Category Archives: Travelling

Network meeting in Milan

I’m part of the Space2 Destination project and the last meeting of the current network was last week in Milan. I’ve never visited Milan before so it was really inspiring to get to know the city a little bit, visit different areas and sites and of course to meet with my collegues. The meeting was organized during Uovo performing arts festival so I also saw performances each night.

An afternoon walk in the city centre around Duomo:

A visit to Museo delle Culture which is still being built and under construction. Can you see the Alvar Aalto shapes or is it just me?

Near the Liveinslums Headquarters:

A visit to HangarBicocca:
HangarBicocca‘s exhibition spaces were just insanely massive… Insane, indescribable…

Milan offered lovely risottos and pastas, amazing ice-cream, good wine and Spritz and of course the weather in Southern Europe is just really nice in the spring… And style… I’m not sure any city in the world can beat Milan!


IETM in Athens

I just arrived yesterday in Athens to participate in the IETM meeting. I’m really looking forward to all the events and talks but also to get to know this city that I haven’t visited before!
Yesterday happened to be my birthday as well and I had a great walk around Plaka and Psyrri, gorgeous dinner on Iron Square and fun with my collegue Maija.

See you in Athens!



I have been so inactive with my blog because I’ve been so busy otherwise. I’ve had so many things going on that posting short notes here hasn’t felt right nor that important. And then as time goes by, it becomes more and more difficult to write anything…

I have been involved and will be sharing my experience at the Writing Movement project which is an exciting initiative to consider writing practices around contemporary dance. I was part of the seminar in Kuopio in June and will continue now in  the end of September in Helsinki.

In June I attended the amazing Performance Studies International conference at Stanford University and was one of the panelist in ‘Eco Art Performance: Deep Time and the Now of Environmental Performance‘ panel with just an amazing group of women! I talked about my performance work along with our chair Jennie Klein, Natalie Loveless, Dee Heddon and Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens… The whole PSI#19 experience was incredible and I heard so many exciting panels and lectures and met inspiring friends and collegues. Here I am with Jennie:

After the PSI#19 in Stanford, I got to spend a couple of days in the Redwoods with Annie & Beth and then almost a week In San Francisco. I was feeling incredibly lucky but also very guilty of not working on my thesis when I was in California. So I actually spent some time reading and I guess having had that time to think and reflect my thesis and its problems helped me to gather the energy and direction I desperately needed to carry on.

In the Redwoods:

In SF:

So when I came back home, I continued my thesis and spent my entire summer holiday working on it, 7 days a week as many hours per day that I possibly could think straight. But it is done and I have completed my studies, hurray! So I’m a very proud holder of MA in Cultural Policy. If you are interested, here’s the link to my thesis “Vedet seisahtuu, liikenteet pysähtyy”: kokemuksia uuden julkisen taiteen kohtaamisesta ANTI – Contemporary Art Festivalilla. It’s in Finnish.

I felt so bad spending the entire summer at my desk that after the final version of the thesis was sent off, I went to Helsinki with the kids for a couple of days. And we had such a wonderful time! I haven’t been ‘on holiday’ in Helsinki for ages so it was just so great hang around with the kids, eat in nice restaurants, swim in the sea in Mustikkamaa, visit Korkeasaari, Heureka, Linnanmäki, URB Festival and Flow Festival…

Last week I was in Brussels where we had a first meeting of Destinations project. Destinations is a project for curators who curate works in and for public spaces. So we had inspiring but intensive days sharing our practices and presenting our festivals or organizations, discussing public space, art & activism and audience participation. And I got to meet some friends like Rebecca French! Lovely.

Since spring I’ve been working on my new work which is going to premiere in Kuopio in November. It’s an exciting project but also very complicated in new and different ways for me so I’m not yet talking about it very much… But I will soon, I promise!

And the 12th ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival starts next week! Have a look at the programme and get ready for unexpected encounters in the city centre of Kuopio!!! And don’t forget the Exploring the city and the everyday life International seminar on Thursday the 26th of  September. I’m so much looking forward to it.

Anyhow, sorry for not having been active here. But as you can see, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been active elsewhere. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook…


Spaces, places and journeys

Insanely busy days filled with thinking and writing about place, space and urban planning (finally sent off the essay!), trying to finalize the ANTI 2013 programme, the CEO course, my upcoming new work, applying travel grants to be able to be on a seriously exciting panel at PSI#19 in Stanford, US in the summer and getting ready for my Iisalmi-Helsinki-Brussels-Chigaco-New York-Kuopio journey that starts tomorrow!

So it’s all about work, day and night, 7 days a week.
It’s about art, research, places and spaces.
Packing and unpacking.

I feel tired but inspired.

