Cycle City is an art experience that unfolds over the course of a bike ride. The work, devised by choreographer Kira Riikonen and performing artist Tuukka Jukola, expands as it traverses the whole city, inviting you to experience, witness, and marvel at different layers and destinations of the city with a fresh perspective.
Cycle City is an experiential metaphor contained in an experience — about life and the world at large –– an adventure into our own nearby surroundings as well as ourselves. At the core of the work is a question: How can we share the cityscape and the world, and live in them with dignity while respecting the environment and each other? The work highlights the inevitable passing of time, urban culture, city planning, and the change that is brewing within us.
Helsinki becomes experienced by cycling around the central zones. The inner world and artistic content of the work unfold through the use of a smartphone and headphones. The work is manifest as a collaboration of particular locations, the artistic content, and the person experiencing the travel –– an immersive experience where everyday surprises take on an additional dimension. What you experience is the sum game of predetermination and chance. You are also able to personally influence the equation –– just as in other moments of life.
The selected locations compose a thematic route, which occupies around 2.5-3 hours of unrushed navigation. There are two thematic routes available: the Body and the Soul.
the Body caresses the spine and the whole frame of the city. While doing so, it also leads the explorer into their personal physical experiences. The body of the rider weaves a fabric combining both history and the present day within the body of the city. the Body is a journey where the city and the body of the participant are used to reach out to those around them. It facilitates enticing encounters with oneself and with those around you, set to the tempo of a city on the move.
the Soul provokes reflections on different thoughts and perceptions surrounding the concepts of the soul. It addresses our human longing for a meaningful life and a wish to be part of something greater. If the body were the home of the soul, how would it communicate? Does listening to the soul offer guidance in moments of decision-making, and can we connect to one another at the soul level? What is explained through biology, and what lies on the other side of experience and knowledge? Where do they meet?
How to participate
You can take part in Cycle City as a cyclist of any experience level; these are the routes that have been designed for your enjoyment.
In order to take part in the performance, you will need:
- a fully charged smartphone
- your own headphones
- your own working, lockable bike
- working headlight in the bike, if you attend an evening performance
- a helmet
- clothing according to the weather
Please note that you are solely responsible for your own safety while navigating in traffic. You can ride alone, with a friend or in a small group. The audio content is only listened to at the assigned pitstop destinations. We recommend you use a helmet.
The route starts off at the Cable Factory in Ruoholahti. The length of the routes are ca. 11 km for the Body and ca. 16 km for the Soul. Riding unrushed, both routes can be completed in three hours at the most.
You will choose the route upon booking your ticket. You may book either an individual ticket to ride on your own time, or to participate in a group slot.
Both routes finish in the same location. Most of the performances will end at the Abattoir (Teurastamo) area in Kalasatama. However, on Aug 22, Aug 29 and Sep 4 finish at the Kumpula Botanical Gardens. There will be a chance to relax after the ride at both finish lines, with food and drinks available for purchase with a small discount for our participants.
On Sun, Sep 5th, the Body route (start at 10:30), will be done in collaboration with the Helsinki City Bikes. On this perfromance you wont need to have your own bike, the bikes are provided by HKL.
Concept planning and implementation: Kira Riikonen and Tuukka Jukola
Performance dramaturgy and script: Onerva Hannula, Tuukka Jukola and Kira Riikonen
Performers: Anneli Kanninen, Jaakko Nieminen, Kardo Shiwan, Heidi Julku (Tampereen konservatorio), Sara La Mela (Riveria Outokumpu), plus volunteer participants
Sound design: Jani Orbinski
Voices: Tuukka Jukola ja Veera Lapinkoski
Advisors: Janne Saarakkala ja Tuomas Koski
English translation: Veera Lapinkoski
Application and dramaturgy on route: Jani Orbinksi, Tuukka Jukola ja Kira Riikonen
Visuals: 360 Finland, Helsinki City Museum's photography archives, working group
Production: Zodiak – Center for New Dance, Helsinki Festival, Kira Riikonen and Tuukka Jukola
Supporters and collaborators: City of Helsinki, Helsinki City Bikes, Helsinki City Museum, Helsingin Polkupyöräilijät, Teurastamon Yrittäjät ry., Kesäkahvila Kumpu, Kumpulan kasvitieteellinen puutarha – LUOMUS, Riveria Outokumpu