We are happy for being granted the AVEK Award 2012. AVEK Award is the main prize of media art in Finland, and it is given once a year for an artist / artist group. AVEK is The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture in Finland. If you are interested, have a look to the jury´s statement below.

AVEK media art award 2012 / Jury’s statement

The AVEK award 2012 will be granted to the artist couple Tellervo Kalleinen (born in 1975 in Lohja) and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen (born in 1971 in Dresden).

Their productions combine media and social art with performance art, into pieces that move between everyday life, utopia and fantasy. One of the most central themes of their production work is the treatment and unwinding of the tension between an individual and their community. The production method of the couple is one of participation: Their art pieces are created in cooperation with various diverse communities and collectives. Quite often, the production process channels the negative experiences of the participants into positive energy through the use of improvisation and play.

The most renowned art piece by the Kalleinen couple is the Complaints Choir project, which, after first touring Birmingham (2005), Helsinki and Saint Petersburg, has been organised in almost one hundred cities, on every continent. In a Complaint Choir, a group of citizens compile together injustices, which are then composed into a choir piece that will be performed forcefully in the middle of the city. The popularity of Complaints Choir came as a surprise to its creators: The choir piece performed in Birmingham, “I want my money back, which was shared on YouTube, and the demand for organising such choir pieces grew rapidly. As befits community art, the creators published the concept to be freely used by all those interested, and now, DIY complaints choirs are being organised all over the world.

The “Personal is political” motto seems to be a good description for the projects by the Kalleinen couple, but, at the same time, they are moving towards the opposite direction by looking for personal interpretations for traditionally political forms. For example, in the Puhekaraoke (Speech karaoke) project (2011) by The Speech Karaoke Action Group, political speeches are visualised on a video and recited by the participants. This extreme individualism of political actions is also represented by micronations. The Summit of Micronations at the Amorph! festival in 2003 was, in fact, where the cooperation between Kalleinen and Kochta first started, as they curated the summit together. The YKON artist collective, specialised in utopic thinking, was also launched in connection with the summit. Kalleinen and Kochta are founding members of the collective. In addition to the micronation theme, YKON’s work includes participating future games, in which the artists imagine alternative realities.

In their movie production, Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kallinen combine the methods of fiction and documentation with a participating method of production. I love my job (2012) is a satire on working life, filled with dark humour. The participants of the project were requested to direct short films about their actual work experience nightmares – and to write an imaginary ending for the story. People in White (2011), produced in Netherlands, compiles the experiences of patients in a psychiatric hospital into a document. The patients themselves act both as the patients and their caretakers, which paints a shocking image of the micro level power relations in a welfare society.

These productions depict the extraordinary skill of their creators to build trust with their participants and create a frame in which a participator can let go, unburden and share their most painful personal experiences. The entire production by this couple could be called a “social media”, in the true sense of the word – they are about creating empowering, collective experiences, as well as the related ethical responsibility.

The pair is currently in the middle of a very active phase and their art pieces are touring the world. In Finland, Puhekaraoke (Speech Karaoke) and News Transformation Agency by the YKON collective were recently seen during the Helsinki Festival. In October 2012, the production Archipelago Science Fiction will have its premiere. It has been written in cooperation with people from Turku Archipelago and its theme is the future of the archipelago 100 years from now.

Minna Tarkka
Chairman of the jury


Find below a list of venues where you can see our works during August and September 2012, and scroll down for the descriptions of the new works What I Wish I Had Learned in School and Speech Karaoke. Welcome to see and participate!

by The Speech Karaoke Action Group
at Helsinki Festival & Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art
– see more info and the exact schedule below

by Hirvanen, Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen
at Palikkaooppera -exhibition, Kerava Art Museum, Finland
– see more info and the exact schedule below

20-26 August at Media Facades -festival, Helsinki

at I Wish This Was A Song. Music in Contemporary Art -exhibition
Nasjonalmuseet Oslo, 14 September 2012 – 20 January 2013;action=Event.publicOpen;ID=859;template=exhibitionView_no

28-29 Septemberat You-Fest, Madrid


a collaborative work by Maija Hirvanen, Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen at the Kerava Art Museum in the opening exhibition Palikkaoopperra, curated by Kristian Smeds.