I don’t think I can ever travel anywhere without thinking of Doreen Massey and Panu Lehtovuori.

Is it too much to travel with four pairs of shoes and three handbags?


IETM Dublin

So I’m in Dublin in my first ever IETM meeting. Actually, I’m not sure if that’s entirely true as I might have attended a session or two years ago in Helsinki, but this feels like my first IETM and is definitely one outside Finland. I’ve never been to Ireland before and it’s quite puzzling to come to a new city and country and to feel that one does not have any time to engage with the place. So to just walk from the hotel to a venue, and then to another venue and then to find a reasonable place to eat and then to go back to a venue you visited earlier. So my first superficial impressions of Dublin are that the stereotypes of Ireland are not just stereotypes… The pubs, the music, the dialect actually are very visible and strong part of the urban culture. Of course, I’m aware that I’ve been mostly walking around the area of Temple Bar with tons of bars, pubs and cafes but still. I wasn’t really expecting to be so surrounded by Irish music and Guinness!

So visiting a town for the first time and being busy with IETM session and the artistic programme, I really appreciate that the organizers have programmed quite a lot of site-specific activities. So far I haven’t attended any of them, but tomorrow morning at 8am I’m heading for a swim in the Irish sea Jen Coppinger. She’s taking a group of people for a swim by James Joyce’s Martello tower at Seapoint. It’s going to be early and probably terribly cold, but I want to sense the sea so this is a perfect opportunity.

Then tomorrow I’m also seeing two site-specific works. One is a walking piece and in the other one audiences are driven around in cabs. I’m really looking forward to those and to experience the city a bit more, a bit differently, as the local artists have wanted people to experience it.

Can hardly wait.


Markedet for scenekunst

Greetings from Sandefjord in Norway! Jag har tittat på barn och ungdom teater för två dagar på norska och också lite på engelska på det här Markedet for scenekonst. Eftersom jag inte pratar norska, kan det vara lite svårt ibland att förstå skådespel. Men det har varit roligt ännu! Och jag har sett många mycket intressanta verk. Och jag har pratat lite svenska. Imorgon ska vi resa till Oslo för en dag och till hem för veckoslutet!

Har det bra!


Thoughts for the week

I will be working all week in Kuopio. I’m doing EU admin and stuff like that, so during the day time pretty much sitting in the office. Being in Kuopio allows a good exercise rhythm at the Element Studio (today indoor cycling and dynamic stretching) which is great. I will be doing some more indoor cycling this week, as well as cross training, Kinesis and kettle bell. I passed today the newly opened restaurant Urban and I think I have to go and have lunch there this week. It wasn’t open as I walked by early in the morning but it surely looked great. It’s definitely the only restaurant in Kuopio with Eames DSW chairs with wooden legs! Hey, it’s about time…

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about space, place, urban planning and cities (for example Massey and Lehtovuori). It’s so inspiring and exciting. I still have to complete a chapter of Massey’s For Space and then read some articles for my next essay. I recently received support from the Finnish Cultural Foundation for my upcoming work and all this reading is very important for that piece, too. I also need to get going with the process of the upcoming work but it’s always such a big step for me to start pinning down ideas… I rather leave things open and undecided as long as possible – but that’s not so great always.

The spring is approaching quickly and days are filled with more light and sun. The week before last I cycled to work a few times but now we again have more snow and it’s again colder. But I’m so much looking forward to the ice free roads, runs and cycling to work!

My spring looks very busy and challenging. Lots of work, several trips abroad and a lot to read and write. But I’m really looking forward to my trips to Oslo, Dublin, Brussels, Chicago and New York. Of course exercise is going to be a great challenge because of the traveling. For me it’s really difficult to maintain a balanced work out routine when I’m traveling and away for home a lot. I wonder if it’s ever going to get any easier… Probably just more difficult! But oh how much I’m looking forward to the Marcolini chocolates in Brussels! And what to do and get from New York? I’m so happy to be revisiting Chicago and New York – it’s almost embarrassing.

My adopted sister Maija is currently in Australia. Earlier this year I found out about the Chanel CC cream but unfortunately, it’s not available in Europe or North America – at least not yet. But Maija flew via Singapore and I asked her to check out if the CC cream would be available there… So yesterday she texted me saying that she’s got the CC cream for me! Isn’t it weird how excited one can get about make up and cosmetics..? I bought the Armani Maestro make up fluid from Berlin earlier this year (with Maija) but I haven’t been 100% happy with that product… Maybe the Chanel CC cream is the solution, especially for the summer…

Are you a fan of the HBO series Girls? I’m going to watch a few episodes now.

Happy belated international women’s day!


gigs in Oulu were great

This is a long overdue post but I had such a great time in Oulu with the MAP OF SCARS team earlier in Feb that I just have to post a few lines about it.

