Alternative AI's


Thursday May 31, 2018, 7pm

PUBLICS, Sturenkatu 37-41b, Helsinki

Organized in collaboration with the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and PUBLICS


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 Oodi in Helsinki 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. 

On May 31, 2018, at 7pm, MOBIUS Fellowship Program of the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York will partner with PUBLICS, the Helsinki curatorial agency and event space, to put the artists and curators in conversation about their collaboration. Working with PUBLICS’ own on-site library, we will consider how knowledge institutions and infrastructures will have to adapt to accommodate new computational forms of intelligence while still upholding their obligations to their various human publics. The event will examine the many “AIs” of the library and contemporary culture: artificial intelligence, architectural intelligence, animal intelligence and artistic intelligence. 

Jenna Sutela:  Extremophile , 2017 (video still)

Jenna Sutela: Extremophile, 2017 (video still)

About the curators: 

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.

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). 


About the artists: 

Samir Bhowmik (b. 1975) is an artist, architect and researcher. He is currently engaged in artistic projects in Helsinki and Berlin dealing with new media, energy and cultural memory. His post-doctoral research at the Humboldt University-Berlin examines infrastructural and energetic entanglements of memory institutions. Samir graduated as a Doctor of Arts in New Media from the Media Lab of Aalto University, Finland, and holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Maryland, United States. His artistic, teaching and research practice focuses on media, cultural infrastructures, architecture and digital memory. He is supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation since 2017.

Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen is an artist whose current research focuses on the entanglements of human and non-human coexistence. He constructs situations and installations that are exploring the porous interconnectedness of language, body, and matter within morphing ecosystems. Laitinen´s works have been recently shown in the 21st Biennale of Sydney, 7th Bucharest Biennale, SADE LA (Los Angeles), Amado Art Space (Seoul), Moving Image New York, Art Sonje Center (Seoul), Helsinki Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, MOCA Shanghai & Cinemateca do MAM Rio de Janeiro.

Jenna Sutela works with words, sounds, and other living materials. Her installations and performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, often in relation to technology. Based between Berlin and Helsinki, Sutela’s artwork has been presented at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Serpentine Marathon in London, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, and The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Last year, she edited Orgs: From Slime Mold to Silicon Valley and Beyond (Garret Publications 2017), an experimental survey of decentralized organisms and organizations, expanding on her collaboration with Physarum polycephalum, the single-celled yet “many-headed” slime mold.


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.