Virtual engagement? Share your space
The title of Turku intensive workshop was “Virtual engagement? Share your space”. The workshop was held in the spring of 2021 from 26th March to 30th April using different online environments. The goal was to share thoughts about publicness and the virtual engagement, work together and learn about collaborative working methods, develop critical thinking and an artistic concept into the EduCity campus building in Turku, Finland. The larger context for the artistic concepts at the EduCity was KampusART, Kupittaa Campus Arts Programme.
At first, before weekly meetings, we had preliminary “Pillow/Cushion” task: Every participant was asked to make a pillow or cushion and then afterwards post it to Turku for the seating area in EduCity at the media wall space. Participants were asked to link their pillow design to some ideas about public and private space and the space of learning in the digital climate of Covid 19 restrictions.
The pillows were viewed in the first online meeting. We saw many great pillows and ideas of a pillow, but in the end the pillows were not posted in Turku. However, “Pillow/Cushion” project was good icebreaker at the start of the online workshop, and we see that it is needed to integrate this kind of preliminary icebreaker task to an online workshop program. Everybody got their voice heard when they were presenting their work in the first online meeting.
The meetings with all participants were held on four days by Zoom video conference application 26th March, 16th April, 23rd April and 30th April in 2021. During the meeting days, we had an inspiration talks by the teachers from each country with various themes related to the site specify in public art, virtuality and about public art in general. The days also included discussions, pitching sessions and group work sessions. In the first meeting, we had as an addition a live contact with the site in Educity (Turku, Finland). At the end of the workshop, there was possibility to display the results of the tasks on the media wall in EduCity on Friday 30 April 2021.
In the workshop, students were divided into six groups, where their work was to create an artistic concept to the site at the EduCity, as an artistic group. The work happened mainly between the meeting days when students were organized by themselves to develop their ideas. Groups had some weekly tasks too, to help the workflow running. As a sharing platform, we used Microsoft Teams application. Every group had its own channel where they were able to share their work, find tasks and have video meetings of their own. Every group had a tutor teacher(s) that they had contact.
Concepts emerged from the practice
TURKU -  Virtual engagement? Share Your Space
Keywords for the methodology:
  • KampusART as a context, thematic site
  • Heterotopias, benches, world fairs, between spaces, travel/non-travel/virtual travel/imaginary travel, surveillance and voyeurism, virtual exhibition, ecological issues/digital footprint etc.
  • Critical empathy
  • Integrated transnational teams
  • International teams
  • Temporal public art
  • Digital art in the public space
  • Time spaced work
  • Collaboration and group work
  • Online
  • Keynote lectures
  • Brainstorming
  • Pre-intensive
  • Students working together using online design tools (miro, google, jamboard etc.) -> presentations
  • Teams as a joint platform
  • Preparative Assignments
  • Pillow project (students and staff) - brutalist architecture/media wall, public/private
  • Mindmapping
  • Humanising the space
  • Campus was closed, hypothetical
  • Social media
  • Informal social online gathering
Feedback & assessment strategy:
  • Feedback from the pre-intensive
  • Student surveys and questionnaires
  • Written feedback from the students
  • Written feedback to the students
  • Certificate of participation