Of course it was such a pleasure to hang out with my gorgeous performers and light designer Ainu but also the technical team at Valve was fantastic to work with. Everything went so smoothly, they did a great job, the space looked good and both shows were full. Here are a couple of photos of the space by Ainu:

Besides all this, I also really enjoyed spending a week in Oulu. My top things were the beautifully renovated swimming hall Raati, the numerous Indian, Sushi and Thai restaurants, Stockmann department store (with i.e. Armani make up), Nanso shop with Lumi Accessories handbags, Non Boutique selling Finnish designer clothes and for example Finsk shoes and of course Pikisaari, where I stayed. So in short, Oulu gave a really good impression! Well done.

Right now I’m on my way to Helsinki to give an interview but other than that, the last weeks have been filled by usual beginning of the year admin work for ANTI Festival, myself and Live Umbrella. But the spring and summer seem to be shaping up rather nicely – more later!


MAP OF SCARS in Oulu this week!

I’m so much looking forward to the shows of MAP OF SCARS in Oulu this Friday and Saturday. I’m travelling there tomorrow and we are rehearsing on Wednesday with the dancers, then our light designer Ainu joins us on stage on Thursday and then we perform the piece on Friday and Saturday at 7pm at the cultural centre Valve.
Oh I’m so much looking forward to these three gorgeous ladies go crazy and silly with great self irony!

I’m also really looking forward to experience again some intimate, strong, sensual and physical duets.

And seeing some visually stunning images.

All photos @ Pekka Mäkinen.

Maybe some new scars? Who knows.

It will be just great to get together with Ainu, Pirjo, Sannamaria and Tuovi! And will be good to be in Oulu for a few days.

As I was browsing I found this blog post (in Finnish) about the performance which I hadn’t seen before:
Also there’s a post about the ICE HOT quality panel from which was held in Helsinki last December. It’s also in Finnish and you can find it here:

Anyway, book you tickets and come to see us this weekend!



In 2012 I enjoyed immensely my return to the position of a choreographer in MAP OF SCARS. Directing a piece in which I don’t perform myself was a fantastic experience and I had a great team to work with. So thank you Sannamaria, Tuovi, Pirjo, Ainu, Tatu, Pekka and everyone who was part of that process.
Photo by Pekka Mäkinen.

I also really enjoyed creating Follow me with Rebecca French but was sad how little visibility the audio walk received. In Finland it still seems very difficult to create works outside the mainstream artistic forms and to get media’s or people’s interest to participate in works that are not in the ‘safe’ environment or form. As a contemporary artist, I think this is very sad and depressing.

Although it is sometimes difficult, I still feel that there’s a need and interest for my work and to improve the production processes and overall working conditions, I set up an organization called Live Umbrella with Pekka and Maija. I’ve postponed that for several years but now it’s the time to really give it a try!

I made several work trips in 2012. To Vienna, Gloucestershire, Montreal, Uppsala, Stockholm, Helsinki, Kajaani, London, Brussels…all the trips were really inspirational. The most exciting adventure was however to Montreal and I was so happy to visit the Les Escales Improbables Festival and meet many new collegues there. And my morning run to the Parc Mount Royal was unforgettable! The best teaching experience I’ve ever had was in Brussels at Cifas Summer University.

I had an unforgettable summer holiday with my children in London in the summer. We had such a great time and it was a much needed break for me. Thanks for our wonderful hosts Rebecca, Andrew & VP!!!!!

Although studying can and has been at times really hard and tiring, it has mostly been a true inspiration. I’m so happy I’ve gotten to know new amazing academics, thinkers, theorists and fellow students as well to deepen my own understanding and knowledge in the fields of cultural policy and art theory.

I saw some touching performances. 100% London by Rimini Protokoll, For Those Who Have Time by Maija Hirvanen and In Human Disguise by Eeva Muilu and Milja Sarkola made me cry.

Photo Pekka Mäkinen.

ANTI 2012 was a fantastic festival. It was a kind of a dream come true to have Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens, Heather Cassils, Kris Grey, Alejandra Herrera and Jukka Huitila in one festival – not to dismiss any artist at the great festival! Up To Nature project was also a great experience and I was very happy to collaborate with Thomas, Helen, Jon and Gregg on it. It was fantastic that Vilja joined the ANTI production team!

Photo Pekka Mäkinen.

During 2012 I still got a lot of happiness in my daily life from the shoes of Minna Parikka, exercising at Functional Team (now Element Studios), hanging out with friends, good Riesling wines and of course my family. I’ve had some health problems which have annoyingly effected my metabolism so somehow the year has not been a great improvement physically but more mentally and theoretically. And that has been great and more than welcome.

Looking forward to the challenges of 2013!

Happy New Year!