oakalo group portrait


Working group: Suvi Ermilä, Pia Grüter, Thomas Heib, Riikka Keränen, Pia Lindman, Niko Nurmi, Emilio Zamudio-Murillo. We are an international group of artists working together to bring to a wider discussion the ethical and social implications of working with living beings for the purposes of art, business, or activism.

Can we claim authorship or ownership over life forms found in nature? Do business associations such as companies have more social and environmental agency than individuals? Can we invest in the distant future and develop without materially growing? These are some of the questions we ask ourselves and others, using old and new biotechnologies and resources from contemporary art, activism, the legislative system and market economy.


Suvi Ermilä (b. 1985) is a Helsinki based visual artist. Her work is situated in social platforms and her latest projects have been concentrating on migration. She’s interested in how to expand individual experiences to shared discussions of humanity and global justice. Most recently, she has worked on art projects in children’s homes and with refugees in Finland, Estonia, Russia and Turkey.

Pia Grüter is a German-Finnish multimedia artist and student of the Master Program “Public Art and New Artistic Strategies” at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. Working with installation, sound, painting as well as video, she combines fieldwork and research to react site-specifically to local circumstances, history and people to a place or site. Currently she concentrates on the Finnish forests and their meaning within a cultural identity.

Thomas Heib, was born and grew up in Duisburg, Germany. During his art studies he became very interested in political issues, which seem almost too complex to be understood. As an artist, he tries to slow down the process of understanding and to reflect ongoing or past issues.

Riikka Keränen is a Finnish visual artist. She received her Bachelor degree in Satakunta University of Applied Sciences at Kankaanpää School of Art. Currently, she is studying for her Master’s degree in the Master Program of Visual Culture and Contemporary Art (ViCCA) at Aalto University in Helsinki. Riikka is mainly working with sculpture and installations. www.riikkakeranen.com

Pia Lindman is a Finnish artist and Professor of Beings and Things and Head of Biofilia at ViCCA, Aalto University (Finland). She lives and works in Berlin, Germany, and builds a collective eco-village in Fagervik, Finland. Currently, Pia is developing a new performance with Wooden Cities New Music Collective in Buffalo, NY, and a research and art project at the former NATO base in Keflavik, Iceland. http://poisonandplay.blogspot.fi/ www.pialindman.com

Niko Nurmi: I’m an artist from Tampere, living in Helsinki. I am interested in how we humans organize – be it by choice, accident or force and both in relation to each other and other entities – and what it is that shapes or mediates our experience as humans. nikonurmi.com

Emilio Zamudio Murillo is a Mexican artist working in Helsinki. His work revolves around the aesthetic properties and social implications of ecological relationships. He has participated in venues such as Ars Bioarctica residence 2011 (Finland), Conflux Festival 2010 (New York), and Interactivos?’10 (Madrid).