Squirrel's Nest - Oravan Pesä - Podcast Episode 0

Squirrel’s Nest EPISODE 0: The Resonance Box

Editor and mediator: Maria Villa Largacha

Our launching episode features a conversation of host María Villa with Bassam el Baroni, new Assistant Professor of Curating of the ViCCA Masters, and Ksenia Kaverina, the curator in the Aalto Arts & Creative Practices Initiative that supports this podcast.  We venture to discuss the original idea of Chilean artist Ariel Bustamante—bringing people inside the Conversation Room to have meaningful dialogues— and how it might be shaped ahead by Aalto University’s context. How might this idea develop further into larger discussions of academic practice while, at the same time, keeping it rooted in personal experience?

Thinking of the squirrel that built his nest inside the Conversation Room, that repurposed it as part of Otaniemi’s natural environment in the winter of 2017, we will discuss what may this Conversation Room stand for in the middle of a science/design/business driven environment like Aalto. What is the potential it creates as a site for public debate, a resonance box bringing in multi- and cross-disciplinary ideas, and what should be contemporary art’s role in the same context?


Bassam El Baroni, Assistant professor of Curating and Mediating Art in VICCA Masters

Ksenia Kaverina, curator in Aalto University

The Resonance Box

02:40 Why do we do the things we do? Repurposing the sculpture: a public space, a forum for transdisciplinarity.

04:00 The tree house, in-between the public and the private, the archive.

06:35 A thinking space, a constructed frame for freedom and for actual presence with each other.

07:40 A heterotopia inside the university? Para-institutions working within institutional constrains.

10:20 Curating conversations, orchestrating the unexpected. Forgetfulness: activating the archive and critical curating.

14:50 Crafting transdisciplinarity, the connections between discourses and across disciplines; projects pushing those boundaries.

18:10 A biodegradable sculpture: sustainability of knowledge and artifacts. The political debate within academia.

20:50 Structures of knowledge moving forward with the good and the bad. The role of art: a mirror or a catalyst?

25:55 Is knowledge like a meteor creating disturbance or something growing organically from society?

27:00 Immersive environments of implication / for transformation: a safe space.

28:45 Vulnerability, dialogue, and insight. Public sphere, exposure, talking inside sauna.

Pilot credits:

Editor and mediator: Maria Villa Largacha

Curator: Ksenia Kaverina

Audio edition: Lassi Salo, Viktor Tokkainen

Technical support: Aalto Studios, Ari-Pekka Leionen

Graphic design: Joosung Kang

Translation: Vilja Pitkänen

Proofreading: Bill Helberg

The Conversation Room: Ariel Bustamante, Aalto Artist in Residence 2015-2016