tuija kokkonen

is an artist (writer, director) and a professor of artistic research (2018–) at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki. Since 1996 she has worked on a series of site-specific memo performances, as the director and the artistic director of Maus&Orlovski, an ever-changing performance collective of artists from various fields. The memos are explorations on relationships between performance, “nature”, non-human and time, and on the performance in the age of ecological crises. They chart terrains between genres of art, between species; terrains where aesthetics, ethics and politics are inseparable. Since 1999 the memos have been performed mainly in the program of Kiasma Theatre/ Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, and internationally.

Her doctoral artistic research project at the Theatre Academy Helsinki was entitled "Esityksen mahdollinen luonto. Suhde ei-inhimilliseen esitystapahtumassa keston ja potentiaalisuuden näkökulmasta" ("The Potential Nature of Performance. The Relationship to the Non-Human in the Performance Event from the Perspective of Duration and Potentiality”) (Acta Scenica 2017). The work incorporates a series of interspecies performances called Memos of Timeperformances with and for non-humans (2006–). Her new performance series is entitled Kemi – Memos of Trees (2022-23 in Kemi City Theatre, Helsinki/Kiasma Theatre and Tampere Theatre Festival).

Memo performances

Non-Human Performance (ongoing since 2010)

Non-Human Performance (or Performance by Non-Humans), which started on March 1, 2010, it is an ongoing, “endless” performance, with the duration that exceeds the human lifespan. It explores the boundaries of performance and performative societies by asking whether performance has an exterior or an end. Non-Human Performance is almost entirely based on the agencies of non-humans, apart from its theoretical and institutional frame created by humans. The performance is located on the recreational area in Northern Helsinki, on the highest point of the city, which used to be the ancient seashore of the post Ice-Age Yoldia sea. Non-Human Performance is based on leaving the performance and its actors as they are, but how long? The animals, plants and weather phenomena on the site act as long as allowed by humans – or longer, after the humans. This performance is a thread of Chronopolitics – III Memo of Time (see below year 2010).

Kemi – Memos of Trees (2022–)


Kemi - II Memo of Trees

Kiasma Theatre/ Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Helsinki
Premiere 9th December 2022

Tampere Theatre Festival, August 2023

Kemi - Memo of Trees

Kemi City Theatre
Premiere 9th April 2022

Memos of Time (2006— )


Chronopolitics with Dogs and Plants in Hamburg

Nordwind festival/ Urban Species, Kampnagel October 18th

Chronopolitics with Dogs and Plants in Berlin

Nordwind festival/ Urban Species, Dock 11 August 16th

Chronopolitics with Dogs and Plants in Helsinki

The starting point of this interspecies performance is the question about our relationship to non-human actors – especially to our nearest companion species dogs and plants. It focuses to the act of reading and explores what happens to a human reader when our witness is something other than a human being, with another kind of a body/stem and ways of responding?
Esitystaiteen keskus, Suvilahti, Helsinki March 14th


Chronopolitics with Dogs and Trees in Stanford

This interspecies performance is a durational exploration into night-time reading, imagination and sleeping in the company of non-humans. It widens the sphere of performance to a collective consisting of human and non-human actors.
Tuija Kokkonen in collaboration with Alan Read
Performance Studies international #19 Conference, Stanford University, California


A Performance with an Ocean View (and a Dog/for a Dog). A documentary video installation.

performance platform, body affects festival, Berlin July 2012.


Chronopolitics — III Memo of Time

An endless performance began 1.3.2010. Chronopolitics branches into a performance by non-humans in northern Helsinki and a web performance, which both continue all the time, and into a nomadic live performance, which first appearance was in March 2010. The starting points of the performance are a vision of a world without animals, but filled with representations of animals; our difficulties to perceive duration, and the question, does performance have an exterior anymore. The performers consist of people of different ages, robodogs and other machines, and beings and processes of nature.


A Performance with an Ocean View (and a Dog/for a Dog) — II Memo of Time

The two interlinked performances focus on weather, time, potentiality and non-human co-performers. Human actors worked and performed with the clouds, ants, trees, rocks, dogs, rain, and tens of thousands of others. (and a Dog) was performed on an ancient shore of a post Ice Age Yoldia Sea in a suburb of Helsinki and (for a Dog) on a potential future seashore on the roof of a city centre department store.


Mr Nilsson — I Memo of Time

The performance addresses humans’ relations to other animals and death through the imagination, the new knowledge of evolutionary ecology, and the everyday links between humans and machines. Mr Nilsson asks what is a human, at the age of global performance - and ends up to be an attempt to recall animals.

Catchment Area – Memos of Freedom (1999—2003)


Catchment Area – III Memo of Freedom


Catchment Area – II Memo of Freedom


Catchment Area – I Memo of Freedom

The five-year project consisted of three performances, an installation, and series of discussions in Kiasma Theatre/Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. The basis of the presentation was a geographical catchment area, weak action, and questioning the anthropocentrism of the theatre and performance.

Maus and Orlovski – Memos of Love in the City (1997)


The three performances of the first memo series were performed around Helsinki during spring 1997 and the radio play broadcasted 1998. They explored boundaries of performance, and relations between event and ecology as relationships to the self, to the others, and to the environment/nature.