Ptarmigan is no longer operating in Helsinki.

Ptarmigan existed as a project space in Vallila from 2009-2011 and a mobile curatorial/creative platform until 2014. We no longer exist as an organised collective, but this website will continue to serve as an archive of the activities produced as/at Ptarmigan during these years.


‘Kontaining13: Traces’ was a one week takeover of a shipping container turned art container in the centre of Helsinki. The programme was coordinated by Ptarmigan directors (Amal Laala, James Andean, Marek Pluciennik and Sari T.M. Kivinen) in collaboration with Outi Korhonen (regional artist on cultural diversity of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland).

This was the second time we were invited to present a programme for the art container. In 2012 we focused on presenting the work of selected artists who responded to an open-call in a programme simply called Kontaining. This year we decided to shift the focus and to develop the programme more in accord to our collective and individual artistic interests. Subsequently each director oversaw one day of the programme, during which we developed both solo and collaborative work. We also included a day of improvised collaboration at the conclusion of the week, in which all of us bought in aspects explored in the previous days.

The red string that ran through the entire programme was that we all explored various ways to engage our activities with the site of a busy urban space and the random people walking past. For example Marek invited people to look inside the container through a peep-hole in which they could see themselves looking into the container via a live video feed; Amal collaborated with Karim Galenius to present an open workshop and discussion about the role of protest in society; Sari worked with artist Hannah Harkes to develop a collective narrative (drawn and written) about the container, the people passing by were drawn and written into their narrative in real-time; and James explored the site with the Tuesday group – a group who normally explores improvisation together on Tuesdays (this time on a Saturday).

In addition Alejandro Olarte presented a sonic workshop, Rank Ensemble presented live improvised sound evening, Catalysti spent a day promoting their activities as a new association supporting transcultural artists in Finland, and Rebecca Clamp performed a dynamic concert as the final event of the week. 

Check out linked photo evidence of our activities.