Media Art History in Finland

Media Art History in Finland (MEHI) is a 3-year project initiated by the Finnish Media Art Network. The objective of the project is to record and publish the history of Finnish Media Art, and to build information infastructures for its documentation in the future.

The scope of the project is based on a wide definition of media art as a practice working with and reflecting on media and technology. It will span all media art -related genres and a history timeline ranging from experiments in early 1900s to the 2020s.

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MEHI is realised in a consortium between the Media Art Network with its member organisations AV-arkki, Bioart Society, M-cult, MUU and The Finnish Light Art Society FLASH, with Poike productio as project producer. A 15-member expert group guides the process and is responsible for its art historical framing. Key project partners are the National Gallery of Finland and the National Library of Finland. 20 media art organisations contribute materials to the database collection.

The project is 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).
*Documentation and archiving of 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 first century of media art in Finland" (producer: Bioart Society).

The results will be archived at the Finnish National Gallery. They will be made accessible to millions of online users at the and Europeana collections as well as the Finto ontology service and Wikidata. The anthology will be published by Parvs publishing company, and a selection of articles will be made available in English at the website.

The project has been made possible by The Finnish Cultural Foundation, The Swedish Cultural foundation and Kone foundation, with support from the Ministry of culture and education and AVEK. The preliminary research phase was funded by Oskar Öflund foundation in 2020.