Three Times a Decade

Three Times a Decade is both a media art project, and a study about the practices of the internet culture, namely about the video blogs.


The main forum for the artwork and the research is a daily blog. Besides the blog researcher and artist Pekka Kantonen will produce research expositions for artistic research journals, and media artworks for conventional art spaces. The project started on the date the video diary Kantonen has kept with his kin group turned 30 years. Every day he publishes a video blog with three video diary clips of the years 1990, 2000, and 2020 with an optional commentary. On a daily basis he will publish the video blog for ten years. Thus Kantonen will create three parallel video timelines that the public can follow and comment for ten years.

The project creates a reflexive micro history of our contemporary time unfolding in almost real time. Kantonen is applying the method of his doctorate (2017), Generational Filming, in the internet context. GF is a participatory and experimental method of watching and commenting on his home videos with different age groups, specialists, and other viewers with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Research questions

The ethics of presenting intimate

Long lasting follow-up creates inevitably intimate footage. People involved, including the researcher himself, forget that filmed events can become public, and zeitgeist. How should the intimate be represented that the people filmed and the audience will be respected?

Respect for other cultures and other people

Undefined, long lasting follow-up has the danger of misunderstanding the limits of other cultures and persons. Until now the method of Generational Filming has been Kantonen’s main tool to avoid and revise his misunderstandings. By asking the audience their interpretations, Kantonen has gained partial answers.

Considering death and illness in the research

During a long lasting project some participants die, become ill, or their lives change dramatically. How can the researcher take into account these profound changes? How can mourning be part of the research? For ethical grounds, how can the researcher delimit his study? When should the researcher refuse to study certain fields?

Shared space of watching in the internet

In his doctorate, Kantonen applied Kluge´s and Negt´s term proletarian public sphere, and Rouch´s term shared anthropology to describe the space created during the screening events of Generational Filming. He called it shared space of watching. How this contested and open space can be created in the internet?

The involvement of the researcher in his study subject

In almost all of his filmed research material Kantonen is himself present somehow. He has the conscious intention to bring together the world behind the camera, and the world in front of the camera. This intention renders constant negotiations with the persons filmed. 

Video blog

Project name

Three Times a Decade



Lead organisation

Centre for Artistic Research, Uniarts Helsinki


Pekka Kantonen, visiting researcher,

Find out more

Watch the video blog in youtube.