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17 Sep 2013

VILKE Collection of Electronic Art

Sami van Ingen and Petri Kuljuntausta: GROOVES (2009)

Vilkettä ja tajunnanvirtaa
FixC Cooperative


Opening 17.9.2013 6pm Exhibition time 18.9 - 13.10.2013 Open Tue, Thu, Fri 11am - 6pm; Wed 12am - 7pm ; Sa - Su 11am - 5pm

Juha van Ingen

FixC Cooperative
Alppikatu 17 LH 2
00530 Helsinki

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Welcome to see, hear and feel VILKE Electronic Art Collection in Kerava Art Museum, Finland


18 artists or artist groups, 18 works from the expanding history of Finnish electronic art from the 1970´s to 2000´s + 5 new 50-channel monitor works from the artists in FixC Cooperative (shown one by one during the exhibition)

Maria Duncker, Juha van Ingen, Sami van Ingen and Petri Kuljuntausta, Philip von Knorring, Laura Könönen, mfx, Pekka Nevalainen, Erkka Nissinen, Marjatta Oja, Seppo Renvall, Jarkko Räsänen, Pekka Sassi, Alli Savolainen, Mika Taanila, Jimi Tenor, Marko Vuokola, Kari Yli-Annala, Denise Ziegler

The VILKE Collection of Finnish electronic art founded by FixC Cooperative comes into being on a celebratory year. In 2013 it has been 50 years since the exhibition Exposition of Music – Electronic Television (11.3 – 20.3.1963) by the 'Pope' of video art Nam June Paik.

The objective of the VILKE Collection is to bring together works that were central in their time, works in which the idea, structure or action is essentially linked to the applied technology. Consumer electronics and high technology used by industry together with obsolete technology buried in the sands of time are wired into our lives and memories in ways that electronic artworks utilise, vary and bring to life from a new perspective. The VILKE Collection reinstates many of these works of art that have fallen outside museum collections and the official canon of Finnish art history.

One of the first video installations in the history of Finnish electronic art is Philip van Knorring's Bevakat ('watched' or 'under surveillance' in Swedish) from 1977, a statement about public camera surveillance, indicating how artists were interested in considering the social and political effects of new technology. The beginning of the 1980s saw the bloom of a new mode of making which was characterised by the use of different kinds of small-scale industrial communication devices. In the 1990s the new generation was interested in the phenomenological aspects of time and space and social situations. Many of VILKE artists worked also in the collective of Helsinki Film Workshop, founded in 1989. The artists share the same ethos as the alternative musicians working at the same time. Jimi Tenor shot in 1995 an experimental documentary on 16 mm film about the artists of record company Sähkö ('electricity'), a company founded by Tommi Grönlund. The tone of the film is similar to an ethnological film: attentive and respectful of the work being done.

Both the pioneering strategies of the early internet culture and the newer post-internet mentality are presented in the collection. Juha van Ingen's Web Safe Colourscape (1999–2000) is one of the few Finnish works that uses an internet browser as a central piece of the work. In Vantaa (2007), Erkka Nissinen creates a particular and unique post-internet aesthetics of his own. Demoscene group MFX's work Cannapaceus (2008) is a rich computer animation that is processed in real-time. If the abstract epic lyricism of Cannapaceus nearly propels the viewer to another planet, Laura Könönen's The Only One and All (2011) transports the onlooker far into the history of our home planet. Könönen's work is comprised of an old-fashioned record player and a rotating record made of granite, the principal stone type of Finnish bedrock, which is traced with a diamond needle. The voice of the stone is dusty and discontinuous, speaking from experience far older than the technology that is used to play the sound for us to hear.

The inclusion of electronic and media art into the praxis of making art has created new challenges to preserving art. An internationally adapted strategy is to 'update' works to a new technological standard at specific intervals, for instance every ten years. However, many works are media specific, made with a specific device of a specific period. Digitalising an analogical video, for example, can change the nature of the work radically. The works in the VILKE Collection are not only preserved in accordance to digital standards, the intention is to exhibit them in their original presentation form whenever possible.

The collections of private collectors, institutions, museums, organisations and foundations form an important part of cultural memory, and the public display of collected works makes it possible for a larger audience to get to experience them. The works in VILKE Collection remain in the artists' possession, but they can deposited with museums for an appointed period of time. With the creation of the VILKE Collection, FixC Cooperative is turning a new page in preserving and exhibiting Finnish electronic art's history.

To celebrate 'the 50 years of video art' the exhibition includes also five brand new 50-channel monitor works (which will be shown during the exhibition one by one in 50-monitor structure build for this purpose) by FixC artists Maria Duncker, Juha van Ingen, Seppo Renvall, Jarkko Räsänen and Kari Yli-Annala.