What if we could experience daily news in a more personal way – and script a different future while doing so? The News Transformation Agency is a project by artist group YKON, internationally known for their participatory projects dealing with utopian issues. The project approaches the overwhelming aspect of global news as a potential platform for civic action – for local, emotional and transformative standpoints.
The project kicked off at the Media Facades Helsinki 2012 Festival as an open workshop, at a temporary, pop-up news office at Lasipalatsi gallery. During the workshop, participants were working with YKON to filter and analyze breaking news, to transform them into ones with local relevance, remixing, visualizing and creating alternate realities. This unique and thought provoking experience provided a completely new perspective to the world of the news.
The News Tranformation Agency workshop and pop-up news office were organized at the Lasipalatsi Gallery August 20-22, 2012. The news were broadcast in public space at a live News Show during the Night of the Arts on August 23, 2012 and specially tailored newsreels appeared on urban screens at Lasipalatsi Square and the Culture Tram August from 22 to 26.
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. YKON Members are: Ulu Braun, Christina Kral, Tellervo Kalleinen, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Tomas Träskman and Pekko Koskinen.