IHME’s new operating model unites art and research


Starting from 2020, IHME’s work will carry on, but in a new form. In our future operating model we will go over to supporting collaboration between artists and researchers even more than we have done so far. The goals of this new departure are contemplating the future and providing those who participate with tools for critical thinking.

“IHME has always wanted to surprise those who experience its projects and to challenge them to think in new ways. We are in the midst of a global sustainability crisis, which is reflected in all areas of the life of the human species. We want to provide a platform for cooperation between art and research on this great question of our time, and to see where it leads,” says Chair of Pro Arte Foundation Finland Tuula Arkio.

The focus on transborder ventures and new departures will be supported by an investigation of ways of expanding partnerships on production and content beyond Finland’s shores.

Saastamoinen Foundation becomes a supporter

Three Finnish foundations are making the new development in IHME’s operations possible. Alongside IHME’s originator – Pro Arte Foundation Finland – and Kone Foundation, which has been a supporter since 2015, the Saastamoinen Foundation has now become a funder.

“Supporting science and art is a core function of the Saastamoinen Foundation. That is why we decided to help enable IHME’s new operating model, in which experts from both disciplines can create something new through collaboration,” says Päivi Karttunen of the Saastamoinen Foundation’s Board of Directors.

At IHME the Saastamoinen Foundation’s participation in the new operating model has been seen as a major vote of confidence.

“Both Kone Foundation and the Saastamoinen Foundation are important social actors in the sphere of art and research. The fact that they support our work indicates that we really are addressing the key questions of the moment and that art has something to contribute to efforts to answer them. At its best, work done by artists generates “quiet signals” – new ways of thinking and acting. This is necessary right now, when we need a radical shift in human thinking and behaviour, from one set of values to another. Art has the potential for change,” says Executive Director of Pro Arte Foundation Finland Paula Toppila.

IHME’s core values still to the fore

The new operating model contains familiar elements from the IHME Contemporary Art Festival concept. In the future, too, the focus will be on a single work, which will be implemented by an internationally recognized artist deemed by the expert team to be a pioneer. The artists will still have the main role and the freedom to determine the appropriate mode of execution and location for their projects together with IHME’s staff.

“We agree on some guidelines with the chosen artist, but it is of primary importance to us to preserve the artist’s freedom to make a proposal that we then take forward together, but now seeking partners in the science sector. It is imperative that we support the autonomy of research and art in our time, when markets too often dictate the means and goals for all that is done,” Paula Toppila continues.

In the future, too, IHME’s mission will be to promote art as a fundamental resource for democratic society. The Foundation’s work focuses on visual art and spans its various forms, especially new, critical modes of expression.

In 2019, IHME will be transiting to its new operating model and preparing projects for 2020-22. As a consequence there will be no IHME events in 2019.

More about Kone Foundation >

More about the Saastamoinen Foundation >