Pixelache Helsinki is a transdisciplinary platform for emerging art, design, research and activism.
Pixelache is an association of artists, cultural producers, thinkers and activists involved in the creation of emerging cultural activities. Amongst our fields of interest are: experimental interaction and electronics, code-based art and culture, grassroot organising & networks, renewable energy production/use, participatory art, open-source cultures, bioarts and art-science culture, alternative economy cultures, politics and economics of media/technology, audiovisual culture, media literacy & ecology and engaging environmental issues.
The name of Pixelache was originally found in a Finnish article that predicted new words which we would need in the future. The word ‘pikseliähky' (translated into English as "pixelache") was supposed to describe the feeling that results from an overdose of digital media content. This overdose can happen easily if the content is too monotonous – which is the case if standards, formats, tools and design principles converge to a narrow set of options. Later interpretations focused more on the 'ache' of digital influence in everyday life, and an 'ache' to re-engage with non-digital interfaces and systems. Pixelache seeks to challenge mainstream standards and conventions, not only related to media and technology, but of contemporary society in general.
Pixelache Helsinki is coordinated by the Finnish non-profit cultural association Piknik Frequency ry (see below).
Pixelache is actively engaged in cultural projects and collaborations on a year-round basis. Though we originally focused on our annual festival, since 2006 we have gradually introduced around-the-year programme of activities, organised mainly under the Pixelversity moniker between 2010 and 2014. For more info, pleast look at our portfolio and annual reports. A few years ago we tried to explore what the association is, or what it means to (some of) us.
Pixelache Helsinki Festival
Pixelache Helsinki ('Pikseliähky') began as a festival of electronic art and subcultures, organised in Helsinki since year 2002. The festival programme often consists of seminars, workshops, exhibitions, performances, concerts and club events. Since early 2012 the festival (and organisational) subtitle has been named variously; sometimes taking the form of a full cultural festival across Helsinki (and even beyond), and sometimes taking the form of a smaller, more focused "camp"-style event. The most recent festivals have had different co-directors from the membership each year: In September 2015 (Living Spaces), September 2016 (Interfaces for Empathy), September 2017 (Local & Decentralized), then biennally onwards in May 2019 (Breaking the 5th Wall), and most recently in June 2021 (#Burn____)
Pixelache Helsinki Festival is one of the oldest (Northern-)European emerging, electronic and experimental art and culture festivals still going, and adapting to changing circumstances.
Ongoing projects and events
Since year 2006, Pixelache has organised numerous events around the year in Helsinki. These events offer a meeting point for the local Pixelache scene outside the festival period, and are supporting practice and its development in the region; they consist primarily of artist presentations, workshops, seminars, camps, expeditions and other events. These events are usually pieces in larger ongoing projects, all of which were organised under the master project Pixelversity from 2010-2014. However, since 2016, we have operated in a more decentralized manner, for better or worse, with members working in production clusters, and exploring a bienniale model for our Festival.
Some of our recent projects include Social Tools (decentralised organising in practice, 2017-2019), BioSignals (2018-2019) Free Translation (as part of Translation is Dialogue collective process), Collective Intelligence, Temporary Pavilion (researching a democratic urban planning platform in Suvilahti since 2017 Festival edition), Trashlab (a regular series of activities exploring on the create use and re-use of waste materials), Ferment Lab (art & design in fermentation processes), Suomenlinna Money Lab, Open-Sourcing Festivals, Case Pyhäjoki, Foodycle, Herbologies/Foraging Networks, and Creative Coding for Live Visuals and Narratives (which investigates the qualitative experiences in culture participation).
Our archive contains information on all of our past activities.
Pixelache has organised a number of production-based residencies since 2004. Many of the outcomes of these residencies has been exhibited at our festivals and elsewhere. Some examples of our production residencies include the Nuage Vert project by HeHe (2008), Ambient TV (2004), and Christian Nold's Suomenlinna Money Lab project/book (2011-2012).
From 2012-2014 we launched a small micro-residencies programme, which brought creative practitioners to Helsinki for a week, or invited local practitioners to join for some days in the office in order to exchange perspectives and methodologies with Pixelache office, members and the public. Micro-residencies have included Catherine Lenoble, Evelyn Müürsepp, and Melinda Sipos among others.
Piknik Frequency ry
Pixelache is the working name of the registered association Piknik Frequency ry.
Current Piknik Frequency members as of 3 May 2023:
Alan Bulfin, Albert Laine, Anastasia Artemeva, Andrew Gryf Paterson, Antti Ahonen, Arlene Tucker, Ashwin Rajan, Aura Seikkula, Egle Oddo, Frida Stenbäck, Ingrid André, Irina Mutt, Irina Spicaka, Jenni Valorinta, Jiyoun Lee, Jon Irigoyen, Juan Duarte, Katia Skylar, Krisjanis Rijnieks, Kristina Laine, Mari Keski-Korsu, Mariana Salgado, Mathilde Palenius, Mia Makela, Mike Watson, Mikko Lipiäinen, Nathalie Aubret, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Owen Kelly, Päivi Raivio, Samir Bhowmik, Sara Milazzo, Saša Nemec, Soko Hwang, Steve Maher, Sumugan Sivanesan, Timo Bredenberg, Tuomo Tammenpää, Ulla Taipale, Ville Hyvönen, Vishnu Vardhani Rajan, and Wojtek Mejor.
Members can be contacted as a whole body via members <at> pixelache.ac
Piknik Frequency board members (2022-2023):
Full members: Irina Mutt (chair), Andrew Gryf Paterson (vice-chair), Mathilde Palenius (treasurer), Antti Ahonen, Saša Nemec.
