workshops and of the interactive installation presenting the first work in progress workshop results.
2. First city in the range of seven cities visited by The City Ghettos of Today project, Paris, France from March 9th to 23rd, 2014
Participation: The event involved 120 citizens, including 7 participants from Warsaw, Poland, 3 participants from Milan, Italy, 3 participants from Berlin, Germany, 6 from Bologna, Italy, 4 from Helsinki, Finland, 1 participant from Cyprus, 96 participants from Paris, France (between them French, migrants and refugees originally from Mali, Algeria, Moldova, Colombia, Chile).
Short description: The aim of the event was to open a debate comparing the situation of the city ghettos inside Paris and in the peripheral areas of the city. The different art methods aimed in describing the phenomena of city ghetto and in showing it deep social, culture and philosophical consequences. Participants saw how to process real human stories and sociological research in art. The final event of the workshop, open to the public, brought the problem of city ghetto to local community, media and authorities. From 9 to 23 March, The City Ghettos of Today’s international artistic team was in residence at Paris’s Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration (Museum of Immigration History) in order to create and present the first phase of the ambulatory performance-installation. This inaugural event explored the phenomenon of ghettoization in two neighbourhoods located in France’s Ile-de-France region: the Goutte d’Or in Paris and the Quartier du Parc in Nanterre. Coordinated by the Paris-based company Check Points, this double exploration showcased the collaborative work of locally based artistic researchers who were brought together prior to the European team’s artistic residency with the help of cie Check Point’s local partners (between them Université Paris 8, the association Atouts cours, Les Equipes de Développement Locale based in both the 18th arrondissement and in Nanterre). During the collective outing of the project meeting in Paris on 22nd of March, participants had the opportunity to view the in-progress installation, attend the performance, participate in a roundtable discussion and enjoy a convivial meal together with the artistic team.
3. Warsaw, Poland form May 6th to 17th, 2014
Participation: The event involved 93 citizens, including 5 participants from Helsinki, Finland, 3 participants from Berlin, Germany, 3 participants from Paris, France, 4 participants from Bologna, Italy, 2 participants from Milan, Italy, 1 participant from Palestine, 75 participants from Warsaw, Poland (between them Poles, migrants and refugees originally from Ukraine, Bielorus, Russia, Colombia, Marocco, Chechenia, Vietnam, China)
Short description: The City Chettos of Today in a Polish environment, used artistic exploration as a means of exploring the multiple meanings that the term “ghetto” evokes in the context of contemporary Warsaw. Over the course of the event, participants and members of the public had the opportunity to take part in the numerous theatre, music, sound design and video workshops that make up the programme. Led by members of the project team in collaboration with the State Ethnographical Museum in Warsaw as well as with the Refugee Centre in the Targowek district, this dimension of the project placed the voices of refugees and migrants at the heart of this process of artistic discovery. By conducting interviews and artistic workshops in groups, ‘Miranda gazes upon the sea’ created a space in which to reflect upon the presence of immigrant minorities in Warsaw: do these immigrant populations form inaccessible enclaves? Or, on the contrary, do they form relationships with Polish nationals easily? This project also considered how Polish populations see foreigners and examined their reactions to the presence of migrant communities in Warsaw. As such, events taking place during the first stage of this residency equally provided a space in which both Ukranian and Vietnamese, immigrants, minorities and refugees populations living in Warsaw were able to add their voices to this debate, namely, through participatory artistic workshops. Additionally, artists from the artistic team and workshop participants of the project met a journalist and activist, Jan Gebert. The meeting enriched the project research by addressing topics concerning the Jewish community living in modern and pre-war Warsaw. Combining theatre, visual arts and music, the workshop’s crowning moment was an interactive installation entitled ‘Miranda gazes upon the sea’, which took place on 17 May at the State Ethnographical Museum as part of The Night of Museums.