Hirvanen, Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen invited Finns to contribute 45 minute lessons each about – What I wish I had learned in school. Using print and electronic media, they sent out an invitation to participate. The invitation asked– is there some knowledge, skill or understanding about something in particular that would have helped you considerably in life, if you had learned it earlier? Of those who replied, 10 people will prepare a lesson about their subject matter at the new art museum of Kerava in the pedagogical room. The classes range from practical skills to very big personal revelations which brought on by difficult experiences. It remains to be seen how 45 minutes can be enough time for each of these participant to share their subject! The lessons have been prepared in a dialogue between the participants and the artist threesome. There is a 15 minute recess between lessons. Visitors are welcome to come to all of the lessons, or to just one of the lessons.

Sunday 26.8.2012
If only I had learned…
14.00 Leena Marno: “… how to do small fix it jobs in the home including how to empty a trap? And repair your bycicle!
15.00 Päivi Venäläinen “… get pleasure from learning.”
16.00 Anna-Stina Nykänen …” how to politely respond to unbelievable insults, bad treatment and being subjected to domination .”
17.00 Taina Saarinen “…shaking hands when you meet.”

Friday 31.8.2012

“If only I had learned …”
12.00 Hanna Seitapuro “… how to understand the world from the perspective of another species, such as lice” (lesson for schoolgroup)
17.00 Hanna Seitapuro “…how to understand the world from the perspective of another species, such as lice.”
18.00 Hanna-Leena Helavuori “… a healthier body image and less ball games.”
19 Merja Puustinen “… that when a rapist puts his weapn in your face, check if it is an air or gas pistol first.”

Saturday 8.9.2012

“If only I had learned…”
14 Mari Wiiskanta “…how to be myself and get meaner.”
15 Sakari Oka “…that you end up with a good piece of writing when you try to get away with writing something easily.”
16 Inkeri Aalto-Setälä “…how to publicly mourn, and appreciate hard life experiences that can help you find a new life.”
17 Johanna Lystilä “…to accept all of my feelings peacefully.”



Speech Karaoke is just like traditional kakaroke, except that participants chose a speech from the karaoke folder instead of a song. The selection of speeches ranges from world famous historical speeches to local and private speeches. Speech Karaoke will take place for the first time in Helsinki, at the Helsinki Festival Week club and at Kiasma.

The founders of Speech Kakaroke- the Speech Kakaroke Action Group is organizing an open and free speech workshop on Saturday 18.8 and Sunday 19.8 at Kiasma. Participants can join at any time during the workshop.You can bring a speech that you are especially excited or fond of which you would like to contribute to the selection of kakraoke speeches. Or you can come without a speech in mind.The Speech Karaoke Action Group will help you to find and chose a speech if you need to. Speeches in all languages are welcomed.Actress Heidi Linden will act as a speech coach. She will give individual support and assistance for the preperation of presentation of speeches. Participants to the workshops may also plan and work on the Speech Karaoke videos. The videos will remain a permanent part of the Speech karaoke\s selection.

The Speech Karaoke Event:
You can give your speeches and listen to others in a relaxed atmosphere at the Festival Week club on Saturday, August 25 and at Kiasma on Friday, August 31. The host of the evening is Julius Valve, a well known figure of the karaoke bar scene in Helsinki. Each speech will be given from a podium in the speaker\s own individual style of the speaker.

Speech workshop Sat. 18.8, 1pm-4pm in the Kiasma Seminar Room
Speech workshop Su. 19.8, 1pm-4pm in the Kiasma Seminar Room
Speech karaoke evening Sat. 25.8, 9pm-01.30 am at the Helsinki Festival Week Club
Speech karaoke evening Fri. 31.8, 5pm-7pm at Kiasma

The speech karaoke prototype was created for the exhibition “I am a socialist-anarchist-individual-collectivist-individualist-communist-cooperative-aristocrat-democrat” produced by the Academy of Fine Arts and shown at Hameenlinna and Jyvaskyla art museums. The first Speech Karaoke Bar Evening was held at Kanuti Gildi Hall in Tallin in May 2012. This project was developed by the Finland based Finnish-German artist group Speech Karaoke Action Group. The members of the group include-
Frank Maria Brümmel, Krister Gråhn, Tellervo Kalleinen, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen, Carl Sebastian Lindberg, Pilvari Pirtola, Johanna Raekallio, Satu Rautiainen, Pasi Rauhala, Jyrki Riekki, Hanna Saarikoski ja Julius Valve.

