You Are Here (Helsinki) was released in June 2008. It was a continuation to the You Are Here (Turku) book concept from 2006, an adults' puzzle-work-guide book to a specific city, which instead of presenting the familiar tourist attractions, would reveal the most romantic places for a first kiss, the most distressing urban experiences, alternative sights to visit, and the most beautiful places for losing track of time.
One of the themes was also to experience the city differently by completing assignments, such as the Streetcar Bingo or the Lunchtime Meandering.
The book was born as a result of different activities carried out during one year; getting purposely lost as a result of using a map of a different city, evening walks with the routes determined by casting dice, and numerous discussions with unknown city dwellers. In 2006-2007 I sat for tens of days on the steps of the Cathedral attached by my jeans' belt loop to the end of a red ball of yarn that was down in the middle of the Senate Square. Many tourists and Helsinki residents followed the red yarn up to me, and based on these conversations I was able to find many new perspectives on Helsinki. In the summer, I hitch-hiked on boats I caught by the draw-bridge to islands (and to their old oil barrels) that I would not have found otherwise.
You Are Here - The Website
City Experiences are never limited to just one book, one encounter or one adventure. While writing a book decisions have to be made; you write and build texts based on your own experiences and on the common ones, but many of the wonderful moments are left untold.
I feel my role in this concept is not only as an artist but also as a facilitator, a builder of tools for a different kind of everyday life and city experience. That is why it is good for the common journey to be continued and to be seen after the journey of the author ends at the publication of the book.
The www.olettässä.fi webpage works as a parallel media for the book, where anyone can leave an image or a piece of text of a beautiful, ugly, romantic, fine, solitary or Sunday afternoon experience.
Book layout: Satu Kontinen
Illustration Satu Kontinen and Meiju Niskala