The audiovisual performance PIIPÄÄ was an exceptional phenomenon in the Finnish culture life of the late 1980s. PIIPÄÄ was a stage performance combining performing arts, music and visual arts, electronic art and audiovisual projecting technology. The premiere took place in 29th May 1987 at the Old Student House in Helsinki, Finland. The premiere was followed by thirteen performances for full houses as well as two performances in Stockholm, Sweden in Fall 1987.

The topic of PIIPÄÄ is a dystopian vision about the futuristic information society. In the work, technology acts as the vehicle of surveillance and use of power, gradually destroying the personal traits of humans, social life and psyche. Finally all that is left is totalitarian society, a simulated, manipulated worldview, “the sameness of future schizophrenics”.

A group of artists and professionals of the art, culture and audiovisual field participated in the realization of PIIPÄÄ, united by their interest in electronic arts, performing arts and seeking a new kind of postmodern, aesthetical expression. As an inter-artistic experimental project, PIIPÄÄ influenced the future work of many members of the working group.

The content and realization of PIIPÄÄ was collectively planned. The planning work was done in varying groups for over two years. The completion of PIIPÄÄ was preceded a year earlier a performance on a smaller scale, “The Twentieth Century Schizoid Man” realized at the Svenska Klubben in Helsinki, from which many ideas were transferred to the PIIPÄÄ work. The work group developed material and worked through improvisation and with the help of workshops, from which the ingredients for the PIIPÄÄ performance were finally found.

The dramaturgical main lines of PIIPÄÄ were due to Marikki Hakola and Jouni Tommola. Tommola wrote the lyrics and texts while Hakola designed and directed the video sequences and was responsible for the artistic co-ordination and production. The electro-acoustic music was composed by Kaija Saariaho and Jean-Baptiste Barriére.

Actor Tomi Salmela played the main role of Gyrus. The vocal parts of the music, the Songs of Interpreters, were performed by soprano Riikka Hakola and tenor Juha Haanperä. Sanna Kekäläinen, Kirsi Monni, Ari Tenhula and Tiina Helisten were responsible for choreography and dance. Diamultivision was designed by Kimmo Koskela, video shooting was by Veli Granö and Marikki Hakola, stage design by Marja Kanervo, costume design by Taina Relander and realization of costumes by Liisu Vartija-Rissanen, make-up by Risto Heikinheimo, print products by Minna Tarkka and a logo by Lauri Voutilainen.

The light, sound, audio-visual and stage technical team that applied the technology, stage solutions, experimental, pictorial and sound projections, mixing and direct closed circuit monitoring of the PIIPÄÄ performance included, among others, Jussi Liimatainen, Gustav Alenius, Epa Tamminen, Aatos Suomilammi, Brölle Suominen, Jari Haanperä, Matti Willberg, Jukka Mikkonen, Ilkka Volanen, Esa Parkatti, Lauri Rissanen, Antti Kirvesmäki, and Sami Väätänen. Production arrangements were by Mirka Flander. The technical manager was Tarja Ervasti. The production manager was Matti Koivu. The producer in charge of the production was Marikki Hakola / Kaligari Ltd. Finland.

In Finnish / suomenkielinen sivu  >

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