Random Alternative Tourist Information service Machine (R.A.T.I.S.M.), Helsinki, Finland, 2016

Created for the Exhibition Gaming the System curated by These Animals in collaboration with pixelache. The exhibition was site specific, with artworks situated throughout Helsinki. R.A.T.I.S.M. was located in a vitrine attached to a shopping mall. The interactive sculpture, shaped like a black pyramid, invited passers by to communicate with it via text message. Users were invited to text the phrase RATISM to the number shown in the image above. The Blue flashing beacon on top of the occult looking Pyramid device would then begin flashing in a strange sequence as the device texted randomised advice to the wood-be tourist who had sent it the triggering text message. Some of the information sent by the RATISM device was based on information I had gathered from discussions with locals. Other advice was simply amusing ideas that could be enacted in any city. The installation was accompanied by the following text inviting passers by to interact:

Just as the twentieth century needed new forms of Art so too does the twenty-first century need new forms of leisure. To this end we propose SPART, The Ultimate Hybridisation of Sport and Art and therefore the most evolved form of leisure on the planet. It is often said by SPARTISTs that you have only your boredom and the things you choose to do with it. Therefore, In order to help the bored twenty-first century tourist – or local bored thrill seeker – SPART has engineered the R.A.T.I.S.M. (Random Alternative Tourist Information Service Machine) Device for your pleasure. Text and enjoy!

To give you an idea of the humour involved in the text messages sent fomr the RATISM device, here is a sample of some of the messages it sent:

  • Visit Kalastajatorppa Hotel where the Bilderberg Group once met
  • Choose love
  • Go to a university lecture (they’re free in Helsinki). Leave when bored
  • Leave a message to a friend in a public place
  • Go home and sleep
  • Have a picnic where other people go to work
  • Drink with tramps
  • Go to a spiritualist church meeting
  • Live Dangerously: Fart in a Sauna
  • Watch TV in a hospital waiting area
  • Go to the Contemporary Art Museum of Finland and get the bus to IKEA
  • Find a public toilet that does not cost 1 Euro
  • Go fishing with a stick and a hook. No licence needed
  • Pretend you care

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