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The ISEA festival and conference in Helsinki provided a wide survey of contemporary media practice, this year’s edition concerned mostly with wireless networks in all their forms. While the information overflow of the festival provided a feast of ideas, its density shortchanged the exhibitions and performances, as many pieces could have benefited from more space or time around them. While there was plenty of interesting work on view, the show that had the most impact for me wasn’t part of the festival at all, but was on view a stone’s throw away at the Tennis Palace Art Museum. There a survey of Osmo Rauhala’s videos and paintings allowed plenty of space and time to absorb a rich body of work made over the last 20 years. While the videos were sometimes accompanied by a simplistic reading of the natural world they depicted, the highlight was a two-channel projection of ice skaters circling endlessly in Central Park, the images shown through slowly moving plates of glass that sent the images spinning around the room.

- Ed Osborn [Thursday, September 2nd, 2004]

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