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Selected New Media Productions & concepts

Turing Enigma Chatterbot

In Turing Enigma (www.taik.fi/turingenigma), Alan Turing's spirit has infiltrated the German WWII encrypting device Enigma, the "unbreakable" code of which Turing successfully cracked. The user can play the role of the cryptologist and engage in discussions with Alan Turing's spirit by logging on the web site. The artificial character can recognize words and sentences from text typed-in by users and then reply accordingly with text and by "spitting out" various 3D-animated objects and sounds out of the Enigma machine.

Turing Enigma is produced by Crucible Studio in connection with Helsinki Skaala Opera’s multimedia opera Turing Machine.

Script L. Saarinen; 3D-lead and animation M. Nieminen; 3D modelling A. Hyvönen & V. Mäki; Programming M. Norrena; Sound design T. Colerus; Producer K. Åberg. 2008.

Accidental Lovers / Sydän kierroksella

Accidental Lovers (Sydän kierroksella, Crucible Studio, Finland 2006) is an interactive, dark musical TV-comedy.  It explores variations of a love relationship between 61-year-old cabaret singer Juulia (Kristiina Elstelä) and 30 years younger pop star Roope (Lorenz Backman).

Viewers are able to affect the unfolding drama, encouraging, or spoiling, a possible love affair between the two unlikely lovers by sending mobile text messages to the broadcast. On television screen, viewers see their text messages and hear the characters respond to their texts.  A glowing heart shows whether the audience messages are warming or cooling the hearts of the romantic couple, and viewers see the relationship develop according to their comments and discussion.

Accidental Lovers premiered on the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE Channel 1 as a mini series of 4 episodes on each Wednesday and Friday evening between Dec. 27, 2006 – Jan. 5, 2007. Altogether 12 different love stories were created, based on the mobile text messages that the audience sent during the shows.

The technical components were developed in European research project New Millennium, New Media (NM2). Some of the project outcomes are tools and approach to digital media content development, introduced in ShapeShifting Media.

The Accidental Lovers concept won the CyberPitch award in the Banff International Television Festival 2003. The show itself was nominated in BWTF in the interactive enhancement category 2007. On this page you can find some more info and my personal notes about the project, and here is a 9 min. introduction video about the concept and story.

Original concept: L. Saarinen & M. Tuomola; Director: M. Tuomola; Script: L. Saarinen & M. Tuomola; Concept development: L. Saarinen, M. Tuomola, M. Nurminen.

Stomach Ache

Stomach Ache is a prototype of interactive music video for digital television or multi media technologies. The video is split in three channels, which the user can switch freely. The prototype is based on intensive research and experimentation to find effective means of audiovisual expression and storytelling in multi channel format.

In Stomach Ache we created 'conceptual story connections' between the characters; the Cupid (channel 3.) keeps shooting arrows and jealous girlfriend (channel 2.) voodoo-tortures the main character Oscar (channel 1.) who, in turns, keeps falling in love and having horrible pain in the belly.

ITV project in Medialab UIAH 1999. Director: K. Laitinen; Music: Knuklebone Oscar & his hitmen; Script: K. Laitinen, O. Martimo, L. Saarinen; Sound design: O. Martimo; Programming: O. Martimo, L. Saarinen; Editing: K. Laitinen, O. Martimo; 3D Animation: L. Saarinen.

Avatar Body Collision

Avatar Body Collision is a globally dispersed virtual theatre group, 4 women who come together to create a new kind of performance form. In most of ABC’s work, three actors perform online, live, in real time, while one actor performs in the proximal space of the hosting venue. The remote performers appear projected on a screen, using web cameras and avatar world technologies.

See our homepage www.avatarbodycollision.org for detailed descriptions of our body of work and get to know the UpStage, an open source performance platform we have been developing: upstage.org.nz

Ongoing project since 2001. H. Jamieson (NZ), K. Ptacek (UK), L. Saarinen, V. Smith (NZ).

Villa Mirdia

Villa Mirdia is a concept for a text based chat environment – poetic meetscape – that lures users, especially females, into intellectual and lunatic encounters. Ghosts of Finnish women artists share their passion, thoughts and experiences and induce users to express themselves in all levels of language.

The concept and script of Villa Mirdia won 2nd prize (30 000 FIM) in Tiin@ tulee - information society innovations for women –competition Feb.2000.

Concept and script by J. Kokko, R. Pelo and L. Saarinen.

Watch It!

Watch it! website is a pilot project aimed at creating an "image-reading site" for the world-wide web that is based on the watch it! approach. It incorporates a first set of digital visual practices developed by Eva Saro in collaboration with art & design students in Helsinki. The original website contains an image bank of portraits and commentaries and exercises and demos of image-reading practices. Here is the follow-up version of our original ideas.

Study project in Mlab 2000.

10th City – Share Life

In the year 2000 Europe had total of 9 "capitals of culture" Helsinki being one of them. Cafe9.net –project brought all cities together with various artistic and other online projects. Its purpose was to provide a network-based social and artistic environment within which people in Europe could meet, enjoy, participate and communicate.

I participated in katastro.fi team.  We created 10th city – share life website. At the time it was highly ambitious project, inviting people to upload images and videos of their mundane acts and challenge others living in different countries to do the similar thing in their own locations.


Keskusvirasto (transl. ~ central bureau) is a concept and demo for a website where youth can learn and exercise creative writing. Game-like environment of a vast absurd bureau with strange characters that make users write stuff through simple conversations with various people in the building. Later on those texts can be edited, discussed and developed in a writer community of the web site users.

I was one of the concept developers and scriptwriters of this self-formed team of artists and engineers. 2002.

Cyber Poetry

I have had really strong interest in various forms of digital writing since late 90's. Over the years I have been randomly experimenting with all kinds of forms and contents ranging from hyper and cyber text to flash poetry to randomly generated or machine translated poems etc.

Some of my "early stuff" is on display on katastro.fi/~leena, and some computer aided poetry on expoet.blogspot.com.

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