Maiju Loukola

  • Yliopistonlehtori, Taiteellinen tutkimus Kuvataideakatemia, Tutkimus ja tohtorikoulutus
  • +358504720344


Yliopistonlehtori / University lecturer


Maiju Loukola is a university lecturer in the Doctoral Programme in the Academy of Fine Arts. Current research focuses on the practice and theory of urban space, and her related art practice is linked to urban space practices, site and situation, often involving a thematic tuning with peripherality, moving-image relatedness or everydaily performative element. Since August 2021 Maiju is the head of City as Space of Rules and Dreaming (Kaupunki sääntöjen ja uneksunnan tilana) project funded by Kone Foundation (2021–2024).

After finalising her doctoral thesis AnyWhere Near. Mediality of stage and the architecture of touch (Vähän väliä. Näyttämön mediaalisuus ja kosketuksen arkkitehtuuri 2014, Aalto ARTS) Maiju worked as a postdoc researcher at Aalto ARTS (2015–2020) e.g. in Floating Peripheries – mediating the sense of place artistic research project funded by the Academy of Finland (2017–2021, ).

Taiteellinen toiminta

Public artistic activities (selected):   

2021 VIDEO WORK: a short video object, in Pandemia Mundi: Stages of Epidemics, online group exhibition on the RC Research Catalogue platform curated by Vincent Roumagnac and Simo Kellokumpu, 2020–2021

2019 INSTALLATION: Foaming Exercises, in Research Pavilion #3: Research Ecologies, Venice, Italy, May–August 2019

2019 INSTALLATION, PERFORMANCE: Dance. It’s the natural order. In “Floating peripheries Conference Sites and Situations Art Research Event”, curated by Pia Euro, Rovaniemi, January 2019

2018 INSTALLED OUTCOME OF A COLLABORATIVE SESSION: weS.A.N.K. (Speculative Architectures of Neganthroposcenic Kronotopias) Helsinki, 2-6 March 2018 at Uniarts’ ETLAB. Organised by Vincent Roumagnac & Emanuelle Chiappone-Piriou, with invited artists and artist-researchers Outi Condit, Henna-Riikka Halonen, Edvine Larssen, Maiju Loukola and Tuomo Rainio

2017 INSTALLATION: Under Construction. Site-specific installation (stairs, video projection, taped floor, light beamers) as materialisation operation of research topics in the Floating Peripheries – mediating the sense of place research project opening event. Magito Studio Helsinki 7.11.2017

2017 INSTALLATION: Into The. Moving image installation (video on silk curtain, fan, mini mirrors) in group exhibition Night Pieces (Dark Matters). 18.–27.8. 2017 Sala del Camino, Venice IT. Part of Research Pavilion #2: The Utopia of Access exhibition

2017 MOVING IMAGE MULTI-SCREEN INSTALLATION, a COLLECTIVE ARTWORK: Out 2. Collective multi-channel moving image installation by 18 authors. As original inspiration for this experimental work that combines collective methods and performative elements with ”oulipian” ideas, was Jacques Rivette’s 13-hour film Out 1 – Noli me tangere (1971). Research Pavilion#2: The Utopia of Access, Sala del Camino, Venice IT, 18.–27.8.2017

2017 PARTICIPATION IN COLLECTIVE ARTWORK (EXHIBITION AND PUBLICATION) The Truth About Finland. Curated by Porin Kulttuurisäätö (Anna Jensen, Eliisa Suvanto and Anni Venäläinen). Kallio Kunsthalle 3.–22.6.2017 and in Pori 10.–16.7.2017. Totuus Suomesta / The Truth About Finland publication was exhibited also in Titanik Gallery Turku, Pori Art Museum, and in Khaos Publishing Helsinki.

2016 MEDIA INSTALLATION: Have You Seen The Whale. In >p.s. peripherical scenes miniFESTIVAL>. Installation consisting of a 1851-born whale’s Twitter account, periscope live stream, 2 tablets, video projection, water and mold. Aalto ARTS, Helsinki, Jan 2016

2015 SITE-SPECIFIC INSTALLATION: Vertical jesus. Inspired by a Depeche Mode tune and an early work by Joan Jonas. (Video, animal figures, straight line, acrylic paint, spotlights). Collaboration/duett with sound artist-researcher Taina Riikonen. Space Invaders III, curated by Anna Jensen and Eliisa Suvanto. Otaniemi Espoo, May 2015

2013 INSTALLATION SERIES: Sensable Screening: projection sculptures. TESTing2013, Cardiff Sept 2013

2011 VIDEO INSTALLATION – LECTURE PERFORMANCE: Fantasma-koreja / Phantasm Baskets. Art Research Event # 3: Experimental Event, Aalto ARTS’ Pori Art and Media with the Figures of Touch research project. Porin Puuvilla, Generator gallery Sept 2011

2009 LECTURE PERFORMANCE: Calculations: hands & being taught by the horsie—On kinaesthetic empathy. Artistic Research Day by Theatre Academy Research Center/TUTKE, Figures of Touch and Academy of Fine Arts Doctoral studies. Theatre Academy, Helsinki Oct 2009

