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Graphics: Wojtek Mejor, Agnieszka Pokrywka



Pixelache Festival 2021 Open Call

Pixelache Helsinki is a Transdisciplinary Platform for Emerging Art, Design, Research and Activism, organised by the non-profit association Piknik Frequency ry. It consists of an annual festival in Helsinki, as well as participatory art-science and technology productions, public events, educational programmes, residencies and other activities. Our non-profit association has operated since 2002, also named Pikseliähky.

Between 2021-2022, Pixelache will reach its 20th year anniversary, and Pixelache Helsinki Festival is currently one of the longest-running interdisciplinary cultural festivals in Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea region. It continues to promote emergent inter- and trans-disciplinary practices and thinking between art, design, technology, research and activism.


> Pixelache’s 2020-21 Theme: #Burn___

#Burn___ is the thematic premise for the next two years of Pixelache’s cultural output as an association, it connects psychological, social and environmental collapse, and how we can survive it, developing resilience.

The programme is designed to give the possibility to different actors to interpret the theme ‘#Burn___’ in multiple ways and continues our experiments in open and collaborative curation methods. We foresee the focus covering a wide spectrum of possibilities, from the personal to the social and extended systemic perspectives, including for example mental health and ecological states and conditions as related subjects.

Read ‘A Letter fae the Other Side’
(31.1.2020, updated 20 days later)

Poetic text by Andrew Gryf Paterson, to give hints of the scope of this theme

We hope to address the #Burn____ theme via postmedia, participatory and somatic contemporary practices, mixing art, design, together with public services, social /-democratic activism, and commons-orientated action. We wish to facilitate a sharing- economy that is not exploitative and exhausting, asking about ethics. Rather than reduce, we consider and promote increasingly complex or non-mediated but network-facilitated exchanges, and commissioned artworks or actions.

It is confirmed that Pixelache Helsinki 2021 Festival will take place at Helsinki City’s new central library Oodi.  

This exciting new public learning and leisure centre was voted last year as the best new library in the world and is very popular with both locals and international visitors since it opened in December 2018. We hope this festival venue site will encourage you to think about all its spaces, active and passive, ordered and dynamic, as well as the diverse client-base and potential audience. Saturday 12th June is also Helsinki City Day, another very popular event day. Hence this Pixelache Festival will be very public, and we aim to raise to this challenge! More about the library here.



Preferred language is English but if you should still choose to apply with other mentioned languages (Suomeksi, Svenska, Пo-Русски), that would be okay as well.

First Open Call
23.4.2020, closes 23.5.2020, 23:59 EEST

For projects / processes / contributions which need to use a particular Oodi Central Library space that needs to be reserved or booked in advance. Contributions selected from the Open Call will be included in our funding applications in Autumn 2020.

Second Open Call
1.12.2020, closes 31.1.2021, 23:59 EET

For projects / processes / contributions which do not need to use a particular Oodi Central Library space reserved in advance, and may be seen as more of an intervention in other spaces of the building.

Maximum 2 submissions per applicant.

Please note: Currently we have not gathered or developed a budget for the festival production at the time of this first open call, April-May 2020, with feedback by the end of June 2020. If selected, we seek your permission to include your proposal in our funding applications in Autumn 2020, to gather the support to make them happen.


Please submit your proposals through our official webpage






Open Call Curatorial Committee

There are six persons on the curatorial committee who will consider your proposal, including three invited persons, Laura Gustafsson, Tuukka Haapakorpi and Shubhangi Singh, plus from our Pixelache membership, Anastasia Artemeva, Ilpo Heikkinen, and Frida Stenbäck. The committee is facilitated by Andrew Gryf Paterson, who initiated the theme and venue choice of the Festival.


Invited Curatorial Committee

Laura Gustafsson is a writer, who works in the fields of literature, visual arts and theatre. She has published four novels and has an interdisciplinary collaboration with visual artist Terike Haapoja. Gustafsson&Haapoja has realized exhibitions named as museums, video works, installations, performances and also published books. Activism and advocacy play a strong part in Gustafsson’s works and life. -
Tuukka Haapakorpi is a Helsinki based media artist currently working in the Central Library Oodi as a Specialized Librarian. Graduated from the post-Ma program ”Critical Images” in The Institute of Art in Stockholm, he’s interested in the interplay of media culture, public space and art.
Shubhangi Singh’s practice as a visual artist and filmmaker responds to contemporary politics and the interconnectedness of production and reproduction of popular everyday material. She often draws upon her experiences to address identity and queries related to the feminine and its position within society. Shubhangi is the co-founder of New City Limits, an initiative to facilitate creative viewing and practice in Navi Mumbai, India. - 



Pixelache members Committee

Anastasia Artemeva is a visual and socially-engaged artist based in Helsinki. Her projects explore spaces and make room for new interactions. She is the founder of Prison Outside - an art and research project on issues of incarceration. Artemeva has written for the Visual Artists’ News Sheet (Ireland) and IMAGE InSEA: International Society for Education through Art magazine.  -

Ilpo Heikkinen is a multitool of cultural work. He works with performing arts, cultural activism, music, technology and ecological building methods powered with ethos combining the commons, participation and open source. Currently, he works as one of the core team members behind the Social Tools Conference and Training Circles. -
Frida Stenbäck is a visual artist and a maker based in Helsinki. Her interests towards societal and material explorations have led her to work and study interdisciplinary in the fields of visual arts, design and scenography. Her current practice combines the expressivity of visual and performative arts with the practicality of design; creating a playful tool for critical observations and future speculations.

