Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Äänimuseo V

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

I finished the 5th version of the Äänimuseo project a couple of weeks ago. Here is a little demo video.

Video, jonka mnstri (@mnstri) julkaisi

Äänimuseo [Sound Museum] is a tangible sound player that I have been working on since 2011 in collaboration with the Rupriikki Media Museum and Tampere Museum Services. Each year we have created a slightly different version of the initial project. The various iterations of the device have been used by the City of Tampere as a service for the elderly. Äänimuseo is used in guided discussion sessions, where the participants can talk about their memories with the help of the sounds.

Kannettava äänimuseo, suunnittelija Matti Niinimäki/Månsteri. Mediamuseo Rupriikki 2016.

The device comes with a collection of 32 wooden discs. Each disc represents a sound that can be played by placing the disc on top of the device. In this version, the sounds are everyday sounds divided into three categories: home, office, and cottage.

Kannettava äänimuseo, suunnittelija Matti Niinimäki/Månsteri. Mediamuseo Rupriikki 2016.

The fifth version built in 2016 is an improved iteration of the 2015 model that is available for loan from the Tampere City Library home services department. It is based on the same idea of portability as the 2015 version, but is made from solid wood instead of plywood, which creates a more robust and warmer feel. Each of the wooden discs features a laser-etched illustration of the sound.

  • Materials: solid maple and birch plywood
  • Technology: a custom audio player with NFC reader
  • Dimensions: 250 mm x 250 mm x 60 mm

Additional credits:

  • Content curation and collaboration: Lila Heinola (Culture Education Unit TAITE) and Outi Penninkangas (Media Museum Rupriikki)
  • Illustrations for the wooden discs: Narim Lee
  • Photographs: Saana Säilynoja/Vapriikin kuva-arkisto

Artisan of the Year

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

The Craft Museum of Finland nominated me today as the Artisan of the Year. I’m very honoured by the nomination, and I feel that the museum was quite brave in selecting someone like me. Every year they nominate someone that they feel highlights modern artisanship or somehow approaches the idea from a fresh perspective, and this year they picked me.


Photo: Sami Perttilä

This thing came as a really big surprise to me, although artisanship or craftsmanship in the field of digital art, media art, and design is a topic I have been giving a lot of thought to recently. I’m writing a longer text on the subject soon and will publish it here. But for now I just wanted to say thank you!


My studio. Photo: Sami Perttilä

The museum gave me a little spot on their permanent exhibition to create something new. I took the opportunity to create a bigger and better version of the Oversized Electronics idea that I had been messing with before.


The breadboard you see above is a wooden, fully functional breadboard, built in 10:1 scale. The lit up little thing on the right is an actual breadboard. The object itself is behind a glass in the exhibition, but the brightness of the LEDs can be controlled with the potentiometers. I didn’t have time to take proper documentation of the project, but I’ll post some other pictures and videos once I go visit the place again.

You can go see it for yourself in the Craft Museum in Jyväskylä.

Minimal – The RFID Turntable

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Minimal is an RFID turntable designed as a tangible audio player interface for museums. This first version will be part of the Revontuli exhibition in Museum Centre Vapriikki that opens in June 2014.

Made out of laser cut acrylic.
Powered by Arduino.
More information soon.


Live Herring ’14 Exhibition in Jyväskylä

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Have you ever wondered what kind of pets would intelligent robots or androids keep? I have, so I made a pet store for robots. You can visit the store in the beautiful town of Jyväskylä at Galleria Ratamo

Here is a little sample of the creatures on display:

Live Herring ’14
23/1 – 2/3/2014
Galleria Ratamo
Veturitallinkatu 6
Jyväskylä, Finland

Tree Review

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

I wanted to quickly mention my Tree Review project. What started as a random Instagram picture, has now evolved into a collection of photographs and stories. Here is a little sample:

  • Squid Tree
  • Vuosaari, Helsinki, FI
  • July 2013

Hundreds of years ago a lonely squid got into a horrible storm and was washed on top of a cliff long way away from the sea. It pondered about its future for a little while on this sllippery cliff. The squid had never really felt like it was actually a squid. All that water business didn’t feel right. The squid was also a very lazy squid and it didn’t want to make the effort to squiggle its way back to the sea through the thick forest. Under the circumstances, being a tree instead of a squid seemed like a brilliant idea. And there the squid still is today, living its life as a tree. A good choice, in my opinion. 4/5

See all the reviews so far:

Rupriikki Media Museum

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Rupriikki Media Museum opened their new exhibition Jokapäiväinen mediamme (Our Daily Media) on October 4, 2012. For the past year, I’ve been working on three interactive installations for the exhibition. The approach for designing the installations was Media Archaeological or Interface Archaeological. We used old technologies and interfaces – such as the telegraph, analog photography, rotary dial telephones – as the interfaces for providing digital content and user experiences for the visitors.

I would like to thank the staff of Rupriikki for inviting me to work on this project. The whole process was a collaboration with the museum. I would especially like to thank researchers Niklas Nylund and Outi Penninkangas, and exhibiton designer Elina Rantasaari. And of course the construction and technical crew who built the exhibition.

Pimiö [The Darkroom]

The first installation I would like to talk about is the Darkroom. Film photography and darkrooms are far from obsolete, but still the whole process of developing you photographs in a darkroom might be quite unfamiliar for the generation that has only used digital cameras. This installation uses the gestures and artefacts found in a real darkroom as the way to interact with the installation.

