Aalto Digital Creatives Art & Tech Open Call ’23 granted development funding to five creative industry projects

Ten finalists pitched at the Media Lab Spring Demo Day event. They had a short window of three minutes to convince the jury why their projects should be selected for the development funding.
Inside Artist team pitching at Art & Tech Final 2023
Photo: Marija Šumarac

The Aalto Digital Creatives Art & Tech Open Call ’23 received a record number of 92 applications in total which is over double the amount of applications submitted to the open call in the previous year. Only ten of these applications were selected for the final which took place at the Media Lab Spring Demo Day event in Studio Kipsari.

Depending on the scale and scope of the projects and their financial and infrastructural needs, the jury had the opportunity to grant development funding for three to five projects. As per last year, the maximum number of five projects received grants varying between EUR 10 000 to 15 000 per project. On top of the development grant, Genelec awarded three projects with the Genelec Studio Monitoring Pair 8010.

The jury had representatives from each of the Art & Tech Open Call partners: Taina Seitsara, the City of Helsinki; Jouni Frilander, YLE; Kati Pajukallio, Genelec; Milla Moilanen, AVEK and Marcus Korhonen, Aalto Studios.

What the jury looks for in the Art & Tech projects are ideas that push the boundaries of what is possible in the creative and arts fields when technology is harnessed in novel ways. The teams must also be prepared to produce a demo or a prototype of their idea. The jury also looks for variety when picking out the winning projects. 

One of the winning projects was Inside Artist which won EUR 15 000 development funding and access to Aalto Studios infrastructure. In the final, the Inside Artist team was represented by Adele Halttunen and Tuija Halttunen. Their project is a concept workshop using cross-disciplinary methods for the visual exploration of the interaction between the artist and the person experiencing the artwork.

Adele Halttunen and Tuija Halttunen photo
Adele Halttunen & Tuija Halttunen | Photo: Kalle Kataila

Antti Ahokoivu’s team entered the competition with their R&D of Instrument project which focuses on developing a workflow for real-time VFX followed by finding the narrative realms and story concepts where it can bring the best results. This project which focuses on the intersection of technology, storytelling and production was awarded EUR 15 000. 

Antti Ahokoivu photo
Antti Ahokoivu | Photo: Kalle Kataila
Joel Rahkonen photo
Staffan Gräsbeck | Photo: Kalle Kataila

Kodnamn Merkurius short film’s team were awarded EUR 10 000 and access Aalto Studios equipment. Staffan Gräsbeck and Joel Rahkonen pitched at the Art & Tech Final for the opportunity to test virtual environments and immersive sound which could be used in the production of the short film.

Juan Duarte’s Augury: Multi-channel portable sound device was one of the more technology focused projects which was granted development funding in this year’s Art & Tech Open Call. The device is a portable and live sound spatialization interface for controlling spatialization during sound performances and installations. Together with the development funding of EUR 10 000, the project will make use of access to Aalto Studios testing environment. 

Juan Duarte photo
Juan Duarte| Photo: Kalle Kataila
Miika Hyytiäinen photo
Miika Hyytiäinen | Photo: Kalle Kataila

Composer, performer and researcher Miika Hyytiäinen’s Sign and Body project aims to interpret singer-performers body as a multidimensional graphic notation, an abstract musical motive. This motive is then adapted into other art forms to explore how the motive feels, sounds or looks across those art forms. Miika’s team were awarded EUR 10 000.

Luiza Preda & Alan Castellanos photo
Luiza Preda & Alan Castellanos | Photo: Kalle Kataila

Winners of the Genelec product prizes were Juan Duarte, Miika Hyytiäinen and team OASIS formed by Alan Castellanos and Luiza Preda. The OASIS project is an interactive installation which explores how technology and art can be combined to create an immersive environment where people’s mental health and wellbeing become the centerpiece of the artwork. 

The winning projects will commence production during the summer months. The teams will be invited to present their demos and prototypes at the Art & Tech Gala which takes place during the spring semester 2024. Additional details of the event will be released closer to date. 

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Aalto Digital Creatives (external link)

Aalto Digital Creatives pre-incubator program aims to help creative industry students, researchers and practitioners on their path towards entrepreneurship.. The program is supported by the City of Helsinki and it’s part of Helsinki-based higher education institutions’ campus incubators network. Aalto Digital Creatives program is coordinated by Aalto Startup Center and Aalto Studios.

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Aalto Digital Creatives launches annual Art & Tech Open Call development grant for creative industry projects

The Art & Tech Open Call seeks applications from artists and creatives who are passionate about pushing the boundaries of what is possible with technology.

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