Maija Annikki Savolainen: /d a t a c e n t r e

/d a t a c e n t r e by artist Maija Annikki Savolainen is an exhibition shifting through time.
moss and weeds in a field with white triangles
Photo by Maija Annikki Savolainen

In collaboration with curator Yvonne Billimore
7 January 2021—14 February 2021
Location: SOLU
SOLU Space, Luotsikatu 13, Helsinki
Wed–Sat 12–16h or by appointment

Mirroring the format of a residency, the exhibition performs as a site for ongoing research, material experimentation and knowledge transmission. Throughout the duration of the show, Savolainen will continue to work with the exhibition’s components, developing new constellations of text, photographs and materials such as glass, quartz stones and geopolymers made of municipal waste incineration slag.Through fusing and re-configuring these materials Savolainen asks, what kind of fossils will digital pictures leave behind? 

Whilst drawing on Savolainen’s long term research about photographic gesture and transmission of knowledge through light, the exhibition reflects on a residency undertaken in rural Scotland in 2019: North AiR: Expanding Entanglements. Responding to the sites and surroundings of northern Scotland Savolainen was magnetised by the geological formations and high concentration of stone circles in these areas. 

/d a t a c e n t r e presents stone circles as ancient data centres: sites for the gathering, processing and distributing knowledge. Savolainen explores quartz stone as a connecting material which bonds together the sites of Tomnaverie, a neolithic stone circle in Aberdeenshire, and SOLU, a contemporary art gallery in Helsinki. It is speculated that crushed quartz, found around stone circles, was once connecting people to the moon and stars in neolithic times. Today, silicon made of ultra-pure quartz is known for its semiconducting properties and is the material foundation for our wireless communication infrastructure. Over time and space the function of the mineral remains the same, connecting us through the skies. 

Over the course of the exhibition a sequence of reading circles will be held in SOLU to generate energy, knowledge transmission and speculative enquiry around the work. These miniature rituals invite a series of guests from a range of disciplines to present texts which can be collectively read and discussed. There will be four reading circles in the series, the first will be hosted by curator Yvonne Billimore on Thursday 3th December 6pm-8pm. Originally planned to take place within the exhibition at SOLU, the reading circles will now be held as online events over zoom. Further details here.

Reading Circles

Reading Circle I with curator Yvonne Billimore
Thursday 3 December 6-8pm. Online via zoom. (EN) 

Reading Circle II with data centre architect Tapani Virkkala 
Thursday 17 December 6-8pm. Online via zoom (EN) 

Reading Circle III with radio astronomer Anne Lähteenmäki 
Thursday 14 January 6-8pm. Location TBC (EN)

Reading Circle IV with artist Maija Annikki Savolainen
Thursday 28 January 6-8pm. Location TBC (FI)

How to attend 
Originally planned to take place within the exhibition at SOLU, the reading circles will now be held as online events over zoom. We hope that the later two reading circles can take place in SOLU if recommendations allow. We will inform all participants and announce the locations by the 7th January. 
To register for one or more of the reading circles please send an email to [email protected] or call 040 5065871.
Events are held in either English or Finnish (spoken and written). The language of the event is assigned next to each event. 

/d a t a c e n t r e has been curated in collaboration with Yvonne Billimore who previously worked at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop. Although her time there did not align with Savolainen’s residency, their shared interest in the location’s matters and materials have been the foundations for this collaboration. 

The exhibition is supported by Taike, X-glass Oy, Betolar Oy and Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY.

Maija Annikki Savolainen is a visual artist working with photography, text, stones and green plants. She gained her Master of Arts in Photography from Aalto University in 2014. With a background studying biology, her work tends to combine natural sciences and art in a distinctive way. Photographic gestures and light induced communication technologies are in the core of her practices. Her works have been on exhibition widely in Finland and abroad, most recently in the Transeurope -platform in Museum of Photography in Helsinki and Athens. She has published a monograph with a title When the Sense of Belonging is Bound to a System of Movement in 2014 by Kehrer Verlag. Alongside her own practice she has been working in various collaborations: One Picture Manifesto, Kinship photo, Trojan Horse Summer School and Maanantai-collective.

Yvonne Billimore is an artist-curator, currently working as associate programme curator at Frame Contemporary Art Finland. Previously she worked at Scottish Sculpture Workshop in rural Aberdeenshire, where she developed and produced a programme of residencies, projects, workshops and public events. Her work facilitates situations for collective learning, exchange and experiences with particular attention given to feminist and ecological practices. She is currently exploring Feminist Collective Research Practices, with research performed through a range of approaches including archival research, workshops, reading groups, correspondence, writing and an open call for responses:

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