The Speech Karaoke Workshops and events are organized collaboratively By Kiasma with the Helsinki Festival Week.


Kutsu opettamaan!

Kutsumme sinut pitämään 45 minuutin oppitunnin aiheesta “Olisinpa oppinut tämän koulussa”. Olisiko jonkun tietyn tiedon  saaminen, taidon oppiminen tai asian ymmärtäminen auttanut elämässäsi huomattavasti? Jos vastauksesi on kyllä ja olet valmis jakamaan sen muille oppitunnin muodossa, ota yhteyttä.

Projekti koostuu useista eri henkilöiden pitämistä oppitunneista. Haluaisitko sinä olla yksi heistä? Oppituntien valmistelu tapahtuu yhteistyössä projektin suunnitelleiden taiteilijoiden Maija Hirvanen, Tellervo Kalleinen ja Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen kanssa. Heidän kokemuksensa ihmisten kanssa työskentelystä ja esityksien teosta auttavat osallistujia työstämään aiheestaan ikimuistoisen ja ainutlaatuisen jakamisen hetken.

Tuntien aiheet voivat vaihdella henkilökohtaisesta oivalluksesta käytännölliseen taitoon – ja kaikkeen tältä väliltä. Olisiko ensiaputaitojen osaaminen muuttanut elämäsi kulkua? Täytyikö sinun käyttää googlea löytääksesi tunteillesi nimet? Olisitko halunnut oivaltaa jo koulussa kuinka hauskaa oppiminen voi olla? Mikä selvisi kantapään kautta vasta vuosia koulun jälkeen? Miten itse lähestyisit lausetta Olisinpa oppinut tämän koulussa?

Tässä projektissa kuka tahansa voi olla opettaja – ja kaikki ovat oppilaita!

Oppitunnit tapahtuvat Keravan uuden taidemuseon avajaisnäyttelyssä 24.8.-9.9.2012. Tilana toimii museon pedagoginen huone. Oppituntien pitäjille maksetaan symbolinen palkkio.
Jos kiinnostut projektista, kirjoita vapaamuotoisesti aiheestasi 15.7.2012 mennessä. Yhdeksän ehdotusta valitaan mukaan oppitunniksi työstettäviksi.

Lisätietoa ja ilmottautumiset
Maija Hirvanen, Tellervo Kalleinen ja Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen
puh. 0503557176 / 0452756463


SPACE and Electra present Midsummer with YKON
Saturday 23rd June
The White Building
White Posts Lane, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN

SPACE and Electra invite you to spend Midsummer with YKON, a special event featuring the YKON Game, an outdoor cinema, an exhibition, refreshing spirits and a hot surprise.

MIDSUMMER with YKON is the first event of the Practical Utopias series of artistic programmes on current utopian thought and practice around the world. The aim is to map and discuss utopian practices, locate potential that will inspire collaboration across disciplines, and help to establish a system to identify, support and kick-start practical utopias within our day-to-day life. The YKON game is used as a tool for anyone wanting to practice utopian envisioning within a playful setting.

4-7 pm YKON Mapping Game
The YKON Game is open to everyone, but places are limited, to book a place please email (the exhibition and open air cinema are open to all, no booking needed).

This site-specific game, designed by artist collective YKON, charts connections between diverse utopian pursuits and practices, with an emphasis on the ‘practical utopia’. Using the game as a format, the workshop explores the productive tension, but also blurred boundaries, between the utopistic and practical.

The YKON Game is inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s ‘World Game’, initially developed in the early 1960s as a subversion of military ‘War Games’ and as a proposal for an alternate system of pedagogy. Instead of solving common problems head on, the YKON Game seeks to uncover ideas to which we have not yet paid attention; fantastical, and at times also terrifying, thoughts and approaches to explore how things could be otherwise.

