MEHI – Media Art History in Finland was a 3-year project initiated by the Finnish Media Art Network. The objective of the project was to record and publish the history of Finnish media art, and to build information infrastructures for its documentation in the future.
The scope of the MEHI – Media Art History in Finland project was based on a wide definition of media art as a practice working with and reflecting on media and technology. It spanned all media art related genres and a history timeline ranging from experiments in early 1900s to the 2020s.
MEHI was realized in a consortium between the Media Art Network with its member organizations AV-arkki, Bioart Society, M-cult, MUU Artists’ Association and The Finnish Light Art Society FLASH, with Poike Productio as project producer. During the MEHI – Media Art History in Finland project 2021–2023, the websites and the newsletters of The Finnish Media Art Network were edited, designed and developed by Poike Productio’s designer Anne Virta and producer Tuuli Penttinen-Lampisuo.
A wide expert group guided the process and was responsible for its art historical framing. 20 media art organizations contribute materials to the database collection.
MEHI project was based on three work packages:
- Information infrastructures for media art. A comprehensive reference database of Finnish media art works and events (producer: MUU) as well as a special ontology and open data for media art (producer: M-cult).
- Documenting and archiving historical materials. Interviews with Finnish pioneers of the field and documentation of key historical events (producer: AV-arkki), as well as conservation plans for pioneering works in various genres (producer: FLASH).
- Anthology of Finnish Media Art. A book exploring “The 1st Century of Media Art in Finland”
The results will be archived in the Finnish National Gallery. They will be made accessible to millions of online users via Finna.fi and Europeana.eu collections as well as by OMA – Ontology for Media Art and Wikidata. The anthology was published by PARVS Publishing Ltd., and a selection of articles are available in English at the media-art-finland.fi website.
The project was been made possible by The Finnish Cultural Foundation, The Swedish Cultural Foundation and Kone Foundation, with support from The Ministry of Education and Culture and AVEK Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture in Finland. The preliminary research phase was funded by Oskar Öflund Foundation in 2020.