Saturday, November 25, 2006

Game Instructions Display

The displays of game rules on how to find the Star of Helsinki are now up on Punanotkok Katu in the Center of Helsinki. (Close to the Design Museum, where the tram #10 passes.)
Images from the performance will follow soon!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Performance during Unknown City Walk on 26/11/2006

Plesae come with us for a search of the Star of Helsinki,
"Helsingin Tähti?"

As part of the "Unknown City Project"

Friday, 24 November 2006
at 16:00
Meeting point:
Kasernikatu 36
in front of the entrance of kuva Academy

We will have a walk through the Southern City Center and visit, or pass at many projects. The walk will take around 2 hours and many projects are outdoors, so please check out the weather and temperature, and dress accordingly. - So please come and enjoy, and specifically find out more about the ongoing search for the Star of Helsinki.

Please feel welcome to comment on the blog, or via email:

The Unknown City Project will be brought to you by Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, the Time and Space Department, Helsinki.
On your search for "Helsingin Tähti?" on 24 November, you will be kindly assisted by Panagiotis Balomenos, Rikkaliina Turki, Marcia Vaitsman, Axel Straschnoy and Klaus W. Eisenlohr.
Also thank you to HIAP, Helsinki, for the current residency and grant.
And to Senaatti Kiinteistöt for kindly allowing me to have some display on Punanotkok Katu.

Last not least, if you are so lucky to find the Star of Helsinki, or if you get to know where it is, please immediately call: 050-9305965 or, send an email to:

Helsingin Tähti? - game layout

Here is my new gameboard for the performance on 24 Nov. 2006. No, the performance is only to happen in the Southern part of the City Center, but it will refer to the larger metropolitan area of Helsinki. So, please check out the image, and you will have a better picture of what we will do on Friday ;-)

I am hoping it looks familiar to you, if you are Finnish.

The invitation for the performance is soon to come!

If you have any specific suggestions for the rules of this game, please write a comment, or send me an email!

Or, if you have a strong idea what the Helsinki Star is, and where it will be found, please let me know as soon as possible!

Thank you,

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

POV: Helsinki Metropolitan Area

"Learning to get lost is a vertiginous skill." - This is not a Walter Benjamin quote! I found it on the web. The sentence I remember by heart goes more like: "To get lost in the city takes experience and preparation"
To get lost, here, means something similar to saying "I got lost in the book of Edgar Allen Poe." It demands certain strategies to find unexpected, maybe revolving ideas and images. Moreover, to only go by foot isn't a good idea in order to figure something out about a wide spread metropolitan area (with more than 1.2 Million inhabitans). On the other hand, the setting of a board game might not be the worst idea for this endeavor.

Here is a map with my recent points of interest. So far, it does not look like a game board map: Many unknown areas! Also, I have not visited all of them, yet. But most of them.
  • 1 Espoo Center
  • 2 Kauniainen
  • 3 Tapiola
  • 4 Westend
  • 5 Lauttasaari
  • 6 Ruoholahti
  • 7 Eira
  • 8 Töölö
  • 9 Kallio
  • 10 Pasila
  • 11 Arabia
  • 12 Malmi
  • 13 Vantaa International Airport
  • 14 Itäkeskus
  • 15 Herttoniemi
  • 16 Yliskylä
  • 17 Vuosaari

Helsingin Tähti? - First responses

If someone would set up a game, The Star of Helsinki. What in your opinion, could be the Star of Helsinki?

Responses I received so fare (slightly edited):

In the middle of this tightening Nordic darkness, I'd like to suggest that your game in Helsinki would be the search for THE LIGHT OF HELSINKI.
In my opinion the deepest charm of this city lies in the varied experiences of light (and darkness) that you meet in different places and moments by the sea.

Finland is a poor country and always will be (this is what my parents were taught in school in the 1950’s). We do not have anything precious... And all that we had was lost in the war.
Therefore I would say that the “Star of Finland” is Karelia, the land area that was lost to the Soviet Union during the second world war. Or, Monrepos-park in the city of Viborg. (There are many songs about this place).