7-12 pm A pop up exhibition featuring YKON, Kalleinen & Kochta-Kalleinen and Ulu Braun, all welcome
The one-day show will feature Tellervo Kalleinen’s and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen’s latest work, Archipelago Science Fiction (2012), a film tracing how the fears and fantasies of islanders off Finland’s West coast turn into four future scenarios acted out by the inhabitants themselves. The work will be shown alongside Ulu Braun’s video Atlantic Garden, a collage-panorama, featuring people from different ideological backgrounds grouped around an idyllic garden. Further works on display include the tools and devices developed by YKON for the games.

9.30 pm Open Air Cinema, all welcome
Taking place outside the White Building, on the banks of the canal, a special screening of Lizzie Borden’s documentary-style feminist science fiction Born In Flames (1983, 90 mins). The film, set in an alternative United States Socialist Democracy, will be screened outdoors on 16 mm, weather allowing. The work will be preceded by Maja Borg’s Ottica Zero(2007, 13 mins) a film following Nadya Cazan’s rejection of a monetary based system and her search for an alternative way of life. It is a journey that takes her from Rome to Venus, where social innovator and futurist, Jacques Fresco, proposes a solution.

How to get there The White Building is two minutes walk from Hackney Wick Overground station (last train Westbound: 11.38pm). Busses 236, 30, 26 and 388

About YKON
YKON is a Helsinki-based not-for-profit organization. Its membership consists of artists, designers, game developers and art historians who share a deep interest in current utopian thought and practice. Utopia is seen as a myriad of bottom-up processes and initiatives with a strong Do-It-Yourself (DIY) attitude. Since 2005 YKON has worked on themes such as micronations, social architecture, alternative economies, scenario developments, participatory processes, mapping and game design.

Midsummer with YKON takes place under the umbrella of the PERMACULTURES residency programme at SPACE, which YKON is currently taking part in. Permacultures is kindly supported by Bloomberg, Arts Council England and The Finnish Institute in London.

Practical Utopias is a collaboration between YKON (Finland), Electra (UK) and Drugo More (Croatia).


After facilitating YKON game for wonderful participants at Communikey -festival of electronic arts in Boulder and at Shedhalle in Zürich, YKON has landed to London.

YKON is the first international artist group of SPACE PREMACULTURES residency program.  We use this wonderful opportunity by working on YKON game as well as our project Practical Utopias – the long term collaboration of YKON, Electra and Drugo More.

We are heading towards an event 23rd-24th June at The White Building, Hackney Wick, London. That will be the first one of the Practical Utopias -series. Find more info here




Friday, February 3, 9.30 pm
Restaurant Ziegel oh Lac (Rote Fabrik), Seestrasse 407, 8038 ZüricH, Free Entrance

Join with your performance of any kind, any genre, any attitude.
Duration until 5 min. The off art jury from Finland reveals what is OFF and
what is ON in Zürich in 2012. Step on our friendly stage or just come and
support the performers as audience member.

Questions & Registrations: &



Another form of participation is articulated with the group JOKAklubi (in English “everybody’s club”, with the Finnish artists Mirka Raito, Niina Lehtonen-Braun and Tellervo Kalleinen). They are combining music, arts, and performance. Their surrealistic projects are breaking out from their interest to create surprising visuals into even more surprising situations. Their sharp humour is playing a big part in the shows – touching absurd sides of human life. The interactive JOKAklubi shows build a sense of community here and now. Local people (not only artists) who like to be on stage and play, are addressed and influence the course the evening takes. For Zurich, “The Off Art Talent Show“ will be staged. It invites people to present a short performance, which will then be discussed by a jury using absurd methods like the oracle, and so on.



Formen der Beteiligung / Forms of Participation
4th of February – 15th of April 2012

Verein Shedhalle, Rote Fabrik, Seestrasse 395, Postfach 771, CH-8038 Zürich

In this show, the artist couple Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen is invited to present its projects and collaborations.  In the centre of the show are four video installations, “I love my job“,  “People in White“, “Dreamland“ and “Archipelago Science Fiction“, accompanied by an installation and  a participative game of YKON, and a performance of JOKAklubi. The aim of the exhibition is to present the different and unique aesthetic forms of participation and humour, which we deem crucial and exemplary in the discourse of public sphere and politically engaged art.