2007 PERFORMANCE: Eloonjääneet, Silent survivors. Space/visualisation/videos. With Kuriton Company, dir. Minna Nurmelin and composer Timo Muurinen. Kiasma Theatre

2007 2-CHANNEL VIDEO WORK: was/here (7”). Concept & editing. Videography Heikki Färm, performer Laura Pietiläinen. Screenings in Illusion, Cable Factory Helsinki 2006 and PQ2007, Prague, CH

2005 PERFORMANCE: Bodies Are No Good. Space/visualisation/videos. Collab. with Oblivia. Concept: group. Performers: Timo Fredriksson, Riikka Theresa Innanen, Magnús Logi Kristinsson (ISL), Anna Krzystek (UK), Annika Tudeer. Cable Factory Helsinki

2004 PERFORMANCE: Madman’s Diary, a requiem for a sick little man. Space/visualisation. Dir. and dram. Johanna Ropponen (Hammarberg). Videos: Jukka Mantere, Johanna Ropponen (Hammarberg), Maiju Loukola. Lights: Ainu Palmu. Q-Teatteri/ Puoli-Q, Helsinki

2003 PERFORMATIVE INSTALLATION: summer/pass-by. Videos. Collaboration with Oblivia and Johanna Ropponen (Hammarberg). Verandan at Lasipalatsi. Helsinki

2002 PERFORMANCE: Scacco Pazzo. Space/visualisation. Dir. Minna Nurmelin. Text: Vittorio Franscheschi. Lilla Teatern, Helsinki

2000 PERFORMANCE: Sudenmorsian. Space/visualisation/videos. Dir. Minna Nurmelin. Kajaani City Theatre

1999 PERFORMANCE: Kaikki naiset näkevät unia. Space/visualisation/costume. Dir. and dram. Katariina Numminen. Takomo Theatre Helsinki

1998 PERFORMANCE: My Heart Belongs To Daddy—symptoms and autobiographical documentaries. Space/visualisation (MA artistic part in ELO/Taik). Dir. and dram. Katariina Numminen. Ateneum Hall, National Gallery Helsinki + Kultsa

Tutkimus ja julkaisut

Research projects

2021–2024 City as Space of Rules and Dreaming (Kone Foundation)

City as Space of Rules and Dreaming promotes emancipation and democratisation in urban space by cross-examination through artistic research, empirical urban research, and political and legal theory. The study aims to strengthens polyphony of urban space and thereby develop a more just city. 

Research questions: How is urban space formed and shared, and who has access to it? What normative and de facto instruments regulate, control and inhabit this space? What kinds of processes, structures and spaces of inclusion and marginalisation, as well as disagreement and controversy are there in the city? What kind of fractures, escape lines and dreams are hidden in the normativity of urban space? What kinds of spaces of shadow, noise, potentialities and dreams are there and how do they actualise?

The study reaches beyond established art-science boundaries by bringing new and more inclusive means of “soft law” to urban decision-making and inviting different neighborhoods to dream of their own dwelling-regions through experimenting with practices of imaginary urban archaeology and fictionalising democracy, and through combining different mediums. 

The project is coordinated by the Academy of Fine Arts (Doctoral programme) at the University of the Arts Helsinki. Other partners are Helsinki University Faculty of Law, the Theatre Academy in Uniarts Helsinki (Performing Arts Research Center Tutke) and Aalto University Department of Built Environment. 

 2017–2021 Floating Peripheries – mediating the sense of place (Academy of Finland)

The project aims to enlarge the understanding of ‘peripheries’ into areas that are difficult to verbalize. Peripheries are conventionally conceived as marginal geographical locations, whereas our purpose is to look at peripheries as a multifaceted phenomenon – as conceptual, spatial and site-responsive domains, aesthetically and spatially experienced sensory spheres, states of mind shaped by associations and mental images, and activities through different mediums in arts and epistemologies. We aim to produce new experiential means for unraveling the spatial and conceptual hierarchies and biased assumptions of what and where the ‘periphery’ is in relation to the ‘center’. Our research is site- and situation-based.

The multiperspective artistic research concretely moves into the public sphere in the form of artistic interventions, artworks and city-square-events to interfere and interrelate with different peripheral contexts and realities. It tackles art as an active and effective agency of change; art addresses pressing issues directly through the senses and affects us on a deeply emotional level, exceeding the operations of the rational mind and everyday reality. The peripheral phenomena appearing in sub/urban space, social space, media/digital space and nature are the basis for analysis and for artistic production.

The consortium is a collaboration between two institutions: Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture (Department of Film & Scenography/ELO and Department of Art: Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art/ViCCA), and University of Lapland (Faculty of Art and Design). With Liisa Ikonen, Maiju Loukola, Pia Euro and Harri Laakso from Aalto ARTS, and Mari Mäkiranta, Eija Timonen and Jonna Tolonen from University of Lapland.


