Curating Commissioning Producing


Midsummer with YKON

Saturday 23rd June
The White Building
White Posts Lane, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN

YKON is a Helsinki-based non-profit advocacy group. Its membership consists of artists, designers, game developers and art historians who share a deep interest in current utopian thought and practice. To celebrate Midsummer, YKON has developed a series of events, revolving around notions of 'practical utopias', including a Mapping Game, an outdoor cinema and one-day exhibition held at SPACE's new White Building, a first manifestation of their current residency at SPACE .

'Midsummer with YKON' is the first event of the Practical Utopias series of artistic programmes on current utopian thought and practice, an exploration where playful formats and scenario developments work as ongoing methods. The project, which emerged out of the first 'Summit of Micronations', held in Helsinki in 2003, seeks to radically expand on this utopian model, and looks at ways of mapping, discussing and locating the present-day social function and potentiality of utopia.

4-7 pm YKON Game
The YKON Game is open to everyone, but places are limited, to book a place please email (the exhibition and open air cinema are open to all, no booking needed).

This site-specific game, designed by artist collective YKON, charts connections between diverse utopian pursuits and practices, with an emphasis on the 'practical utopia'. Using the game as a format, the workshop explores the productive tension, but also blurred boundaries, between the utopistic and practical.

The YKON Game is inspired by Buckminster Fuller's 'World Game', initially developed in the early 1960s as a subversion of military 'War Games' and as a proposal for an alternate system of pedagogy. Instead of solving common problems head on, the YKON Game seeks to uncover ideas to which we have not yet paid attention; fantastical, and at times also terrifying, thoughts and approaches to explore how things could be otherwise.

7-12 pm Exhibition featuring YKON, Kalleinen & Kochta-Kalleinen and Ulu Braun, all welcome
The one-day show will feature Tellervo Kalleinen's and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen's latest work, Archipelago Science Fiction (2012), a film tracing how the fears and fantasies of islanders off Finland's West coast turn into four future scenarios acted out by the inhabitants themselves. The work will be shown alongside Ulu Braun's video Atlantic Garden, a collage-panorama, featuring people from different ideological backgrounds grouped around an idyllic garden. Further works on display include the tools and devices developed by YKON for the games.

9.30 pm Open Air Cinema, all welcome
Taking place outside the White Building, on the banks of the canal, a special screening of Lizzie Borden's documentary-style feminist science fiction Born In Flames (1983, 90 mins). The film, set in an alternative United States Socialist Democracy, will be screened outdoors on 16 mm, weather allowing. The work will be preceded by Maja Borg's Ottica Zero (2007, 13 mins) a film following Nadya Cazan's rejection of a monetary based system and her search for an alternative way of life. It is a journey that takes her from Rome to Venus, where social innovator and futurist, Jacques Fresco, proposes a solution.

How to get there The White Building is two minutes walk from Hackney Wick Overground station (last train Westbound: 11.38pm). Busses 236, 30, 26 and 388


About YKON YKON is a Helsinki-based not-for-profit organization. Its membership consists of artists, designers, game developers and art historians who share a deep interest in current utopian thought and practice. Utopia is seen as a myriad of bottom-up processes and initiatives with a strong Do-It-Yourself (DIY) attitude. Since 2005 YKON has worked on themes such as micronations, social architecture, alternative economies, scenario developments, participatory processes, mapping and game design.

Midsummer with YKON takes place under the umbrella of the PERMACULTURES residency programme at SPACE, which YKON is currently taking part in. Permacultures is kindly supported by Bloomberg, Arts Council England and The Finnish Institute in London.

Practical Utopias is a collaboration between YKON (Finland), Electra (UK) and Drugo More (Croatia).

Image: game pieces and parts from the YKON Game