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Due to the exceptional global situation caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), the opening date of Helsinki Biennial will be postponed. The first Helsinki Biennial will be held in the unique surroundings of Vallisaari Island 12.6.–26.9.2021.

Niskanen & Salo

FI/US
Niskanen & Salo’s recent works have delved into the world of the senses, human interactions, memories, experiences of solitude and togetherness, and their associations with global themes. Their installation in Helsinki Biennial invites visitors to immerse themselves in a nocturnal landscape in which every sea mark light around Vallisaari Island is assigned a particular musical note.

Mark Niskanen (b. 1991) and Jani-Matti Salo (b. 1984) create multidisciplinary installations that weave together everyday phenomena and technologies. Their work draws on their respective backgrounds in music, lens-based media, audiovisual research and scenography. The duo’s recent works have delved into the world of the senses, human interactions, memories, experiences of solitude and togetherness, and their associations with global themes. Their work takes the form of site-sensitive situations of a personal, amorphous and ephemeral nature.

A Scene (2020), an installation by Mark Niskanen and Jani-Matti Salo, invites visitors to immerse themselves in a nocturnal landscape in which every sea mark light around Vallisaari Island is assigned a particular musical note. Each light flashes at its own rhythm, creating a musical composition that slowly unfolds apace with the cycle of daylight.

In addition to the installation on Vallisaari Island, the work comprises a second part which can be viewed after dusk on the observatory hill in Kaivopuisto Park at times of good visibility. On the hilltop, the sea mark lights are momentarily synchronized with the musical rhythms; they meet for a fleeting moment, and then the connection vanishes, over and over. The work can be accessed online at www.ascene.fi.

The work was produced with the kind support of the Arts Council of Finland, Uusimaa Regional Fund of the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Greta and William Lehtinen Foundation.

Photos: Sarah Mueller