Experimental Production

Pixelache

Pixelache Helsinki is a Finland-based creative association on emerging creative practices with almost 20 years of activity engaging issues in eco-social transformation. Throughout the last two decades, the association has been running a trans-disciplinary platform for emerging art, design, research, technology and activism that involves a dynamic local community and an annual festival experimenting with a rotating directorial model. The association’s rich history and activities in the field of transformational creative practice are the core focus of the Pixelache experimental production (ExP).

Maker Contribution to Dodo ry’s ‘Megapolis 2026: Energetic Cities’, as part of Pixelache’s outreach & education programme ‘Pixelversity’, Helsinki, 15.10.2011 (image credit: Antti Ahonen).

Within the context of CreaTures research, the Pixelache ExP asks: What internal transformations have happened within the association over time that helped to maintain its structure and social dynamic? How is cultural programming sustained, and how are cultural and organisational practices passed on? What happens when key association members leave or new organisational formats emerge? What makes socialised creative practice sustainable? How might we engage and make accessible the past history of the association, to assist social sustainability and awareness of transformations over different generations of active contributors, wider cultural community, and research communities?

Members of the Pixelache group are conducting extensive participatory documentation and mapping of the social history and internal transformation of the Pixelache festival and platform over the period of its 20 years of existence, with a focus on those stages and processes that are relevant to eco-social transformation as it is broadly understood. This work involves a compiling of metadata and details from past Pixelache events and processes with a focus on Pixelache’s transformational objectives, ambitions, and impact in the field of eco-social sustainability.

The compiled data help to build a timeline of main Pixelache events and internal transformational moments in the organization, and a generational map of key members and their roles in sustaining the organization. The association’s website and content management is a record and source of information to consider, but so are digital organizational documents, and portfolio reports. This metadata is a backbone of factual information upon which narratives can be based. 

The ExP work-group lead an internal auidozines workshop in Spring 2022 to collectively consider the thematic and metadata compiled in the timeline and generational map, and to identify other artefacts (events, objects, narratives) from the associational history that may be useful in co-creating the final audio zones overview of Pixleache’s internal transformations. It is argued that in reference to these artefacts, we can start to consider in which way did the association respond to those transformations, and what was the impact of those changes. However, how can we work playfully and creatively with what we know and find online in our content management system but also with the gaps in the data? What did we gather to assist our memory or also what did we forget? What was sustainable and what was lost in the process?

Sumugan Sivanesan recording Andrew Gryf Paterson telling about the ‘felt excel’ fabric scheduling device he made for Camp Pixelache 2013 (image credit: Antti Ahonen).

Andrew Gryf Patterson, Irina Mutt and Sumugan Sivanesan lead a workshop with Pixelache members to focus on a collective making of zine-style audio vignettes based on what we have found in the process so far. Recording situated audio vignettes and narratives in the Pixelache office, we aim to use these audio vignettes to encourage further engagement in our archival documents and our content management system online. We aim to encourage those who interact with Pixelache’s documentation to look further. What type of stories can be told? What is more difficult and challenging? How can we work with the gaps? The work will result in an experimental co-created map interface documenting the Pixelache processes, and the related social memory ‘devices’ that were developed in the process.