A place in the City - open air - where you could see art happening, performances, videos, music, dance. The place could change everytime so the hunting would become interesting. And why: Because art and culture seems to hide from ordinary people. They don't know how many interesting things are happening.

Dägä dägä. It is the name of a song by M. A. Numminen from 60's.
And the reason: openness of the subject, you have to define it yourself. Also that you don't actually know what you get.
Liisa's husband

The weather makes me say that the star of Helsinki would be the first
snowflake because if you take away from Helsinki it melts.

The Star of Helsinki, would be maybe one of the three
1. For the new (and poor) EU labor force from Poland and
Estonia, trying to get some of the "Western wealth &
security" - by doing shit jobs the Finns are too
snobbish to do. I.e. trying to get a good cleaning job
and if the dice gives you 1- you have to sell yourself
in Helsinginkatu.

2. For the American tourists who overflow
Helsinki in the Summer- they come by the thousands
from these massive cruice ships that arrive at the
harbour. The Americans want to find some of the
Czarist history here, running arround the Senate sq.
and beeing totally, totally lost. They are scared
shitless about going to St. Petersburg next as they
really think the ruskies still eat babies......
Thus: The finding of some lost Czar crown jewels.

3. For the Finnish and foreign EU-opportunists.
They try to start all kind of stupid "projects" (many
are so called CULTURAL projects) to embetter their own
status without having any idea what they are doing or
any critical thought about who needs their moronic
projects. They get the money for them, get their
wages and get nothing done. Examples abound...... You
can find dosens of them in helsinki........
Thus: Some EU-financed project with fat wages

...If you want to be romantic and commercial, the players would hunt for the jewels of the emperor of Russia and the time would be 20’s. Today the new design of young talents would be the treasure.

Everybody wants to be a hero or star nowadays,...allmost
everybody....reality-tv is so popular in Finland, people
wants to participate in those programs so eagerly.
A haunting of the star, as a metaphora of our time...

It would be a sinken boat outside of helsinki at sea with riches inside..
or a good job with good salary..
or a reasonably priced house as houses here tend do be very pricey..

Bar of Helsinki - as the alcohol culture is so distinctive and
dividing at the same time (like colonialist diamondhunting) to Finnish people, -
but then it would/could/should be very different than in the original concept,
because it would propaibly be a competition of the best bar.. Very commercial
sounding. But maybe combined with Kresimirs beer-project..


Terve! The Star of Helsinki: One should search for the artificial teeth of guitarist Andy McCoy, member of the band 'Hanoi Rocks'. Because, the Finnish people had collected money for his choppers (his natural teeth being rotted through extended drug consume) but he lost them again, somewhere in Sweden (!).
The Finns will know, what this is all about.
Günni and Auli

For me, the star
of Helsinki would definitely be a piece of banana-chocolate cake from the
legendary Café Engel in Aleksanterinkatu, opposite to the cathedral. That cake
is the best there is, and I always think about it with passion when I pass by
this café. It is so expensive though, that I only by a piece maybe once in a
year, usually when I think I have earned it somehow, for example after a test
that has gone well. So that would be my answer.

A beautiful Finnish woman!

Social Democracy

A good appartment

The prize of a treasure hunt on Radio Helsinki in March 2006 was a gold fish!

The statue on Esplanade with the name Havis Amanda. That's something that represents Helsinki!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Helsingin Tähti?

Everybody grown up in Finland knows the cardboard game The Star of Africa, it seems. In Finish it is called Afrikan Tähti. It is about hunting the biggest gemstone ever found, and bringing it to Europe: The Star of Africa is now owned by the Queen of England as part of the crown jewels. It also seems, that it used to be or still is the most popular family game in Finland.

Now my question: If someone would set up a similar game, Star of Helsinki. What would you feel appropriate that the game players could be hunting for? What in your opinion, could be the Star of Helsinki? And why?