Interview with Jenna Sutela
December 2016

A series of interviews with SPACE Art + Technology artists in residence

What were you doing in the year leading up to the residency?
Beyond Orgs, a project on organizations and organisms, which was addressed in my recent presentation here at SPACE, I’ve been making a lot of new work this year. For example, we presented eAR, a location-based augmented reality sound and text project together with Ville Haimala as part of the PAN x ICA showcase in London earlier this autumn. I also showed work in Berlin and Lisbon and went on a research trip to Japan, visiting and interviewing scientists who are working with the single-celled yet many-headed slime mold, an organism that has been of particular interest to me over the past few years.

What are you working on at the moment?
Right now, I’m developing something around fermentation, computing and language. While the conceptual reference for this project was originally the Homebrew Computer Club, an early computer hobbyist group in Silicon Valley in the 1970s and 80s, it has been interesting to observe the surroundings of my residency and all the micro brewing that’s going on around The White Building and Hackney Wick. Now, this is happening next to the massive developments at the former Olympic Park, with its media centre waiting to be retrofitted into a massive “digital campus”. I mean, even this residency goes under the rubric of ‘art + technology’. Not only gentrification and art, or gentrification and tech, but also gentrification and fermentation seem to go hand in hand these days.

How have you found the residency so far?
I find a lot of value in the open-endedness of the residency. It has allowed me the flexibility to develop the work that needed to be developed most urgently. I’ve also met some great people, had some great kombucha...

What’s coming next?
In spring, I’ll be coming back to London for the second half of my residency.


Jenna Sutela’s installations, text and sound performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, often in relation to technology. Her work has been presented, among other places, at ICA London, Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin and Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and writing published by, for example, Fiktion, Harvard Design Magazine and Sternberg Press. Sutela’s residency takes place at The White Building, London’s centre for art, technology and sustainability and is supported by The Finnish Institute.