Mr Nilsson — I Memo of Time (2006, 2007)

Mr Nilsson - I Memo of Time addressed the boundaries of humans’ by exploring our relations to other animals and death.

The behaviour of all species shares certain features, and the differences can be seen as differences in degree only. On the other hand, a human has no way of knowing what it is like to be an electric eel or a starling - or what it is like to die. One of the starting points of the performance was the observation of mediated contemporary performance, which does not exist without devices and electricity. Technology, new evolutionary ecological knowledge about animals, and the bodily imaginary were the perspectives through which the performance approached animals — both the similarities we have (all the species on Earth originate from the same root), and the world unknown to humans, such as the senses we do not have but have tried to reach through the technology (e.g. magnetic and electric senses, seeing ultraviolet, and the echo-sounder).

In the performance, these perspectives were combined to the everyday links between the machines and humans in the “black box”. These assemblies were treated as units of action — at simplest: what kind of assembly is the combination of a human and a camera, a “humera”, etc. The human named in Mr Nilsson, homo performans, was seeking the evolutionary meaning of performing, at the age of global performance.

Mr Nilsson — I memo of Time premiered in the Kiasma Theatre in autumn 2006. The second version (only in English) premiered in The National Theatre of Finland 2007 and visited Norway, Performance Festival Kunstbanken/Hamar and Teaterhuset AvantGarden/Trondheim.

Mr Nilsson - I Memo of Time is the first instalment in the Memos of Time performance series, which is part of Tuija Kokkonen's doctoral research project "The potential nature of performance. Relationships to the non-human in the performance event from the perspective of duration and potentiality" in the Theatre Academy, Helsinki.

Maus&Orlovski 2005—2007

  • Performers:
    Tanja-Lotta Räikkä
    Robin Svartström (stage manager)
    Marja Silde (2006)
    Tuire Tuomisto (2007)
  • Sound design, performer:
    Miikka Ahlman
  • Light design, performer:
    Tomi Suovankoski
  • Visualisation, vj, performer:
    Kaisa Illukka
  • Video:
    Terike Haapoja
    Kaisa Illukka
  • Director’s assistant:
    Leo Torvalds (2006)
  • Aino Eskelinen (2007)
  • Text:
    Kokkonen ja työryhmä
  • Concept, direction, performer:
    Tuija Kokkonen
  • Consultant in ethology and evolutionary ecology:
    Evolutionary ecologist Jussi Viitala
  • Producers:
    Sanna Rekola
    Milla Laasonen
  • Photography:
    Petri Summanen


Maus&Orlovski in collaboration with Kiasma Theatre/Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Finnish National Theatre (2007).

Other collaborators:

  • Theatre Academy, Helsinki

Supported by:

  • Arts Council of Finland
  • Alfred Kordelin Foundation
  • Samuel Huber Art Foundation
  • Helsinki City Cultural Office

Texts on performance

  • Riina Maukola: ”Herra Tossavainen – I muistio ajasta.” Theatre Journal 7/2006.
  • Tero Nauha: ”Esitys ekosysteeminä.” Art Journal 2/2008.
  • F.H.Gullestad: ”Multimediale apestreker.” Adresseavisen, Trondheim 31.10.2007.
  • Ketil Reigstad: ”Finsk fjernsynsteater.” Hamar Aftonpost 27.10.2007.
  • Lauri Meri: ”Maus & Orlovski pohtii aikaa ja aisteja.” Helsingin Sanomat 18.10.2007.
  • Suna Vuori: ”Homo Performans väistämättömän edessä.” Helsingin Sanomat 26.9.2006.
  • Presentations/Kokkonen:

  • ”Muistioita ajasta: kolme näkökulmaa eläimiin.” (Memos of Time: Three perspactives on Animals.) A Seminar on Animals, The Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, May 2012.
  • Herra Tossavaisen inhimilliset ja ei-inhimilliset esiintyjät.” Finnish Association of Theatre Research, Helsinki 2007.