Mikko Niemistö is a choreographer/performance artist who has worked in Helsinki and abroad in different constellations as a performer, choreographer and director. His main focus has been on movement, physical art, site specific works and crossing borders between different styles of performing arts. Through choreography he investigates the human bodies relation to it’s surroundings: our unconscious and conscious connections to the structures of the society and the state of the world.
He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography degree from the New Performative Practices Programme of Dans och Cirkushögskolan, Stockholm. Recently he has worked and performed e.g. in Mad House Helsinki, Kiasma theatre’s URB -festival, Weld, bit Teatergarasjen’s METEOR -festival, brut Wien and Kutomo.
During the residency of The Swedish Arts Council’s International Dance Programme, hosted by Bjällansås Studios and Atalante, Mikko Niemistö initiates the process of his upcoming work Odd Meters.
In Odd Meters Mikko Niemistö explores some of the overlapping rhythms that constitute the landscape that we form part of: the rhythms of the natural cycle, the rhythm of the industrialized society, the rhythm of the digital world and the rhythms of the human body and it’s vital signs. His aim is to navigate in intermediate states where rhythms are undefined, fluctuating between the categories mentioned above. The project makes visible the interconnectedness of the human body with the way our society is organized from the perspective of time, it’s measurement and the way we experience it.
Karl Marx has stated that the requirement of capitalism is the dissolution of our relation to the earth. During industrialization the factory became a place where the organization of labour could be disconnected from ties to the workers families, communities and the natural cycles defined by the sun and the movement of the earth. The digitalization of our contemporary times has disconnected humans even from the standard working times that previously divided the day to work and leisure.
Odd Meters portrays the contemporary western body as a thing that moves vaguely between these rhythms. Through it’s past it contains physical memories of the natural cycle and the agrarian society but it often acts according to the measured approach to time that is connected to the industrialized society and Fordist production structures. Currently it’s rhythm is being affected by the digital realm: a place where the measurement of time is absent and becomes irrelevant, but what keeps us in a constant standby mode.
Mikko’s website: mikkoniemisto.wordpress.com