The visitor places an empty photograph paper into the developing tray and a picture appears on the paper. The picture then turns into a slideshow of other photographs of the same theme. There are currently five different papers and each paper is going to display different photographs from the Photo Archives of Tampere Museums.

The whole interaction experience is not very accurate compared to all the steps you need to do in a real darkroom, but is enough to trigger the memories of a real darkroom for anyone who has ever worked in one. Or it could inspire someone to get into analog photography. It also does what it is meant to do, which is to serve as an interface for browsing historical photographs.

Technical stuff: Each paper has an RFID tagembedded into it and the RFID reader under the developing tray recognizes each paper and displays the correct content. The reader is attached to an Arduino Uno board and Quartz Composer is used to display the projected images.

Sähkötyschat [Telegraph Chat]

There are two telegraph keys in different locations in the exhibition. The visitors can send messages from one location to the other with morse code. The display shows the message that you are writing and also the incoming telegram sent from someone from the other side of the room.

I started working on this in January 2012. A couple of weeks after that, I saw the Tworse Key project by Martin Kaltenbrunner. (Other Telegraph + Arduino projects exist too). Since he had done the work of converting morse code to text on the Arduino and released the source with a CC license, I decided to not reinvent the wheel and based my code on that. In accordance with the license (cc-by-sa), I will release the source as soon as I clean it up a bit.

Technical stuff: Arduino + Quartz Composer. One Mac Mini controlled both of the locations.

Haloo? [Hello?]

The third installation is a simple phone that allows the visitor to call various numbers from the past and present, such as Neiti Aika (Miss Time/Speaking Clock service) or Juho Holmstén-Heiniö, an inventor from Tampere.

Vieraat jutut at Juttutupa

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Another installation still running this week! Vieraat jutut was made with Pasi Rauhala as a project for the Art Goes Kapakka festival. It’s an interactive installation where we set up two old rotary phones in different tables of the restaurant. You pick up one phone and the other starts ringing, and then you just wait for a stranger to answer your call.

More information:

Still running for two days:

Fri 24/8 10:00 – 03:00
Sat 25/8 10:00 – 03:00

Säästöpankinranta 6
Helsinki, Finland

Race Code at Lasipalatsi

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Race Code is running this week at the Lasipalatsi Square in Helsinki (projection on the wall next to the mbar terrace). It’s part of the Media Facades program at Helsingin Juhlaviikot. More information here:

The opening was yesterday at the Night of the Arts. Forgot my camera so no pics except a crappy iPhone shot in the dark.

I’ll probably be there every night to set it up around 21:30. So come and say hi, if you feel like it.

Running times:

Fri 24/8 – Sun 26/8
21:30 – 01:00

Lasipalatsi Square
Mannerheimintie 22-24
Helsinki, Finland

Äänimuseo [Sound Museum]

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Äänimuseo [Sound Museum] is an interactive sound installation that was created for the Koukkuniemi Home for the Elderly in spring 2011. It is a tool that allows the people living in Koukkuniemi to reminisce and share their memories with the help of auditory and haptic cues.

All photographs on this page are by Antti Sompinmäki

There are different kinds of objects laid out on the table and each object has its corresponding sound. The sound starts playing when the object is placed on the elevated area in the middle of the table. More complex soundscapes can be created by placing multiple objects on the table at the same time. The objects and their sounds are divided into four different categories: Tampere, nature, work and leisure.

Video of the table on YLE Areena

More information about the project (in Finnish).

The team working on the project:

  • Production: Rupriikki Media Museum (as a part of the Kulttuurikaari project)
  • Producer & Designer: Niklas Nylund
  • Programming & Interaction Design: Matti Niinimäki
  • Sound Design: Mikko Koskinen
  • Models: Lauri Karskela

The Race Code – Kluuvin galleria

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

I haven’t updated the site in a looong time. Not sure if anyone is reading this anymore… A lot of things have happened both professionally and personally and I’ll try to post something more as soon as possible.

Most importantly, I wanted to post something about The Race Code. An installation I made together with Timo Wright. It is currently on display at Kluuvin galleria in Helsinki as a part of Timo’s exhibition If You Tolerate This…


February 17 to March 4, 2012
Wed–Sun 11-18

Kluuvi Gallery
Unioninkatu 28 B
(4th floor, courtyard)
Helsinki, Finland

Free admission

The Race Code

The Race Code is an installation that comments on the growing atmosphere of racism in Finland. The visitor enters the exhibition space where a large grid of portrait pictures of the previous visitors are displayed. The visitor can then enter a photo booth where they can have their picture taken. The software analyzes the facial features of the person and compares those features to a certain ‘ideal face’. The picture is then added to the grid. The closer the facial features are to that ideal, the higher the picture is placed on the grid, arranging the visitors into ‘higher and lower races’.

I will write about this more in detail when we have some video documentation

The original concept is by Timo Wright. Programming and visual design by me.

The Long Journey Home

The other work in the exhibition is called The Long Journey Home. A very powerful sound installation. I highly recommend listening to the stories carefully (if you understand Finnish). I wasn’t really officially involved in this project, but I helped Aki Päivärinne and Janne Koivula with the programming and electronics.

The Long Journey Home is a sound installation in which the experiences of today’s refugees’, the Finnish war children’s’ and the Karelian refugees’ are combined into a single touching experience.

The Long Journey Home