Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen will produce the next contemporary art project

The 2018–2020 Lönnström Art Museum contemporary art project will be produced by Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen. The project proposal, entitled Conversation Park– A Public Space Game, was selected by the board of the Teresia and Rafael Lönnström Foundation from among 93 submissions during an open call. Produced in celebration of the centenary of Finnish independence, the project has a budget of 150,000 euros. Conversation Park will be realized in Rauma.

Conversation Park – A Public Space Game, will involve 36 residents whose ages reflect the age distribution of the local population and who will design changes to a public park in a game-like process. To be played over a period of two years, the game will consist of six moves that begin with individual views and move gradually toward increasing collectiveness. The changes to the park will be implemented as the game progresses.

In the beginning, the park will be divided into 36 parts, with each participant initially receiving one part to design. A sum of 200 euros per person will be reserved for each move in the game. After the initial individual move, participants will get a chance to cooperate during moves 2–5; they can merge their plots and pool their allocations. The sixth move can only be made by unanimous decision. A sum of 14,000 euros will be reserved for the last move. When all changes are made, a party will be held to celebrate completion of the project.

“With current technological and social change, it is important to rethink issues of democracy and its processes, such as participation, decision making, and ownership,” the artists explain. Prior to the game, the artists will record the private opinions of the participants. After the process, they will conduct in-depth interviews with all participants. Participants’ thoughts will also be installed in the park in audio form. The artists and the museum will search for a suitable park in spring 2018, and a call for participation will be launched in the autumn to find the 36 players. The artists would prefer the park to be local. “We are delighted and hope that a suitable park will be found in Rauma,” says Jenny Valli, Director of Lönnström Art Museum.

“As a museum, we are all for art being a form of collective fun, even when the issue at stake is serious. We are expecting a debate on who has the authority to decide over the public space, its uses and its appearance. Commitment also plays a major part in this project,” says Valli.