4. Bologna, Italy from June 24th to July 6th.
Participation: The event involved 78 citizens, including 5 participants from Warsaw, Poland, 3 participants from Milan, 3 participants from Paris, France, 2 participants from Berlin, Germany, 2 participants from Helsinki, 3 participants from Antwerp, Belgium 60 participants from Bologna (between them Italians, migrants and refugees originally from Afganistan, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Iran, China, Iraq, Russia, Pakistan, Cameroon, Palestine, Marrocco, Congo)
Short description: The aim of the event was to focus on various forms of camps for migrants and political refugees located in Italy, Europe and Africa as contemporary ghettos. Project interviews focused on an Afghan camp in Patras, a refugee camp on the borders of Sierra Leone, a center for identification and expulsion (C.I.E.) in Bologna, and on a prison in Libya. The methodological hypothesis was to listen to those who had lived in such contexts, and through the reflection and analysis of anthropologists, sociologists, political geographers in dialogue with artists, to deconstruct those structures into constituent elements, with particular attention to categories "similar" to those of narratology (eg characters that act, typical dynamics, types of conflicts, structures of life experiences, objects). During the second week, participants and organisers used the key words emerged in such categories as stimulations for art workshops involving nearly 100 participants and embraced practices of writing, video, theater, illustration, and music. The final performance, which involved around fifty participants-actors from fourteen different countries, was titled ‘An Island is Full of Noises’, which is a verse from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’. Viewed through this Shakespearean lens, the "camp" signaled a form of isolation whilst simultaneously emphasizing a richness of possible voices and interpretive keys. The performance took place in the prestigious setting of the Cortile del Pozzo (Courtyard of the Well), the courtyard of the town hall of Bologna.
5. Helsinki, Finland from September 8th to 20th. 2014.
Participation: The event involved 73 citizens, including 5 participants from Warsaw, Poland, 3 participants from Bologna, 1 participant from Milan, 2 participants from Berlin, 2 participants from Paris, France, 1 participant from Antwerp, Belgium, 59 participants from Helsinki (between them Finnish, migrants and refugees originally from Somalia, Iraq, Mexico, Peru, Cameroon, Chechenia, Senegal)
Short description: The Helsinki-situated project part of the international The City Ghettos of Today invited organizations and individual citizens to construct together meaningful experiences and artistic expressions related to the concept of ghettos. In Helsinki, the limits between groups of people are not physical, nor as notably spatial as in some other cities. Approach to the theme in Helsinki focused on knowledge, practices and skills that become isolated, when people move to Finland from other countries. The ghettoization is a process of searching for a group among which it is possible to share the wisdom and values that are not recognized elsewhere in the society. These invisible ‘ghettos’ are thus also sources of unknown skills and hidden knowledge. After Paris, Warsaw and Bologna it was Helsinki´s turn to received the installation that was travelling from one city to another, transforming its contents in each city. From 8th to 20th September, the international artistic team of The City Ghettos of Today led a process of workshops to reconstruct the installation inspired by encounters that offer different views to the local context of migration. During the process, locally created audiovisual contents were replaced the contents coming from the peer cities of the project. More than a ready work of art, the installation was a travelling tool for exploring the theme during the collective period of creation. The installation was constructed in the Cultural Centre Stoa in Itäkeskus and performances related to it took place in shopping centre Forum in the centre of the city. The process started with encounters with individuals belonging to different groups of migrants. Based on these interviews and the pre-work of the local team, audiovisual content was created in the workshops and located in the installation structure formed by different sized tubes. The tube structure also served as a scenography for the performances that had been created related to the installation. Seminar and public debate took place on September 16th 14- 18 at Lavaklubi, the stage club of the National Theatre. It was entitled ‘Global Pasts, Local Presents’ and presented case studies of The City Ghettos of Today project in the different European cities involved in the project: Paris, Warsaw, Bologna, Helsinki, Milan and Berlin. Researchers and artists from these cities described their local approach to addressing the concept of ghettos, the communities and partners with whom they have worked and the preparatory work in view of the project’s installation in their city. Cities that have already realized their installation illustrated with video samples how the preparatory process contributed to the installations and performances.
