Jenna Sutela, Gut-Machine Poetry, 2017. Finnish National Gallery / Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. Screen capture of the online artwork

Beyond Human Understanding: Creating New Language and Visuals on the Web. Commissioned Online Artworks by Jenna Sutela and Tuomo Rainio

Aino Nurmesjärvi, MA Student, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

This article is published as a result of a three-month research internship at the Finnish National Gallery, during which Aino Nurmesjärvi conducted interviews with two of the online artists from the ‘ARS17+’ exhibition organised by the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki

Introduction: art on the internet

‘ARS17, a major exhibition of international contemporary art at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, in Helsinki, is the ninth ARS exhibition to be held since they began in 1961. ARS exhibitions have always reflected the topical discussions of their time[1] and the 2017 exhibition comments on the changing relationship between digital technology and the arts. Given this theme of digital revolution and Kiasma’s role as an exhibitor and collector of contemporary art in all its forms, it was decided to extend the sphere of the exhibition to include online art,[2] which resulted in ‘ARS17+ Online Art, an exhibition and a collection[3] of online art[4]. The ‘ARS17+ website describes the internet, today, as ‘a natural environment for art to grow, prosper and evolve’.[5] Yet, it is also possible to say that the internet is not necessarily a natural environment for the museum. The online collection marks a notable change.

[1] ARS 50 vuotta, muistoja, historiaa, näkökulmia 19612011, 2010.

[2] Miller 2017, 174.

[3] Most of the works in ‘ARS17+ Online Art’ belong to the Kiasma and Finnish National Gallery collections.

[4]  As a research intern at the Finnish National Gallery, I was also able to talk with the curators and other members of the museum staff behind the ‘ARS17+ Online Art’ exhibition. In this article, I use the interviews with the artists as source material. However, all the discussions have influenced my research and writing process, even the ones not explicitly cited here.

[5] Kiasma 2017.

Featured image: Jenna Sutela, Gut-Machine Poetry, 2017. Finnish National Gallery / Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. Screen capture of the online artwork

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