The board can be reached via hallitus <at> pixelache.ac
Financial Administrator: Raisa Veikkola
email: raisa [-at-] pixelache.ac
Festival 2023 Co-directors: Irina Mutt & Soko Hwang
email: irina [-at-] pixelache.ac
Programme 2022 Producer: Phan Nguyen
email: phan [-at-] pixelache.ac
PR & Social Media Management: Saša Nemec
email: sasa [-at-] pixelache.ac
Programme 2022 Producer: Arlene Tucker
email: arlene [-at-] pixelache.ac
Festival 2019 & Programme 2020-2021 Producer: Steve Maher
email: steve [-at-] pixelache.ac
Festival 2021 Co-directors: Andrew Gryf Paterson & Laura Gustafsson
email: andrew [-at-] pixelache.ac, email@example.com
Photographer, documentation archivist: Antti Ahonen
email: antti [-at-] pixelache.ac
Association archivist: Andrew Gryf Paterson
email: andrew [-at-] pixelache.ac
Web -developer & -admin: John W. Fail
Pixelache Helsinki info
e-mail: office [-at-] pixelache dot ac
Suvilahti (Rakennus/Building 7)
View Pixelache office location in Google maps
Though Pixelache originated as a local event in Helsinki, it has developed into an important hub within an international network of electronic art festivals. Although sleeping dormant as a network since 2015, members of the Pixelache Network have included Access Space (Sheffield), Mal au Pixel (Paris), ElectroPixel (Nantes), Pixelvärk (Stockholm), Piksel (Bergen), Pikslaverk (Reykjavik), Pixelazo (Colombia), Afropixel (Dakar) and historically PixelIST (Istanbul, 2009).
In the year 2022, we have developed connections with three new networks to our roster, namely: the Futureless Festival, European Lab, and the Reset! Network.
Additionally, Pixelache continues as a member of the Finnish Media Art Network.
Futureless Festival (FF):
Futureless Festival (FF) is an Art+Technology event that happened from the 10th to the 14th of August 2022 in hybrid formats (internationally through partners and in various locations in Stockholm, SE). The Futureless Festival exerts a critical look onto the idea of the future we once had and its relation to technology, which has shifted drastically, particularly due to the climate crisis. In that line, it engages the past traditions related to the Media arts in the Nordic regions from a critical point of view yet placed in a renewed context where such arts do not seem to have a relevant space in the mainstream of Stockholm’́s Arts Scene.The aim of FF is to reference the long tradition of Art+Tech artists, placing special emphasis in connection with other similar festivals such as Piksel festival in Norway and Pixelache in Finland, to strengthen the Nordic area’s role within this branch of artistic expression. FF invited both Piksel (NO) and Pixelache (FI) in Stockholm for the event, 2022 being the year both celebrated their 20th anniversary.
Pixelache joined in June 2022 the Reset! European Network for independent cultural and media organizations. Being part of the Reset! network not only open to new contacts and for visibility abroad but also reinforce Pixelache's local network with other independent cultural associations in Helsinki, offering support to organize workshops.
In March 2022 started a collaboration between Pixelache and Arty Farty (FR), to realize in September 2023 the European Lab Helsinki Forum 2023. This forum is being co-curated by the two associations, based on common grounded social and ecological values, reflected through the topics of Sustainable Lands and Sustainable Communities during the forum. The project supports emerging arts scenes at local and international scales while shaping a prototype for sustainable models of transnational collaborations.
Finnish Media Art Network:
The Media Art Network in Finland’s purpose is to increase cooperation between actors in the field. The association promotes the cultural and social status of media art in Finland and creates and maintains domestic and international connections. In 2021–2023, the activities of the Media Art Network are focusing on the project MEHI – Media Art History in Finland. Pixelache is a member of the network board.
MEHI – Media Art History in Finland:
MEHI is a 3-year project initiated by the Finnish Media Art Network. The objective of the project is to record and publish the history of Finnish Media Art, and to build information infrastructures for its documentation in the future. The scope of the project is based on a wide definition of media art as a practice of working with and reflecting on media and technology. It will span all media art-related genres and a history timeline ranging from experiments in the early 1900s to the 2020s.
Piknik Frequency ry portfolios & annual reports
Earlier documentations on request.
Pixelache -related articles, interviews, and papers
Helsingin Sanomat on Local & Decentralised process for a temporary paillion, by journalist Mari Frisk, Published: , in Finnish language.
Paterson, Andrew G. (2015). Case Study of Camp Pixelache 2010-2014. Interview conducted for Agents of Alternatives book, also syndicated to Opensourcingfestivals.eu
Huuskonen, Juha (2013). The Unlikely Success of Pixelache Helsinki. juhahuuskonen.fi blog. 10.12.2013.
Paterson, Andrew G. (2013). Camp Pixelache 2013: Mobility, Diversity and Resonance. Wandermedia.com blog (republished from urban.ee). 22.08.2013.
Paterson, Andrew G. (2011). Learning together in Networked Cultural Associations. Musiques & Cultures Digitales 62. March 2011.
Debatty, Regine (2008). Interview with Juha Huuskonen. We-make-money-not-art blog. 31/01/2008.
Halonen, Katri (2007). Open Source and New Media Artists. Human Technology : 2007, Volume 3, Number 1 . [PDF 116kb]
NB: For other journalism, press and other blog posts, please consult last pages in the annual reports.
We are an organisation built around participation and inclusion and thus we welcome everyone to any of our activities or events! Please don't hesistate to reach out and say hello, or to email us if you are seeking any questions or information.