In English


Art as Work and Working Tool is a three-year joint project of interaction researchers and artists. The project is funded by Kone Foundation and collaborates closely with the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research on Intersubjectivity in Interaction. The project studies and develops the Summer Job project for young adults, produced by the URB Festival at Kiasma Theatre together with the City of Helsinki since 2011. The summer job project offers its participants a summer job in which they can explore contemporary art, experience art as work, and learn new working methods. During each summer job project the young adults will create a performance, which will be a part of URB festival’s programme.

Art as work and working tool collects video data from the summer job project’s rehearsals, and other material (e.g. writings) produced by the participants in 2014–2016. Art as Work and Working Tool examines what kinds of phenomena and skills can be learned through art, how art influences the creation of a sense of community, how the summer job project impacts the lives and choices of its participants, and how the methods of professional artists construct and reflect the goals and conventions of creating art.

While examining art as work and working tool, the artists and researchers work closely together by sharing and comparing their methods and theoretical viewpoints. Art as Work and Working Tool aims to produce information that can be used in developing the summer job project and understanding the meaning of art in society and individual’s life. The results will be presented through both academic and artistic means. The project will produce both academic and popular publications, and produce a documentary film about the participants in the summer job project.


Kiasma Theatre produced the URB Urban Art festival for the first time in 2000. URB festival showcases international and Finnish young artists, whose projects and works represent today’s urban art. The festival concentrates on the changes of urban culture, and on how these changes are portrayed in art. Elina Izarra Ollikainen has directed the summer job project together with artists from different fields since 2011.

The city of Helsinki has annually hired approximately eight young adults in their twenties to take part in the summer job project. In the summer job project the participants get to meet other artists, and discuss the essence and boundaries of art and art’s relation with society. During the summer job project the participants make a performance, which will be performed on URB festival.


Contact the whole team from inter-urb (at)

URB 2015

Laura Ihalainen, Tomi Visakko, Jonna Malaska, Marjo Savijärvi, Sara Pathirane, Katja Orpana, Liisa Raevaara, Elina Izarra Ollikainen ja Sauli Sirviö
©Susanna Kesänen

Laura Ihalainen // laura.h.ihalainen(at)
“I’m a postgraduate student in Finnish language and a doctoral researcher in this project. Besides Finnish language, I have also studied pedagogy and drama education. Interaction and learning interest me as research subjects.”

Tomi Visakko // tomi.visakko(at)
”I’m anthropologically oriented researcher of language and interaction. I work as a postdoctoral researcher in this project and I’m particularly interested in the relationship between artistic and everyday roles.”

Jonna Malaska // jonna.malaska(at)
”I’m a graduate student interested in interaction and in this project I work as a research assistant. I study Finnish language as my major and I’m writing my master’s thesis related to this project.”

Marjo Savijärvi // marjo.savijarvi(at)
”I’m a researcher of interaction and spoken language. I specialize in interaction-based learning. In my doctoral thesis I researched how Finnish-speaking children learn Swedish in interaction situations in a (language) immersion kindergarten. After my doctoral thesis I have studied how problems in understanding in everyday conversations are handled. In this project I work as a postdoctoral researcher.”

Sara Pathirane // sara.patrhirane(at)
”I’m a visual artist and I was the other director of the summer job project in 2015. The starting point of my artwork is the interaction of colors and the effects which world’s and the environment’s changes have on making art. My paintings and video art have been on view in Finland and abroad. I also make vanishing art and interventions.”

Katja Orpana // katja.orpana(at)
”I’m a sociology major who works in this project as a research assistant and a master’s thesis researcher. I’m interested in institutional interaction and critical research.”

Liisa Raevaara // liisa.raevaara(at)
”I’m a researcher of interaction and spoken Finnish language. I’ve studied many kinds of interaction situations from doctor’s appointments to kiosk encounters. I work as the leader of the project and I also do research in Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research on Intersubjectivity and in Institute for the Languages of Finland.”

Elina Izarra Ollikainen // elina.izarra(at)
”I’m a theater worker and a humanist. Since 2011, I’ve directed the summer job project with artists from different fields. In wintertime I’ve written scripts and directed documentaristic performances for different theaters. Among other things I apply Michael Chekhov’s technique in my work. I’ve studied Chekhov’s techniques in many European countries and in New York.”

Sauli Sirviö // sauli(at)
”I’m a visual artist and I worked as the other director of the summer job project in 2014. Now I’m making a video piece that will cover three years of the project. My work is based on experimental documentarism. I’m an artist member of SIC gallery and my art has been on view in foreign and Finnish events and galleries.”

Are Nikkinen // are.nikkinen(at)
”I’m a dramaturge and a scriptwriter. In 2016 I worked as the director of the summer job project with Elina. My work history contains script writing, teaching and developing television and radio programmes. I’ve also written nonfiction books about script writing and cinema.”

Mikael Aaltonen // mikael.aaltonen(at)
”I’m the artistic director of URB festival and I work in Kiasma theatre.”

Ilkka Arminen // ilkka.arminen(at)
”I work as a professor in the Department of Social Research in University of Helsinki. I’m also one of the researchers in Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research on Intersubjectivity.”

Annika Turunen//annika.k.turunen(at)
”I’m a graduate student in Finnish language, and I work as a research assistant in this project. I have also completed a degree in pedagogy. My interests are interaction, drama education, power structures, and the formation of identities.”