Joonas Hyvönen: God’s Flat Earth Is Drowning

Joonas Hyvönen: God’s Flat Earth Is Drowning
Central Library Oodi
Töölönlahdenkatu 4, Helsinki
mon-fri 8-20
sat-sun 10-18

Immersive art project to be launched in Kuutio space at Oodi with game-inspired piece by Joonas Hyvönen.

Visual artist Joonas Hyvönen challenges viewers to consider alternative futures in a deliberately absurd way. Alienating elements borrowed from the world of computer games offer a safe way to experience climate change and catastrophic floods – first hand.

Joonas Hyvönen’s God´s Flat Earth Is Drowning explores climate change and climate anxiety by linking viewers with a speculative future and propaganda. Employing 3D modelling, the work moves in the interstices of the real and the unreal, of realism and simulation. With a game engine generating the dialogue every viewing experience is unique.

“It’s been raining for days, the earth is flat, all sewers are blocked by waste, and taking a shower, drinking a glass of water, even peeing in the bushes makes the sea levels rise. A small, scattered community comes together in a space resembling the second floor in the Oodi library to try to find a solution and a way to avoid the impending ecological catastrophe,” Hyvönen describes his work.

In his works, Joonas Hyvönen (b. 1990) often examines digital technology in the context of other phenomena by focusing on interaction between user and operating system. Hyvönen graduated with an MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2016. He has participated in exhibitions in Finland and internationally.

The Media Cube Project brings media art to Oodi

Hyvönen’s work is part of the Media Cube Project coordinated by regional artist Annika Dahlsten. The project aims in bringing immersive media art into Oodi Library’s Kuutio space which has smart glass walls.

The project organised a workshop for six artists to acquaint them with the resources of the space. The workshop leaders and curators, media artist Jukka Hautamäki and creative technologist and producer Marko Tandefelt, selected two of the ideas that emerged in the workshop for implementation.

Joonas Hyvönen and Ami Lindholm will create works designed specifically for the Kuutio space and its groundbreaking technological resources. Exploring topical themes in innovative ways, the immersive concepts centre on the interaction between viewers and the artwork. Joonas Hyvönen’s exhibition will be open from 3–29 July 2020. Examining the theme of parenthood, Ami Lindholm’s exhibition will open in August 2020.

The Media Cube project is a collaboration between Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Oodi Central Library, Artists’ Association MUU, and University of the Arts Helsinki. The project is a part of the Art Promotion Centre Finland’s development project, which promotes and makes visible new ways of applying artistic expertise.

The production of the artworks is supported by AVEK and the Art Promotion Centre Finland.

Interview with Joonas Hyvönen online at Helsinki-kanava on 30 June at 13:00

The Helsinki-kanava online service will broadcast a live artist interview with Joonas Hyvönen, who will talk about his practice, his work and its themes. The interviewer is librarian and artist Tuukka Haapakorpi.