Applause and boos – thank you for the feedback

The Space Lady performing on Tram Buskers' Tour. Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

”Am I really in the middle of a contemporary art work?”

The IHME Project 2016, Kateřina Šedá’s Tram Buskers’ Tour reached almost 24,000 tram passengers between the 16th and 19th of March. The artist’s aim was to create an opportunity for shared experience and multi-level interaction in a public space. This was not the first time that music had been performed on a tram, but it was something new to have so much of it on regular routes.

The element of surprise played an important part in making Tram Buskers’ Tour stand out as an art work, so no information regarding performance times and places was released in advance. In this way the work reminded us of the freedom of art to be something more than a commodity or a consumable experience. The audience rose to the challenge and embarked on an urban adventure. Anyone who happened to come across the buskers became a member of audience, so the project reached a lot of people who would not normally use cultural services and visit art institutions.

You can hop back on a virtual tram and enjoy the atmosphere of Tram Buskers’ Tour by watching these videos by Šedá and her team on the Festival YouTube channel >

”The best tram journey in 20 years!”

The audience submitted a lot of feedback on Tram Buskers’ Tour, mainly verbally but also online. Of the feedback received from over 1,100 people, as much as 90 per cent of it was positive. Many praised the idea and wished that it could continue. Positive comments emphasized the element of surprise and the feeling of breaking free from everyday life and having a refreshing encounter with other passengers. Read quotes of the feedback here >

Tram Buskers’ Tour seemed to liberate people from their normal modes of tram-riding behaviour: they chatted with each other, clapped, sang and danced. The audience also included fans who were trying to see as many performances as possible. There was always a chance of getting to see your favourite performer during the last hour when all the musicians played on the 7A and 7B trams.

The social media platform Instagram was full of pictures and videos tagged with #IHMEratikassa. Check out IHME’s Instagram account >

”What if a tram journey is a moment to enjoy some peace?”

The feedback showed that the music disturbed a number of individual travellers. Those who submitted critical feedback said that they didn’t need to hear more noise and that there was already enough of a racket in the world without adding to it. Sometimes the passenger was put off by the style of music the performer represented, and some people were also disappointed that it wasn’t possible to follow a timetable and plan going to see certain musicians.

”The festival is open to everyone”

The IHME Days event that was held in the Old Student House in Helsinki on 1-3 April was attended by over 1,400 people. The event was free of charge.

The discussions were seen as one of the highlights of IHME Days, and Jan Verwoert was regarded as an excellent choice of keynote speaker. A number of those who submitted feedback praised the IHME Marathon artist talks and themes, and people wanted the video and film programme to continue. Marie-Louise Ekman’s art exhibition was new to the programme, and it too was widely praised. You can click here to watch footage from IHME Days’ talks on YouTube >

On one hand the event and its contents were perceived as being approachable, but on the other hand there were visitors from outside the art world who viewed the happening as a professional event. IHME Days’ programme was designed to cater for both experts in the field and newcomers, who made up 46% of the audience.

IHME thanks everyone who took the time to give feedback. The winner of the Ticketmaster Finland prize draw was Sari Mattero. Winners of the canvas bags bearing the Tram Buskers’ Tour logo have also been selected at random from all entries and the prize winners notified.

”We can make art together and it can be fun!”

IHME School is responsible for the festival’s art education programme. Over 800 pupils, youths and teachers were involved in IHME School’s activities during the 2015-2016 season.

In line with artist Kateřina Šedá’s wishes, a special guest programme for Tram Buskers’ Tour was designed for Helsinki schools in cooperation with Helsinki’s Education Department. Pupils participated actively in the work and 83% of teachers filled in a feedback form: Tram Buskers’ Tour was proved to have widened the pupils’ understanding of art.

During the 2015-16 school term the festival cooperated for the fifth time with Helsinki City Youth Department and Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture’s Art Education MA for Professionals degree programme. IHME Project was also an important part of the City of Helsinki Cultural Office’s culture course Näyttämöitä (The Scenes). Read more here about IHME School >