Espoo City Theatre participates in the Centriphery project, a cross-disciplinary collaboration between nine European arts and culture organisations. In Espoo, this multi-year undertaking culminates this spring.
The artistic working group in Espoo is made up of five artists: Matija Kezele from Croatia, Fred Nevche from France, and Tellervo Kalleinen, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen and Anna-Mari Karvonen from Finland.
What does IKEA have in common with social media?
The artists selected cognitive bias as their main theme.
People mostly believe their thought processes to be both rational and sensible. And yet, systemic mistakes influence our thinking far more than we realise. These universally shared mental shortcuts are known as cognitive biases. The term refers to information often becoming simplified as it is processed and interpreted, and to how this in turn affects the decisions and judgments that are made. The best-known cognitive bias is the confirmation bias which leads us to select information that supports our existing views.
An easily relatable everyday example is the so-called IKEA effect; a cognitive bias that helps explain why we place higher value on things we helped to build or create. Another example of cognitive bias is confirmation bias; the tendency to look for, and notice, information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs. Social media algorithms, for instance, capitalise on confirmation bias by displaying content that is consistent with one’s previous clicks and reactions.
Workshopping the theme
The project aims to conjoin artistic processes with collaborative work with local participants. The artistic team prepared a workshop that was held at Omnia, a local Espoo education provider, in October 2021. The workshop participants were Omnia’s visual arts students. In workshops, concrete examples were used to examine how various cognitive biases are present in our everyday lives and behaviours. The students investigated the theme through various formats such as comics, short performances, debates, and encounters. Working with Fred Nevche, the students also co-wrote a song and, capping off the workshop, recorded it.
Audience invited for May 2022
The artistic team continues its work over the winter months, and the project will culminate in multiple events and a performance, BIASED, at Espoo City Theatre in May 2022. BIASED invites the audience to explore the hidden notions and unconscious factors that drive our actions. Performances: May 12-19, 2022 in Revontulihalli. Tickets: 15 / 10 / 5 €.
Explore more and watch a documentary short film about Centriphery-project at the Espoo City Theatre by Karin Pennanen: