Art & Energy


Pixelache and Helsingin Energia are collaborating to produce artworks related to collective energy consumption in Helsinki area. The artworks will be located in public space in Helsinki and/or presented as online projects. In the first round of the project, following artists were invited to submit proposals for artworks: Miska Knapek, Andy Best, Maria Duncker, Unsworn Industries (Erik Sandelin & Magnus Torstensson) and 4um (Karthik Acharya, Arto Tommiska, Elina Alatalo ja Jukka Hautamäki). The proposals were made public in October 2009 so that citizens of Helsinki, energy consumption experts and the electronic art community could give feedback on them. The project jury chose two artworks to be realised during 2010/2011: Power Flower by Andy Best and an untitled project by Miska Knapek. Prototypes of both of these works will be presented in Pixelache Helsinki 2010, as well as information about all the submitted proposals. The idea to commission artworks related energy consumption was inspired by the success of Nuage Vert / Vihreä Pilvi,  an artwork by HeHe (Helen Evans & Heiko Hansen). In February 2008, HeHe, Pixelache, Helsingin Energia and several other organisations collaborated to realise Vihreä Pilvi / Nuage Vert, a project that received Golden Nica of Ars Electronica 2008 and was chosen as the Finnish Environmental artwork of the year 2008. >> ARTISTS' BIOS AND PREVIOUS WORK >> PRESS MATERIAL / HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOS >> ART, SCIENCE & ECOLOGY WORK FEATURED IN PREVIOUS PIXELACHE EDITIONS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



Human Viz
Proposed by 4um collective: Arto Tommiska, Elina Alatalo, Jukka Hautamäki, Karthikeya Acharya. Human Viz is a series of unpredictable events visualizing Helsinki Energia's energy consumption data. The visualization is implemented by human action. In Human Viz events we call up flash mobs - sudden gatherings of people of different ages and backgrounds to a specific location. Our aim is to visualize energy consumption in new and fascinating ways. We want to develop visualizations through collective creative input from Helsinki residents with an evolving series of events. Human Viz events are aimed for the people of Helsinki. What you and we eventually come up with will be to some extent unpredictable. Some details may be unveiled only at the gathering. Available tools might be for example everyday objects, soundscapes, choreographic movement or interactive technology. Participants will be gathered using traditional media and new social media tools. The amount of participants can vary from a few to even hundreds. We will make a documentation of each visualization demo and view documentation together with the participants for brainstorming the next steps of Human Viz. Each event will have a different and unique location in Helsinki. The chain of development will then be compiled into a show of the participants and displayed to the public. The representative red and blue colors from the diagrams of heat and electricity will be consistent throughout events. We aim to make our energy consumption visible with a real-time data feed from Helsinki Energia. The diagram can be seen at - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Personal Trainer
Personal trainer is a screensaver reacting to your households’ energy consumption. With the help of personal trainer you can challenge yourself! Download a screensaver on your computer or other device as a mobile phone. The screensaver is connected to the personal remote meter of your households’ energy consumption ( It will visualize the energy consumption of your home based on a real time feed of data and a reflection to the situation a week or a year ago. You can upload three pictures of your choice to the software. One presents the consumption of electricity, another reflects the energy used for heating. The third picture reacts to cooling. The changing scales and animations of these pictures compared to a shadow-kind follow-up presenting the previous situation will visualize your behavioral patterns and progress. At the same the screensaver becomes your personal interactive artwork. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