2020 ”Reclaiming Subjectivity – People’s Architecture as emancipatory urban space project.” In Performing Institutions: Reimagining their Places, Politics, Practices & Pedagogies. Eds. S. Janssen, A. Lindelof, O. Harsløv. (published in end-2021)

2020 ”From Foaming Exercises to scenarios of emancipatory coexistencies”, in RUUKKU Studies in Artistic Research (, with documentation of an artistic process in RUUKKU:

2018 ”A Little Distance, Please – On The Relationship Between Mediality and Touch.” In Figures of Touch. Sense, Technics, Body. Elo, M. & Luoto, M. (eds.). Academy of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts Helsinki, Vol. 12, p. 121–152 (Co-authors: Gröndahl, L., Elo, M., Santanen, S., Kirkkopelto, E., Laakso, H., Luoto, M., Nancy, J-L. & Parisi, D.)

2017 ”Eripuran tiloissa” [In dissensual spaces]. In Jacques Rancière ja erimielisyyden näyttämöt. Politiikka, oikeus, taide. [Jacques Rancière and the scenes of dissensus. Politics, justice, art.] Ed. Anna Tuomikoski. Helsinki: Tutkijaliitto, 183–198.

2017 ”Flying backwards into the future”. In Futures of Artistic Research. At the Intersection of Utopia, Academia and Power (Venice proceedings). Eds. Jan Kaila, Anita Seppä and Henk Slager. Helsinki: Writings from the Academy of Fine Arts (05) 2017, University of the Arts Helsinki. 

2017 ”Out 2 – kokeellinen liikkuvan kuvan kollektiiviteos nykyisen ja menneen ajan leikkauspisteitä jäljittämässä.” [Out 2 – an experimental collective moving image artwork tracing the intersections of now and past]. A collective article by Harri Laakso, Maiju Loukola, Henna Herranen, Matti Tanskanen and Saara Kanerva Tamminen. In Lähikuva journal theme number Estetiikka ja ilmaisu: tyyli, ilmaisu ja kokeellisuus elokuvassa ja elokuvatutkimuksessa, Vol. 1:2017, 76–87.

2016 ”Weather Station: expedition in search of the climatological and performative potential of sound and sound art in the expanded field of scenography.” In Theatre and Performance Design journal, Vol 2, 2/2016.  Collaborative article written with four artists of the Finnish exhibition in PQ15. London: Routledge, 103–126.

2014 ”Näyttämö, mediaalisuus, kosketus.” [Stage, Mediality and Touch] in Kosketuksen figuureja [Figures of Touch]. Ed. Mika Elo. Helsinki: Tutkijaliitto.

2014 ”Weather Station – sounding sound.” In Blue Pages journal, 2014:2. London, 16–18.

2014 ”Screening Media Scenographies.” In Näyttämö & tutkimus, vol. 5: Teatteri ja Mediat [Theatre and media]. Eds. Häti-Korkeila, Roihankorpi, Kortti, Maukola, Järvinen. Helsinki: Theatre Research Society

2009 ”Dwellings in Image-Spaces.” in Modes of Spectating. Edited by Alison Oddey and Christine White. Bristol/Chicago: Intellect Books, 197–207.

2009 ”Virtuaalisen piirtymisestä.” [Virtual traces] In Näyttämö & tutkimus, vol. 3: Näkyvää ja näkymätöntä [Visible and invisible]. Eds. Laura Gröndahl, Teemu Paavolainen & Anna Thuring. Helsinki: Theatre Research Society, 69–90.

2006 ”Murtumia esitystilassa.” [Fractures in performance space] In Näyttämö & tutkimus, vol. 2: Liikkeitä näyttämöllä [Movements on Stage]. Helsinki: Theatre Research Society/Helsinki University Press, 108–127.

Edited books or special issue of a journal:

2020 Editor of Peripheries in Parallax anthology, with Mari Mäkiranta and Jonna Tolonen. (in-process/published in 2022)     

2020 Co-editor of RUUKKU Studies in Artistic Research, theme issue #15: Slowness and Silence, Inertia and Tranquility. Eds. Maiju Loukola, Jaana Erkkilä-Hill and Eija Timonen.

2019 Co-editor of RUUKKU Studies for Artistic Research, theme issue #12: Peripheries. Eds. Maiju Loukola, Eija Timonen and Mari Mäkiranta.

2017 Co-editor of Taidetutkimus – taiteen ja tutkimuksen leikkauskohtia theme number. In Tiede & Edistys journal, Vol. 2017:4 (the first number on artistic research in the multidisciplinary journal in humanistic sciences and art research Tiede & edistys journal). Eds. Mika Elo, Maiju Loukola and Tuija Kokkonen.

2015 Editor of Weather Station exhibition catalogue for Prague Quadrennial 2015. Including excerpts from ”Thinking out loud” anthology, ed. and transl. by Heidi Soidinsalo.

2012 Co-editor of Näyttämöltä tutkimukseksi. Esittävän taiteen metodologiset haasteet. (Staging Research. Methodological Challenges in Research in Performing Arts.) In Näyttämö & tutkimus, Vol. 4. Eds. Liisa Ikonen, Hanna Järvinen and Maiju Loukola. Helsinki: Theatre Research Society publication series


  • spatial practices and theories
  • urban space
  • artistic research
  • installation
  • intervention
  • experientiality
  • experimenting w methodologies
  • performativity
  • visual culture theories
  • mediality
  • touch