Memory Machines (2019) w/ 00100 Ensemble & FCINY

Memory Machines is a performative art project that explores the infrastructure of the Oodi Library in Helsinki. The work combines dance, theatre and circus with a guided tour that moves through the concealed infrastructural sites and operations of the building. This unique journey traverses places of climate control to power management, from checkout terminals to data centers, from automation to distribution and storage. As a visual performance, the work aims to interrogate the ecology of machines and the situated interactions between humans and technology. How do the flows of data, heat, matter and energy sustain cultural memory? What intelligences and futures can we uncover in the machines and bodies that labor within the monument of the library?


Concept and tour by Samir Bhowmik Performance by Henna Tanskanen, Onni Hämäläinen, Sade Risku Sound by Samuli Häkkinen The work was realized as part of The Library’s Other Intelligences, an art project organized by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York through its MOBIUS Fellowship Program in collaboration with the Helsinki Public Library. The project was curated by MOBIUS Fellows Shannon Mattern and Jussi Parikka and featured newly commissioned artworks, original research and a series of events. On view at Central Library Oodi in Helsinki from January 11 to March 10, 2019. Video documentation by Hannu Karjalainen Supported by Kone Foundation


Samir Bhowmik and Jussi Parikka. “Memory Machines: Infrastructural Performance as an Art Method.” LEONARDO, Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 377–381, 2021.