If your heart wants it (remix), 202015:37 video
Taking place annually in Helsinki, SLUSH is a three-day super event for tech startups. It brings together entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in a party-like environment with ambitions of changing the world and solving the Big Problems. Even if attendees don’t directly experience it, people still buy into the expectation that things are really changed here.
Together with an interdisciplinary research team and camera crew, Takala documented the 2018 edition of the event – If your heart wants it (remix) has been reconstructed from this material. Whilst posing as entrepreneurs and investors, the team attended events, talks and afterparties, and observed and initiated a range of social interactions with everyone from volunteers to fund managers.
Takala set out to study the behaviours and attitudes encouraged by this environment, such as how those within the culture deal with the constant pressure to be positive and social, all whilst desperately trying to prove their ‘entrepreneurial worth’. They frequently witnessed attendees being self-aware of the performativity of the environment, but in spite of all the positive self-affirmations, there is often a feeling of insecurity alongside the bravado. In a world where success is framed as the result of individual determination, dedication and creativity, it is equally the individual that has to shoulder the blame when failure comes around.
If your heart wants it (remix) was produced whilst Takala was artist-in-residence at Aalto Business School. SLUSH itself was conceived at Aalto University and founded by former students in 2008. The event is staffed mostly by volunteers, who are largely students themselves at the school. If your heart wants it exists in two versions. The longer, silent version is permanently installed in Aalto Business School’s new building in Otaniemi, Espoo.
Researchers: Paris Furst, Alice Wickström, Jessie BullivantProduction Assistants: Jessie Bullivant, Iona RoisinCamera: Katharina DiessnerEditing: Elisa PurfürstSound design: Tobias PurfürstVoice Re-recording: Emre TürkerVoice actors: Derya Durmaz, Paris Furst, Emma Waltraud Howes, Uzay Gökhan Irmak, Edvard Lammervo, Dominik Weber
Commissioned by Aalto University School of Business, Finland Supported by KRIEG/PXL-MAD School of Arts Hasselt, Belgium
installation view, If Your Heart Wants It (remix), Röda Sten Konsthall, Göteborg, September – November, 2022, photo: Hendrik Zeitler / Röda Sten Konsthallinstallation view, If your Heart Wants It (remix), photo: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto-yliopisto