YKON GAME: Sunday, April 15, 3-6 pm

YKON, a group of seven artists, develops games and workshops, which last several hours and include up to 50 people . In Zurich, a game with the following preliminaries will be set up: “It is a world simulation game for up to 30 players. It’s based on a simple thought experiment: imagine that the world is brought to a complete halt. Everything stops. No more business as usual. With the world frozen, you and your fellow players can tinker with it as you please. What will you change? How do you convince others to go along with your changes? And what about the consequences? Through the 1960’s, Buckminster Fuller was developing the ‘World Game’. It was to be his masterplan for the planet Earth: a tool that would formulate a comprehensive, design science approach to all the problems of the world. Inspired by the ideas of Fuller, we have developed the YKON Game, a more poetic perspective on the future of our world.

Instead solving the problems that we know, The YKON Game seeks to uncover the ideas that we’re still missing — sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrifying thoughts that could forever alter the world, and the way we live in it. For its players, the game poses an existential challenge: they will have to think about what kind of world they truly want. So come and change the world. You don’t need to be an expert: everyone is welcome.“



We are happy to announce that People in White will be screened at Rome Film Festival 1st November 10.30pm. After that there will be Q&A.

People in White is a project that explores the complicated relationship between doctor and patient in mental health care.

Margreet receives electroshock treatment (ECT) for severe depression. As a side effect of the treatment she suffers from memory loss. She has been in therapy with the same psychoanalyst for 20 years. He knows more about Margreet than she remembers about herself. “He is my memory,” she says, and worries about him dying before her. Margreet is one of ten Dutch people who tell stories about their encounters with mental health-care professionals.

In People in White the dynamic between caregiver and care receiver is seen
specifically from the subjective viewpoint of people with mental illnesses. A central artistic device is re-enactment of key moments in the therapeutic process in which former patients play themselves as well as their doctors. Memories vary from beautiful, healing moments to the horrors of isolation and abuse.


People willing to share their stories were found through adverts in Dutch newspapers. The directors conducted extensive interviews with the 14 participants. All the dialogues and stories in the film are direct quotations from those interviews. Six of the participants were willing to appear in the film themselves, other participants choose to be represented by actors. The film was shot in an abandoned wing of a mental hospital.

People in White was commissioned by the 3rd International Madness and Arts Festival in Haarlem, Netherlands. The festival is one of the leading institutions using a multi-disciplinary approach to explore mental-health issues. The work was supported by SKOR, Netherlands and AVEK, Finland


YKON participates in 8th Mercosul Biennale, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Within the framework of the 8th Mercosul Biennale dedicated to the topic of “Geopoetics”, YKON presents two pieces, the “YKON game” and a new work “The Flag Piece” commissioned by the Biennale.

For “The Flag Piece” all the 204 Flags of UN-recognized countries where reengineered in a kind of molecular cut and paste into their single color elements and symbols (Stars, Moons, Eagles..). In collaboration with a local seamstress cooperative the elements were re-united into a giant single transnational flag (915 cm x 480 cm). The flag is accompanied by a selection of international flag laws and stories about flag desecration.

YKON game was developed 2009 – inspired by Buckminster Fuller´s World Game. YKON GAME – also nominated for the DMY Berlin Design Festival prize 2011– is a beautifully bizarre journey and collective attempt to alter the World. Instead of solving the common problems that we are facing, The YKON GAME seeks to uncover the ideas that we haven’t payed attention to yet – ideas that are sometimes wonderful and sometimes terrifying – other thoughts that could forever alter the world and the way we live in it. YKON developed for the Mercosul Biennale a new version of the YKON-game. The game will be played daily throughout the biennale in a special constructed geodesic dome.

About the Mercosul Bienal

Entitled Essays on Geopoetics, the 8th edition is concerned with territoriality and its critical redefinition from an art standpoint. It will bring together 105 artists from 31 countries that develop relevant works regarding the notions of country, nation, identity.

The exhibition has 7 parts, the main exhibition is held under the title Geopoetics, presenting works and artists that question the notion of nationality.
Another part of the biennial, entitled Travel Notebooks – features artistic expeditions to nine regions of Rio Grande do Sul between April and August.

The 8ª Mercosul Biennial will be open from September 10th to November 15th 2011.