The concept is to provide an instantly recognisable and understandable reading of the current energy consumption. It requires no knowledge or understanding of the energy data or any artistic appreciation. Every person, young or old, can look at the sculpture and immediately understand the message. The idea can be easily scaled to any location and available energy consumption data. For example the basic concept could be produced as table top objects for home or office, or a large public sculpture can be created that will symbolise energy consumption for a local area, city, country – or for that matter the whole world (if such data is obtainable!). A large sculpture could be made such that it can be toured around different areas for temporary installation, acting as a focal point for local energy awareness initiatives. >> MORE INFORMATION - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Light Parasite steals energy with solar panels from lamp posts in Helsinki. The artwork draws attention to the amount of electric lighting in Helsinki - to locations where it's wasted and to locations where it's not sufficient. The energy captured by the parasite can for example be used for demonstrations - it can make signs with political messages wave back and forth. The purpose is to realise the artwork in collaboration with Pixelache Festival. Maria Duncker wants to invite other people to participate in the project as well, for example by choosing appropriate texts for the signs. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Blink Helsinki
Blink Helsinki is a collective effort to draw attention to energy consumption on city wide level, by making energy consumption very visible and present. The artwork's central visual metaphor is that of the lighthouse's blinking light, historically helping people to find their way, navigate, and drawing attention to unseen dangers. In Blink Helsinki individual households, as well as large buildings, will be invited to blink a predetermined visual pattern revealing energy consumption in Helsinki. Energy usage is of course rarely visible, by making a collective effort to show it, we share the knowledge and the sense that sustainable energy consumption is something that has to be undertaken collectively. >> MORE INFORMATION - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Energy Fame
The central theme of the "Energy fame" light sculpture, is our energy consumption and how we would act if our energy usage was as apparent as our other attributes. For the greater part, our consumption is visible in our appearance, by how we look, what we carry, what we have. But our energy consumption is not neccessarily similarly visible. Sometimes we gain respect, even fame, for our consumption. But what about energy consumption? What kind of fame would that be? The "Energy fame" artwork experiments with this thought. Installed in a public space, people's energy consumption is painted with light - in a non-intrusive way - onto people, turning them into representations of their energy use, as citizens of Finland. As people pass by they become a spectacle of light and energy consumption. >> MORE INFORMATION - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

MISKA KNAPEK: Proposal number 3 (untitled)

Miska Knapek
The proposed artwork is a artistic-scientific visualisation of Helsinki's energy consumption over a longer period of time - a year or more - up until the current moments, so we can see in visual and tangible form, our energy past, understand the present and know more about the future. Knowing and seeing only the present leaves us disadvantaged to learn from our past, to guide us for the future. Seeing the past is a big help for navigating the future. Our energy consumption is largely invisible on a daily basis, and our consumption over a longer period of time is both the more invisible and large. Human activity is characterised by energy consumption, it is like an invisible shadow of society. Looking at how energy use changes over the course of the day - night, morning, midday, evening, night - and at different times of the year - warm summer, cold winter - one sees the breath and pulse of human society. The visualisation will make our energy use past and present visually tangible, tracing our energy pulse and breath over a longer period of time, continually updated to include the present, so we can know our energy selves, and understand the future further. Perhaps this visual materialisation of energy will even bring our energy pulse to a healthier pace. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Hot Lights connects Helsinki's use of district heating to its outdoor lighting system. When heat consumption is high, street lamps will pulsate slowly. The city breathes slightly heavier when the heat is on. "Our individual actions are increasingly closely connected to global issues", says Erik Sandelin, at Malmö-based interaction design and innovation studio Unsworn Industries. "The personal is indeed political, not least regarding energy consumption. When I turn on my sauna at home I'm partaking in international geopolitical struggles, whether I like it or not. We envision Helsinki as an ecosystem, with several essential infrastructures that are so entangled in our everyday lives that they have become invisible to us. We take them for granted. When Hot Lights 'hotwires' two of them - district heating and outdoor lighting - we become aware of the underpinnings of our current way of life. The pulsating "hot lights" are less of a warning signal than a subtle and beautiful reminder that we're all part of the same urban ecology." Helsinki has 79,000 light spots, administered by Helsinkin Energia. In the first phase Hot Lights a pilot area would be selected to try out and evaluate the concept. Through workshops with the local community the desired level of heat consumption would be established. A positive side-effect of the project is that it can act as a catalyst for Helsingin Energia to continue experimenting with dimming technologies and exchanging old mercury lamps for newer, more effiecient lamps. Many European cities have saved energy and money by switching to dynamic lightling systems that reduce lamp power at certain times and places - without compromising safety in the streets.