23. June 2020
Conversation Park – A Public Space Game (Keskustelupuisto) was a 3 year participatory process from 2018 to 2020, during which a new park was created to Rauma, Finland.
Different visions, age groups and personalities were in conversation while the park was forming. The dialogue was as well extended into the neighbourhood, the history of the area and its flora and fauna.
In April 2019, the project’s game board, a 1,900 square metre plot of undeveloped land in the centre of Rauma, was divided into 30 sections, which were distributed among the players by lot. Each player became the sovereign ruler of their own section. The name of the park is a wordplay with the Finnish words “central park” (Keskuspuisto) and “conversation” (Keskustelu).
The process started from individual visions of the players and evolved slowly into more communal direction. In five meetings held in the space of two years, each player received 200 euros to be used before the next meeting. During the game, the players could choose to tend only their own section or to pool resources – the money, the land, the ideas. In the sixth and last meeting, the players were collectively given 14,000 euros for the finalisation of the park. Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen served as game facilitators without actually steering the direction of the game.
Conversation Park is a contemporary art project by Lönnström Art Museum, initiated by the artist duo Tellervo Kalleinen & Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen. It is made in collaboration with Rauman kaupungin Wihertoimi. The park is located at Kalliokatu 28-30, Rauma.