Towards 2048 showcases the work of Erkki Kurenniemi (b. 1941), a Finnish futurist, electronic music pioneer and experimental film-maker. Considered to be a visionary extraordinaire, Kurenniemi’s life has been dominated by a total documentation project which aims to unite man and machine – to replicate the human soul in a computer of the future.
The backbone of the exhibition consists of material from Kurenniemi’s private archives. The archives comprise dozens of files and diaries, thousands of photographs, drawings, work papers and memos, huge amounts of electronic records as well as cameras and computers. The exhibition showcases a selection of items from this broad and multifarious collection, thereby presenting a more personal view of the versatile author.
The exhibition also features Kurenniemi’s short films and media works from the 1960s to the 1980s from Kiasma’s collections, as well as DIMI instruments built in the 1960s and 1970s; some of the instruments are from Kiasma’s collections and others are on loan from the Electronic Music Studio of the Department of Musicology at the University of Helsinki . A recent archival find is Spindrift (1966), a cybernetic computer animation created by Kurenniemi together with the Swedish composer Jan Bark.
In his book Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction with Its Own Past (Faber & Faber, 2011), the English music historian Simon Reynolds describes Kurenniemi as “a Finnish hybrid of Stockhausen, Buckminster Fuller and Steve Jobs”. In spite of his pioneering work in electronic music and musicology as well as computer and media culture, Kurenniemi remains relatively unknown among the wider public.
Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Website