6. Milan, Italy from October 9th to 19th, 2014.
Participation: The event involved 84 citizens, including 3 participants from Warsaw, Poland, 7 participants from Bologna, Italy, 2 participant from Berlin, Germany, 2 participants from Helsinki, Finland, 3 participants from Paris, 2 participants from Anwerp, Belgium, 65 participants from Milan (between them Italians, migrants and refugees originally from Senegal, Marocco, China, Somalia)
Short description: The Milan stage of the project involved a collaboration with the Teatro degli Incontri (TdI), a group comprising twenty citizen-actors, including women, men, young, migrants. Working with the international artistic team, the TdI group brought their individual contributions related to the theme of contemporary ghettos to fruition in a final installation and performance; the sum of a year's journey. These individual contributions were rooted in on-the-ground investigations into low-income housing suburbs of Milan which took the form of a collection of interviews and audio- video impressions. The result was the production of the performance ‘Chiusi Dentro’ (‘Locked Inside’). ‘Chiusi Dentro’ was performed during the Milan residency in the courtyard of a council building on the outskirts of Milan and was filmed by The City Ghettos of Today international artistic team. The TdI group also collaborated with City Ghettos network to produce original writings, fragments of plays and songs. Continuing the project’s exploration of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, the Milan residency broached the subject of contemporary ghettos by focusing on the figure of Caliban: the charming stranger requiring education and taming. Explorations took place at the Paolo Pini in Milan.
7. Berlin,Germany from November 11th to 13th, 2014.
Participation: The event involved 67 citizens, including 6 participants from Warsaw, Poland, 2 participants from Helsinki, Finland, 2 participants from Paris, France, 4 participants from Bologna, 1 participant from Milan, 1 participant from Anwerp, Belgium, 51 participants from Berlin (between them Germans, migrants and refugees originally from Poland, Iraq, South Corea, Chile, France, Greece, US, Turkey, Netherlands)
Short description: The workshop opened a dialogue between participants on living in city ghetto and isolation of migrants and their status in Berlin. The different art methods describde phenomena of city ghetto and showed its deep social, culture and philosophical consequences. Participants saw how to process real human stories and sociological research in art. The final event of the workshop, open to the public, brought the problem of city ghetto to local community, media and authorities. The focus was placed on the urban and social changes which are currently affecting the city, such as gentrification and the resulting displacement of low-income inhabitants, often including those with a ‘migration background’. Former immigrant and poor districts often associated with the idea of ‘ghetto’, like Kreuzberg or Neukölln, have received unprecedented hype and developed into magnets for tourists and real estate investors during the last five years. Over the course of this, these districts, once the furthest limits of West Berlin and now central districts in the reunified German capital, have been increasingly populated by a new wave of immigrants. These newcomers, primarily from comparatively rich Western countries, active in the creative industries and often using English, not German, as a working language stand in stark contrast both to the pre-war German residents of Kreuzberg and Neukölln as well as the first wave of post-war immigrants, coming primarily from Turkey. The local partners OnElf Theater and Performance Collective and the English Theatre Berlin International Performing Arts Center together with the international artistic team of The City Ghettos of Today invited, through an open call, an heterogeneous group of participants based in Berlin, ‘old’ and ‘new’ Berliners, from Germany and from beyond, to work and reflect on the changing living and social conditions in the city. Starting from the stories and biography of the participants as a representative ‘sample’ of contemporary Berliners and in a provocative relation with one another, a collective, controversial and lively portrait of the city was created.
