Kolo is a Finnish word for a small place to hide, or to hide one’s valuables. It is a hollow place/space in an object or a nick on a surface. It can also be a nook, or home for small animals.

In this age of perpetual digital mediation, do we need a renewed sense of intimacy and connection? In a seemingly hectic space, can we feel peace and solitude? Kolo invites the audience to be in conflict between a private moment and a busy environment; to ponder peaceful zones of connection while engaging the senses in a multimodal environment. In so doing, Kolo draws our attention to the ways in which the experience of self is shaped through sensation, interaction and space.

Kolo examines interaction between two worlds: the outer world and the inner world. The outer world invites the audience to approach Kolo and let their senses guide them around the structure and interact with its surface. Kolo responds to this audience interaction with subtle sounds and haptic vibrations based on the nature and intensity of participant interaction. Exhibition animators, referred to as ‘Contactors’, facilitate the correspondence between worlds by encouraging participants to experiment with various modes and intensities of communication: bodily/haptic, sonic, vibrational, etc. Using sensors, Kolo translates external audience engagement into alterations in the lighting, sound, and vibrations within Kolo’s internal environment.

Once immersed in Kolo’s inner world, participants experience a subtly dynamic and calming darkness that contrasts sharply with the otherwise busy festival environment. They sense shadows of participation, but not the source of the shadows themselves. Once inside, the twilit shapes, movements, and sounds they sense are all they possess to interpret the outer world. Is communication taking place or is it merely an illusion? In order to understand the environment and its various modes of communication, participants must travel between both worlds. This transfer between experiential worlds and across various sensorial mediations brings Kolo to life. Audience members co-create their experience through interaction as they become active participants in creating and shaping Kolo’s internal and external worlds. Kolo encourages festival participants to slow down and become more aware of their senses and their bodily ability to influence space and one another.

Country/Region Finland

Curator Sampo Pyhälä

Curatorial Team Kimmo Karjunen, Riikka Kytönen, Jokke Heikkilä, Jyri Lahelma, Pasi Pakula, Johanna Ilmarinen

Artists Oscar Dempsey, Harold Hejazi, June Horton-White, Johanna Sulalampi, Mirva Mietala, Elina Ström, Riikka Mäntymaa, Riina Nieminen, Csilla Szlovák, Liisi Soroush, Vilma Vantola, Jenni Nylander, Kalle Rasinkangas, Atte Kantonen

photo Vilma Vantola