The Library's Other Intelligences

Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen,  Dossier of Osmosis , 21st Biennale of Sydney, 2018.

Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen, Dossier of Osmosis, 21st Biennale of Sydney, 2018.

The Helsinki Central Library Oodi and the MOBIUS Fellowship Program of the Finnish Cultural Institute New York proudly announce the launch of The Library’s Other Intelligences, project of commissioned artworks and a series of events, anticipating and celebrating the opening of the new Helsinki Central Library in late 2018.

Jenna Sutela, Physarum polycephalum, or the “many-headed” slime mold ingested as a form of artificial intelligence in Jenna Sutela’s performance Many-Headed Reading, 2016 (photo: Mikko Gaestel)

MOBIUS fellows Jussi Parikka (University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art, UK) and Shannon Mattern (The New School, US) have commissioned Finnish artists and designers Samir Bhowmik, Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen, and Jenna Sutela to create works that examine the new intelligences our evolving knowledge institutions accommodate. Installed in the new Central Library in January 2019, these projects will reveal the alternative, sometimes alien logics of neural nets, give voice to machinic and otherworldly languages, and make visible the material and informational infrastructures that allow intelligence to circulate. The artists are known for their work that engages with AI, biological intelligence, digital culture, and infrastructures and energies of modern societies, and they represent some of the most interesting forms of current technological art practices.


Visitors to the library will be invited to engage with the works -- and with the new building -- by attending live performances, embarking on expeditions, and reimagining how we will read, listen, and learn in a new techno-cultural future.


Shannon Mattern is a Professor of Media Studies at The New School. She’s author of The New Downtown Library; Deep Mapping the Media City; and Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: 5000 Years of Urban Media, and she writes a regular column on urban data and media infrastructures for Places Journal.

Samir Bhowmik , Lines and Coils , 2018. Pen and pastel on tracing paper. 30 x 20 cm.

Samir Bhowmik, Lines and Coils, 2018. Pen and pastel on tracing paper. 30 x 20 cm.

Jussi Parikka is Professor in Technological Culture & Aesthetics at University of Southampton’s Winchester School of Art. He has authored several books on media archaeology and theory, including the media ecology trilogy Digital Contagions (2007, 2nd. new ed. 2016), Insect Media (2010) and A Geology of Media (2012) as well as What is Media Archaeology? (2012). With Joasia Krysa he is the co-editor of Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History: Erkki Kurenniemi in 2048 (2015).

Oodi is a venue for events, a house of reading and a diverse urban experience. Oodi will provide its users with knowledge, new skills and stories, and will be an easy place to access for learning, story immersion, work and relaxation. A modern library is a living and functional meeting place right in the heart of the City directly opposite the Parliament House.

MOBIUS Fellowship Program, launched by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and the Finnish Institute in London in 2014, aims on bringing together visual arts professionals and organizations through international work periods and thematic projects on both sides of the Atlantic. The program is supported by the Kone Foundation.