8. Warsaw, Poland from January 15th to 24th, 2015.
Participation: The event involved 87 citizens, including 3 participants from Helsinki, Finland, 5 participants from Paris, France, 2 participants from Berlin, Germany, 11 participants from Bologna, Italy, 10 participant from Milan, Italy, 1 participant from Antwerp, Belgium, 55 participants from Warsaw Poland (between them Poles, migrants and refugees originally from Ukraine, Bielorus,Russia, Colombia. Marrocco, Chechenya, China, Senegal)
Short description: The January residency of The City Ghettos of Today project in Warsaw provided a synthetic overview of the project’s residencies over the past year in Paris, Warsaw, Helsinki, Milan, Berlin and Bologna. During the event, Warsaw’s State Ethnographic Museum welcomed artists, local researchers, coordinators as well as participants from all cities, all of whom took part in the project at some point during its year-long run. Over the course of this ten-day event, both foreign guests and Warsaw-based members of the public had the opportunity to take part in a number of practical workshops at the State Ethnographical Museum of Warsaw in the fields of music, theatre, sound and video. Participants were equally invited to take part in transforming existing audiovisual and textual material connected with migrants and refugees emanating from previous workshops in cities across Europe. Using artistic activities as a focal point, these workshops addressed the multiform ways in which migration has shaped Europe over the years as well as the different ways in which EU citizens have reacted to the presence of newcomers from Asia, Africa, Middle East and East. In this vein, The City Ghettos of Today used the language of art and of the theatre to explore different facets of immigration in Europe, ranging from personal testimonies to legal and administrative issues. Inspired by testimonies culled from cities across Europe over the course of 2014, Europe Island showcased personal histories, songs and short videos of migrants from Congo, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Vietnam, Palestine. This showcase took the form of an interactive installation that was held at Warsaw’s State Ethnographical Museum on 21 January 2015.
9. Paris, France from February 9th to 13th, 2015.
Participation: The event involved 63 citizens, including 3 participants from Helsinki, Finland, 4 participants from Warsaw, Poland, 4 participants from Bologna, 3 participant from Milan, 2 participants from Berlin, Germany, 4 participant from Anwerp, Belgium, 43 participants from Paris, France (between them French, migrants and refugees originally from Mali, Algeria, Moldova, Colombia, Chile)
Short description: The conclusive and evaluation event of The City Ghettos of Today project in Paris provided a synthetic overview of the project’s residencies over the past year in Paris, Warsaw, Helsinki, Milan, Berlin, Bologna and Antwerp. During the event, Immigration History Museum welcomed artists, local researchers, and coordinators from all cities, all of whom took part in the project at some point during its year-long run. Over the course of this three-day event, both foreign guests and Paris-based members of the public had the opportunity to take part in an open discussion at the Immigration History Museum in Paris about the project artistic and research outcomes. Public was invited to see the audiovisual materials connected with migrants and refugees issues emanating from the creative workshops in cities across Europe. Using artistic activities as a focal point project addressed the multiform ways in which migration has shaped Europe over the years as well as the different ways in which EU citizens have reacted to the presence of newcomers from Asia, Africa, Middle East and East. In this vein, The City Ghettos of Today used the language of art and of the theatre to explore different facets of immigration in Europe, ranging from personal testimonies to legal and administrative issues. Inspired by testimonies culled from cities across Europe over the course of 2014, Island Europe showcased personal histories, songs and short videos of migrants from Congo, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Vietnam, Palestine. This showcase took the form of a presentation and an open discussion that was held at Immigration History Museum on 11 January 2015.
10. EXTRA EVENT. Antwerpen, Belgium from January 27th to February 8th 2015.
Participation: 87 citizens.
Short Description: Partners in Antwerpen: KunstZ with partners MAS – Museum ann de Stroom, Matterhorn, Demos, Atlas, University of Antwerp.The City Ghetto's of Today will look at various European cities to the contemporary interpretation of the concept of 'ghetto'.
The City Ghetto's of Today is an artistic and sociological research.
An international project team creates together with the participants from different communities a place to look for stories, interpretations and issues on migration and diversity.The project visited Bologna, Paris, Warsaw, Helsinki, Milan and Berlin.
Under Sail performance is the Antwerp edition of The City Ghettos of Today. On the eighth floor of the MAS, overlooking the city and harbor, the students of the kunstZacademie show the result of the workshops.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission can not be held responsible for the information contained therein. Project co-funded by the European Commission - Europe for Citizens Programme and with the support of the Evens Foundation
Ptarmigan has been proud to operate a residency programme since our inception. These residencies have ranged from two-month projects (supported by Kulturkontakt Nord) to shorter, grassroots/self-funded projects. Below are some of the artists, curators, and producers who we have hosted over the years.
