Talks programme

IHME Days 2013. Photo: Kai WidellIHME Days 2013. Photo: Kai Widell

The next IHME Festival will be held in March/April 2017.

You can watch footage from IHME Days’ talks 2016 on YouTube  >
Many of the speakers, e.g. Jan Verwoert, Emmanuel Pratt, Jaroslav Anděl, spoke in English.


IHME’s annual themes are derived from the IHME Project’s subject matter. At the heart of Kateřina Šedá’s Tram Buskers’ Tour were the following: communities and art, connections between art and education, especially phenomenon-centred learning, and the question of what artists do when they create art. These topics were discussed at the IHME Days on April 1-3, featuring numerous artists, art experts and members of the public.

Free admission to all events.

Please, read more about the speakers here >

Community Art – Taike Day

Friday 1.4. at 11.00-15.15 Old Student House, Great Hall
NB! This event is entirely in Finnish.

Where does community art sit on the contemporary art map these days? What kind of environments and communities are artists working with? What motivates collaborations and what is created in them? What kind of thoughts does community art awaken among funding bodies? These themes were discussed during the Community Arts (Taike) Day that has been arranged by Arts Promotion Centre Finland. The programme for the day was split into two parts. The morning concentrated on current issues in the field from the point of view of artists and funding bodies. Talks in the afternoon will addressed education and research in the community arts field as well as cooperation between different fields.

Speakers who addressed their work and methods included Arkipelag Workshop association; RaumArs artist-in-residence programme; artist Timo Tähkänen; artist duo Nutty Tarts; m-cult director Minna Tarkka; community artist Pia Bartsch from the Saari Residence maintained by the Kone Foundation; researcher Pia Hovi-Assad from Turku University Landscape Studies degree programme; and director of senior and elderly work Mona Särkelä-Kukko from the Finnish Federation of Settlement Houses. Funding bodies involved include Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Kone Foundation, The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Taike Day opened this spring’s triennial of community arts, RECEPTION. The event was intended for artists, producers and everyone who is interested in the community art field.

Read more about the speakers >


Friday 1.4. at 13.00-15.30 Old Student House, Music Hall
The session was in Finnish, apart from the speech by Jaroslav Anděl, which was in English.

Our IHME was a conversational and functional info session for teachers and art pedagogues. We shared our experiences of Tram buskers’ tour and learned together about making use of contemporary art in teaching.

Contemporary Arts Centre DOX’s Artistic Director-at-large Jaroslav Anděl (Prague / New York) spoke in English with a title “Can education save us?”. There was also a quick look at youth projects that have been directed by artist Eero Yli -Vakkuri and Aalto University Art Education students. Other participants included members of the IHME staff, Aalto University lecturer Marja Rastas, producer Tiina Susiluoto, Annantalo Arts Centre (Cultural Courses) and producer and art pedagogue Päivi Venäläinen from the Art Centre for Children and Young People, who created the IHME Tasks.

More info on the programme and how to register >

Read more about the speakers >


Friday 1.4. at 17.05-17.15 Pontus Kyander in English
Saturday 2.4. at 17.00-17.15 Maria Hirvi-Ijäs in Swedish
Sunday 3.4. at 17.00-17.15 Hannu Väisänen in Finnish

Old Student House, Great Hall

As a verbal presentation, a manifesto began each evening session of IHME Days. A manifesto (lat. manifestum ‘declaration’ , manus ‘hand’ + festus ‘struck’) is traditionally a public announcement of principles or intentions, often related to political objectives, but a manifesto can also express its author’s worldview or artistic principles.

IHME requested manifestos from active participants in social and artistic debate: curator, PhL Pontus Kyander, art historian, PhD Maria Hirvi-Ijäs and artist, writer Hannu Väisänen. In the history of art, manifestos have been produced by many of art’s pioneers, such as the Surrealists, Futurists and Dadaists. Historically manifestos have also had an aspect of performance – manifestos have flown through the air as leaflets, they were declaimed on stage.

Read more about the speakers >

Art and Communities

Friday 1.4. at 17.15-19.15 in English

Old Student House, Great Hall

The works of the author of the 2016 IHME Project, Kateřina Šedá, are made in collaboration with communities. Thus, the topic of the main discussion on the Friday of the IHME Days was the relationship between art and communities. We explored the work of three artists and one institution whose actions approach communities in different ways. Sedá is particularly interested in communities who are not interested in art, since they have the fewest expectations and, when they do participate, can experience the biggest change. Why do artists want to work with communities? How do communities themselves experience the artworks? What is the difference between short-term and long-lasting participation?

