Research & Art

The Human Approach – art collection at the School of Business

The theme of the art concept that the one per cent art principle was applied to is Human Approach.
School of Business - Image by Mikko Raskinen
The Human Approach art collection. Photo: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University

The art concept Human Approach respects the past, still keeping an eye on the future. Public art at the School of Business aims to create an inclusive and dialogical experience and to create an open and low hierarchy working and learning environment.

‘Art can induce us to freely explore the world beyond fixed meanings or conceptions. In doing so, art can also create friction. Here at Aalto University, we believe that only through such collisions of different viewpoints, disciplines and knowledge communities can we create something new: the not-yet-known future,’ says Anna Valtonen, Vice President of Arts and Creative Practices of Aalto University. 

Kauppakorkeakoulu päärakennus aula Stage Kirsi Kivivirta Kuva: Mika Huisman
STAGE on the wall of the School of Business main lobby

‘For me the art concept Human Approach means being aware of other people. It’s a question of being a part of community, not so much a question of someone’s individual goals,’ says Kirsi Kivivirta, artist of the main piece of the Human Approach collection.

With harmonious colours that respect the architecture, STAGE welcomes everyone who enters the new building. The choice of ceramic as the material for an entrance artwork also respects the history of the former School of Business main building. STAGE creates an imaginary scene, a flexible frame for meetings and activities.

Kauppakorkeakoulu Pilvi Takala If your heart wants it Kuva: Pilvi Takala
Capture image of Pilvi Takala’s 'If your heart wants it' video series. Image: Pilvi Takala

School of Business’ 2018 Artist in Residence Pilvi Takala’s If your heart wants it video series focuses social interaction in the startup event SLUSH. Takala and her team infiltrated to the event and immersed themselves in SLUSH through different conversations and side events. The video series examines the tensions and interaction between the different actors.

‘Start up entrepreneurs are glorified within Finnish society as perfect citizens. Ideas that prevail in startup culture branch out and effect society at large, for better and for worse. This includes the normalisation of suffering as "no pain no gain". Through this work I am looking critically at these phenomenas as a manifestation of the culture of ‘pöhinä’, which is promoted as new and fresh, but ultimately still functions to continue the neoliberalisation of society,’ Pilvi Takala says. 

IC-98:n taideteos Mare Tranquillatatis Kauppakorkeakoulun kierreportaikoissa
Photo: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University

In the artist group IC-98’s, Patrik Söderlund and Visa Suonpää, artwork Mare Tranquillitatis, the spiral staircases form zones of complete silence, which serve as places of calmness and encounters in the here and now.

Clock capsules containing mostly mineral samples have been embedded in the mosaic steps of the concrete spiral staircases. The clock capsules make us an inseparable part of a continuum of billions of years and urge us to consider our responsibility for the living and material basis on which we have built our civilisation and its institutions.

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