Jonna Karanka is a Finnish visual artist and musician who finished her BA in Fine Arts at the Tampere University of Applied Science in 2001. At the moment she's doing her MA in Fine Arts at the Aalto University, School of Art and Design. She uses video, photography, collage and sound for sculpting layers of reality.
She has performed her music in such places as Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Anthology Film Archives and Issue Project Room in New York, Stockholm's Culture House and the Flow Festival in Helsinki. Her videos have been screened in various festivals in Finland and abroad (i.a. Kill Your Timid Notion, European Media Art Festival, Tampere Film Festival). Her previous solo exhibition "Black Honey - Pastel Fantasizer" was held at the 2nd Room Gallery in Brussels 2007.
Cathérine Kuebel was born 1978 in Graz (Austria) and is currently working as artist, illustrator & designer, lecturer and general doing-stuff-person based in Finland and Austria.
After finishing one MA degree in Graphic Design and one in Environmental Art some years ago life is taking new directions and everything is possible.
'Reverse Ghosts' (working title) shown in Ptarmigan will be part 6 of the ongoing 'Somnambulia Stories' series.
You're A Winner
Two SuBo wrestlers:
"You're a Winner. We mean you!"
A netted goal, a bedroom door.
Dice so multi-faceted that we can hardly tell who we should stick with the "LOSER" pin.
At half-time The Who take the stage, but their instruments are already broken.
There is a trap door in the medal podium to duck the celebratory fly by. Not to worry: the plane has been caught in a flag. It's coming down like a bird wearing too many clothes.
The Nobel Peace Prize got crushed in the post-match barroom brawl later that eve.
If you keep at this sandpaper we should have this medal podium leveled in a week. The week of May 5th - 10th 2010.
Under achievement lies hobbies: underachievement, lies, hobbies.
Under hobbies lies USURPER.
File under: hobbies, lies, USURPER.
Winners/ Losers/ Music/ Drawings/ Workshops/ Readings/ Games.
USURPER (Ali Robertson and Malcy Duff)
at Ptarmigan, Helsinki
May 5th - May 10th 2010.
If you choose to surrender turn to page 63.
If you choose to accept The Warlock's challenge turn to page 86.
Malcy Duff (b.1978) is a cartoonist from Edinburgh, Scotland. His work includes 'The Blackest Gnome,' 'The Heroic Mosh of Mary's Son,' the 'Rrobots' anthology, and 'The Caddy.' He has exhibited all over Britain, and in Melbourne Australia, and in 2008 he was awarded a Donald Dewar Arts Award for outstanding work in the comic book form. In 2003 he co-founded Usurper with Ali Robertson. They have toured throughout Britain, Europe and America. Duff continues to collaborate with Robertson, and contributes artwork for posters and album sleeves, including a cover and comic book set for their recent LP on Rel Records.
Malcy’s phobias include sight of blood and polystyrene.
He’s a winner.
Ali Robertson (b.1978) is an improvising musician from Edinburgh, Scotland. He has been releasing music and promoting events via his Giant Tank label for a decade. He works alone and in collaboration with others such as Dylan Nyoukis, Adam Bohman, Fritz Welch and most notably in the duo Usurper with Malcy Duff.
Since 2005 he has been involved in Arika’s annual festival of experimental music Instal in Glasgow as both a curator and a performer.
In 1987 he was awarded a school prize for his painting ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Fruit ‘N’ Food’, but was unhappy that his teacher had chosen such an inappropriate title for his work in his absence. He was informed that “it serves you right for skiving”.
He’s a winner.
Model Court is an ongoing curatorial/research project that was designed by the artists Sidsel Meineche Hansen and Lawrence Abu Hamdan and which also involves Lorenzo Pezzani and Oliver Rees. It uses the structure and technologies of the courtroom to interrogate the signifying and controlling role architecture plays in contemporary art and society.