The discussion was led by art historian Kaija Kaitavuori, who has studied participation in art. The artists participating in the discussion were: Kaisa Salmi (FIN), Kateřina Šedá (CZ) Executive Director Emmanuel Pratt, Sweetwater Foundation (USA) and Adam Sutherland, Grizedale Arts (UK).

Read more about the speakers >


Saturday 2.4. at 16.00-16.30 Aleksis Salusjärvi
Sunday 3.4. at 16.00-16.30 Leena Kuumola
The session will be in Finnish.

Old Student House, Café Vanha

Heated debates were staged at the Café of the Old Student House on Saturday and Sunday during IHME Days. IHME asked two art experts, Aleksis Salusjärvi and Leena Kuumola, to design one debate each on a theme of hot topical interest or otherwise of paramount importance.

Read more about the hosts >

The Conversation with the artist:
Kateřina Šedá and Hamza Walker

Saturday 2.4. at 17.15-18.45 Old Student House, Great Hall
NB! The session was in English.

Artist Kateřina Šedá and Hamza Walker, Associate Curator at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, discussed the Tram Buskers’ Tour unfolding its initial stages as well as opening up its relationship to Šedá’s previous works. How did this artwork come about, and what was the response?

Read more about Kateřina Šedá >
Read more about Hamza Walker >

What did I think of the IHME Project?

Saturday 2.4. at 19.00-20.00 Old Student House, Great Hall
The session will be in Finnish.

IHME asked for six interpretations of Kateřina Šedá’s Tram Buskers’ Tour IHME Project. In their 10-minute talks, the invited guests talked about the IHME Project from their own starting points and shared their views with the IHME Days public. The ranks of interpreters included tram driver Saara Raukko, art critic Otso Kantokorpi, audience members Esa-Matti Harkke and Tiia Roivanen, writer, associate professor of cultural history and sociology Jari Ehrnrooth and Director of Helsinki City Museum Tiina Merisalo.


Sunday 3.4. at 15.00-16.00 Old Student House, Great Hall
NB! The session was in English.

Festival’s keynote speaker Jan Verwoert gave a talk on artistic agency.

How to be an artist and make art? How to be a speaker and speak? A foreigner and still belong?

It’s not a given that people still make art, say things or sing songs once they identify as an artist, speaker or singer. Being appointed the role of the one who must act, speak or sing before others is a burden. You raise expectations. Will you disappoint? This fear is paralyzing. Unnamed others happily make art, speak and sing at home, on the street, or in the shower. They’re fine withit. Why surrender this joy and loose the agency of doing what you did freely and fearlessly, by naming yourself artist, speaker, singer? Even if this is who you may be?

Why not call yourself by your name? Why not be your own nominee?

Because others may find it pretentious. Friends, family, a whole country may agree: “Art? Come on. Get real. The people want politics. They need education. Teach them something useful. Don’t pretend you could make art, talk or sing. If you don’t want to do proper work, like us, you don’t belong here. Who do you think you are?” A foreigner to what a moral majority considers real, honest enough to admit that you are, you risk being cut off from reality: the reality of society around you, but also the reality of your very own life and practice. By calling yourself an artist, speaker or singer you may therefore become a foreigner to art, speech and song. Can you still belong? Never or nonetheless?

IHME Marathon

Sunday 3.4. at 17.15-19.45, Old Student House, Great Hall

IHME Days climaxed with the IHME Marathon, which presented ten Finnish artists with the theme ”What do artists do?”. Each artist took around 13 minutes to explain how their work comes into being and what kind of different stages the creative process includes.

The marathon 2016 was delivered by the following artists: Miina Hujala, Eero Yli-Vakkuri, Sanna Kannisto, Seppo Salminen, Nestori Syrjälä, Riitta Ikonen, Teija & Pekka Isorättyä, Heli Hiltunen and Jaakko Veijola.

Read more about the artists >

Serious Introspection

John W. Fail and Justin Tyler from Serious Introspection hosted daily live talk shows at the Old Student House. Artists, curators, organisers and participants appeared on an impromptu talk show set. The show took place twice each day. Photo: Lotta Blomberg