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Monday 25.05.2018
MUU Gallery
Lönnrotinkatu 33, Helsinki
4pm workshop, 6pm video screening

I.O. photo 13

Picture: Irma Optimisti

Register for the workshop and the screening HERE!


Finished and Last-Minute Videos is a series of Monday night events at MUU Gallery that was launched in 2012. On Monday, 21 May 2018, the theme of the screening will be Mathematics. How can mathematics be part of video art or a moving image work? Come and find out! The screening will be moderated by performance artist and university lecturer Irma Optimisti.


What links can there be between moving image art and mathematics? The Greek word μαθηματικός (mathematikós) means “studious”. Mathematics is a formal system based on deductive reasoning. Its objects of mathematics include number, quantity, structure, change and space. It is the study of axiomatically defined abstract structures with the means of symbolic logic and mathematical notation. Mathematics is a language that is used to express physical and conceptual relations, and its grammar and conceptual apparatus are extremely well defined. This formal rigour allows ideas to be expressed clearly and unequivocally, given that logical structures remain unchanged.


Irma Optimisti is a performance artist and a doctor of mathematics who specialises in chaos theory. She is lecturer in mathematics at the University of Turku. In 2013, university students in Turku elected her Teacher of the Year.

Optimisti has been creating performance art since 1989, and has performed around the world in festivals, galleries and art museums. Her performances combine the themes of femininity, identity, politics and mathematical and scientific elements with bodily functions.

Mathematics and art are usually considered quite separate entities. Although chaos, Optimisti’s speciality at the university, is a property of mathematical models, she applies the same ideas into performance art. Because the world is extremely complex, it is chaotic andquite difficult to model. However, with her dynamic models and dynamic art, Optimisti has shown that it is structurally stable.

Given her mathematical background, it is no surprise that Optimisti develops her works largely on a mathematical understructure. The end result can nevertheless be almost anything, which merely reflects the fundamental property of chaotic systems, their sensitivity to initial conditions.

In 2012, Irma Optimisti received a lifetime achievement award from the Finnish Art Society, and in 2013 she was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Art.

If you are an artist and you have a moving image work that you think has relevance to mathematics, Bring it with you to be screened at the Finished & Last-Minute Videos event at MUU Gallery. (You may also bring a work that you feel has nothing to do with mathematics.)

The screening commentator is Irma Optimisti.

The event will be hosted by artists Hanne Ivars and Markus Renvall.

As a warm-up to the screening, Markus Renvall will conduct a two-hour workshop to produce a last-minute video on the night’s theme of mathematics. Focusing on experiments in digital moving image, the workshop will result in a collectively created last-minute video, which will be screened during the evening.

Register for the free workshop or reserve a seat for yourself at the screening HERE!

Everyone is welcome!

The video screening will start after the workshop, at 18.00 hours. Bring your own video to be screened, or just enjoy videos by others. Finished and last-minute videos are equally welcome.