The project began as an exhibition and accompanying publication commissioned by the Centre of Contemporary Art in Glasgow. The point of departure for this project was the work of Architect Hikaru Kitai, who is working on a World Bank sponsored commission to design courtrooms in the “developing world”. Kitai’s project occupies the ambivalent ground between a search for innovative forms of transparency and imposed forms of justice. Through conversations with Kitai the Gallery in Glasgow was redesigned as a model of a courtroom. In this first incarnation of ‘Model Court’ the legal technologies of representation and the protocol of spatial/legal practice were used to display a series of video, sound, written works and talks both by the artists and other practitioners.
Model Court has been invited to produce another body of work and an exhibition at Ptarmigan. The project will be an exhibition that will host a series of works; an artist talk and a publication will be produced. This publication will be an approximately 80 page compendium of the research involving contributions from a wide range of participants.
The project will continue to deal with jurisprudence, evidence and the hidden apparatuses that become the essential constituents of tribunals - the typist, the illustrator and the media technologies that enable the public dissemination of verdicts. The rooms which play host to this project become spaces in contestation, developing a line of debate around the way in which the legal context challenges the way we see objects, models, films and other forms of production. The project thus aims to create a translation of spaces, to open the discourse between the gallery and the court, in which a trade of rhetorical devices and patterns of representation are constructed.
Model Court in Finland will be the product of the biweekly meetings of the group. In these meetings associated themes are discussed in great detail; texts, films and artworks are exchanged, sites and significant people are visited and plans are made for new articulations of the project. The exhibition at Ptarmigan will be both a product of this research, and additional events, meetings and workshops organised throughout the two week residency. The publication from this exhibition will be subsequently produced and have launch nights in London, Helsinki and Copenhagen; these events will involve an artist talk and further discussion about the work.
Scott Andrew Elliott is a Canadian artist and recent graduate of the Environmental Art department of the University of Art and Design Helsinki. His work is focused primarily on environmental installations in the form of large site specific architectural works. Each work demands active participation from visitors. The projects examine the relationship between person and architectural environment.
Elliott has presented his work in Canada, Finland, and France.
Born in 1984 in Ireland. Has completed her BA in Fine Art in National College of Art & Design in Dublin in 2006. She has been actively involved in founding and running artist led spaces in Berlin from 2007-2009. She has recently completed a residency in Reykjavik, Iceland. Hughes has also exhibited in various countries including Ireland, Germany, Russia, the Netherlands and Iceland. In May 2009 she was selected to take part in an major exhibition Made in Berlin in State Gallery of Kaliningrad, and the German-Russian House, Kaliningrad, an exhibition of contemporary Berlin based artists. Other recent exhibitions include 48 hours Neukolln festival in Berlin. Jane Hughes is currently studying on the MA programme in Environmental Art in Taik, Helsinki, Finland.
From a city with 6,217 inhabitants per square kilometer to the third most sparsely populated country in Europe, my initial goal is to explore the connection and possibilities of art and environment in Finland. It is my second year of studies in the MA in Environmental Art program at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. I appreciate the space here which has broadened both my physical and mental boundaries. Environmental Art for me is not merely about nature or landscape. Rather, its locus would be on the correlation between humans and the entities embracing us.
I am interested in examining the relationship of my existence with the surrounding environment. Most of my works are site specific and I like to use any found material. The works are reflections of my observations. It’s also my practice to use material from around the site I’m working on. Sometimes my works are so blended into the site or even hidden; it takes time for the viewers to identify them. The process of locating them is the key in engaging the viewers with my works.
Ptarmigan has hosted a variety of projects, some regular and some irregular. Here are former recurring projects that are currently inactive (but may come back to life).
Oksasenkatu 11 is an artist-run gallery and an artist collective located in the district of Töölö in central Helsinki. The collective consists of nine artists with diverse practices but with a shared interest in working outside of the established and institutionalised art world. Today there is a growing need of gaining a certain sovereignty back to the artists themselves, and Oksasenkatu is our humble attempt for this direction. In this sense Oksasenkatu tries to maintain a critical distance and independency, and to focus instead in collaboration. The object is to create a space for conversation and offer artists an opportunity to react to what’s happening in their surroundings and get their thoughts and works visible more easily in the current conditions.
