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Pixelache Wikimedians-in-residence 2022: Podcasts about Wikimedia & grassroots cultural organisations

Pixelache Helsinki PRESS RELEASE

Download PDF: English, Suomeksi (Finnish) & Davvisámegiella (Northern Sámi) versions, 21.4.2023.

Contact: Andrew Gryf Paterson, andrew [-at-]

Pixelache Wikimedians-in-residence 2023: Podcasts about Wikimedia & grassroots cultural organisations meeting, conversing, and getting to know-each other again as long-lost friends

Pixelache Helsinki announces the release of 3 new podcast conversations that combine exploratory podcast production,  conversational research and reflection ‘residencies’ upon the intersection of Wikimedia practices and contemporary cultural organisations.

Pixelache Helsinki, the annual and bi-annual Festival and platform for transdisciplinary art, design, research and activism, was known as Pikseliähky Festivaali in Finnish, and for 9 years with the subtitle: Festival of Electronic Arts and Subcultures. Organised and produced by Piknik Frequency ry non-profit cultural association, the association was founded in January 2003, less than a year after the first Pikseliähky Festival in 2002. The association was awarded the Finnish National Art Prize in 2012, is Finland’s longest running media arts and design festival, and one of the most enduring in Northern Europe.

Pixelache Festival co-directors Juha Huuskonen & Petri Lievonen invited, in early 2005, a representative of the young Wikimedia Foundation—Florence Devouard, from Paris, France—who came to present to Finnish electronic arts and sub- cultural practitioners, producers, and IT enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and media design students, the new WikiWiki way of open knowledge production. A very early Internet pioneer since the early 1990s, and largely responsible for the early development of Francophonic Wikipedia, it was actually only Devouard’s second public presentation of Wikimedia anywhere; and most probably the first ever public talk on Wikipedia in Finland. Those were participatory platform optimistic days! 

For the occasion, Pixelache existed also on this brand new platform with a Wikipedia page made in 2005. However, it is still there, largely unedited since. There are no other language translations. It may be seen as a time-capsule of wiki enthusiasm from the mid-2000s. What happened? Why was a pioneering platform and Finland’s longest running media arts & design festival no longer developing together for over 15 years? Where did it all go wrong? Can we all be Wikimedia or Wikidata friends again after all these years?

This new Wikimedian process of renewed connections has taken place in the context of the long-term model of Wikimedians-in-residence that has been developed by the Wikimedia Foundation. Our conversational process began in January 2022, and this particular stage of the project ends in March 2023 with the publication of 3 podcasts: One longer conversation in 4 parts (A, B, C, D), and 2 interview-based conversations which focus on particular aspects of being a Wikimedian-in-residence, or emergent cultural organisations engaging with the Wikimedia universe.


In the following podcast collection Andrew Gryf Paterson, long term member of Pixelache Festival converses in 4-parts with Florence Devouard, Wikimedian in Residence with the World Intellectual Property Organization, former chair of Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, and involved in numerous collaborations in Africa. She tells of her experience as an invited guest of Pixelache in 2005, and her wider Wikimedia work then and now. We offer ideas about how creative organisations can develop their Wikipedia presence.


In the following podcast Rebecca O’Neill of Wikimedia Community Ireland spoke with Toni Sant of Wikimedia Community Malta, a curator, academic, and podcaster, about his experience in documenting creative practices using Wikimedia projects. We explore how emerging documentation projects of contemporary art collections are formulated to ensure they are interoperable with platforms such as Wikidata.


In the following podcast Nikki Zeuner of Wiki Move podcast, and Z. Blace, Wikimedian in Residence at Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, spoke about contemporary culture, civil society organisations, not-for-profit infrastructures, as well as resources and innovation in 2030 Wikimedia strategy. We look into challenges and opportunities for working in global networked media through publishing and participation in the Wikimedia ecosystem. 


In summary, our process discusses and reflect upon the long parallel history -20 years- of Pixelache Helsinki Festival and transdisciplinary platform, which in the first decade has promoted open culture, alongside the time when Wikimedia methodologies were developing. Where have these approaches overlapped, gone hand-in-hand and then diverged. We wish to reconcile in ambitions with both the Wikimedia and Creative Commons anniversaries.


Pixelache Helsinki over the year 2022 has worked on their archival process and reflections, and this Wikimedia Foundation rapid grant-supported project updates skills and understanding within our membership, interested Finnish and regional peers, as well as an international example for other similar cultural associations involved in network culture.

These podcasts are released with open licenses in a series feature Florence Devouard, Toni Sant, Rebecca O’Neill, Nikki Zeuner, Z. Blace and Andrew Gryf Paterson, recorded between November 2022 and January 2023. 

These residencies are a follow on from the initial conversation between Z. Blace and Rebecca O’Neill on open archiving practices as part of Pixelache Helsinki Festival #Burn____ in June 2021, and began with #OpenMICwithPixelache Vorspiel event of CTM/Transmediale festivals in February 2022.

The process was funded by the rapid grant of the Wikimedia Foundation, and with inkind support of Pixelache Helsinki Festival. The Wikimedians-in-residence process is part of Pixelache’s cultural programme reflecting upon 20 years of activity.

Pixelache is annually supported by TAIKE (Arts Promotion Centre Finland), and Helsinki City.

** Production credits ** 

Project initiator: Z. Blace.

Audio identity design: Sumugan Sivanesan.

Audio post production: Miia Laine.

Text translations into Finnish and Sámi language: Yupik. 

Project and visual design: Z. Blace. Support & January 2022 graphic by Andrew Gryf Paterson.

Lead producer: Andrew Gryf Paterson.

Financial administrative support: Mathilde Palenius, Raisa Veikkola.