Laura Beloff + working group, A Stream among Streams. Photo: HAM/Kirsi Halkola


A new ensemble of public artworks is set to occupy Helsinki's Kalasatama district, as a curatorial project exploring the intersection between humanity and technology. Named "A Stream among Streams," the project is designed to examine the use of technological and virtual applications in urban planning, with four artists each contributing pieces that will integrate aspects of virtuality, machine learning, interactivity, and sensory and sensor-based perception.

The four artists contributing to the project are Laura Beloff, Flis Holland, Josefina Nelimarkka, and Jenna Sutela. Each will approach the curatorial concept within the framework of their individual artistic practice. The curatorial project is being undertaken by Aleksandra Kiskonen and Kristiina Ljokkoi, Public Art Curators at HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

The project ties in with the Smart Kalasatama Urban Living Lab, a pilot launched by the City of Helsinki in 2013, and coordinated by innovation company Forum Virium. The Smart Kalasatama project was created to test novel forms of smart urban development, pioneering a variety of innovative and experimental solutions to promote livability and climate targets. The curatorial project also involved collaboration with Forum Virium's B. Green project, which develops future urban solutions in cooperation with businesses, the scientific community, and city residents.

As part of this collaboration, the artists were given access to data collected from the Kalasatama district, including statistics on residential energy consumption, pedestrian and cyclist traffic flows, pipeline-based waste collection flows, and 3D models used in urban planning and weather analytics.

The Kalasatama Environmental Art Project, in collaboration with the City Executive Office, Urban Environment Division, and Culture and Leisure Division of Helsinki and HAM Helsinki Art Museum, will implement permanent and temporary art and events. The commissioned pieces will eventually be accessioned to the City of Helsinki's art collection, managed by HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

The public artworks are set to be scattered throughout the urban space in the coming decade, examining layered experientiality and points of intersection between humanity and technology in our digitalized society. The project is a fascinating exploration of art and research, and its implementation is sure to be an interesting addition to Helsinki's cultural and technological landscape.