Since 2011, Ptarmigan has partnered with Oksasenkatu, based on their common sentiments regarding cultural dialogue in Helsinki. Ptarmigan is now a project of Oksasenkatu 11, which is now a project of Ptarmigan. The physical space has served as a location for Ptarmigan-curated events as well as a merging of the two communities.
In theory perfhop is a group who experiments with all kinds of ideas/ actions/ gestures/ sounds/ words etc that might possibly look/ sound/ feel like what is termed as performance art. In practice perfhop has occurred sporadically throughout 2012, at first monthly from January-June and then as a three week intensive residency in July at the performance centre in Helsinki. The group members have fluctuated.
Currently perfhop is quietly sitting in wait to be realised again in the near future. If YOU like the idea of a fluctuating group who meets to experiment with ideas around performance and you like the title of 'perfhop' please take this idea on board in a small or big way and please email helsinki (at) ptarmigan.fi to keep us informed of perfhop's continued lineage.
PikseliÄHKY // PixelACHE is a festival of electronic art and subcultures, organised in Helsinki since year 2002.
Through a series of performances, exhibitions and club events, Pixelache presents playful projects both experimenting with and taking a critical approach to media and technology. In addition, the festival features practical workshops as well as seminars addressing current issues in the development of digital media.
Amongst the festival’s fields of interest are: experimental interaction and electronics; VJ culture and audiovisual performances; grassroot organising and networks; politics and economics of media/technology; media literacy and engaging environmental issues.
The name of the festival was found in an article that was trying to predict emerging new expressions. The word ‘pixelache’ (similar to ‘headache’) was supposed to describe the feeling that results from an overdose of digital media content. This overdose can happen easily if the content is too monotonic – which is the case if standards, formats, tools and design principles converge to a narrow set of options. Pixelache presents projects that try to break out of the box and expand the spectrum of how media and technology is used. Instead of showcasing existing projects, Pixelache focuses on presenting new work as well as early prototypes of experimental projects that challenge the dominant design.
Since year 2006, Pixelache has also been organising educational events around the year in Helsinki. These events offer a meeting point for the local Pixelache scene outside the festival period; they consist of artist presentations, workshops, seminars and other events.
From a local event in Helsinki, Pixelache has developed into an important hub within an international network of electronic arts festivals. Members of the Pixelache Network are Mal au Pixel (Paris), Pixelvärk (Stockholm), Piksel (Bergen), Pikslaverk (Reykjavik), Pixelazo (Colombia), Afropixel (Dakar) and PixelIST (Istanbul).
More information: network.pixelache.ac
A series of performative events throughout November-December 2011 in Helsinki and Tallinn orchestrated by Ptarmigan's current artist-in-residence Johannes Blomqvist.
"Do you want to change your perception?"
Photo: Olga Prokhorova
Svamp is a regularly-scheduled workshop for music improvisation. It does not involve money, careers or obligations -- only interpersonal and sound relationships. Svamp sessions may range from collective improvisation to directed exercises or game-playing. You do NOT have to be a professional or trained musician -- just something with an interest in sound, an open mind, and the ability to listen. If you would like to join Svamp, please contact Ptarmigan via email with a brief description of your musical background/interests. We are also looking for guest 'leaders' of Svamp, so please propose any ideas you have about what you might offer to the workshop.
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL is a school with no curriculum. At the moment, it operates as follows: first, classes are proposed by the public (I want to learn this or I want to teach this); then, people have the opportunity to sign up for the classes (I also want to learn that); finally, when enough people have expressed interest, the school finds a teacher and offers the class to those who signed up.
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL is not accredited, it does not give out degrees, and it has no affiliation with the public school system. It is a framework that supports autodidactic activities, operating under the assumption that everything is in everything.
Ptarmigan is an event-driven project space. Since we began in July 2009, we have organised 269 events in Tallinn and 191 in Helsinki. Below is our entire history of events, and you may also search our site.