Introduction

What is Pikseliähky // Pixelache? Pikseliähky // Pixelache is a festival of electronic art and subcultures, organised in Helsinki since year 2002.

Through a series of performances, exhibitions and club events, Pixelache presents playful projects both experimenting with and taking a critical approach to media and technology. In addition, the festival features practical workshops as well as seminars addressing current issues in the development of digital media.

The name of the festival was found in an article that was trying to predict emerging new expressions. The word ‘pixelache’ (similar to ‘headache’) was supposed to describe the feeling that results from an overdose of digital media content. This overdose can happen easily if the content is too monotonic – which is the case if standards, formats, tools and design principles converge to a narrow set of options. Pixelache presents projects that try to break out of the box and expand the spectrum of how media and technology is used. Instead of showcasing existing projects, Pixelache focuses on presenting new work as well as early prototypes of experimental projects that challenge the dominant design.

Information about previous editions of Pixelache Helsinki can be found on Pixelache Network website.

Since year 2006, Pixelache has also been organising monthly events in Helsinki. These events offer a regular meeting point for the local Pixelache scene and feature artist presentations, workshops, seminars and club events.

What is 'Pixelache University'?

'Pixelache University' is the title of Pixelache Helsinki Festival 2008 (12-16 March). This year's theme is education - how to bring together art, science, technology and culture in an interesting and challenging way? Can educational institutions learn something from grassroot communities on how to share knowledge and support innovation?

We decided to use the word 'University' to make a reference to the Innovation University that is currently being set up in Finland. The Innovation University will start its activities in year 2009 and will then have three existing universities (University of Art and Design, University of Technology and Helsinki School of Economics) under its bureaucratical wings. Over the past two years there has been a heated public debate about whether combining these three schools together is a good idea or not. Unfortunately this discussion has been mostly superficial, since many details of how this new school will operate are still open.

Pixelache Festival will contribute to this discussion by presenting concrete examples of non-conventional ways to educate and innovate. Our focus is in grassroot networks that can operate across institutional boundaries and do not have to serve immediate commercial interests or please mass audiences. This freedom makes it possible to develop new kinds of tools, technologies and forms of expression.

 Examples of communities that Pixelache has been working with are VJ / live video performance community (see for example N.I.P. and Kitchen Budapest Animata), open source community (see our partner event Piksel in Bergen) and grassroot communities dealing with political issues such as freedom of speech, copyright, global inequality and environment (see for example 'Traveling without moving' and 'Signals from the South' seminars in Pixelache 2008).

In addition to Pixelache Festival, we are also organising monthly events in Helsinki. Many of these events are also educational - presentations, workshops, seminars, etc. We offer a possibility for anyone to register as a 'student' and get an official 'Pixelache University Diploma' for participating in these events. See more information

 

 What is Pixelache Network?

In addition to Helsinki, Pixelache festival has so far been organised in Stockholm (Pixelvärk), New York, Montreal, Paris (Mal au Pixel) and Medellin (Pixelazo). Pixelache 'sibling' events Mal au Pixel (Paris) and Pixelazo (Colombia) are organised annually and the festival is actively collaborating with Plektrum (Tallinn), Piksel (Bergen), Interferenze (San Martino Valle Caudina) and Doors of Perception (New Delhi), amongst others.

 

See more information on Pixelache Network website.