Andrew Gryf Paterson is an 'artist-organiser', cultural producer, educator and independent researcher. He specialises exploring connections between art, digital culture, science, cultural activism related to the commons, DIY-Do-It-With-Others, ecological and sustainability movements, along with cultural heritage and collaborative networks.




Please submit your contribution as follows:

1. Title of Project / Process / Contribution (100 chars)
2.  Description (1000 chars)
3. Technical description & needs to make it happen or display (500 chars)
4. Supporting images (3 only)
5. Biography or description of you / your group or collective (600 chars)
6. Online link to CV/Portfolio (1-2 links)  
7. Indicate if you submit for: First Open Call
8. Indicate if you submit for: Second Open Call
9. Production Status: Is this project already produced?
10. Production Status: Does it need production funds to happen? (Yes, No, Maybe). If you answered Yes or Maybe, please give an indication, with as much detail as reasonable to give us an idea of what is needed to make it happen. (1000 chars) 


Please submit your proposals through our official webpage




A Letter fae the Other Side
31.1.2020 *updated 20 days later...

Originally written by Andrew Gryf Paterson, proofread by Shubhangi Singh

My dears, #kullat
I send greetings from the #OtherSide. The river is not so wide. Liminality’s shore & share. Death is over there. Life is here. I wish to invite you to #Burn____

The blank is purposefully left there. For you to fill in. Filled by a multitude of persons hybrid in various ways. To connect together relationships and experiences of psychological, social and environmental collapse, let’s explore together how we can survive it, developing resilience.

26*12(+24) fires make a patch work that demands attention. The fires keep, coming.

We need to extend beyond cultural practices into how we live with ourselves, to be with each other humans and non-humans in the future, with\in ecosystems, social flesh-n-blood groups and digital networks. We don’t want to burn out of our lives because of residency papers do we? Thicker printer-paper will keep your hands warmer for a little longer.

There will be losses. I only really trust older cultural workers these days who have burned out at least once. The youngs, we need to support through and across, so we can learn from them and support the passions that paddle and move us. Burning heart issues #offline #onlife2020.

Because words do these days. It is obvious you have heard of billions in flames, especially in the middle of your dark endless November. Literally the soundscape of Gondwana (tens of millions of years ago). It is dark no, sooty, charred. Isn’t it obvious by now? Darkness needs to be scared off, and the leftovers are burnt.

They saved the most ancient ones. Warming us all, lighting us up in the future! You. Are. Resilient. Digital tools are less powerful than the physical processes in the carbon cycle. I will not be consumed. I will not be consumed. I will be left in the ground. I will be left in the ground. I will sift through the air. I will sift through the air. I am water. I will flow.

Solar punk. It will keep going providing energy, longer than we will. AR-VR-Gamer blurrr of realities. Fever temperatures in your body. Performance demands and constant growth does not necessarily equate to new wisdom. Knowledge production arguably only happens with care and attention.

It is because the system makes it so easy to perpetuate crisis, it writes itself. The highest resolution photos of the sun ever taken remind you however even the hottest things have a structure like a confederation, buffering, rendering with each other. That is a truth that shines beyond fake news.

As ContraPoints sais "Is it hot in here or is the world just like this now?" Torches in the past, present and future were/are/will not be held just by assumed White Men. Indeed there's a guid anarcho-punk tradition out there which suggests in a shouty way where the oppressive eviction powers and systems can get tae f..

Death & Healing included. Of course this is an article for those art historians, amateur or professional who are mostly immersed in Western modernist-influenced art.. Non-Western indigenous artists arguably always keep a closer companion to these subjects.. Compassion is necessary.

Narrow-minded socialization and patriotism is over, interdependence wins! To celebrate, the Young(s) paint their faces with the colours and shapes they believe in, and slip below the radar.. Finland is leading the work and struggle already starting with under 12 year olds. That off the screen, into your head?

“Uncle, why are you still going out without a face mask? Don’t laugh. Hurry up and get in your car and go home.” What is going to keep society in check during our chaotic fold? Trust or Drones or both? Who needs labels, ontologies, shelf-positions.. Scans. Fluidity runs over them. We will not.

Pixel-aching, with devices, books, sport-gear, games, plus plus more than just checkouts, returns, silent spaces.. Burning. No need to do that to those bridges, them edges. We don't have to collapse, we can do socio-economics differently. In, not Out. In, not Out. RW (re-writable) disks.

You might think that it is all about fire. No, it is not just that. In old and modern Scots, the word burn refers to water.[1] A stream. We can be burn-bearers. Brewing tea. Soothing words, dousing or putting out the heat. Keeping the calm. Seek sacred wells to draw from. ‘Naturally’.

We launched our process on the eve of Bridghe’s (Bríde, St. Bridgid, Imbolc) day.[2] A balance between darkness and light. A traditional Gaelic festival marking the beginning of Spring, halfway between winter solstice and spring equinox. It’s a time to wash and cleanse oneself. We are pregnant. Potential is in the belly. Let’s have the guts.

Andrew Gryf Paterson,

[1] Burn n. Dictionary of Scots Language. Accessible from
[2] Imbolc. Accessible from


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Pixelache Helsinki · Kaasutehtaankatu 1, Rakennus/Building 7 · Helsinki 00540 · Finland

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