fbpx

Cool contrasts

Oulu2026 valo ja hahmo

Oulu is the kingdom of great contrasts – positive, but also challenging. Contrasts such as the nightless nights of the midnight sun and sunless days in the heart of winter. Contrasts have the power both to connect and disconnect, but also to create something new.

Cool Contrasts is about rebalancing our communities. There is already a recognised European need to use culture as a means to help reduce health inequalities. Oulu2026 will work with our citizens and with European partners to develop cultural practices that promote positive engagement to re-balance these inequalities. People are literally dying of loneliness in parts of Europe, both in big cities and in struggling rural hinterlands.

Oulu2026 wants to help Europe to reconnect with itself, promoting community life and face-to-face connection and exploring mental wellbeing  through sensitive and thoughtful projects.

How do we learn to better understand each other? What new and surprising connections can we create and nourish? We can listen, appreciate, be curious, supportive and interested in each other. Let’s celebrate our differences in the city of contrasts!

Programme Lines – Cool Contrasts

Flagship Production

 

Underground Clash

The world is changing at an unprecedented pace, often without consensus on how best to navigate our future through this metamorphosis. This shift affects every aspect of our cultural, political, environmental and technological landscape.

In 2026 we propose to cooperate with artists who work within a similarly shifting paradigm, where technological innovation and traditional art practices meet. This year-long exhibition will tackle issues around climate change and humanity’s relationship with the environment, with
artists who will be engaging locally to shape the content and activities of the exhibition.

Superblue, a social change initiative and ground-breaking new enterprise created by Pace Gallery and The Emerson Collective, is our curator and partner. It is dedicated to presenting large-scale, immersive, experiential art which is as meaningful as it is spectacular, encompassing the belief that art has the potential to change the way we see the world around us.

The heart of The Underground Clash is a specially commissioned piece from Danish artist, Jakob Kudsk Steensen. A ‘digital gardener’, Jakob brings together physical, virtual, real and imagined landscapes in mixed reality, interactive installations, focusing on how humans, technology and natural environments connect. His physical commission will be accompanied by online platforms, allowing the project to be experienced remotely.

kuvassa naisen kasvot

Latest

Combining Art and Technology for Oulu2026

Combining Art and Technology for Oulu2026

The fairy tale wall is a large interactive touch screen that creates a magical immersive space for children. In addition to watching and getting involved with a fairy tale, the screen has an option to create a snowstorm, make waves in a river, build a pile of colourful autumn leaves and even chase northern lights – all that simply by drawing with fingers. There’s also a panel where users can play musical instruments. What makes the screen even more unique is that you don’t even have to touch it: the surface is so sensitive that it reacts to hand waves.

Oulu2026 lounge offers free multicultural performances and live music during Qstock festival weekend

Oulu2026 lounge offers free multicultural performances and live music during Qstock festival weekend

The traditional Qstock Festival takes place in late July, but this year the festival features also free-entry Oulu2026 park in Linnansaari from Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th July. The park is located near the Qstock festival area offering visitors a relaxing place to enjoy festival and culture atmosphere free of charge. 
Oulu2026 Producer Heikki Myllylahti tells us that the Oulu2026 programme for the park is now ready for publication!

Globally local

Globally local

The travel and event management specialist Go Arctic is the latest business to join the Arctic Food Lab network. Established in 2008, the enterprise is owned by Sipe Åqvist together with Kirsi Eskola. Åqvist says that sourcing locally has always been at the heart of...

Oulu2026 Cultural Personality: Jetta Huttunen

Oulu2026 Cultural Personality: Jetta Huttunen

The eighth ART Ii Biennial that took place this June featured ecologically sustainable environmental and sculpture art for the northern environment within the areas of significant cultural heritage in Ii and the Ii Environmental Art Park. Involved in the ART Ii Biennial organisation since 2018, Jetta hails from Oulu but has also lived in Lapland for long periods of time.

“A noisy village is a living village”

“A noisy village is a living village”

The first ever whole-weekend Maakinen Martinniemi (the Magical Martinniemi) festival took place this June. The event’s host, Jukka Takalo, says that a multi-artistic community event is extremely important for the entire region. The event was first launched in 2009 when Takalo and J.A. Mäki came up with the idea of staging a cultural event in the controversial Kurtinhauta seaside area.

Art Ii Biennial 2022 presents: Oulu2026 In the Air

Art Ii Biennial 2022 presents: Oulu2026 In the Air

In the Air – Felt by a number of people to be happening, or about to happen. In co-operation with the Oulu2026 –organisation the Art Ii Biennial will present an afternoon of art and art/science discussions in Ii, Thursday 16th June. The event will highlight the art...

Finnish folk music and dance celebrations on May 14th

Folk music and folkdance day is celebrated again on May 14th in Finland. Are you interested in Finnish folk music and folk dance, curious to find out more about the "kantele", the "jouhikko" or national costumes in Finland? What on earth is a "mänkeri" and how many...